Companies across Europe are turning to British manufacturer, Bio Productions, during the Coronavirus crisis as the pandemic continues to affect global supply and demand.
In March, sales records were shattered as COVID-19 spread around the world. “Business boomed as organisations looked to us to improve their cleaning procedures. We exceeded all our monthly sales records,” says managing director, Angela Gill. “It was an extremely busy period for us as we dispatched products across the UK and Europe.”
The business has been dealing with increased interest from existing, silent and prospective customers alike, as companies have looked further into the Bio Productions catalogue to protect their workforces with a wider range of products.
“We’ve seen a change in what our customers are looking for,” Gill explains. “There has been a definitive dip in sales for biologicals, which are less effective at combatting viruses, in favour of biocides like our Sta-Kill Biocidal Cleaner and Deodoriser.”
Other companies, including competitors, have also been in touch asking for help to fulfil orders for in-demand products because Bio Productions manufactures its products in Burgess Hill, West Sussex.
Yet the company has faced increasing challenges since the United Kingdom entered lockdown. “Sourcing raw materials from Europe has been difficult,” Gill continues. “We’re getting limited deliveries that are often delayed and the price of some materials has soared from £800 per barrel to £7,000 and above.”
With almost half of the nation working from home and schools shutting indefinitely, the demand for cleaning chemicals has also fallen in April. At the same time, customers that are still operating face falling profits and have requested longer payment terms.
“We’re doing our utmost to support our customers with those terms,” Gill explains. “We know it’s a tough time for everyone, and so we’re endeavouring to weather the storm as best we can and ensure we can still supply their essential cleaning products.”
The crisis has also led to changes in the workforce. After hiring extra staff in March, Bio Productions has since divided its manufacturing teams to comply with the Government’s social distancing advice.
With demand falling during lockdown, 50 per cent of workers have recently been furloughed but the company’s machines continue to operate.
“There’s no doubt these are unprecedented times,” Gill says. “Our hearts go out to the businesses that have been brought to their knees. We’re fortunate enough to know that demand will return when lockdown lifts. We’re also incredibly proud to be British manufacturers, which will become even more important in the next few months as the global demand for cleaning chemicals surges.
“Once schools, offices, pubs and restaurants re-open, customers around the world will need our cleaning products. Our message is that we’re ready to support them, just as we have supported our customers that are still operating during these tough times.”