Bates Office Services, based in Rochester, Kent, has diversified its business model to support healthcare services throughout COVID-19, having received a £3 million increase to its invoice finance facility from HSBC UK.
Bates Office Services has been supplying UK businesses, including the NHS, BBC Studios and public sector procurement services, with office supplies and services since 1982. As the coronavirus pandemic caused a surge in demand for vital Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), the company completely shifted its business model to support the healthcare industry throughout the crisis.
The enhanced financial support from HSBC UK has allowed the company to quickly secure gowns, gloves, masks and hand sanitiser and meet urgent requests from NHS Trusts, local authorities and private sector businesses. Supporting both existing and many new clients, 85 per cent of the business’s sales are now of PPE.
The company is now beginning to take orders from offices preparing to return to work once the Government restrictions are lifted. Whilst it expects PPE and hand sanitiser sales to decrease as the UK moves out of the pandemic, Bates will look to implement its newly expanded business model permanently, continuing to support healthcare providers both with PPE and traditional office supplies going forward.
Jacki Edmonds, Director at Bates Office Services, said, “as soon as we were approached by our NHS Trust clients, we were determined to do anything possible to provide the tools they needed to stay safe at work. Over 70 per cent of our usual sales are general office supplies, so this was a huge shift for us. We’ve been working around the clock to secure PPE and deliver it as quickly as possible to help protect our wonderful nurses, doctors and carers. This wouldn’t have been possible without the financial support from HSBC UK. We’re extremely grateful to the team for processing our funding request quickly, which has not only enabled us to support the NHS but also helped keep the business trading throughout COVID-19, keeping our employees’ jobs secure.”
Having experienced first-hand the importance of supporting the healthcare industry at this time, the Bates team has also been providing voluntary services to hospitals by helping transport vital equipment and collect confidential waste free of charge.
Victoria Ritchie, Area Director for London City MME, HSBC UK added, “Bates Office Services has shown incredible dedication and ingenuity in a time of great uncertainty for businesses. When our team was approached by Jacki for additional support, we were inspired by their dedication to supporting the NHS. We fast-tracked their request and were able to approve the invoice facility increase within four hours, ensuring the team could respond to the thousands of requests for PPE as quickly as possible. We applaud the company for their work during this time and look forward to continuing our longstanding relationship with them going forward.”