First, I hope all our readers are well. And that your businesses are functioning as effectively as possible in these unprecedented times.
Many of you will be working in unusual circumstances. That probably entails trying to set up a temporary home office if you don’t have one already. And getting to grips with virtual meeting software. At the end of March, Microsoft Teams hit 44 million daily active global users ( a rise of 37%) as the world turned to alternative ways of communicating at a distance.
You may also be reading the digital issue of MBS this month, rather than the hard copy. We have seen an uplift in people accessing the magazine online and from mobiles. We hope you enjoy the features the digital issue offers – we’ve made it easy to share articles with colleagues and to bookmark important pages.
This month we are looking at how packaged plant, prefabricated plant rooms and new jointing methods are being adopted. The sector has been a little slow to move towards these approaches because it tends to be cautious and risk-averse. But packaged plant has been developed by manufacturers for many years now, so the risk is draining away. In fact, with better conditions for prefabrication and the availability of factory testing, having your plant room delivered ready-to-use seems like the smart approach.
Of course, that does involve planning ahead and ensuring that everyone is involved in the discussions about client requirements as early as possible. I suspect that’s one of the things that holds people back.
But I do wonder if, having faced major changes that are enforced on it, the industry might be more willing to try new approaches in future. If virtual meetings are being made to work in these circumstances, why not use the technology to take the industry forward? Can we be less reluctant to try what’s different and embrace the ‘new’?
It has been a disorienting time for most of us. It seems that in January we were all working out how to deal with the implications of Brexit. And only weeks later the dreadful trail of Coronavirus was heading our way across the world.
What happens in the far flung reaches of the world is no longer someone else’s problem. When this crisis is over, we could take that lesson forward too, as we deal with the bigger issue of climate change. What we do here affects someone far away, for better or worse.