Impact of Coronavirus and Brexit.

Impact of Coronavirus and Brexit

How CDC Engineering adapted during the trials of COVID-19 and challenges of Brexit

The COVID-19 Pandemic and the finalisation of the outgoing Brexit deal have been negatively affecting UK businesses over the past 2 years. The architectural and engineering industry has been widely affected by the construction site closures, delayed material deliveries, and self-isolating staff, limiting the progress of projects. Also, an unfavourable impact on companies’ financial performance and lack of cash flows influenced the stability of the business operations.

CDC Engineering Ltd business Director, Andy Fawkes recognised the upcoming complex economic crisis and global pandemic, adapting the situation to his advantage. 

“Whenever everything is falling apart, the best practice is to sit down and reflect on the situation, review the business structure, analyse current methods and identify any gaps within the business” – Andy Fawkes. 

The engineering industries decreased production pace and limited access to the construction sites in  2020.  Andy used this downtime as an opportunity to focus on a re-structuring of the business model. Digital marketing for example had been an area that CDC had not had the opportunity to explore, with most of its projects coming from long term clients or the traditional marketing method of word and mouth (Grapevine). Hiring a specialist Marketing Manager with all-round expertise was the first step towards developing new strategies and becoming more visible. Not long after, the marketing department developed a new website with fresh brand & logos.  This completely transformed CDC Engineering digital appearance. The new website allowed CDC Engineering to showcase its most recent work and bespoke services to a much wider audience than before. Using a newly developed website and social media sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook, the marketing manager was able to create new business relationships with some developing into new, exciting projects.

During the pandemic, as a small business enterprise, CDC Engineering was able to create new job opportunities for Marketing Manager, Office Manager, Fabrication Manager, Welder ad Fabricator and also to offer two apprenticeships. By employing new people, who could take care of their respective business areas, Andy Fawkes was free to focus on growing new business contacts and concentrating on the smooth interaction with clients from start to finish of a project and staying compliant with the new regulations.

The biggest project the fabrication business undertook during the pandemic was creating a statement staircase at the Guildford Crossways House building. Fortunately, a site survey has been carried out before the site was closed and materials had been ordered before the nationwide lockdown began. The stunning feature 6 floor staircase involved some challenging rolled curved sections with steel fins both finished in white powder coated finish accompanied by solid oak handrails and steps. This modern yet contemporary staircase kept all the departments of the CDC Engineering workshop working and enabled us to stay open during the lockdown.

Proudly CDC Engineering was able to offer support to the National Health Service based in Southend on Sea during the global pandemic by extending the accident and emergency bay at a local hospital in order to cope with the higher demands.

Although a negative impact has been encountered during the COVID19 pandemic and Brexit, CDC Engineering used the time to identify the weak areas within the business and improving them by restructuring the organisation and employing new staff, implementing digital marketing campaigns, and redeveloping new business prospects with a positive attitude.