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01 Jun 2021

Covid-19 – A Year in Review

- Written by AKW Ltd

One year since we reopened our doors…

On Monday 1st June 2020, AKW reopened for business having closed temporarily in April following the effects of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Today marks the one year anniversary of reopening, so we’re taking a moment to look back at the progress we have made in the last 12 months, in spite of the challenges presented by an unprecedented pandemic, Brexit and a global shipping crisis.

Our partnership with XPO Logistics

Upon our return last summer we partnered with worldwide logistics organisation, XPO.

As accessible bathroom and kitchen market leaders, we process hundreds of orders every day and are unable to do what we do without the support of our dedicated delivery fleet.

Since partnering with XPO, we have achieved industry-leading results, with 98.3% of deliveries arriving on time and in full, a feat we are so proud of given the events of the last year.

Consistent high stock levels

Despite the worldwide shipping challenges that are causing stock issues across the globe, we have managed to maintain high stock levels across our product ranges and work hard to minimise stock shortages.

Product development is full speed ahead!

In the last year we have made significant investment and worked hard to bring innovative products to market.

Last summer we added new colours to our Marlbrook collection of water-resistant, high-pressure laminate coated plywood wall panels, a cheaper, easy to install and low maintenance alternative to ceramic tiles.

We introduced our brand new range of vinyl safety flooring which has achieved the highest slip-resistance rating for barefoot users in wet and soapy conditions, making it perfect for use in bathrooms across care and domestic environments.

The AKW Bidet arrived last winter, offering a remote controlled, hygienic, non-permanent toileting solution that promotes dignity and independence for those who require a helping hand.

Our DSDC dementia accredited SmartCare Lever electric shower offers contemporary styling with an easy-to-use lever handle, as well as other useful care features. Now available with a care accessory kit which includes a load-bearing riser rail in three colours.

Developed alongside occupational therapists, local authorities and contractors, the Onyx Care Pod provides a future-proof shower cubicle complete with care accessories that is both stylish and highly functional.

Redesigned for 2021, our new range of Livenza Plus sanitaryware became available this spring and features a brand-new rimless toilet pan for increased hygiene as well as a fully compliant cistern.

At the beginning of spring we also introduced Beautiful Bathrooms by AKW, a brand new collection of stylish steel baths, panels, screens, chrome-finished taps and shower kits that have been designed to transform a variety of homes, no matter the space or budget.

If you think we’re slowing down after all this, then you better think again…

Virtual Care Festival 2020

In November, the organisers behind the OT Show and Care Show joined forces for the first time to deliver a two-day virtual event – Virtual Care Festival – where AKW was honoured to exhibit.

AKW also sponsored the Keynote theatre and delivered a well-attended seminar on ‘Equipment and Adaptations – Do Aesthetics Matter?’, which was expertly delivered by occupational therapist Emma Taylor.

We were thrilled to be a part of the festival and loved being able to virtually meet and talk to people about the great work we do at AKW.

Beautiful Bathrooms by AKW

After experiencing great success in the accessible bathrooms and kitchens market, in February 2021 we launched our brand-new range of steel baths for the general needs market, marking the beginning of an exciting period of change for AKW.

This contemporary collection of baths, panels, glass screens and brassware is the first of many which focuses on promoting not only the importance of functionality, but also the powerful impact that intelligently designed, beautiful spaces have on our well-being.

Following a triumphant launch, later this summer we will be proudly introducing our customers to Beautiful Showering by AKW, a celebration of everything we have achieved since our founding nearly four decades ago, which expertly showcases how the right bathroom can turn a house into a home.

AKW said goodbye to Ruth Ingledew

On Friday 14th May 2021, AKW Managing Director Ruth Ingledew officially left the business to begin her retirement.

Throughout her first tenure at AKW as Sales & Marketing Director, Ruth was instrumental in leading an exciting period of commercial growth for the business.

Since returning to the helm in March 2018 as MD, Ruth has again been pivotal in guiding AKW through the pandemic and laying the path for continual operational and commercial success.

Ruth leaves behind a lasting legacy and although we are incredibly sad to see her go, we are so grateful for her dedication and wish Ruth and husband Mark the very best of luck in the future.

We’re back on the road!

In lieu of face-to-face visits, last summer we adapted to the ‘new normal’ and introduced virtual meetings to help our team of regional Business Development Managers stay in touch with and update customers on our latest products and services.

Going forward, we are now offering a hybrid approach, with our team able to attend pre-arranged face-to-face visits which follow the latest Government guidelines to best preserve everybody’s safety, whilst offering virtual meetings for those working remotely or who would prefer to speak to us from a distance.

Even though the last year has been incredibly busy and not without its challenges, at AKW we are continuing to develop new, innovative products with many exciting projects in the pipeline, so keep an eye out to see what we do over the next 12 months..

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