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Coronavirus Update

National Lockdown
Trading update

6th January 2021

 

I would first like to wish you all a very happy New Year. I hope you enjoyed a good rest over the Christmas break.


As many anticipated, an urgent second national lockdown is now required to control the Covid virus, protect the NHS, and save lives. Although there are enforced restrictions in place, the business is open, and we will endeavour to maintain the high level of service expected by our customers.


Rest assured, safety is our top priority and we are continually adapting the way we operate in order to protect our people. The ERA warehouse, supply chain and customer services teams are now prioritised in our Covid safe office environment. The remaining office staff are working remotely for the time being. As you would expect, we are asking our external sales teams to conduct meetings digitally for the time being. We are looking forward to the day we can get out and meet you face to face again.


There is the possibility that lead times on some products may move out due to fewer staff on the ground and therefore, we respectfully request your understanding while we work though these challenges. A few team members have recently contracted Covid and have thankfully made a full recovery due to self-isolation and rest, but this too has had an impact on our operations. A reminder of the main telephone numbers should you need support:

  • ERA Hardware customer services T: 01922 2700753
  • ERA and Response alarms and smart security technical helpdesk T: 0345 257 2500

By working together and supporting one another, I am confident we will emerge from the pandemic stronger, with everyone at ERA even more committed to serving our valued customers. I thank you for your support during these challenges. Stay safe, and I wish you well.

 

Best Wishes

 

Helen Downer
Commercial Director

 


 

 

Coronavirus Update 
Trading update

5th November 2020

 

Firstly, I do hope that you and your loved ones are safe and well at this time. With winter drawing close, our challenge seems to step up in continuing to protect each other from Covid-19 and adapting to how we manage our work and home lives accordingly. With the recent UK Government announcement for a second lockdown starting on Thursday, I wanted to confirm that we will remain open during November.

Here at ERA, we are working hard to protect our colleagues and manage our customer service levels. We have worked tirelessly on updating our safety procedures and invested in improving work-place social distancing, sanitising equipment and protective equipment. However, whilst we felt lucky first time around, we have recently experienced three positive Covid-19 cases at our Wolverhampton site. As we operate a Covid secure site, we were able to contain these cases and therefore avoided further transmission within our workforce. I am pleased to say that all three employees experienced mild symptoms and are back at work.. It has served as a reminder that our focus has to be on working together to keep each other safe and there are a number of actions that we are taking:

  • We have partnered with a testing agency so should any member of our team present symptoms – even those not frequently reported on – we can independently test them if government tests aren’t immediately available;
  • We are prioritising warehouse and internal sales within our HQ. Many office-based colleagues are now working from home. We have invested in kit to enable them to do so and they are plugged straight into the main office numbers you are used to calling;
  • Our external sales team will continue to work from home, however urgent technical issues will be managed through our engineering team if it is safe for them to visit;
  • We are spreading the management of inbound deliveries and outbound order picking and packing to avoid creating a bottleneck at the end of the day, which puts at risk our social distancing policy;
  • We are stopping visitors coming on-site unless it is for essential purposes. There are additional safety measures for anyone who does need to come onto site.
  • We are working cross-functionally to manage product availability; with sales, supply chain and finance working seamlessly together - airfreighting product where needed.


We would like to take this opportunity to remind you these are very uncertain times and we are doing our upmost to manage your expectations – some of our staff are working evenings and weekends to maintain service levels to meet increased demand. We recognise on rare occasions we have fallen short of this recently, for which we are very sorry, but we hope you can see we are working hard to manage during this period.


Can I please remind you that we are closing on the 18th December for the Christmas period and will not reopen until Monday 4th January 2021. It would be helpful if you can give some thought to your likely product requirements and let us know in advance as we cannot guarantee we will be able to support last minute requirements. If you would like to discuss your needs now, please let us know and someone will contact you.


One final point to share with you is regarding our planning for a no deal Brexit. The vast majority of our suppliers are outside the European Union. That said, as we are currently experiencing, there are already delays at ports in the UK due to Covid-19 safety measures. As a result, we are increasing our stock levels further for deliveries in the New Year and early 2021 in order to mitigate against any potential issues.


I would like to thank you for your patience and support during 2020, it is great to see how we are all supporting each other. It’s been a year of getting used to a new normal and has certainly presented some challenges over the past few months. I can honestly say that I am truly proud of how the team has adapted and to see how focussed they have been on looking after our customers.

I wish you well over the coming months and look forward to the day when we can meet up again in person.

Best Wishes

 

Helen Downer

Commercial Director

 


 

Coronavirus Update 
Trading update

27th May 2020

 

Livesafeworksafe# is a new term ERA are getting used to and we hope you are too.

We are pleased to confirm ERA is now back up and running, albeit currently in a reduced capacity as we gradually increase our workforce and service offering with the safety of our team at the forefront of our approach.

Where are we now?

  • 40% of our workforce are now back to work, either operating from the offices on i54 Wolverhampton, or working from home.
    • One-way systems, temperature checks and safe distancing rules are in place to keep everyone operating safely as our employees return to work. 
  • You can place orders online, by email or telephone by calling 01922 270753. We are reviewing daily demands against people resources in order to ensure we are able to deal with customer needs efficiently. 
  • We are operating safe distancing for our assembly lines to manufacture our MPL’s and balances, which we are proud to say are now made in the UK. 
  • We have continued to work with suppliers and accept shipments so we have good stock availability to support your business. 
  • We are working to improve on delivery times – currently 3-5 days – but this is still impacted by staff resources and overwhelmed couriers.  We are working hard to improve this. 
  • We are reviewing demand for online ordering which is currently turned off. If this causes you inconvenience and need to place orders online, please let us know.  In the meantime, orders can be placed by calling:  01922 270753. 
  • If you are using some this time to review your marketing and require any support such as photos, datasheets, videos etc, please contact marketing@erahomesecurity.com .

You will start to see more of ERA now on social media and other channels as we work to update you regularly on our progress and keep you up to speed on our new product lines, which we have continued to develop and invest in during Lockdown.  

Our initial goal was to keep our employees safe and at home.  Now, it is to get them back to work as quickly and as safely as possible.  This unprecedented situation has been an incredible challenge for us all in learning to live and work under completely new rules and we hope that as a business, you are also coming to terms with new methods of working and are feeling positive about the future. 

We very much look forward to working with you and continuing our journey together

Best Wishes

 

Helen Downer

Commercial Director

 


 

Coronavirus Update 
Trading update

29th April 2020

 

Firstly, we hope that you and your families are safe. Thank you for your continued support during these challenging times. Whist lockdown is continuing, we thought we should share with you how we are working during this time.


As you know, the safety of our team is our first priority. We have implemented a number of changes in our ways of working in order to operate safely, going above and beyond the advice set out by Public Health England, whilst significantly reducing our operations in the interests of the national effort to fight the spread of coronavirus.


This means we are functioning with a small team to manage inbound container deliveries, process orders and provide customer support. We thought it would be helpful to set out what this means for our customers:

  • Our Customer Service team is manned by Dawn and Gaynor, who are home working. They are managing the main ERA phone lines and monitoring emails from Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 4pm.
  • We have a small warehouse team managing inbound and outbound deliveries and therefore you will not always get the normal next day service you are used to. Our current lead times are between 3-5 working days on average;
  • Our Smartware Helpdesk is operated by Sumier and Phil, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. For Technical Support on alarms (ERA and Response Electronics), Door Intercoms or Doorcam, please call 0345 257 2500. If we are not able to answer the call, please leave a message and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
  • ERA Everywhere is open for searching products and storing them in the basket facility. However you are unable to use the check-out facility at this time;
  • We are planning to restart limited manufacture on our MPL and VS lines from 11th May. This is assuming there will be no changes to the current Government guidelines;
  • Our UK Schlegel seals sites have reopened this week, however again with limited capacity. Please note they are operating with extended lead times of approximately six weeks.


We understand that we need to support our loyal customers and want to reassure you that we are trying to match our capacity to changes in demand, increasing resources where necessary. As you know, ERA is very focused on customer service and we are trying to ensure that we manage the needs of the business safely whilst supporting you and ask for your patience and cooperation during this unprecedented time.


We have worked hard since this situation began in January to maintain stock levels and product availability, so that when we all come out of this the other side, we can look forward to working with you again to help you and our industry get back on track.


From all of us in the ERA team, we wish you and your families well. Stay Safe.

 

Helen Downer

Commercial Director

 


 

 

Coronavirus Update 
Changes to our ways of working

24th March 2020

 

With the latest announcement from the UK Government last night, 23rd March 2020, with immediate effect, ERA has begun a process to close all of our UK operations. We will review the situation on a regular basis, but anticipate this will be for a minimum of 3 weeks, taking us to the 14th April 2020. We will communicate again as we approach this date to let you know of our next steps.

 

ERA sales and warehouse staff are diligently working to get current orders out to customers today and tomorrow, at which time, the business will suspend operations and despatches will stop. There will be no further orders processed after today.

 

Our E-Commerce site, ERAeverywhere.com, will also stop trading. However, the site will continue to be available to allow you to view products, as well as to select parts for your basket, which you can keep there until we reopen, meaning you can more rapidly place orders.

 

We will continue to have a team of staff working from home, to take calls or answer questions and our helpdesk support for smartware will also continue, albeit in much reduced capacity, so please be patient if you are trying to speak to someone.

 

We will also have staff on-hand to answer any social media enquiries or concerns.

 

These are unprecedented times that are impacting everyone far and wide. We have worked hard since this crisis started to ensure continuity of supply. Over the coming weeks, we will be continuing to receive shipments into our warehouse and are therefore confident that we will be well placed to service demand, when we all come out of this on the other side.

 

Everyone at ERA wishes you and your loved ones well. Stay home and stay safe.

 

Helen Downer

Commercial Director

 


 

Coronavirus Update 
Changes to our ways of working

17th March 2020

 

With the latest changes to ways of working announced yesterday by the Government for people based in the UK, I wanted to confirm what this will mean for our ERA team and the impact on our customers.

 

To reiterate, we take the safety and wellbeing of our people very seriously alongside that of our stakeholders. We are also operating to the terms of our business continuity plan. Therefore, plans around ‘social distancing’ are being implemented and the following steps are being taken;

  • We will not be receiving visitors to any of our sites for non-essential activity. This will include customer visits and test lab reviews
  • All external sales team members are being asked to limit travel and take the necessary precautions if a visit is essential. All planned meetings will be conducted via telephone calls or skype
  • We are ensuring anyone who has symptoms or lives with people displaying the Coronavirus symptoms to self-isolate for the directed amount of time
  • We are ensuring any member of staff that falls into the category of vulnerable based on underlying health conditions are working from home
  • We are implementing a rota-based system in our production, customer services and warehousing teams

 

What this means for our customers is the following:

  • The biggest impact will be our lead-times in order to pick and despatch. Our normal next day service for hardware deliveries may move to a lead time of 48-72 hours based on staffing levels in the warehouse
  • We will be conducting any sales opportunity discussions or ongoing business with you mainly via calls and skype
  • Our customer services teams may take a little longer to pick up the phone. There is the alternative option of placing orders via ERA Everywhere should you wish – if you do not have access to the online portal and would like a log in, please register via the website on:  www.eraeverywhere.com/register or email:  info@erahomesecurity.com with your contact and company details and someone will contact you regarding setup.

 

We will do our best to uphold the service you are accustomed to with ERA, however we would appreciate your patience given that we are having to adjust our staffing levels to meet the changes outlined. Currently our stock levels remain good and we continue to monitor the situation daily working with any customers where they may be a potential issue in the future.

 

As I am sure you are aware, the situation remains very fluid and will communicate with you directly if any further changes are needed. I hope you recognise the intention of this communication and understand that we are taking practical steps to support the efforts as outlined by Government. We recognise that this will present some challenges, however we are making every effort to continue business as normal whilst minimising the risks.

 

If you have any further questions, please route them through your local sales representative so that we can manage the communication flow effectively.

 

Helen Downer

Commercial Director