In March 2020, the world stood still as COVID-19 wreaked havoc around the world, with major cities implementing new lockdown measures in order to keep people inside and prevent the spread of the virus. These measures were extremely damaging for many industries, including high street retailers and the hospitality industry, as staff were forced to stay at home with encouragement from the government’s furlough scheme. Although some lockdown restrictions have been lifted since then, the damage is clear to see as mass redundancies are becoming more common and a number of businesses have been forced to close completely as the lack of footfall takes its toll. Some companies however have been forced to diversify and adapt to these new conditions, and Sessions UK is a great example of this.

Steps Taken by Sessions

Members of staff at Sessions UK have been able to carry on working throughout the pandemic, by isolating themselves within different parts of the building. During this time, the York-based labellers have produced an asthmatic inhaler test and labelling machine which is now in high demand. York Press recently covered this in an article they ran which you can find here. Another example of an innovative bottle labelling machine is the RC30. This labelling machine is designed and built by engineers at Sessions and allows for mass bottle labelling on products such as vials and test tubes. This is another Sessions product that has seen high demand, due to the sudden need for test tubes and vials by the pharmaceutical industry during the pandemic. Sessions UK are currently manufacturing three new RC30 tube labelling machines, because of the sudden demand for testing kits. Unlike machines such as the Bottle-Matic which labels and can print on your more conventional larger bottles, the RC30 labeller can process smaller vials at higher speeds. Its innovative products like these which have allowed Sessions to thrive during these challenging times. Unfortunately, some industries that rely more on the footfall of customers, such as the leisure industry, have not been able to adapt as successfully – and they are the ones that have felt the tough financial implications the most.

Future Planning

As the world adapts to this new way of life, more businesses are having to change and diversify to embrace the ‘new normal’ and survive. We now see one-way systems introduced in supermarkets, mask-wearing is now mandatory in shops and social distancing measures are in place everywhere. But in order for businesses to not only manage but thrive – they must be able to turn struggle into opportunity. Much like Sessions and their RC30 and Bottle-Matic labelling machines, being able to forecast what people will be needing in this new time is essential. In these unusual and often unpredictable times, we are seeing large corporations famous for specific products, focus their attention on household necessities. Companies such as Mercedes and Dyson, famous worldwide for cars and hoovers, have now turned their attention to producing hand soap – a product which was selling out at alarming rates at the start of the pandemic back in March.  Huge fashion retailers such as ASOS are now producing face masks, as face masks have become an everyday accessory such as the wallet or watch. The face masks are even modelled on their website as such. Your smaller local businesses such as Sessions must follow suit if they are to flourish in these strange times. With a second wave of infections being a real possibility, and with no vaccine yet available – time could be running out for some.