Ventilators, hospital construction and retail refits
This year has been far from ‘business as usual’. We track the challenges of 2020’s first half with The Insert Company’s Sales Director Kevin Broome…
Before disruption hit, it was a strong beginning to the year for West Midlands-based fastener supplier, The Insert Company (UK) Limited.
“We were flying,” explains Sales Director Kevin Broome. “It was a good start and as a company we’ve had a good 10 years, growing year-in, year-out. The business benefits from being diverse. We are in quite a few fields, in the furniture sector, shop fitters, mould makers. When one goes quiet then the others pick up.”
The Insert Company also serves the medical and healthcare sector, including fasteners for hospital bed manufacturers – which was to become significant as the year wore on.
When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, governments across the world imposed lockdowns. The UK government’s furlough scheme was taken up by a number of fastener businesses, including The Insert Company. With staff furloughed, The Insert Company was operating on a much-reduced basis.
Broome picks up the story: “With no staff working and the business remaining open, I was expecting that we would have minimal orders coming in, just bits and bobs. As it turned out, new customers were using us as a lot of other suppliers had completely shut down. So, I was getting my hands dirty, packing all the pallets, doing eight to 10 hours every day for five days a week.”
“We even got involved in the NHS Nightingale hospital in London. More recently we supplied bolts and other pieces to the Nightingale hospital they set up in Jersey.”
In addition to keeping busy with everyday business, the Insert Company also got involved in some headline national projects, designed to combat the pandemic’s spread.
“The first project we got involved with was supplying nearly 300,000 inserts for the BlueSky ventilators,” says the Sales Director. This scheme was put together by a consortium including Red Bull and Renault, aiming to make thousands of medical ventilators as the NHS readied for an expected peak of Covid-19 cases.
After supplying the project, the scheme got cancelled just days before production began, but that wasn’t the only way the Insert Company was linked with Covid-19-tackling infrastructure.
“We even got involved in the NHS Nightingale hospital in London. More recently we supplied bolts and other pieces to the Nightingale hospital they set up in Jersey. We had to fly products in from Europe.”
Read the full article for more on The Insert Company in the June 2020 edition of Torque Magazine.