Despite the Covid-19 restrictions and consequent disruptions that plagued the whole world during 2020, our South Tyneside based team of employees were committed to ensuring that Solar Solve had a great trading year, given the very difficult circumstances.
The factory and offices at Solar Solve Ltd’s South Shields headquarters was closed only for the government enforced 3 week period from 24th March. Manufacturing was not possible but Administration, Marketing and Management staff all worked from home and ensured continuous communication with customers, suppliers and everyone who made contact.
For various reasons, including some employees being classed as highly vulnerable, the factory re-opened on 14th April with a reduced production team. That was fortuitous because there were not as many orders to be manufactured, as most of the world, including the UK, was in turmoil and ignorant of what the future was going to hold. We were pleased that during the closure, our great office-based team were working very successfully from home and had orders lined up for production.
We were also extremely grateful that UPS and other logistical services carriers were all operational, as well as many of our suppliers. It was ‘anchors aweigh’, as those members of the Solar Solve Team who were able, returned to the factory and immediately swung into action manufacturing our world-renown, Type Approved products.
Throughout the rest of the year, as more members of the production team were able to return to the factory, more orders were received, manufactured and dispatched. There has been very little reduction in orders from some parts of the world but other areas have shown a big fall in number of orders placed. Overall the drop has not been enough to be of concern to us.
TEAM SOLAR SOLVE members are highly trained, highly skilled, multi-skilled and during 2020 in particular, they have been multi-tasked on numerous occasions, to ensure customers get exactly what they want, exactly where they want it and exactly when they want it. Since 9th April, right up to today, every order has been ready for dispatch or collection, on the agreed day when the order was placed.
Not only do the production team members do a fantastic job in the factory, the office based team members are equally as skilled and committed. They are not ‘order takers’. Far from it, they have many skills including technical, logistical, manufacturing, customer care and product knowledge. They are all trained and competent in manufacturing all of Solar Solve’s products and are often called upon to help out in the factory when needed. That is one of the reasons we have a 100% ‘dispatch date’ record. At Solar Solve there is nobody more important than the customer.
It is for all of the above reasons that Solar Solve Ltd sailed through 2020 with clear vision and flying colours. The clear vision was simply that the whole team would quickly adapt as needed, to suit the ever-changing Covid-19 directives and constraints. The flying colours were the benefits of that strategy and the team’s in-built 250 years cumulative experience within this company, that resulted in a good profit, when we had assumed, on 24th April, that we would be lucky if we broke even.
It has been hard fought and is still far from over, but the success has continued during January and February of this year and we are confident that it will carry on, as long as we continue to have the support of our loyal customers, suppliers, logistical service providers and Solar Solve Team members.
If you are interested in Solar Solve’s products you can read more information about our Type Approved sunscreens, anti-glare blinds or marine screens by typing what you are looking for into this website’s search-box.
John H Lightfoot MBE