The Coronavirus Pandemic has sparked much unrest around the world and has plunged us all into a time of uncertainty. Here at ETB Furniture we are trying to keep things running as normally as possible, though naturally with amendments to procedures and logistical changes to comply with social distancing and keep the environment safe for all. We are still issuing quotations, taking orders and our friendly team remain on hand to discuss any concerns that you have during these uncertain times. Many people are apprehensive in the current climate, and this is why we have taken the time to answer some basic questions that our customers may have.
Can I Place an Order?
Internally we are operating as normal, though with reduced staff/some staff working remotely. Our team can be reached via e-mail using firstname.lastname@example.org or via telephone on 01244 373961. If we do not answer your call initially if our team are on other calls, please leave us a message and we will call you back within our normal working hours of 9am till 5pm, Monday – Friday.
Are You Operating Your Complimentary Design Service?
Our experienced design team are currently working remotely but are available to plan suitable room layouts, provide visuals of what can be achieved with a space, and re-design or newly design products to suit a client’s specific needs.
Many of our Educational clients have advised that Summer Let Programs may not now be taking place and some are planning to use the time to complete maintenance and refurbishment projects while they have an unprecedented amount of time with vacant rooms.
In addition, with competition for school places increasing, showcase bedrooms and feature areas are proving popular to illustrate to parents what the future plans are for a School/College. We are working with many clients to create beautiful ‘home away from home’ dormitories, and social and entrance areas that possess a real wow factor! This can really aid Schools and Colleges in reassuring existing and prospective parents that progression will be made even in the most trying of times.
If you are interested in working with our team to create a furniture range specific to your school/college and/or would like our team to create some room layouts and visuals for consideration, please get in touch with us today.
Room Layout Design & Implementation
Bespoke Product Design & Finished Item
Room Visual and Completed Bedroom Image
When Will I Receive my Order?
Our manufacturing team are working hard to fulfill any orders. Naturally we have had to put strict social distancing measures in place to protect them while at work which has affected some of our timescales for orders depending on their size. Luckily it is not too difficult to social distance in a large factory! and therefore on average orders are taking 4-8 weeks from the date of order. If however you are working to a specific deadline for your project please get in touch with a member of our team and we will work with you to ensure your delivery date can be met wherever possible.
What is the Latest Date I Can Order for Delivery Prior to September 2020?
The impact of Covid-19 to us as a company has meant that our usual spring/early summer schedule of stock manufacture (along side typical orders) has not taken place. Therefore, though we have significant capacity for orders thanks to our new 2019 manufacturing facility, we will not be in a position to supply as much furniture as we normally are able to during July and August. Naturally we are anticipating a reduction in orders in general, as in some cases projects may not take place or be smaller than planned due to a shortfall in budget as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, but however big or small we wish to assist customers in anyway that we can.
If you are planning a project this year or merely to replace damaged or old furniture, please let us know as soon as you are able. We would be grateful for the opportunity to provide a quotation for furniture and where you wish to proceed, we can schedule the production time with our manufacturing team in advance to avoid disappointment.
We have decided to operate a first come first served basis with regards to both production time and delivery/installation slots this year due to logistical constraints as a result of the current situation. Once production has been planned and slots taken regrettably we will be unable to make any usual additions. Please contact our team if you are planning on placing an order however big or small so that we can add you to our production list.
Are You Making Deliveries?
Parts, fittings and bedding are being delivered via our normal post/courier services. The courier’s have adopted social distancing rules and will take precautions on arrival. Signatures are not required for packages for the time being.
In the case of furniture orders, we are able to make deliveries to client’s with some changes and added precautions in place to reduce risk. We understand that many schools are closed due to the COVID-19 crisis, and we are happy to store orders until you are ready and feel it safe for them to be delivered. We would like to reassure our customers that even though the timeframes you are working towards may be uncertain; we are working hard to make sure orders are going through the manufacturing process ready for a prompt delivery at a mutually agreed point in time.
Added delivery procedure precautions:
- Personal Protective Equipment
Our staff will be wearing a mask and gloves when making deliveries for the foreseeable future.
- Little to No Contact with Staff
On arrival at your premises we would ask clients to respect the rule of staying at least 2 metres apart at all times. If someone could show our staff which room to place the furniture item/s in, after this we would ask that anyone present return to a safe distance whilst our team carry out their work. We are happy to unload items from delivery vehicles without any assistance at this time.
If we have agreed installation of furniture, our team are able to work to pre-approved drawings to ensure furniture is positioned in the correct locations within the rooms. We ask all clients to discuss any sign-in procedures with us prior to our team’s arrival.
- Reduce Time on Site to a Minimum
Furniture where possible will be ready assembled (with the exception of beds) in order to reduce the amount of time needed on site. The team will work efficiently and cohesively to keep the time at each premises down to a minimum.
- Completion Precautions
It will not be necessary to have a signature on our delivery note on completion of a delivery/installation. We suggest that our team finish the works and on completion return to the ETB delivery vehicles. From the vehicles we propose that the driver call the on-site contact to ask if a suitable person at the could check the items delivered to make sure you are happy with the furniture prior to our team leaving, but without the need for face to face interaction. Should anything be needed, the team could return to the room/s in question to rectify before leaving.
- Surface Contamination Risk
From the information we have read thus far the Coronavirus seems able to survive for a limited time on surfaces. assuming the furniture is not to be used by students initially after the delivery it should pose no risk. Many clients are choosing to clean items after arrival as an added precaution. We are also willing to discuss the option of having our team clean furniture on completion of the delivery installation (for a cost to cover their time). As above all ETB staff will be wearing gloves for the duration of the delivery/installation regardless.
The furniture we provide is blanket wrapped to protect it during delivery which is the most environmentally friendly and cost effective source of packaging. In the case of mattresses and bedding, such as pillows, duvets, fitted sheets and mattress/pillow protectors – these items are hygienically sealed after manufacture. Whilst we normally would be happy to remove and dispose of the plastic wrapping on these items, during the current climate we are leaving mattresses and bedding with the plastic seals intact for clients to remove. (Please note that plastic can present a suffocation risk to children – please remove and dispose of any packaging safely and responsibly)
Are You At Risk Of Going Out Of Business?
It is only natural for our customers to be apprehensive with the current financial strain on the country. Some of the largest businesses are going into administration whilst others have shut up shop.
We would like to reassure our customers that we are a company with a longstanding reputation that has withstood three previous recessions. We have sensible staffing levels and a very experienced team. We taking the time to focus on streamlining manufacturing processes, cost reductions and enhancing our designs. We are here to support you with your needs this year, and we will continue to be into the future.
One precaution we have made is not to invest in stock this year as a cautious approach to consumer demand. We will be manufacturing on an order by order basis which will mean reduced capacity – so please let us know of any furniture requirements you have so that we can work them into our schedule in advance.
If you have any further questions about what the Coronavirus Pandemic means for us or would like any information on our products and services – please do not hesitate to get in touch with our team.