The summer months in general, but August in particular, are renown as a period when orders dry up in all sorts of industries, not just the global marine industry. Most European manufacturers often close down for a month whilst the sun is at its hottest but their economy usually survives because it is peak season for holiday visitors who want to relax and enjoy the sun and the chance to get away for a while. It’s been like that ever since I can remember and it seems to work when taken over a full year. After all, we need a break to set us right for the long haul to the holidays at Christmas and the New Year.
Business shut-downs in the UK are not nearly as common as on the continent, because we do not get the extremes of weather and it is never really too hot to work in the summer. At Solar Solve we opt to stay open all year round, closing only on the dedicated ‘Bank Holidays’, the rest of the time the people at work will cover for their colleagues whilst they take their well-deserved break.
We do have some rules and do some planning, but occasionally, like this week when the schools are on holiday, we still have situations when half our employees are away. Fortunately, we are an organisation that has always trained for and practiced multi-skilling and multi-tasking, which means that when someone is off, at least one person at work can cover for them.
Sometimes we hope that the Enquiries, Requests for Quotations and Order placements will ease off a bit when lots of staff are on holiday (even though it goes against everything we strive for) so that the ones at work will be able to cope better, but somehow we usually seem to get busier.
That’s how it is just now. “We few, we happy few” (to quote Shakespeare’s King Henry V at Agincourt), are coping exceptionally well with a heavier load and the best thing about it is that our customers are totally unaware because we are still getting everything out on time and giving them exactly what they want, exactly when they want it and exactly where they want it. Long may it continue for them and for us! For the first 7 months of this year we have achieved 99.48%, which is very good.