A home workbench set up by one of Atlas Cables employee to ensure production continues.
The coronavirus is throwing up a multitude of challenges for businesses all over the globe as a huge number of workers are forced to stay at home in self-isolation. Working from home is fine if your job involves mostly office or admin tasks, but what if you make things with your hands for a living? How do you carry on with your job when your factory is closed? If you’re as innovative and plucky as Scottish audio cable manufacturer Atlas, you just keep calm and carry on.
Atlas produces custom audio cables at its factory in Kilmarnock, Scotland. When the coronavirus hit the United Kingdom, the company’s management swiftly had to think outside the proverbial box to see if there was any way they could carry on business and fulfilling customers’ orders.
It’s often said that necessity is the mother of invention and, in this particular case, the company asked its employees if they would be willing to carry on working from home. The reply was a resounding “yes” and so employees were set up in their homes with a workbench and all the tools they would need to carry on producing custom cables, enabling them to work without the fear of contamination.
For some years now, Atlas has been making a wide range of high-quality audio cables and accessories to special order. The cables are made without using solder. Atlas prefers to use dry weald or crimping methods instead. As well as creating a better connection, this innovative method means Atlas could have its employees working at home with everything they would need to continue making the company’s range of award-winning products. Employees set up their workbenches in spare rooms, dining areas, or any free space available, meaning the vast majority of the company’s products are still available to order. Additionally, office-based employees also began working from home so that deliveries and shipping could carry on as usual.
To ensure the operation runs smoothly, a small team of drivers delivers raw materials and components to each worker’s doorstep and then collects the finished products a few days later, all while ensuring strict social distancing is maintained.
Another Atlas worker producing high-end audio cables from home.
To be certain that everyone in the production chain is protected from the coronavirus, finished cables are then quarantined for a full 72 hours to make sure any possible contamination is eliminated before cables are packed and despatched. Throughout the process, safety is paramount so that products can be delivered free of any contamination risk directly to the customer’s door.
Kevin Kelly, Managing Director of Atlas, said: “During these unprecedented times, many people are at home and probably turning their attention to entertainment systems for solace. It was important to us that if anyone wanted to upgrade their audio system’s cables, they could still order from us. We decided to continue our business as best we could. Our workforce backed us 100%. We found a way of working that not only keeps everybody safe and isolated but also means we can keep the business going and satisfy our customers. Thanks to our dedicated team, we’ve been able to do just that.”
It seems that the coronavirus is firing up the imagination of many other businesses. It’s not the first time that UK industries have adopted unusual solutions to keep calm and carry on. During the Second World War, factories in the United Kingdom making the iconic Spitfire fighter planes were a prime target for the Luftwaffe. The solution was to outsource the production of components to backstreet workshops and even workers garden sheds.
Now that the coronavirus is the enemy, other companies are doing the same kind of thing as Atlas. For example, a number of engineering companies have turned over production to ventilators for use by hospitals. Meanwhile, some distilleries in the UK and other countries have switched from producing whiskey to making alcohol-based hand sanitizer. We may be going through tough times, but the ingenuity of entrepreneurs means businesses all over the world are adapting and embracing innovative production methods to stay in business and beat the virus.
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