Iain Summerfield, Director of Laser 24 shares how they put in place safer working practices to help get their business back up and running following the disruption caused by Coronavirus. Find out how you can work safely here.
Hi, my name is Iain Summerfield, and I am the director of Laser 24. We are based in Wickford, Essex. We specialise in laser cutting and folding of metal profile parts.
We employ 28 people across our business and keeping our team safe and our business running was our top two priorities.
Our turnover dropped by 50 per cent during April and as the UK went into lockdown, so did most of our customers. So we had to hunt for new opportunities.
We started producing ventilator parts for the NHS, and oxygen tanks, to name but a few.
It’s been tough, but Laser 24 will come through this stronger than ever before. We spent early March planning and putting in place working from home, where possible.
We purchased extra equipment for our homeworkers, and we changed the infrastructure of our offices and our factory to maintain social distancing. We split our company into teams to reduce cross-contamination.
We were able to get lots of help from the government. I implore anybody to use this help. Kevin Wright from Basildon Council was instrumental in directing us to get the right help available to our company. So has my business banking manager, Kelly Boyce from Barclays. They have been exceptional in helping keep Laser 24 operational.
We have used the furlough scheme, which has been a massive help, and so has the VAT deferral scheme. It’s helped keep Laser 24 operational.
The government support is there and it’s easy to access.
The world changed forever in 2020 and we must all adapt to this new normal. We need to make this work, and we can make this work.