• Castleoak

Partnership in extraordinary times

Updated: Jul 24, 2020

Looking for positives in the face of a crisis can be hard, but one feature of the commercial and economic chaos created by the coronavirus epidemic is the fact that all of us are going through something together.

It’s not a case of one person or business in a fix and others looking on. All of us are affected – both personally and professionally.

It’s probably fair to say that business continuity planning for most organisations is unlikely to have featured the sort of wholesale and global economic meltdown that we are currently witnessing.  For us at Castleoak, our strategy has remained constant: to keep our business viable by staying safely operational to sustain jobs and continuing to deliver for our customers.

It hasn’t been easy but, so far, I’m glad to say this is working for us and we have not had to turn to furloughing staff, which, like for many businesses, will be an absolute last resort.

It’s in the toughest times that any organisation’s values are really tested and, for this business, the long-held core value of collaboration and the corresponding partnership approach to everything we do with colleagues, customers and our supply chain, has really come into its own in this crisis.

Castleoak colleagues have responded brilliantly on the teamwork front, raising our game to respond to these incredibly testing times. That’s down to our frontline people at our sites and factory adapting to new, safe ways of working (a huge challenge), and our support staff working well at home.

But it’s not just about our internal team. Without the unstinting support, flexibility and mutual appreciation of our customers and suppliers, with whom we’re talking as well as working every day, we would never have been able to sustain the remarkable level of productivity that we have, albeit reduced when compared to so-called ‘normal’ times.

As with families, our first instinct can be to protect our own, but it doesn’t take us long in a situation like this to realise that our own personal interests are inextricably tied to those others. Which means we are as grateful to each one of our customers and suppliers as we are to our colleagues.

So, while the challenges are certainly increasing, our plan remains to continue production, by keeping talking to all our partners and staying honest and open, to get safely through this together.

Paul Foster



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