Rising to the Challenge of COVID-19 Disruption

As the total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 has now reached 1,000 and over 38,000 people have now been tested. There are two keys areas that are creating the greatest level of concern:

  1. How will our healthcare system cope as the number of cases rise?
  2. How will our economy cope when the pandemic reaches its peak? People will be at home, how will they get paid? What will they do, if and when, the next mortgage payment is due?
Image of climbing a ladder

We should be proud of our government and our healthcare system. The approach to this crisis has been calm and composed. The profile of what is an incredibly serious situation has successfully been raised gradually. This has been done to protect the health and wellbeing of the vulnerable and protect our economy. At the same time, emergency measures are rapidly and effectively being put in place to help our country cope with what is coming and mitigate the long-term impact.

These are unprecedented times. We’re all concerned. And rightly so. But, our great country will come out of the other side of this. We now have the opportunity to decide what shape we will be in when the dust eventually settles.

How can UK manufacturers help?

In the last two months, UK manufacturers have already seen their supply chains disrupted significantly. We are talking every day with private equity funds, chairman and NEDs, CEOs and MDs. All these individuals oversee and lead manufacturing business of all sizes. They have been alarmed by unfolding events. However, they see an opportunity to help the country, and in doing so, help themselves.

A key initiative rolled out over the weekend are plans revealed by our government to rapidly increase the availability of NHS beds and ventilators to treat people. British manufacturing companies from all industries have been asked to help to increase the production of ventilators and other medical equipment. Prime Minister, Boris Johnson met with leading manufacturers yesterday in a bid to urge them to join a national effort to tackle the fallout from this virus. Downing Street says it has ‘already been working with suppliers in the UK and abroad to increase the nation's supply of ventilators’.

Health Secretary, Matthew Hancock stated ‘we will buy as many as you can supply’. I’m not sure many of our manufacturing clients will receive another offer like this any time soon.

How easily can this be done?

The first port of call is to request companies already supplying these products to make more. I doubt this will be enough. So the next step is to ask existing manufacturers to switch their production lines. In these circumstances they will require people who can quickly and efficiently help with this transition. This is where we can help. Interim Partners finds and deploys the best transformational specialists in the manufacturing industry.

An interim manager can be cost-effective solution and we have flexible resources on standby which can be deployed into manufacturing businesses at speed.

Our usual terms of business is to provide interim expertise on part-time or full-time monthly basis. However, we’re pooling together a broader network of specialist interims who can dial up and dial down work across a portfolio of assignments. This means we can offer clients the option of deploying specialist interim resources for necessary and critical cover, which may be as little as a few days a month or part-time weekly hours over a period of a few months.

Please call us if you need support, we know people who can help.

Best wishes, Laurence – Manufacturing Practice Lead. Interim Partners.

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