By Don Marshall Head of E-commerce and Fulfillment at Exporta
Exporta Global has adapted its services extensively during the pandemic while continuing to support some of the U.K’s most essential industries. This includes food (and food manufacture), agriculture and pharmaceutical/healthcare (NHS suppliers). Throughout the pandemic, they have been working hard to minimise the impact of COVID-19 on the supply chain. This has involved setting up robust supply chains with more than one supplier for each range of products. Exporta has also sourced new products from new suppliers and put in a place a rapid new product development programme to shorten the process of bringing items into the market.
To support this, they have launched a Rapid Response Team to assist businesses with a smooth transition back into the workplace. This includes construction services, solutions for offices as well as manufacturing and distribution businesses. The RRT will provide design consultation to maximise space utilisation and support Government guidance on social distancing and reducing the spread of COVID-19.
- A project team in place to businesses as they return to work with risk assessments and advice
- Minor alteration works or full design & build construction projects
- Provide additional welfare space to comply with Government regulations
- Temporary office solutions to ensure full workplace functionality
- Design & space utilisation
Exporta sources their own PPE and sanitisation products in response to COVID-19.
Sourcing PPE and sanitisation products in the wake of nationwide shortages was no easy task. It required rapid new product development and marketing for a new range of hand sanitisers, which have been sourced from local distilleries in Scotland. Alongside the liquid sanitiser, Exporta quickly developed foot-operated sanitiser dispensers and hand washing stations for use in offices and industrial settings.
Exporta also managed to securely source more PPE. Introducing surgical masks, FFP2 & FFP3 masks, branded face coverings, digital viral thermometers, gloves, goggles and visors. All regular U.K suppliers had run out of stock so Exporta went directly to international suppliers to purchase OEM products. They then followed stringent quality control processes, to ensure compliance with all required certification to maintain a continued supply to core customers.
Exporta sourced different types of workplace partitions, signage, floor markings and desk screens and dividers to help enforce social distancing. Other signage has been developed as a visible reminder to employees of their collective responsibility to ensure they are handwashing on a routine basis.
As well as the standard practice of hand-washing and sanitising, workplace divisions are becoming commonplace. Specialist Glass Product screens have been installed in KC Communication’s office – a digital PR agency in Leeds. Megan Booth, an Account Manager at the agency, explains how the divides will work in their small city-centre office space.
The glass screens are on every desk in the office. As Lockdown starts to ease, we’ve only had a reduced number of employees at once to help with social distancing. There are seven of us in total usually in the office, but only a maximum of four people have been allowed in at once. So, we can always work two meters apart. SGP delivers the glass and fastenings and you can easily install them yourself.
Exporta launches Rapid Support Team for a smooth transition back into the workplace.
As many employers across the U.K plan a careful return to work and strategise how they will aim to increase operations that have been scaled down due to COVID-19 and lockdown, Exporta is on hand to offer workplace solutions and advice. The Rapid Support Team is in place to help businesses adapt to the current fast-changing work environment. Exporta has deployed a Rapid Support Team to assist businesses in managing new practices under COVID-19, working within UK Government guidelines. The purpose of the support team is to get businesses back to full functionality while continuing to protect against the pandemic. This commitment extends to ensuring all spaces are safe and hygienic places to work – whether that is in an office or on the shop floor.
Aston Martin Lagonda recently reopened their site in South Wales and their safer working guidelines are in place to protect more 600 manufacturing employees. Using a cross-functional team, they developed return to work guidelines following Public Health Executive (PHE) and Health and Safety Executive (HSE) guidelines. The key principles Aston Martin has introduced include:
- PPE equipment provided, with masks worn at all times (in line with the company’s risk assessment)
- Sanitiser dispensers available across sites
- Cleaning frequency increased in all areas and across all sites
- Seating areas rearranged to comply to social distancing guidelines
- Visuals, daily briefings, and posters to remind employees of social distancing and hand washing
Compliance with these measures can only be enforced with the correct visual aids, products and installation techniques.
The future of the workplace post-COVID 19 will function very differently to before the pandemic, and the safety and wellbeing of employees across all industries is a priority. Exporta will continue to lead in sourcing products and services that can be adapted for use across the country.