Taking time to draw breath after the UK’s initial wave of panic and chaos brought about by COVID-19 Office Friendly gathered its key suppliers and members together for a virtual update of progress so far.
With around 150 participants including product resellers and service providers in the audience the senior team of Office Friendly shared their journey over the last three months along with plans for the recovery phase.
Julie Hawley, Managing Director commented: “At the onset of the pandemic the mission was to keep a robust supply chain together. Open and regular communication between every link in the chain was key to understanding the effect on all businesses and the ability to react to the seismic economic shift being experienced.”
High levels of activity over the period included weekly board meetings early on to ensure all relevant government information was digested and shared with members, marketing comms promoted new key product lines to dealers as manufacturers modified production schedules to meet demand, and close contact with their main wholesaler VOW ensured members understood the pressures they were under while continuing to support their customers.
Chairman, Gordon Profit, gave his own personal account and the effect on his business having contracted the virus in March, and Adrian Butler, VOW Managing Director, gave an update to members on the operational challenges the wholesaler has continued to grapple with throughout the pandemic to date.
A robust supply chain and bringing order back to the chaos is centre to any future plans at Office Friendly. Katie Metcalfe, Marketing Director demonstrated their enhanced digital services and platforms ready to roll out to members and Keeley Shepherd, Sales Director explained how the Office Friendly mentoring and training services enable dealers to reprofile their teams at every level as they reshape their businesses going forward.
An overall message of “Thank You” went out to everyone in the Office Friendly supply chain for coming together with a common purpose and fully supporting one another through this difficult time. The strength of the dealer group as a collective community has been seen at its best with strong foundations to support one another going forward.