Changes to operations at Polypipe due to COVID-19

30.03.2020
Blog Post
Polypipe product

At Polypipe Building Services we’ve put in place a number of measures to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of our employees, customers and suppliers during this unprecedented period.

Supporting the battle against COVID-19

Polypipe Group is "winding down its operations", apart from those activities necessary to support the Government’s battle against COVID-19. Operations which will continue include the parts of the Group supporting the NHS in very specific roles in increasing capabilities to cope with the inevitable increase in COVID-19 patients. For example, the Group’s Nuaire business is manufacturing ventilation for the Royal Marsden Hospital. 

Polypipe, which makes plastic piping and ventilation systems, will also continue with its Building Products business, as this has been requested to manufacture special pipe for emergency medical use and it’s necessary to keep supplying some of its plumbing and drainage products that are needed for urgent repair and maintenance across the country to keep essential projects and services running. Our technical department is still dealing with enquiries coming in from clients, answering technical questions and working on detailed designs for our Advantage Fabrication Systems which reduce installation time and improve quality of installation on site.

Adapting how we work

Because much of what we do involves the use of IT we have adapted to the current situation, with many of our colleagues working from home and connecting through platforms such as Skype and Teams. For the Public Sector Team looking at future projects its business as usual. Whilst we may not be able to meet customers face to face, we are still in touch discussing projects involving drainage replacement in residential blocks.

This week I delivered our 'Live Stack Replacement in Residential Buildings' Technical Presentation to a council in London via Skype. This helped our client understand the importance of assessing the condition of drainage systems in a building where they are planning on refurbishing, prior to carrying out major works. Where drainage systems are found to be failing, our client was shown how these could be replaced with minimal disruption, while residents remain living in their homes.

The challenges of home working

On a practical level, working from home gives us other challenges. There are now two of us working from home which is probably the case right across the UK at the moment. I have had a few Skype conference calls where the arrival of the postman somewhere in the group has been marked by someone’s dog barking, taking some focus away from the discussion.

This is a new way of working for my team. The open road is now not an option, so communication using technology is likely to be the way forward for a while. Though this can never replace a face to face meeting on site, it does have some benefits. Moments that would have been spent in traffic jams are now turned into useful and productive time, keeping innovative bespoke drainage and plumbing systems at the fore of what we do.

Ed Swift, National Sales Manager – Public Sector, Polypipe

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