Life in lockdown was anything but quiet for our Premium Partners, Ministry of Furniture. We caught up with Managing Director, Graham Hirst to see how they were all doing:
“2020 was going to be a massive year for us. We had a record order book going into the year, long before there was any suggestion of lockdown or Coronavirus – then everything came to a halt.”
“All of the sites we were delivering to, schools, colleges, workplaces, public sector developments were all locked down. So we couldn’t complete many projects which put a massive strain on our business. When we can’t deliver, we can’t invoice which of course hits your cash flow in a very unplanned and unpleasant way. We had many production orders of furniture, signage and graphics already made but nowhere for it to go. Our supply-chain was similarly compromised, even though several key worker sites remained open , we couldn’t get that furniture in.”
Whilst their day to day business grinded to a halt, the team at Ministry of Furniture and Ministry Graphics continued to put the community at the heart of their business and offered a helping hand to support our local NHS.
“The defining moment for us was when I made a call to Wayne Hall at the Ospreys, who put me in touch with Wyn Evans from Neath Port Talbot College. We knew Llandarcy was being converted to a field hospital and knew there would be a need for furniture, fitting and equipment. Through further dialogue and introductions to NPT, the NHS and Andrew Scott Construction, we established a demand for protective poly-carbonate screens for every bay of every ward so nurses and carers could see bay to bay in the case of an emergency. We could see that poly-carbonate screens and clear acrylic screens was going to be a huge thing going forward - not just in the crisis but post Covid too.”