Coping with change
Monday April 27th, 2020
Duologi’s COVID-19 Response: How We Adapted Quickly and Supported Our Customers
The coronavirus outbreak caught us all by surprise even though we saw it coming country by country across the globe. I don’t think any of us could ever have imagined the impact it would have and how we would have to adapt so quickly. But we have, and I think every one of us has managed this incredibly well, often whilst juggling many aspects of our daily lives at the same time.
Huge amounts of us are now working from home. That’s fine we did that occasionally anyway, didn’t we? Yes, we did, but not with a toddler who hasn’t been out properly for weeks alongside a wife also trying to work whilst home-schooling your eldest. It’s not easy! In fact, it’s very, very difficult and the fact that we are keeping businesses running, educating our children, looking after family members and neighbours all whilst living under an extremely restricted set of rules is a testament to us all.
At Duologi we already had a business continuity plan in place and as the outbreak spread across the globe we were testing it and putting measures in place. I must admit I thought my CEO was a little crazy when he called me at 10pm on a Thursday in early March to explain they were just testing the call notification cascade should we all need to suddenly work from home due to COVID-19. How wrong I was! It was because of this preparedness and forward thinking that we were all ready to go within hours on that first day – we were ahead of most and ready for this lockdown. We had had our chargers and laptops with us every night for weeks, the company VPN had had it’s bandwidth increased to allow all of us to use it at any one time. The phone lines had diverts to company mobiles all set up and ready to go at the flick of a switch. We were there, ready and waiting.
Fast forward a month and I can honestly say it was seamless. The business continued to run via calls, video meetings and the use of Microsoft Teams. Having spoken to many business owners over the past weeks it will be interesting to see how many move to this style of working post lockdown as with office rents often one of the largest outgoings for a company, if this lock-down has proved anything it’s that we can all adapt and work from anywhere.
The biggest challenge by far was getting a forbearance procedure in place for our customers as we knew many of the country were not as fortunate as us to be able to continue working and would need financial support. We were on the front foot though and quickly had the ability to pause all customers payments for 3 months without any interest or affect on their credit file with the agencies.
Duologi in the community
Besides work, duologi employees have been involved in a lot within their communities. They’ve been helping out and keeping life moving for those that are finding it that little bit more difficult. We’ve had people doing shopping for the elderly and collecting prescriptions for those that cannot make it out themselves. Deliveries have been made and organised with couriers to get food to relatives who have no internet access and really shouldn’t be venturing out themselves. We’ve even had a colleague have to deal with surgery for their partners cancer treatment, all whilst suffering themselves with what it would appear was COVID-19 (although no tests were available!)
We’ve also been in constant contact with all the businesses we work with to make sure that any changes they are going through, we are there to help and support them in any way we can. It quickly became evident that a lot of them have had to make some huge changes to their business and we wanted to share with everyone just what they are doing to help others, keep their business afloat and get through this national emergency together.
How our merchants are coping with change
Bakare beds & Hideaway beds
Prior to the coronavirus outbreak Bakare Beds would normally provide a full product demonstration and assessments with occupational therapists as well as family members. All of this would be done in the comfort of the customers own home.
They immediately saw that business would not be able to carry on as usual and set about getting a plan in place. With more and more patients freeing up hospital beds and moving back to the community, demand for their products was actually increasing. However they weren’t able to do the assessments they needed to do to get the correct product for the customer due to the social distancing measures in place.
Their chief executive Steve Baker was quick on the ball though and after exploring several options settled on using technology in the form of Zoom, the video conferencing solution.
Both Bakare Beds and sister company Hideaway Beds are now running virtual video demonstrations using Zoom video conferencing technology. More information can be found here https://www.bakare.co.uk/bakare-remote-product-assessment-service/
Thanks to this quick thinking demand is high, jobs have been saved and business is booming, all whilst offering a well needed service to the elderly who have been displaced from hospital beds due to the outbreak.
Glawning saw a sharp decrease in sales at the beginning of lockdown as their flagship product (the Glawning) is a glamping product largely used for attaching to a campervan, motorhome or caravan in order to go camping, glamping or to festivals. ( All of which are now prohibited due to COVID-19).
However after a couple of weeks of the lockdown they began to see a rise in ‘garden glamping’ as more and more people were looking for ways to have fun and entertain the children whilst staying at home. Their most glamorous awnings also double up as stand alone bell tents and so many customers, new and old have been finding solace in glamping on their properties to pretend they are camping. They have even set up mini campgrounds in their back yards…lockdown on your lawn!
They are thrilled that their Glawning customers are still able to get some use out of the product and that it has alleviated the boredom of lockdown and also helped many participate in the Great British Campout which has raised a huge amount of money for NHS Charities.
As a small family business they have been hit hard by the economic downturn that has resulted from COVID-19 but are confident that they can come back fighting after it’s all over.
Transform Hospital Group
The Transform hospital group have perhaps seen the biggest change of any of the businesses we work with. Prior to the outbreak they were operating as an extremely successful set of clinics and hospitals offering private medical and cosmetic treatments.
All that has changed due to COVID-19 and they have quickly, efficiently and selflessly leapt into action to transform their clinics and hospitals into use for the NHS.
They are currently being used to treat cancer patients who are unable to access NHS hospitals due to safety concerns and staff shortages owing to coronavirus. They have repurposed ventilators which are now helping to save lives on a daily basis within the NHS. All of this took just 14 days – a fantastic achievement beyond comprehension for most, but something that every member of Transform was involved with. From all of us at duologi thank you Transform for all your help in supporting the NHS in this battle and for helping to save lives.
I’m sure you will all agree there have been some fantastic efforts and achievements by all of these partners of duologi. Quick thinking, a want to help and good old teamwork has made all of these a reality and is what is keeping our country and economy going. Please remember if you need any help we’re only a phone call away. And remember stay safe and we’re stronger together.