The Impact of COVID-19: A Case Study from Eschmann Technologies
“I hope in the years to come everyone will be able to take pride in how they responded to this challenge. And those who come after us will say the Britons of this generation were as strong as any.”
As a British SME manufacturing mainly dental equipment and supplies, life is never easy. But as Her Majesty reminded us all with her recent address to the country, we at Eschmann can, I believe, already take pride in how we have responded to this unprecedented emergency so far.
As an example, on a normal day, our team of service engineers would expect to complete well over 100 jobs up and down the UK. Last Friday we completed two. So far this week we’ve done none. Cash from service activities will, inevitably, stop coming in very soon.
Within a few days of UK dentists having to close for all but emergency treatments, our teams have;
- Reorganised, creating an emergency-only rapid response team
- Issued guidance on switching off and safeguarding essential decontamination equipment
- Communicated with all customers, suppliers and partners,
- Set up online ordering capabilities
- Implemented two-phased, fully consulted furloughing initiatives with employees to help cut costs and enable us to focus on only immediate, essential expenditure.
The Government’s package of assistance for a business like ours has been hugely welcome, essential in fact. But how long we can sustain the loss of income and the damage being done to our sector (i.e. mainly dentists) remains unclear.
As businesses around us fail and suppliers close their doors, hopefully only temporarily, we are challenged like never before in our 180-year history. Like so many others, our supply chain involves hundreds of smaller businesses and we are all up against it at the moment. Clearly, some will not make it. Our team are doing everything they can to ensure we are not one of the casualties and I am extremely proud of how every single member of that team has responded to the challenge. They are indeed as strong as any.
Businesses, and in particular, SMEs, need a strong and effective trade body like never before. We have been delighted with the efforts of our friends and colleagues within ABHI, who are sharing practical and useful advice with us almost daily. It’s encouraging to know our interests are being represented so effectively, and we look forward to thanking them 'in person' once we get through this all together…
Phil Kennedy, Managing Director, Eschmann Technologies & Chair, ABHI