By Stacey Lucas, Commercial & Marketing Director at Sontay
Update since my original post.
In this ever changing situation, nothing stays the same for long! Since I wrote this post yesterday, there has been a further announcement from the Government. From this, we have made the very difficult decision to close our factory to ensure the continued safety of the team that have worked so hard to continue making our products.
For the full Sontay update, please click here.
Who would have thought just three months ago that we would be in the situation around the world that we are in now?
The current COVID-19 pandemic is certainly testing our strength and resilience in all areas of our lives and it is not finished with us yet! As I write this, I am working from home of an evening to keep up to date on my job tasks, which as the Commercial & Marketing Director for Sontay are growing due to the enormity of what is going on as well as my other job which is looking after my three year-old son since his childcare and preschool have been closed. He has happily joined me on a few conference calls today and based on his current attitude is very much looking forward to his working life – poor child! Life is definitely challenging right now.
It has got me thinking about the situation as a whole and some of the positives that are coming from it. I see the Sontay team all pulling together and working extremely hard to not only serve customers and fulfil their orders but also to keep the business running and profitable at a time when it has never been so important. We are all struggling with the enormity of what is happening around the world and some of the terrible stories coming from the countries that are ahead of us in terms of the pandemic’s progress, however, our staff are still giving everything to the company and keeping it going.
Our production team is split into two for their safety, it limits the amount of contact they have with other people and allows them to work spaced out. They are deep cleaning thoroughly after each shift to protect the next team coming in and making a fantastic job of continuing to manufacture products for our customers.
Our sales and support teams have all adjusted brilliantly to working from home. They have navigated their way through various teething problems with IT on the first day but are now fullyup and running. They are keeping up momentum and supporting our customers and other parties with the excellent service they expect.
Our MD is doing a fabulous job of rallying us and keeping us motivated whilst adjusting to a new way of working whilst supporting anybody who is personally feeling overwhelmed or upset by what is going on.
The Marketing team are very busy with keeping up communication regarding the company and planning all of the great stuff we are going to do when we are through these hard times.
The Sontay Academy is offering its E-Learning series at a reduced rate whilst we are all working remotely. In order that people can grow their knowledge and skills over this difficult time to come back even stronger than before.
Imagine if this scenario had happened 10 or 20 years ago – would we have been able to keep a business running as we are now? I’m not sure if the internet infrastructure was able to cope with such a vast amount of remote working even 10 years ago, let alone 20. Our telephone systems are now VOIP, which allows for easy programming so that we can simply divert calls to mobiles. Mobile phone costs and packages are a fraction of what they were 20 years ago and smartphones are certainly enabling us to do more outside of the office. The world of technology is certainly helping us to deal with the current hand we have been dealt far better than we could have done in the past.
I guess the conclusion of my post is to applaud and commend both human kind and technology who are together keeping us going, with both tremendous spirit and the technological tools to ensure we can build our future for when our world becomes brighter again.