2020 has been full of surprises that no one could ever have predicted. Alongside the thousands of other businesses, our team here at Wandsworth Sash Windows stepped up and coped with the chaos and challenging workarounds that resulted from the worst pandemic in recent history honourably. Here are some of our highs and lows of this unimaginable year.
At the beginning of the initial lockdown back in March it was impossible to determine if and how our business would be affected by Covid-19. We were plagued with uncertainty; would we be heavily impacted? What could we do for our staff? How were we going to keep staff safe both in terms of health and financially? Would our company that we have worked so hard to build be ok? Can we carry out works whilst keeping customers safe? So many questions that initially we just could not answer of predetermine, which was worry for us all.
Ensuring we were up to date on HR procedures and the ever-changing Health & Safety requirements resulting from the virus was also very time consuming to keep up with. Our biggest challenge to date is undoubtedly trying to meet customer deadlines whilst trying to keep our staff and customers safe. This has been very, very hard due to various staff from all different departments needing to isolate, from office staff, through to workshop and fitting staff – it’s been tricky to juggle whist continuing to deliver the quality service that we are known for. Our standard lead time is 10-12 weeks, but in a few circumstances, delivery had to be pushed back a week. Luckily, our clients have been fantastic and very understanding which we are so grateful for.
The announcement of The Chancellor’s Green Homes Grant in phase two COVID-19 provided us the opportunity to be a secondary measure company for those that qualified and applied for the grant. However, the information and communication available surrounding the grant was not straight forward and incurred some initial confusion with customers around how the scheme worked. This meant a lot of our time was dedicated to the influx of lengthy calls trying to explain the process to customers, many of whom did not end up qualifying for secondary measures.
The glass is always half full here at Wandsworth Sash Windows!
Despite the turbulence along the way, we are very proud of what Wandsworth Sash Windows has achieved this year, and there have been many positives for us all to be thankful for. Top of our list has to be that we have weathered the Corona coaster without making any redundancies. Keeping our whole team with us has been a massive relief and in fact, we have even managed to increase our workforce considerably throughout the year which has given us an enormous sense of pride.
We also managed to open a second workshop in Harlow at the start of the year. We managed to kit it out and get it all up and running within a few months (a process that is hard enough at the best of times, so achieving it during a pandemic was amazing).
Last month, we took over another workshop in the New Forest. So, while the Harlow project came near completion, we gave ourselves another massive challenge which at the beginning of the year seemed almost impossible. For us to come out of the pandemic on the other side, bigger and stronger is by far our best company achievement this year.
On top of that, we welcomed four new staff members at the Harlow workshop in March. Charlie, our surveyor joined us in February. We had Mark and Rob join the installation staff and in September, Steve joined the Harlow workshop and Martin joined the East Sussex workshop. Vas joined the fitting team in October followed by the addition of Sean and Matt to the surveying team in November. Not forgetting Reggie, our office dog who joined us at the start of lockdown to keep us all entertained and sane – a big welcome to all of you into the WSW family.
So, what’s new for 2021? Well, we are looking forward to improving our processes as we grow, develop new products and innovative solutions to regular issues faced by clients. We are having new machinery installed into the workshops and hopefully…a holiday!
A HUGE THANK YOU TO EACH AND EVERYONE OF THE TEAM HERE AT WSW FOR ALL YOUR HARD WORK AND MOST IMPORTANTLY A MASSIVE THANK YOU TO OUR CUSTOMERS FOR CHOOSING US AND SHOWING SUCH COMPASSION AND SUPPORT FOR OUR COMPANY.
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy, positive, and prosperous new year.