Construction and Infrastructure

Investment and rise in online shopping means firm will emerge from the pandemic 'thriving'

Written by: Andrew Merrell | Posted 15 October 2020 11:35

Investment and rise in online shopping means firm will emerge from the pandemic 'thriving'

A £1 million investment in IT over the last five years helped put a Gloucester-based business in the perfect position to be able to capitalise when opportunity arose through the pandemic. 

The board of composite panel specialists ISD Solutions said it was “anticipating a strong financial performance in 2020, partly due to the investment in IT. 

Coupled with a sudden high demand from the food sectorISD said it had been able to secure “several large construction contracts for distribution centres following the nationwide rise in online shopping. 

But neither had it been immuned from the impact of the coronavirus – it still had to place 'a number' of the company’s 120 staff on furlough and make 'a small number' of redundancies. 

Staff at its three Gloucester sites have also embraced working from home. 

But it has also begun creating jobs, not least in project management and health and safety “with more vacancies likely to be filled over the coming months. 

Andy Moon, chairman of The P&M Group, the parent company which owns ISD, said: “We’ve beenvery fortunate that our work in the food production andlogistics industry was classed as essential during this crisis and we are pleased to have played our part in keeping the nation fed. 

“And while we realise our recent experiences and challenges will be familiar to many businesses, we are pleased to have been able to accelerate our plans to modernise a well-established business, so we could tackle the crisis head on. 

“In short, we were well placed to take our opportunities and we’re now looking forward to the future of the business.” 

Mr Moon added: “As with much of society, this crisis has resulted in us speeding up the evolution and implementation of ideas that were either being discussed or already happening. 

“Indeed, the work we have done for several years has served us well since this all started. We have good relationships with customers and suppliers, we are financially strong and we have skilled and dedicated staff who follow a strong culture. 

“We have well over 100 years of industry experience among our board members alone, with almost the same again between the other members of our newly-expanded leadership team. 

“The knowledge and expertise, combined with our IT investment – almost £700k on software and support and the remainder on capital expenditure – has made us realise that, in fact, no radical change was needed. 

However a review of the business as an important exercise which has enabled us to identifya number of areas to help us become a leaner, quicker business which is fit to respond to current and, hopefully, future challenges. 

“Despite our industry-leading technical expertise, companies placing orders worth millions are taking that as a given. 

“We are coming to realise that these firms are more focused on the ability of a company to meet challenges such as scale, financial strength and supply chain links to deliver projects.  

“With a changing economy and society it is important that we adapt to these requirements.”