Our company principles and value is driven by our people, and this is now more important than ever with the rapidly developing Coronavirus outbreak.
As an agile business we quickly implemented contingency plans from the first government request to not only ensure continued and uninterrupted business activities, but also to safeguard and support our team and our customers as much as possible.
With customers and producers across the world we are well versed in running projects remotely to and from hotel rooms, factory floors, and client offices across the world. As such, we can continue with the delivery of live projects whilst initiating new ones as planned using remote working, and our already established planning, productivity, and collaborative software and tools. We do not anticipate any significant change in our deliverables, nor that of our development partners, whom operate under the same principles, experiences, and contingency measures as ourselves.
HOW ARE WE WORKING
All team members are now working safely from home and remotely with floating software licenses for all CAD, Simulation, Rendering etc. and with continued secure access to our central file, and backup server.
Collaboration is being maintained using virtual meeting rooms such as Zoom and Google Hangouts. Communication is being maintained internally using these, as well as Slack (our internal messaging platform), email, and of course the good old telephone! Where valuable, practicable and safe, face to face meetings are still being undertaken, albeit with social distancing guidelines being followed – No handshakes or high fives for a while I’m afraid.
During this period, we are also increasing the adoption of customer-preferred collaboration platforms, such as Microsoft Teams, and setting up new workspaces of our own for client access where existing systems are not used by them.
Where rapid prototyping and model-making is required, access to the workshop is being maintained in limited teams with our in-house 3D printers and kit continuing operation with a good stock, and secure supply of consumables.
Should personal mobility be limited, our 3D printers will be relocated to our studio manager who will oversee their operation on behalf of the team. To minimise any stock issues we have ordered additional materials where anticipated. We have specifically reached out to our local suppliers within the Bristol and South West region to ensure we have quick access to machinery and materials should the situation overseas change. Presently all our component suppliers within the UK are online and have assured us of their own contingency plans and ability to deliver. Our overseas suppliers, many of whom are based in China, have returned to full operational capacity and we’re happy to confirm that all are doing well, with part shipments are operating as normal.
All projects have more than one designer working on them, and are being planned with a backup team member in the ‘jump seat’. This has always aided collaboration and creativity, but now serves to ensure that should any of our team need to focus on their individual or family’s health for a period of time, project knowledge and progress can be maintained.
HOW WE ARE SUPPORTING THE TEAM
As a team we are meeting daily to not only ensure all projects are on schedule, ideas shared, and input provided, but also to check in on everyone’s well-being. Weekly planning and wrap-up meetings have moved to video conferences.
We have postponed all international travel, and minimised in-person meetings as much as possible. For the foreseeable future, our external meetings are likely to be arranged by video call.
We are keeping a constant eye on export and import access, as well as availability of more local resources, and will implement further contingencies should the need arise. We do not presently anticipate any effects on projects, any quoted timescales or most importantly, quality of deliverable.