As we enter a new period of national lockdown, the latest Government guidance has restated that construction and manufacturing operations should continue. We have implemented long term Covid-secure operational routines throughout our company to ensure our workforce, customers and clients remain as safe as possible, and any risk of business interruption will be avoided.
The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), in consultation with Public Health England (PHE) and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), with input from industry bodies, unions and businesses recently published 8 “Working safely during coronavirus (Covid-19)” guidance documents aimed at helping employers and employees to work safely during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Covid-19 has transformed our working practices but has not prevented us from continuing to deliver our products and services to our customers and clients while working to the highest safety standards. In an ever-changing safety landscape, we are regularly reviewing our emergency protocols and provide the following Covid-19 operational update:
On-Site Quality Assurance (QA) Inspections
In order to protect our dedicated QA team, customers and clients from the risks of infection and propagating infection within the wider construction community, all on-site face-to-face quality audit inspections were immediately halted when Covid-19 restrictions were first announced in 2020, and construction activity was significantly reduced.
Nonetheless, we adapted and remained fully operational throughout communicating with construction sites, skilled operatives and accredited contractors by video conference and successfully completing quality audits virtually. During this new lockdown period and where feasible, virtual operational methods will continue in compliance with the latest Government guidance and site-specific regulation. Click here for further details.
Since publication of the Government’s “Working safely during coronavirus (Covid-19) in construction and other outdoor work” guidance, construction sites have adapted their operations to this new safety hazard. Therefore, provided Covid-Secure standards are in place, and Covid-19 risk assessments completed by Axter QA Management do not identify a risk, on-site, in person quality assurance inspections will continue throughout the lockdown whilst construction sites remain permitted to open.
Further guidance concerning Axter Ltd Quality Assurance (QA) Department – Covid-Secure Standards can be downloaded here.
Technical Sales Meetings
In accordance with the latest Government guidance, technical sales meetings will be conducted in person only when it is unreasonable to do so by video conference. Axter Ltd will continue to practise flexible working solutions such as home working where we can, and is committed to lessening workforce exposure to Covid-19 by reducing the need to travel for work purposes.
Where deemed appropriate and following completion of a Covid-19 risk assessment by the Technical Sales Manager, in person technical sales meetings can take place provided the meeting venue is assessed to be Covid-secure and operating in accordance with Axter Ltd Covid-Secure Standards.
Further guidance concerning Axter Ltd Technical Sales Department – Covid-Secure Standards can be downloaded here.
Administration and Office Support
In line with UK Government guidance our administration and customer support functions will operate remotely, with all office employees working from home during the national lockdown in England from 4th January 2021.
Our office premises have already successfully completed Covid-Secure risk assessment and colleagues will return to office working as soon as practicable.
During this period of remote working our customers will continue to receive excellent service and support, and will experience no disruption or reduction in connectivity as our IT and telephone systems remain fully operational.
Finance Department Operations
To comply with the latest Government guidance, all operations have been transferred to remote working protocols. Therefore, we are temporarily unable to receive payment for goods by cheque and request our customers complete payments using online banking procedures and pay all due invoices by BACS or CHAPS electronic payment methods. During this difficult time, we also recognise our customers will require supplier support more than ever and we remain committed to providing this. Please contact [email protected] if you require any assistance.
We are experiencing no production disruption and no loading, shipping or delivery delays as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Our production facilities remain operational at high efficiency levels, with enhanced hygiene procedures implemented and Covid-Secure standards being executed to good effect. Our raw material supply chains remain fully intact and we will continue to increase production volumes where necessary to support our UK and global projects.
Warehouse Stock Levels
In accordance with our Covid-19 crisis management strategy stock levels at our UK and European warehouses have been significantly increased and will be maintained indefinitely to ensure ample stock is available to service our customer base.
All Axter facilities are operating under Covid-secure standards to protect our workforce and supply chain partners. As a result, access to warehouse is restricted to employees and strict hygiene and social distancing measures are in place. Further guidance concerning Axter Ltd Logistics & Delivery – Covid-Secure Procedures can be downloaded here.
Logistics and Delivery
Our logistic and delivery network is experiencing extremely high demand and continues to function within our standard material supply lead times.
Our haulage network partners are currently reporting and experiencing no delivery delays as a result of Covid-19. In addition, all new import/export protocols as a result of the end of the transition period and the UK leaving the EU are in place and operating to good effect, with goods moving across border without disruption.
Covid-Secure procedures have been implemented across our network in strict compliance with UK Government and RHA guidelines, resulting in behavioural and procedural changes being made when Axter materials are transported and delivered to our customers. Such changes will not cause delay to distribution or impact upon delivery costs and have simply been implemented to maintain workforce and customer safety.
Further guidance concerning Axter Ltd Logistics & Delivery – Covid-Secure Procedures can be downloaded here.
This latest Government announcement is a reminder of the seriousness of the situation that the country finds itself in, and the actions we are taking within our business represent a measured, responsible reply.
Please check our website for regular updates on how the pandemic is changing our approach and what measures continue to be put in place to protect public health and minimise customer and client disruption.
To contact Axter, please visit the Contact Page on our website where the telephone numbers and email addresses of all our employees are provided.
I trust this information meets with your approval and I thank you for your continued support.
Phillip Wilcox-Moore FIoR, Managing Director