Riding the wave of demand

Victoria Brocklesby, COO at Origin, discusses how the company has supported its partners respond to the increase in demand over the last 18 months.

Over the entire pandemic period, more and more people have decided to renovate or update their homes.

For many, working from home has become the new normal, following long stretches of time doing so during lockdown. With this movement has come a desire to improve where they live, and now work, causing a surge in demand that the industry has been working flat out to accommodate.

One issue that comes hand-in-hand with an increase in demand, is a lack of materials. For many businesses, this has slowed down the production process dramatically. As more people order, the resources needed for projects get harder and harder to source.

The ‘pingdemic’ and the rise in Covid cases has also meant that there have been fewer factory workers available to actually manufacture the products. If a member of staff tested positive, those working around them would also have to isolate, slowing the production process down significantly. This is something Origin worked very hard to ensure never impacted delivery times for its partners.

The simplest way for us to overcome these staffing concerns was to adapt our processes and incorporate new social distancing measures. At Origin, we are aware that our partners are vital to us as a business, so we had to make sure we continued to deliver our ‘On Time, In Full’ promise, no matter the extenuating circumstances.

With this in mind, we introduced a new two-shift pattern in the factory, which guaranteed we could continue working at full capacity, even when others could not.

Being a British company has helped. We can maintain control of the entire production process, from sourcing and design all the way through to manufacturing and delivery of the product. Orders arriving as scheduled, on time, and finished to the highest standard is imperative to us and our partners, and having total control over every aspect of the journey ensures this happens every time.

Brexit also helped us prepare for the pandemic, as we had already considered so many of the possible outcomes in terms of demand and supply changes. We could deal with fluctuations in the market because we had already introduced major changes to futureproof our supply chain. We increased our stock levels significantly to ensure that no matter the situation, our partners would never miss an install day.

We also worked exceptionally hard to maintain and, in most cases, strengthen relationships with our suppliers. We invested in a new 55,000ft2 warehouse, The Ark, increasing our capacity by 82%, meaning we can store more materials than ever before.

We also scaled up our unique ordering system, OSS, to include more of our products. Partners can now create and make changes to projects in a matter of minutes at any time that suits them, freeing them of admin and allowing them to focus on completing ongoing projects and sourcing new business.

Making bold decisions early on meant that Origin was as futureproofed as possible as demand grew. This allowed our partners to operate to the shortest timeframes in the industry and be confident that their orders would arrive to them on time, in full, every time, no matter the increased demand.