It is difficult to find the words to sum up 2020. Globally, we reflect on the past 12 months in an almost state of shock as the damage of COVID-19 continues to impact countless families, livelihoods and businesses. Although hope, in the form of a vaccine, shines brightly as we look to the new year.
Here at Zip Water, we can only consider how fortunate we are to have weathered the storm. The business remains buoyant and all our staff and families remain well. This is only the case thanks to the enormous effort and commitment from all of our employees - from product developers and the leadership team through to the field service and customer experience teams. The term ‘dream team’ definitely comes to mind.
It is important to acknowledge the year’s positives and successes. Despite difficult and saddening circumstances, this year is not without its stand-out highlights and we have shared our top five below.
The mammoth team effort as COVID-19 brought the UK to a standstill
No amount of pandemic dramatisations could have prepared us for the impact of COVID-19. As lockdown commenced our team worked tirelessly to provide customers with the information and support they needed. This included sharing guides on how to prepare your Zip systems for a period of non-use, through to prioritising service appointments for essential workplaces and healthcare facilities. You can follow our COVID-19 news and updates here.
We were also proud to be able to deliver essential products to NHS Nightingale hospitals. The Birmingham Nightingale Hospital required the prompt same-day delivery and installation of hospital grade hand washing equipment to be able to open the facility. With just a six hour window to achieve this - and with the Zip UK office located 150 miles from Birmingham - it took a mammoth effort to meet the deadline. Read more here.
Catch up with video messages from our HydroCare team and sales team.
Keeping spirits high despite adversity
2020 has put a strain on the health and wellbeing of many. The team here at Zip banded together to keep spirits high and camaraderie strong.
Weekly Zoom quizzes brought everyone together and the viral ‘tea bag challenge’ saw us practicing our aim. It got competitive, but I don’t think anyone has yet achieved the much lauded ‘hole-in-one’.
Head over to LinkedIn to see what the team has been up to.
The record-speed product innovations that met the new needs of our customers
In October we launched our brand-new HydroTap Touch Free Wave, which provides a 100% touch free solution for the delivery of boiling chilled and sparkling water.
Smart infrared sensors detect hand movements when in a 1.5 - 5cm range of the tap, with water flow stopping immediately once the hand is moved away. The tap also features a contactless safety lock for the delivery of boiling water. Boiling water is only dispensed once two of the four sensors are engaged, activated by cupping a hand around the back of the tap.
This innovative new product, the latest to join our flagship HydroTap range, came to fruition in a record six months of development; something that would usually take around three years to bring to market.
With an increased consideration around hygiene in the workplace in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we continue to be part of the solution in helping bring employees back to work safely. Discover more of our recent touch-free innovations here.
The local award nominations in our ‘home’ region
We were absolutely thrilled to be selected as a finalist for both the Tech Innovator and Customer Care categories in the 2020 Norfolk Business Awards. Operating from our Dereham base since 1991, we’ve grown to a team of over 250 employees who are dedicated to providing our customers with world class products and services through our culture of continuous improvement.
Customer care was our number one priority this year and it is wonderful to have this effort recognised by our local business community. On top of this, as market leaders, it’s our mission to always offer our customers the very latest technology and cutting-edge innovation.
This goes hand in hand with the exciting opening of our brand new head office in Dereham, boasting some fantastic new facilities for the team.
The webinar that helped facility managers prioritise wellbeing in COVID-secure workplaces
In November we organised a webinar with Facilities Management Journal, titled Prioritising wellbeing in a COVID-secure workplace. The expert panel, including figures from Sodexo, Howard Kennedy LLP, Landsec and Knight Frank, discussed the latest technology and innovations that will help workforces return to their facilities and keep communal spaces - such as the integral office kitchen - safe for use.
You can catch up with the webinar here.
We are looking forward to a new year filled with renewed promise, a sentiment we are sure many share with us. We are here ready to support you in the safe return to the workplace, whatever the next few months bring.
We want to take this opportunity to thank all of our customers and wider business network for their support and encouragement this year. We look forward to working with you closely in the next.
Lastly, we want to express our condolences to all who have lost someone or something important this year. Our hearts go out to you and we hope 2021 has much brighter days ahead.