St Cross 2020 and Covid-19

Posted on October 6, 2020 by

What a year 2020 has turned into, who would ever have thought on New years Eve 2019 what the following year was going to turn into.  I write this update on the business as still the fight against Covid continues across the globe and businesses and individuals struggle with the fallout from it.

St Cross put in an early risk assessment for the business back in February, when the virus was starting to enter Europe.  It was clear to me it was going to affect us here and we had to have a plan and procedures in place to secure the safety of our staff and the continued supply to our customers.  We have over the recent years changed our ERP system so that it is accessible anywhere in the world and our phone system is a VoIP system so again you can have your desk phone wherever you are set up.  We sent home a few staff to test it out with success.  If this virus was going to come to Europe it was then it was paramount that certain staff could function effectively and efficiently away from the office and we could still maintain the high levels of service that is expected from us.

Being a manufacturer means that most of your staff must be factory based, home working is not applicable, but we must make the working environment safe and that meant a change.  Plans were drawn up for the change and on March 17, 2020, those changes were put into action.  Staff who could work from home did so, and distancing was implemented into the shop floor areas.  This is all common ground for us now in October 2020, but I like to think in March 2020 we were ahead of the game.  We immediately stopped visitors coming into us and stopped visiting our customers.  Face to face meetings were now being carried out over the phone or on video conferencing, again a communication method we have been using with our overseas customers and vendors for years.  Our stores staff were instructed to not sign for parcels, and sanitising was common practice for everyone.  It became normal practice very soon.

We became inundated with orders from the spread of industries we work in.  We were and still are working 12-hour days and worked every bank holiday.  We helped the UK formula pitlane ventilator project with cable harness design.  Most importantly we stressed the importance of being safe, washing hands inside and outside of work.  I always said that I wanted to be at the company Christmas party and did not want to see an empty seat there.

Being ISO approved to 9001, 14001 and the new 45001 means we are constantly reviewing the business, the practices we have and adding improvements.  ISO45001 is the health and safety standard, our assessors were very impressed with our Covid risk assessment.  This is under constant review as Covid government legislation changes and it is something our staff are very familiar with.  One-way systems, screens, hand sanitising, gloves, masks have all come about because of our risk assessments.

All our staff were given a Covid anti body test last week, and all had negative results.  Some staff members were disappointed with that, but it does prove that the practices we have put in place have worked and also that our staff are following those guidelines away from the factory as well.  Credit to each and every one of them.

Today we are still thriving but are always capable of taking on more work.  We have a great supply chain, we have a great spread of vendors, and have only lost one vendor to this situation.  We are in a great position going forward, we are still competitive on price, deliver on time and produce the quality product St Cross Electronics name has become synonymous with.

Thanks for reading and stay safe.

D Ward – Managing Director

#electronics #cableassembly #covid19

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