In our last post, we wrote about our approach to the current Covid-19 situation and touched on the effect it has had on our business. In this post, a week further down the line, I wanted to share something about the importance of continuing to place emphasis on developing new ideas (and new technologies) even in hard times.

For a long time now, Alex and I have been developing a piece of new technology that will change the face of subsea inspection in the Oil and Gas, Renewables and Defence sectors. When something like this has been the focus of your working life, with everything striving towards a launch date, your mindset revolves around solving problems. In the current lockdown climate, with uncertainty over the future of many UK businesses, now more than ever a focus and emphasis on a creative, adaptable, problem-solving approach is critical.

We see it in all of the engineers and designers who are turning their minds and their equipment to the creation of new medical equipment and PPE to protect front line staff, or the manufacturing sector and its teams of workers rapidly adapting their skills and production lines to fabricate critical protective clothing or equipment to help the NHS prepare for the peak. The creative thinking and adaptability of these men and women and their businesses is one of the elements that are helping to keep the country moving, without it we would be in a much worse position.

At 1CSI, we know that our technology will change things in subsea inspection, making certain tasks faster, more cost effective, and deliver improved results. In our industry, operators and owners are highly responsible and as proactive as they can be, with inspection still going ahead where it is necessary. Even so, when the lockdown is lifted, the frequency and need will increase and we believe it is important, not just for our own business, that our new product is ready to deploy when that day comes so that businesses with subsea assets can get moving again.

As we have progressed from the design and engineering phase to the prototyping and manufacturing of the product we have come up against some significant challenges, but we have approached them with a determined, flexible mindset. Most recently, Covid-19 has had a profound impact on the business. Manufacturing and fabrication has ground to a halt in many European countries (for good reason) which, at our end of the chain, has meant that vital parts are delayed or have been shelved. In response, we focused our efforts on broadening our network and with some perseverance and a bit of luck, have found companies in other countries able to step in and help us with the short order parts that we need to keep going.

Business is not easy at the moment; the stakes are so high for all of us. Many of us are standing at the edge of a precipice, with our families, employees, suppliers beside us and a vast unknown ahead. Perhaps if we can hold together and keep moving forward, keep our minds open, keep thinking creatively and developing new ideas and technologies, keep looking for ways to overcome challenges and meet our objectives, perhaps when this has passed (because this too shall pass) we will still be moving forward, working more efficiently and effectively in a business sector that we can be proud of.