Urgent demand to keep employees and customers safe in the wake of Covid-19 has seen a Leicestershire point of sale and visual merchandising display specialist pivot its operations to deliver a range of end-to-end hygiene products and services.
SDi, which employs 113 people at its state-of-the-facility in Loughborough, has taken just three weeks to develop protective face guards for employees, pharmacy/checkout screens and anti-bacterial wipes/sanitiser hand stations.
There is an urgent demand to get these made and in stores as soon as possible, with 260,000 face guards manufactured already, over 10,000 pharmacy and checkout screens delivered to Boots and M&S, whilst 1500 sanitiser hand stations are currently in production for Tesco, Dixons Carphone and other retail partners.
In a further step to protect people, an official collaboration with Addmaster has been signed that will give SDi the capability to embed Biomaster technology into all of its products, providing an additional ‘antimicrobial’ barrier to prevent bacteria and viruses growing on surfaces.
“We have always been a close partner to the retail sector and have been in constant discussions with them during the pandemic. The conversations were mainly focused around protecting staff and customers who are working and shopping, so we immediately sprang into action to meet this challenge,” explained Matt Evans, Retail Sales Director of SDi.
“Our specialist designers and production experts came up with a range of hygiene products that could solve some of these challenges, starting with protective face guards and then quickly evolving into pharmacy/check-out screens and sanitiser hand stations.”
He continued: “Manufacturing lines were adapted to ensure we could provide a single-source solution from start to finish. We’re talking volumes in the tens of thousands, maybe eventually hundreds of thousands.
“These products will help to protect people and potentially save lives, so, put simply, retailers couldn’t wait six weeks for them to come from overseas suppliers.”
SDi, which is also in the process of supplying 1.6million visors for the NHS, has more than 40 years’ experience of creating, making and fitting point of sale and visual merchandising displays.
Its established single-source solution covers the new hygiene range, with the company able to design, manufacture and install all of the new products, including vital stocks of sanitiser that is in huge demand at the moment.
Pivoting to this new approach has meant that all production staff have been kept in full-time work and, if volumes continue to increase, a number of manufacturing jobs could be created shortly.
Matt continued: “There is definitely a feeling that more businesses are starting to make plans about how they reopen when the lockdown eventually eases and hygiene will be at the forefront of their thoughts.”
He concluded: “The products we are supplying to retailers can be used by companies in all sectors, whether you are manufacturing, operating trade counters or working in contact centres.
“We are already having discussions with some restaurants about making partition dividers to help with social distancing and speaking to firms about how they can clearly communicate safety measures in the workplace.”