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Navigating COVID-19 at Universal Wolf

July 20th 2020

Martin McKenna, Commercial Director, reflects on Universal Wolf's steps to adapt and overcome the challenges posed by COVID-19.
Navigating COVID-19 at Universal Wolf

At the time of writing, it is now almost 17 weeks since the start of lockdown in the UK.

At Universal Wolf, we are reflecting on the last 4 months, and taking stock of the way our business reacted to the pandemic.

Thinking back to early-mid March, I don’t think anyone could have anticipated just how much disruption was heading our way. However, in the weeks leading up to lockdown, we took the opportunity to trial home working for our office-based colleagues, ironing out any potential snags around equipment or systems access and issuing detailed guidance on Microsoft Teams – a resource which has come into its own, as we continue to operate with a large number of our colleagues working off-site.

When it became clear that COVID-19 was going to have a significant impact across the UK, we established a working ‘COVID Support Group’ – a collaboration between strategic management at Universal Wolf and Tharsus, our sister company. The purpose of this group was to identify how we could use our range of skills to support the national effort.

We were proud to be able to provide 750 beds for the NHS Nightingale hospitals in Glasgow and Birmingham, getting the first batch of beds out of the door and to the customer within 96 hours. Within 10 days, we had delivered 250 beds. This was a truly collaborative effort: as a number of production staff had been recently furloughed and were not legally able to return; Supervisors and Managers stepped in to help our remaining workforce produce the beds in record time.

All colleagues have now returned from furlough, and we are delighted to be in a position to be recruiting for a range of roles to join the pack.

I would like to say a personal thank you to all of our colleagues for their hard work over this difficult time.