Managing Covid-19

With week seven of lock down underway, times have been challenging for many, domestically and in business. Families are restricted to their homes with the light prospect of limited time to leave the house for some daily exercise. Children are still being home schooled and kept away from their friends, whilst working parents are trying to manage this and do their bit to keep the economy afloat. That’s not to mention the enormous pressures on our key workers especially within the NHS. It is said that for the long term the positives will out way the negatives and remaining positive is the key to empowering the country forward but what is happening with home deliveries and how are BIL helping these industries fulfill the ever increasing demands?

The country has seen a huge upturn in the demand for home delivery since the outbreak, especially within the grocery industry. With a wave of panic buying a few weeks back, the supermarkets have had to restock and regroup, introducing many new measures to ensure the safety of staff and customers, we have seen limitations on purchasing quantities of various product lines and safe social distancing measures set out when moving throughout the stores, including one way systems. Of course, the safest way for many customers to receive their groceries is by delivery and for some who are self isolating or vulnerable this is there only reliant way of getting the essentials. Some chains have been describing it like ‘Christmas week’ every week since this all began, it is truly unimaginable the strains that this must be putting on the industry and staff.

Of course, on the flip side of all the negatives we are starting to witness the truly great British spirit that we are so well known for. In an ideal world food bank charities would not be needed but to see how these have been formed and how the volunteers have really put themselves to the task has been extremely inspiring, so much so that BIL Group will shortly be hoping to help in our own way.

Some supermarket chains are nearly upwards of one million online orders per week, something that is rarely seen and the industry has had to adapt very quickly in order to cater for these ever growing demands. Fleet sizes have increased rapidly, requirements for new drivers and internal warehouse staff has increased. Even an aircraft pilot was reported to be out and about on deliveries, albeit in a van not aircraft!

At BIL we have a long history with many of the grocery delivery companies across the UK and have long established connections with their colleagues. With delivery slots filling up, the demand for our handling equipment has increased and we have been continuously supplying them throughout this period to ensure we are supplying each store with the necessary equipment to carry out the job efficiently and safely.

Even before the outbreak stock levels were a big part of our armoury, this combined with our UK manufacturing facility means we have been able to be flexible and quickly adapt in the same way the industry has had to, making sure our input / output operations remain constant whilst the process remains as consistent as possible.

Keeping our staff safe during this period is of course a priority and we have introduced various distancing measures including staff working from home and split shifts in our works, is it ideal? No however safety is paramount. We also know the value our range has to the industry, we have had to put all of our virtues fully into practice whilst continuing to follow government guidelines. Our fantastic staff have adapted tremendously and we will keep a safe efficient practise until this ends.

Ultimately we are proud to work with the companies that we do and we hope that when we look back on this in the future we can be proud of what we have done as a group and UK manufacturer.

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