Southern Hoists on the up
3 August 2020
Southern Hoists is yet another hirer telling me that business has bounced back more strongly than expected.
“When the lockdown was announced in March, we thought it would be virtually impossible to do business as normal,” says Kirsty Archbold-Laming, a Director of the business which is based in Southampton and covers a large area across south east England.
“Even when the government said that essential construction work could continue, we thought it would be difficult for two people to keep 2m apart when they were in a hoist cage or lifting a piece of equipment.
“However, the Construction Leadership Council quickly issued guidance on procedures that could mitigate the risks, including the provision of sanitisers, gloves, masks and other ways of working,” she says.
Sites just kept opening
“Within a week we had finished all the installations that had been under way before the lockdown, and we fully expected to shut after that. However, more and more sites kept opening and contacting us for equipment. It was unbelievable.”
The company did furlough a proportion of staff, but the entire team were able to keep in touch via regular WhatsApp group meetings.
Initially a skeleton crew of five engineers served customers including new builds, refurbishments, student accommodation and hospitals. This just shows how much construction activity there is.
New Geda hoist
“I didn’t think we would need to buy any additional equipment for the fleet this year given the initial uncertainty,” says Kirsty, “ but we took delivery of another Geda hoist (pictured) a few weeks ago simply to keep up with demand. “We’ve been attracting a lot of new customers.”
Like many other businesses during the pandemic, Southern Hoists has benefited from using Zoom and other web-based meeting platforms, which are likely to become part of the ‘new normal’.
“They certainly cut down the need to travel and you generally get through meetings more quickly and effectively,” says Kirsty. “Saving so much time means you can get more done in a day and be even more efficient.”