The power of the pivot
If there is one thing the COVID-19 crisis has taught us it’s that remaining agile as a business is critical. Every day we hear about more and more businesses joining the fight – whether it be Brewdog using its distillery to produce hand sanitiser or GKN Aerospace which is now helping to provide vital ventilators for patients around the country.
We believe we’ve also identified a valuable pivot, alongside our normal activity, to support the ongoing effort to improve safety and reboot the economy.
Meeting a new need in manufacturing
The manufacturing sector has been particularly hard hit in recent times, with many companies facing a complete shut-down for non-essential activity such as car manufacturers and aviation companies.
Despite this, some companies are now starting a phased return to operations in core industries including manufacturing. This includes carmakers Aston Martin and Jaguar Land Rover which both plan on reopening their factories in early May on the basis that strict safety measures are put in place.
Risk assessments in manufacturing are by their very nature complex and with the added strict requirement for social distancing, companies will face challenges in ensuring compliance, even if processes are put in place. To meet this new need, we have rapidly developed a brand new product called Safe Distancing Assistants, so that employees working within the manufacturing, pharmaceutical and healthcare and retail sectors can return to the workplace and practice safe personal distancing. The lightweight device, which is worn on a lanyard or belt clip, uses low power Ultra-wideband technology to measure distance from other employees, emitting a short audible alarm when wearers move within two meters of one another.
The device aims to help Pathfindr customers – which include some of the world’s largest engineering and manufacturing firms – to safely continue essential operations, while also providing peace of mind to staff when it comes to their own safety.
While business agility is essential in times of crisis such as these, it is also important in maximising the future opportunities. This isn’t the first time we’ve been flexible and responsive to demand. Our Asset Beacons actually started out as a solution for retail, but through a series of events – including involvement in a BBC documentary ‘The Secret Life of Cats’ – we connected with organisations that had a need for our technology in different ways. As such, we adapted and utilised parts of the technologies from previous iterations to form the Pathfindr solution known today.
Businesses can actively take steps towards becoming more agile. By thinking about what your customers need, what others in the industry are doing and where you have skills or knowledge within your organisation, you can extend the impact of what you do as a business.