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Highlight the Importance of Expert Logistics Partners

The Backing Britain 2020 Live events have provided some interesting insights from a wide variety of industry experts and one of the keynote speakers, Andrew Boothroyd, head of logistics, engineering and future solutions at McLaren, had some interesting points to raise on manufacturing and logistics challenges.

Andrew’s keynote speech discussed the ways in which manufacturers had to adapt during the Covid-19 pandemic and the critical nature of the speed of response, particularly for the Ventilator Challenge. He discussed how companies of all kinds had to work together to rise to the challenge of supplying ventilators for the National Health Service’s Covid-19 response, giving an example of a components manufacturer that had component production-ready to roll by Sunday evening, having only received the request on Saturday afternoon. The component manufacturer than ran a three-shift operation, adapting its usual routines and processes to provide the items needed within a short space of time, without compromising on quality and consistency.

As Andrew said during his speech, it’s all about responsiveness, which is a philosophy that lies at the heart of our business here at AIS Vanguard. Many of the challenges for manufacturers he discussed in his speech, around adapting production processes and layouts, were operational concerns that we were able to help with during the pandemic. And our expertise, safety planning, lifting capabilities, M&E resources and logistics provision mean that we are still busy helping manufacturers to adapt as their business changes and they respond to their own customers.

Andrew also shared the challenges that faced McLaren when the pandemic told hold across Asia and Australia just before the Australian Grand Prix. With people, equipment and vehicles stranded in Australia, supply chains halted due to lockdowns, and mission-critical parts needed urgently, working with a logistics partner that could rise to the unprecedented challenges was essential.

Although these circumstances are quite exceptional, moving assets across borders to time-critical deadlines is part of what AIS Vanguard does for clients on a routine basis. During the COVID-19 crisis, we have been involved a wide range of re-shoring and asset move projects and, once again, that work is ongoing.

In response to a delegate question, Andrew also touched upon the considerations that Brexit throws up for British manufacturers, with uncertainty around moving assets, exports, and imports of components or materials. His response was very clear: manufacturers will need to depend on logistics partners with proven expertise in customs and moving assets across borders. His advice was to allow logistics partners to support robust procedures and that’s exactly what we do for our customers. Our teams are able to co-ordinate the movement of assets with our customers’ operational and commercial requirements, factoring in local compliance and documentation, to ensure the movement of assets runs smoothly and to an agreed timeline.

It’s always interesting to hear the perspective of a leading manufacturer and we’re delighted to have had the opportunity to hear these insights from a leader that works for one of the UK’s most iconic manufacturing brands.

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How Crowdguard Technology is helping Social Distancing

A year since partnering with Crowdguard, the technology developed to deter terrorist attacks is now ensuring social distancing

This July marks one year since we began our partnership with Crowdguard, an innovative, award-winning surface guard product which ensures public safety against the threat of hostile vehicles. A short year ago however, we could not have foreseen how Crowdguard would become an important tool used by city centres in the fight against Covid-19.

Like many UK enterprises demonstrating adaptability since the onset of the pandemic, Crowdguard’s solutions are now employed for very different purpose than originally envisioned – namely, ensuring social distancing in pedestrianised zones within towns and cities.

If you’ve strode through a city centre in the UK during the past few months, you may very well have spotted the pedestrian and bike-friendly structures, and perhaps even passed through one yourself.

The permeable, temporary event security panels are modular and lightweight, and can be fitted securely to any type of road and space. These qualities, combined with the ability to raise and lower the barriers within 30 seconds for the passage of emergency vehicles, make them a flexible and effective tool for promoting social distancing and crowd control.

Amid a rise in walking and cycling by commuters in city centres including Manchester and London, the barriers will play an important role in helping consumers to feel safe and secure as they travel to work, shop or dine out.

Thus Crowdguard is helping local authorities to make the key changes quickly in support of safe movement within cities, measures which will be essential to economic recovery post-lockdown as high-street businesses across the country struggle to bounce back.

About Crowdguard

Founded by our CEO Matt and wife Deborah Ainscough, Crowdguard provides a market-leading solution in the field of Hostile Vehicle Mitigation (HVM), delivering effective products which benefit from innovative design, quality build and rigorous testing.

Crowdguard was developed in response to the growing threat to public safety posed by vehicle ramming attacks in the UK and Europe, such as the Westminster Bridge and Nice attacks, and is a practical measure put in place to protect crowded places and throughout the duration of celebratory events, considered by the government to be ‘soft targets’.

Matt said: “When Crowdguard was created in April 2019 in response to the risks posed from hostile vehicles at crowded events it was always the intention to use the skills and infrastructure of AIS Vanguard to facilitate the logistics of this critical equipment. 

“It’s been a busy time and following successful deployment at numerous public events Covid-19 hit in March and Crowdguard evolved to then assist in town and city centre attempts to create more pedestrianised space. 

“AIS and Crowdguard are both forward-thinking businesses aiming to offer the very best service to their respective clients and I look forward to seeing both businesses prosper together in the coming years.”