Tuesday Evening 24th March 2020

Today was the first day of no students in schools which is a bit of a relief for our stocktakers. I asked them how they are feeling about doing stocktakes in schools with students present. We have a large school booked early in term 2 with a large student population in a relatively small space with multiple levels. I was worried for the stocktakers having to do a school like that with students present and said that I think we should consider not doing stocktakes in schools like that if the students are present.

I have since heard the PM speak tonight and the news is that he would like to keep schools open in term 2, and he is having a meeting about it on the next day to decide what that would look like. He said that there will be many students at home which will make it easier to enable social distancing, and that schools being open would provide a better outcome to the community than having them closed, when everything is weighed up. The PM also mentioned that essential services right now include everyone with a job, so we are going to be working very hard to keep doing stocktakes around the challenges that exist. Quite aside from helping keep people employed, it will also be appealing for schools to have already had their stocktake ticked off by the time things come back to normal. For schools it will be a very busy time and one less thing for them to worry about.

We will wait and see what unfolds and what the situation is towards the end of the holidays before forming a plan of what we will do in term 2, assuming that we are able to do anything at all. We are looking at every possible option including one suggested by my wife Georgie, of doing stocktakes in schools on weekends and/or evenings when students are not present at all. This is not something we would ever normally contemplate, however it is not normal times and this might just be one of the possible options that could overcome the challenges and negate risks.

So that is where we are at this evening. We are feeling that there may be a possibility of continuing stocktakes in term 2, however we are still planning for the worst case scenario of not being able to work in schools at all for a while should that occur, so we are still keeping a large amount of admin work ready to do so that we can keep our stocktakers in work in the event of a total stoppage. Just on that, we will be sending our emails to those of you who are due for your stocktake from July to December 2020 and requesting your rooms data. We are going to get your rooms all done in advance as they will need to be done anyway before the stocktake and this is something our employees can do from home. Note that this does not commit you for a stocktake and we may ending up doing a couple of room updates where we don't end up doing the stocktake, but that's a small price to pay. This all helps to keep people working and paying taxes and the country needs as many of those people as possible.

As ever, I thank you so much for your support at this time. I can't tell you how much it means to all of our staff that we employ, because it is giving them hope that we can all get through this. We employ staff who are in their 60s and are feeling vulnerable, one of our stocktakers is having a baby, these are real people that your support is helping to make a difference with. It is an ambitious goal to keep every single one of our staff as well as try and work around the issues of getting the physical part of the stocktakes done with minimal risk of infection - but it is being acheived thanks to you wonderful schools out there who are supporting businesses at this time like us.

More updates will be provided as details comes to hand.

Wes Stecher
Director at A for Assets

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