Tentative Steps

As of today, Mila has taken some tentative steps into what I suspect will be the ‘new normal’ for a while yet. Although the vast majority of our operation remains closed in line with the government’s lockdown restrictions, we are now offering a limited service to support customers who are continuing to work on essential contracts.

Of course, any kind of return to work remains problematic for businesses in the retail sector of the market, but we have been getting an increasing number of requests for help from customers working on urgent commercial projects across the public sector in particular.

For that reason, we’ve put together a plan for these customers which will mean that they can place orders with us at any point during the week via the dedicated sales@mila.co.uk address. Orders received by 3pm on a Thursday will be picked, packed and despatched by a skeleton team in our warehouse for delivery the following Monday. Orders received after 3pm on Thursday will be despatched the following Friday.

We only feel confident in doing this because the Mila operations team has reviewed every aspect of our working environment and implemented new safe working procedures based around what we think is the gold standard ERIC protocol. ERIC standards for Eliminate (ensure only essential tasks and essential contractors are allowed on site), Reduce (minimise the number of staff on site and match the resources to the workload) Isolate (enforce the 2 metre social distancing rule at all times and ensure that anyone showing symptoms of Covid-19 or living with someone who is vulnerable or self-isolating does not come to work) and Control (implement enhanced cleaning procedures, hand washing and hand sanitising facilities, and renewed staff training). Obviously, we’ve also made sure that we have sufficient PPE for everyone on site so that we can ensure their safety at all times.

Our priority has to be the safety and wellbeing of our team but, with these new protocols in place, we feel confident that we can start to consider some kind of resumption of work. I’ve spoken to lots of people across the industry over the last couple of weeks, and there does seem to be a growing sense that we can work together to coordinate a return, which gets the industry back on its feet but in a measured and responsible way. In fact, a number of systems houses and fabricators have already stated their intention to do just that.

None of us wants to jeopardise the gains which have been made in the battle against the Coronavirus by going back to work too soon, but equally we don’t want to risk long term damage to individual businesses or to the wider industry by remaining closed for any longer than is necessary. Certainly, we’re willing to share the work our operations team have done on establishing safe working practices at Mila with any other businesses across the industry who feel they could benefit.

We only have a skeleton staff working at the moment and, like everyone else, we’re waiting for a signal from the government about when they expect the current lockdown to be relaxed, but I do feel that we have to ready and prepared for when that moment comes.

In the meantime, if you need any help and advice on social distancing protocols, Mila products or on any post-lockdown contracts, the email address is help@mila.co.uk and one of our team will get straight back to you.



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