Coronavirus Update From SEP

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We think we were one of the first to publish our contingency plans on 9th March – it seems so long ago now, and so much has happened in that short time.

Things have been, are, and will continue to move very rapidly…and we are all hoping that the peak of new cases and deaths also approaches (and more importantly passes) just as quickly.

In the meantime, for the comfort of our customers and other contacts, we are doing the following:

  • Our additional stock has been arriving all week – we have taken a bold decision to increase our stock by OVER 50%…and we trust that our customers will see the benefit of our approach in disconnecting at least some of the supply chain. In at least one case, goods were shipped to us shortly before a factory closed for at least two weeks.
  • Half of our office staff have been able to work from home since mid-March to reduce risks across the workforce; all but one are now working from home so that we can keep responding to customer enquiries and keep things moving as necessary.
  • We banned all non-employees (including delivery and collection drivers) from entering our premises from mid-March, several days before delivery companies themselves realised this was necessary.
  • We have applied to the Government’s Ventilator ‘call to arms’ – clearly we have no specific experience, but we have widely experienced, willing and flexible electro-mech technicians and a great approach to quality. We may be seen as unsuitable  for such an exercise, but at least we will know we’ve offered what we can.
  • The MD/owner has committed to ALL staff, including the very latest recruits, that although we may have to drop days, there are NO redundancy plans, barring long term economic disaster. Government assistance is unclear as we write but hopefully this will help us keep all of the great team we have here.
  • All of our non-plc suppliers will be paid earlier than usual; we have good working capital management and don’t want to see our smaller suppliers suffer.

Clearly, in these uncertain times, we are just as concerned about a potential drop in demand (project supply) and losing the great momentum we have had. Be assured that we have robust financial planning in place; the workforce have agreed to be flexible, and we will be ready for full action to continue once the worst of this situation has passed.

We implore everyone to follow the advice as closely as possible to minimise the effects of Covid-19 both on people’s health and the economy.

May we never again take for granted that which we have and those whom we love, and may the world be a better place once this is over.

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