Meeting the challenges presented by the COVID pandemic has been a team effort for UPVC roofline manufacturer Kestrel.
Despite global shortages in materials, ongoing restrictions affecting how people work and an unprecedented surge in demand for its fascia, cladding and other products, Kestrel is running with an impressive 95% average OTIF (on time and in full) delivery rate.
Kestrel sales and marketing director Owen Thorogood explained that in the early days of the pandemic, a small team across all departments worked together to plan for reopening. This multi-department approach was the groundwork for Kestrel’s team approach to managing through the difficult times.
There are regular communications across different departments using Teams and Whatsapp. This gives directors and managers a clear overview of all aspects of the business.
Owen says: “Raw material supply has been difficult, however good forward planning and daily management of the process has meant we haven’t seen the issues that we know others have faced. It’s ongoing, but we continue to manage.”
Meanwhile, staff have played their part, not least in observing social distancing and other restrictions, which is helping production levels.
Owen continues: “We’ve experienced great support from our staff and have, thankfully, had low levels of COVID diagnosis and absences. Staff have kept to the processes in place on site to mitigate against the risk of transmission.
“We have also maximised people’s roles, with cross-functional training in all areas.”
To make sure Kestrel stockists have the products they need, the customer services team have started sending out emails to remind them of delivery days and ensure they submit orders within agreed lead-times.
And that effort is paying off, as TD Building Supplies of Huddersfield explains: “It’s amazing that despite all of the difficulties and challenges of COVID, you can still order your Kestrel stock on a Monday and it’s here by the Thursday.”
Looking ahead, the Kestrel team believe the experience of managing in a pandemic has helped bring in some positive changes.
Owen adds: “We have an experienced team of managers and directors, with a good overview of different aspects of the business and we’ve learnt to adapt quickly.
“We know that communicating, forward planning and keeping customers informed is the key to meeting any challenges ahead.”
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