At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic the focus was on ventilators, but as things developed testing became the priority of Government. Step forward Atherstone-based Shield Marquee Manufacturing. While its usual customer base, the hospitality industry, continues to face strict restrictions, Shield Marquees became part of the marquee hire industry’s National Emergency Testing Stations Network (NETS). Working with the Government, NETS has been central in supplying the network of test centres for COVID-19 with temporary structures. The demand for a quick response, however, placed significant pressure on Shield Marquee’s manufacturing capability.
“With every structure containing multiple machined components, such as leg and ridge knuckles, we found that our existing machine capacity was limited, and the volumes we were asked to produce were leading to backlogs,” says director Matthew Faizey.
While speed was crucial, Faizey was cautious and carried out due diligence online of a select group of machine-tool suppliers, with XYZ Machine Tools coming out on top.
“If I’m going to spend a significant amount of money, I want to do my research and check on a supplier’s viability, history, reputation and ability to support my business,” he says. “XYZ Machine Tools impressed in all respects. In particular, was the knowledge that we could get support in terms of service and programming very quickly, as we can’t afford for the machine to be down for any length of time.”
With that reassurance and time ticking away, Faizey contacted XYZ Machine Tools at 09:30 on a Friday morning. XYZ’s area sales manager jumped in his car and by lunchtime the order was placed and paid for. The following Tuesday the machine, an XYZ 1000 LR vertical machining centre, was delivered, commissioned and ready for production.
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