As the holiday season and new year approaches it is not unusual to reflect on the year and consider the challenges we have faced, wondering what’s next and crucially, looking ahead. Last December I talked about how we were adapting, deep down hoping that it was all just temporary as we waited patiently for things to return to normal.
Twelve months on it is clear that “normal” is anything but. We have all learnt many new terms, Lateral Flow and PCR, Passenger Locator Forms, social distancing, masks, Astra Zeneca and Pfizer and now we are all learning the Greek alphabet, especially the 15th letter, “Omicron”.
What is now normal is “Coronavirus” and the distressing statistics which have become so commonplace that their impact too has sadly become “normal”.
Here at HMi Elements, as the workforce became fully vaccinated we eased off a little, but continue with sensible social distancing, regular lateral flow testing and daily temperature tests. Our caution has paid off and apart from a few false alarms there have been no serious cases.
That has allowed us to continue meeting our customer’s needs, manufacturing and delivering product in a timely manner as possible. The first “next what” has been the worldwide shortage of materials, especially anything that uses silicon, all well publicised, we are not immune. Our purchasing colleagues have their work cut out scouring the world for components with some success. All the same it does look like lead times over the coming months are likely to become extended.
Whilst all that is happening, demand for oil has been increasing, as have prices and the rig count, all of which has stimulated demand for our products, resulting in a year end that will be more or less on target. And we’re happy to report, a very healthy order book for 2022.
As ever I am grateful to all of you, especially our customers, who have shared the pain with us and have been the first to help when possible. Not to mention all the staff here in Malton and in Houston, who have worked tirelessly to see us through to another year, one that right now looks very exciting for HMi Elements.
Wishing you a very happy holiday season and great 2022