A post we wrote for The BCFA regarding our Operational Continuity during the COVID-19 crisis.
As Global Upholstery Solutions supplies a number of customers in the healthcare industry we are of course duty bound to sustain operational continuity and remain open to support them during this difficult time. All necessary precautions to protect staff are in place.
We have plenty of space and distance between staff members and have changed our operating methods so that team briefings have changed significantly – we don’t gather people close together any more of course and we have stopped some altogether. All communal surfaces, including door handles, are cleaned four times per day. Our recreation room has been spaced out and only one chair per table. Breaks have been split too. Staff are advised to clean all work surfaces before and after use as well as to wash their hands when they arrive and before they leave the premises. We’ve stopped all visitors from entering the factory, although since the lockdown we don’t get anything other than deliveries now anyway.
There are some people who think companies shouldn’t work in these times, but government guidelines are that they should where the work can’t be undertaken at home. As long as business take suitable precautions to protect their staff, and the staff are careful too, then we should all get through this. Many of our customers are following these guidelines, so we feel it is our responsibility to support them. We are a business to business commercial upholstery company and we are an important piece in the supply chain for many of our customers – we pride ourselves on our reliability and we won’t let people down.
As it happens, because we are part of the healthcare supply chain, we need to stay open anyway – our operational continuity translates further up to where it really matters. While we aren’t supplying the NHS, there are companies like ours that are supporting the healthcare efforts in less obvious ways. We just make upholstery after all. Why would we be essential, or even necessary?
Our biggest customer is Stannah Stairlifts. We supply parts for every product that they manufacture. They shared this with us to show our team why the continuation of supply is so important.
In these strange times it’s good to take a minute to remember why we are here, carrying on doing what we do.
While most of our sales teams have been off the road this last week, we are still seeing some urgent cases coming through that illustrate just how important it is we can continue to supply and service our stairlifts.
We currently have a rush order for a curved product going through the system. Our customer is a terminally ill cancer patient who has been sent home to free up bed space in the hospital. I don’t think most of us can begin to imagine how that must feel but we should be proud we are able to support this lady by giving her access around her home at a time when she is dealing with a heart-breaking personal situation against a background of the coronavirus turmoil. Huge thanks to everyone who will be pushing this job through as fast as they can.
Another job we have taken is an order for a gentleman with prostate cancer. He and his wife have been considering getting a stairlift for a while but, like so many, have kept putting it off. However, Mr S collapsed at home last week. A kind neighbour has been coming in to help Mrs S get Mr S up and down the stairs but clearly there’s no chance to observe social distancing in that scenario and it isn’t really a sustainable solution. Mrs S phoned us at 4.50pm on Thursday and by 1.21pm on Friday we had done a sales call remotely, one of our sales consultants popped in just to complete a survey – observing all the required hygiene and social distancing protocols – and we are now processing an order that will give Mr S much needed independence and Mrs S some much needed peace of mind.
Falls in the over 65s are the biggest single cause of emergency hospital admissions. The more people we can keep safe in their homes at any time, but particularly now with such pressure on both health and social care services, the better for the battle against coronavirus.