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Farmers, food manufacturers, haulage companies, and emergency services across Great Britain rely on GB Lubricants to deliver on time, no matter what, and now, more than ever before in its 140 year history, the company has proved that it can do it, against the odds. 

“We’ve maintained a full nationwide delivery service throughout the coronavirus crisis, and achieved 100% On Time In Full (OTIF) deliveries in May which is remarkable,” says managing director, Paul Booth.

“We take a lot of pride out of the fact that so many of our customers are essential businesses, and their important roles have been rightly highlighted in recent months. GB Lubricants played a small, but vital part in this supply chain when it was most needed.”

Despite significant changes to their operating model to implement and maintain COVID-secure workplace practices, as well as a temporary reduction in staffing levels due to furlough and disruption to their supply chain, progress at GB Lubricants hasn’t been halted. 

A new heavy duty fuel-efficient diesel oil, Unimot® Synth 7 5W-30, was launched in July to pass on savings to customers in the commercial sector, and sales volumes have not only recovered from the short-term dip experienced during lockdown, they have done so ahead of schedule and exceed pre-coronavirus growth targets. 

“The business has held up very well,” says Paul, who always had a plan A, B, C and D when the situation changed rapidly in the early months of the pandemic.

“Many of the measures we had in place to spread risk in the business ahead of Brexit were stress tested – not in the circumstances we would have liked, or anybody could have envisaged, but I’d like to think we got most decisions right.”

To further protect the business, sales executive Lorraine Smith developed and implemented a COVID-19 strategy for her corporate social media channels. 

“I thought it very important to keep the GB Lubricants name out there, and to advise our customers that we were still able to supply them with the product that they needed,” says Lorraine, who believes the increased presence she has gained on social media has helped to promote the company’s services to potential customers.  

“I have gained new business, and by learning to adapt to this new way of working I’ll be changing the way I work going forward. As much as face-to-face visits are a big part of my role, lockdown has shown that in order to grow and maintain business, I don’t have to travel hundreds of miles every week to interact with my customers. To keep in touch with them going forward it will be a balance of face-to-face visits and digital communication. I think we will all find a new way of working which will be more productive for the customers and GB Lubricants.”

Further emphasising the power of social media, the unyielding determination and sense of solidarity that the GB Lubricants family has displayed during the coronavirus crisis was captured in an image taken as part of the #thankyouthursday Clap for Carers movement.

The photograph, of twenty-two green GB Lubricants barrels arranged in the shape of a heart in front of a lorry, has become a defining symbol of both the company’s respect and gratitude for the NHS and key workers, and their own conviction to keep going – because the nation’s infrastructure depends on it. 

“We wanted to stand up and say thank you to all of those amazing people,” says Paul, who has made a point to personally welcome each member of staff back from furlough. 

“Many of my staff have had traumas to cope with in the past few months, and you cannot help but become involved in each other’s lives. I lost a member of my immediate family, not directly to Covid, but that aspect made the situation much more complex. I needed the team more than ever to pull together.”

“We will have to adapt and live with the ongoing implications of the coronavirus crisis, not just as a business, but as society. There are a lot of exciting things I want us to be doing over the next five years and I am confident in the GB Lubricants family’s ability to achieve them."

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