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COVID-19 – An agent for change?

Author : Roger Haw, Managing Director

01 September 2020

Flame Hardeners Ltd., which provides heat treatment services to engineering companies, was not required to close during the COVID-19 lockdown and was positively encouraged by its trade association to stay open. The company did, however, follow government advice and encouraged working from home wherever possible. Managing Director, Roger Haw, explains how this was achieved, and reflects on how the changes made may affect the company’s operations going forward.

(Image: Shutterstock)

Our basic activity is to receive parts (ranging in weight from 0.2 kg to 20 tonnes each) from our customers, process the parts, carry out testing and quality control procedures, and then return them to customers. To support this service, we offer advice about suitable materials and the material conditions that can be achieved, often working with customers at the design stage.

We are a small company with five main areas of internal activity:

• Production
• Quality control
• Technical liaison
• Sales
• Administration

Clearly, due to the requirement for lifting capacity and specialised machinery – as well as the supply of both electricity and specialist gases – it was not possible for employees engaged in production to work from home.

Equally, physical quality control could not be undertaken from home, as testing of actual components is required. Receiving and despatch operatives also had to be on the premises.

However, we realised very quickly that all the rest of our functions were operative within our internal communications systems and that modern technology would allow the transfer of all these functions to home working...

Read the full article in the September issue of DPA.

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