The Flashings Factory, a sheet metal manufacturing company based in the West Midlands, has a positive outlook following support from the Bounce Back Loan scheme as well as an increase in demand.
At the outset of the pandemic and the beginning of the lockdown, many, if not all businesses, were faced with new challenges and changes to the way they worked. The Flashings Factory is no different.
The business, which celebrates its 10-year anniversary this month, offers a range of metal products and services to diverse customers across the UK. However, challenges brought on by the pandemic meant that the business had to adapt to new ways of servicing its customers. At the start of lockdown, many construction sites closed overnight, businesses were forced to furlough staff, making even the smallest demand more difficult to manage.
Peter Booth, Managing Director at The Flashings Factory told us about his business’s experience at the start of the pandemic.
“Our primary concern was the safety of the business and welfare of our team,” “We expected to close our doors but, fortunately, even with some members of staff furloughed, we remained open and have been continuing to support our customers throughout the lockdown.” He added.
As with most businesses, The Flashings Factory experienced new challenges from the outset of the lockdown. Though business initially slowed, The Flashings Factory’s primary market of industrial roofing and cladding components was quickly replaced with more smaller home projects. These increasing new projects included garden rooms and other outdoor structures, such as equestrian and training mirror projects. With some construction continuing, companies found themselves without supply lines as some manufacturers locked down completely. The Flashings Factory were there and ready to help.
Many businesses affected by COVID-19 will have experienced changes to their cashflow. Cashflow has been one of many long-term consequences of the pandemic and the subsequent lockdown, with demand fluctuating and business slowing down or stopping. To help manage this, The Flashings Factory applied for a Bounce Back Loan (BBL) with Skipton Business Finance, who has been working closely with business since 2017. The Bounce Back Loan scheme is a government-backed scheme provided by British Business Bank and delivered through a range of providers, including Skipton Business Finance.
Mr Booth speaks of his experience applying for a Bounce Back Loan. “We already had a strong relationship with Skipton Business Finance and so felt confident that they would support us with a loan,” “The loan was extremely easy to apply for and we were really pleased to see that we had access to the funds within 24 hours of applying.”
Lisa Ellson, Relationship Manager at Skipton Business Finance, has worked closely alongside the business before and during the pandemic and was able to offer the support needed. “We were able to provide additional support by means of a Bounce Back Loan, which allowed the business to manage the new demands brought on by COVID-19 and we are happy to have supported the business through a challenging period.”
The business initially experienced a decrease in turnover despite continuing to work. With fewer projects and tighter margins, the business used the Bounce Back Loan to pay off machinery that was on purchase finance to cut monthly overhead costs. Although the past few months have been challenging for the business, the future is looking positive, with the business now working with many new customers on a variety of new and diverse projects. Looking forward to the future, Mr Booth expressed that the business is feeling positive about the coming months.
“We have always been a business that is focused on our customer’s needs. Working hard providing a service to support those needs. We pride ourselves on quick turnaround and always being available for our customers from early till late every day.” “The future is looking positive for us and after a challenging few months, we have a strong team, working with new and existing customers, working hard to maintain our high levels of service.” He concludes. We are proud to be supporting businesses that have been affected by the ongoing pandemic. With our cashflow solutions, businesses can gain access to working capital that is tied up in unpaid invoices, allowing them to keep working through a challenging time.