Read how this inspirational Gloucestershire-based printing company rapidly switched their production to help the NHS fight against COVID-19.
This SME manufacturer prints and distributes a variety of products such as banners and signage, but diversified to help produce the PPE equipment urgently needed for frontline workers.
Managing Director, Adam Soble first engaged with SWMAS back in 2018, calling on their manufacturing expertise to support the company’s future growth ambitions. SWMAS helped by sourcing £5K of grant funding towards the cost of additional wide format printing and embroidery machinery. This has subsequently enabled Cotswold Printing to raise production volumes and extend their product offering, resulting in a wider customer base. Adam recognised the need to relocate to larger, more suitable, premises to address this increased business demand, and called on SWMAS to support this.
Adapting to COVID-19 priorities
However, when the COVID-19 crisis suddenly impacted the day-to-day running of businesses across the world, this planned move was put on hold and the business revised their short-term strategy.
“Like many other small and medium sized UK companies, we were facing an uncertain future, and there was a need to prioritise immediate contingency plans to help us survive the uncertain months to come.” said Adam.
This forward-thinking company immediately sourced alternative work to help bridge the gap until their existing supply chain is fully operational again. The government’s urgent call for additional PPE equipment led to a rapid production shift, where they used their capabilities to produce 10,000 face shields for Gloucestershire NHS.
“When COVID-19 hit we wanted to help this national effort,” Adam continued. “Once our visor design was approved, we began manufacturing the component parts, which were then delivered to local volunteers to be assembled for delivery into local hospitals.”
Cotswold Printing became Gloucestershire NHS’s main visor supplier, and they continued to assist the high demand for PPE by working collaboratively with a local scrubs’ manufacturer, using their cutting equipment to help increase production volumes and reduce delivery times. These efforts earned Cotswold Printing a Punchline ‘Business and Community Champion’ nomination and is an excellent example of how regional manufacturers are diversifying to meet current demands.
Cotswold Printing are now manufacturing Perspex sneeze guards, a portable retractable sneeze guard, hand sanitation stands and social distancing signage packs to meet the safety needs of schools and businesses as lockdown restrictions begin to lift and we all adjust to the ‘New Normal’.
Adam’s pre-COVID-19 plan to find larger premises is continuing and SWMAS will be on hand to support the planning and layout of any new facility. Adam is also eager to explore other tooling and manufacturing processes to increase their product range and productivity going forward.
Alun James, Manufacturing Specialist