2020 has been the oddest year… you don’t need me to tell you. Here at Affordable Granite life has been as odd as anywhere else, right down to not getting the blog out with our usual frequency or regularity. But we are getting back to normal – and forging ahead. This week’s blog is a general news round up just to say where we have got to – and where we are going.
Today is a very significant day for us. Our youngest and longest-furloughed staff member, Rodrigo, is back and working in the workshop. This is really happy news! We are delighted to see him back, and genuinely thankful that we have come through the storm thus far with no job losses.
Speaking personally (Andrew King here): “I am no huge fan of the present government in general or of all its handling of Coronavirus in particular, but I have to say that for us the furlough scheme has really worked. Between Rishi Sunak’s opened coffers and our MD Andy Phillip’s steady nerve and hand on the tiller, we have arrived at 17th September with our entire staff back at work, a busy workshop, fitting teams out on the road, a decent order book and a sense of purpose as we face the winter ahead.”
“We know that the company, the country, our customers and (indeed) the whole world still have many challenges to face with the virus and the economic consequences to follow, but we are feeling positive and as strong as we can be. If lean times come we are realistic, but in no way desperate!”
For our full policy on Covid 19, please see our main posting on the subject, which is updated each time government regulations and recommendations change.
Back in July we reported on the arrival and set up of a new CNC saw in the workshop. That saw is now up and running, and chief sawyer Kuba has shown incredible aptitude in grasping the very different technology and its possibilities. We are delighted with the machine thus far: faster output, greater efficiency and more processes, shapes and profiles are available via a digital interface.
In addition we have returned to laser templating as a primary tool as the data from the laser can be fed directly into the saw, giving us more direct and immediate control of the cut and fit. We are happy bunnies!
Image shows Andy Phillips on site with the laser templator.
At the start of the year we were excited to be founder members of the Worktop Fabricators Federation, launched at this year’s KBB show in Birmingham – a weird event about half way into March at which people walked around freely with naked faces and met socially in groups of more than six. Perhaps some of our older readers will remember such times!
Suffice to say that the virus did put a bit of a dampener on the development of the WFF, but that momentum has now been regained, with a number of very significant worktop companies joining as members and tool and material suppliers continuing to sponsor the project. It was good to see this piece in Stone Specialist Magazine featuring Simon Souter, one of the founding directors of the trade association.
Above all, and at the centre of all we do, we have seen the gradual recovery of our market, a steady flow of orders, and a stream of granite and quartz worktops leaving the factory for homes all over Surrey, Sussex, Kent and Hampshire. We have even done a few worktop installations in central London. New worktops, Mr Sunak???
Whether or not Rishi would get a discount, we have tried to show some appreciation to NHS staff by offering a discount to nurses and other hospital workers. If you work in the NHS, do mention it when you make your enquiry.
As ever, we have seen many materials in the warehouse. The August and September Fiji and Clamshell Offer has been going great guns, and we have had some other interesting stones and installations too.
CRL Monte Bianco Quartz
Cullifords Misty Carrara Quartz
We are Affordable Granite, the leading granite installer in Surrey, Sussex and across the South East. In what has been a difficult year, we are glad to be here, with a full and united staff team, and the same commitment we have always had to serve our region with all that is best in kitchen work surfaces, installed with the very best customer service and integrity in business. For advice and help on your stone worktop installation, don’t hesitate to contact us on 01293 863992 or by email on email@example.com/ .