Business Continuity Statement
Updated: 14 June 2021
WE REMAIN OPEN AND ENGAGED IN FULL MANUFACTURE
SMI remains open and we are manufacturing our fit and forget cable systems as normal, as has been the case since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. We are also closely monitoring the impact of Brexit and taking all required precautionary actions to secure our uninterrupted of products delivery to customers.
In respect to the Covid-19 pandemic, we implemented our Business Continuity Plan on 18 March 2020, deploying all non-manufacturing personnel to home working status, then implementing a number of operational changes to minimise infection risks to our remaining factory teams. We continue to review and revise plans on an ongoing basis, driven by the latest scientific advice.
In March 2020, UK Government requested that we continue to support the essential maintenance of submarines to sustain the UK’s Continuous At Sea Deterrent (CASD) and the defence of the nation. Our manufacturing teams were designated as key workers to maintain their availability for work and ensure uninterrupted manufacture.
Operational changes to support safety and social distancing have been implemented with extended hygiene measures across operations. Deploying personnel not directly involved in manufacturing into home work enabled areas of our Andover facility to be repurposed, with adequate spacing put in place and additional wash stations deployed throughout the premises. These measures were augmented later by increased PPE provision and screens, which have been updated as guidelines have changed.
Visitors to our site are permitted only for essential reasons and in full compliance with COVID-19 protocols.
Supply chain assurance remains a priority for both customers and SMI. Securing ongoing supply of components early, was essential in our strategy to maintain manufacturing and meet essential milestones for customers. We significantly increased bought-forward components into stock, to both secure supply and keep many suppliers fully scheduled as the aerospace sector fell quiet.
We continue to work with customers to advance procure materials in order to safeguard manufacturing schedules and adhere to complex programmes. We ask all suppliers to inform us of any problems that will potentially impact open orders as soon as they present, including any Covid-19 related issues. Risk mitigation and risk transfer activities are in process with, critical components dual sourced wherever possible and security allows.
With respect to Brexit, we reviewed UK Government advice ahead of the end of the transition period, 31 December 2020, and continue to take appropriate planning actions.. Key actions include but are not limited to:
- Identifying key product lines across the business requiring adjusted production schedules and rescheduled accordingly
- Materials imported from mainland Europe plus non-EU countries come via a well-established process with robust supply chains, transport links but we are working closely with key suppliers to safeguard supply chains and ensure continuous availability
- Encouraging customers to review stock levels and ensure orders are placed ahead of normal timing to protect against delays
- Spoken to most key customers detailing our current approach to Brexit and to detail our current lead times, estimated customs delays, and ask them to consider forecasting needs to include our stocking specific items for them and their customers
- Continuing discussions with key Freight Forwarders to mitigate risk from customs delays, including reviewing alternative routes into the UK and preparations for increased customs administration. We are also working with providers to creating potential software solutions to assist
- Constantly updating our analysis of the financial impact of Brexit, including increased duty and tariffs, increased cost of freight and customs administration costs, foreign exchange fluctuations and are looking at fresh ways to mitigate this to ensure minimal impact on customers
- We are also monitoring travel issues for our employees relating to Brexit and Covid-19
Naturally both Brexit and Coronavirus make for a very fluid situation. Our management team is continuously reviewing the situation and adjusting operations and business planning accordingly.