Since the scale of the impact of Covid-19 on the catering equipment industry and the wider catering and hospitality supply chain became apparent, CEDA has been working tirelessly to lead the industry through this unprecedented business period.
Its measures include funded HR support quickly put in place for its members, business guides, templates and documents produced and a cross-sector working group put together with FEA, Cedabond and ENSE to combine knowledge, resource and efforts in best representing and informing the sector.
Further to this supportive approach, CEDA quickly identified that members needed the opportunity to speak to one another, to discuss the challenges that they are currently experiencing, the actions that they have taken and how they see the future.
A Zoom video call with half a dozen members was piloted and proved to be valuable to those that took part. Subsequently, ‘Members Connected’, a series of video calls which brings together CEDA members to share experiences, current operations and future thoughts, has been launched. Two video calls took place last week, with two more scheduled for Tuesday 28 and Thursday 30 April. More will be added on a request basis.
CEDA already provides an e-learning platform for its members. This has been ramped up during the lockdown to include CEDA supplier sales and training webinars hosted by CEDA partners, and learning and education webinars by third party industry experts.
Adam Mason, director general at CEDA explained: “In these unprecedented times, a new approach was needed to enable the industry to continue to learn and develop. Whilst many businesses are facing uncertain operating conditions we feel it’s essential to continue to provide educational opportunities, as well as networking and pastoral support.”
Webinars and video meetings are quickly becoming a new way of doing business and for many in the sector, the opportunity they provide to connect with others is vital. Hobart UK hosted the first CEDA Supplier Webinar last week. Business development director Iain Munro said: “Hobart was pleased to have been given the opportunity to take part. There were 27 attendees and it was great to see so many member companies taking part.
“I counted over 16 CEDA member representatives, many of who may never have been through a full overview of the Hobart warewash, cooking and preparation product portfolios. To have managed to reach that many people at one event is really pleasing and a very cost effective way of presenting and we would welcome the opportunity to be involved in more.”
Further partner webinars are planned for this week with Liebherr, Mechline and Ramco all on the rota.
Completing the current program of CEDA webinars are a series of health and safety presentations by H&S consultant Tim Knowles. Uptake has been positive with at least 15 participants booked on each session.
Mason was pleased with the response, saying: “We’re keen to continue the learning, education and development of CEDA members, associates, partners and their staff at this time and to increase knowledge across the board. All webinars are free of charge to CEDA members and partners and we encourage all to take part.
“We need to come out of the Covid-19 pandemic on the other side with a supply chain still intact. These webinars are not only a positive way for furloughed workers to fill their time, but a tick in the box for personal and professional development which will benefit the industry at large.”
Full details of the webinar program can be found on the CEDA website. The schedule is updated on a weekly basis. Staff who have been furloughed can still take part in these learning, education and development activities.