Wednesday 25th March 2020 - 7th April 2020

With the current situation being one of no students in schools for the next 3 weeks, we spoke to our stocktakers today about how to tackle the situation when term 2 commences. My thoughts yesterday were that we just wouldn't go into schools with students in them anymore, once term 2 commences. There are less than 500 confirmed coronvira cases in Victoria today, 25th March 2020 - how many would it be by the start of term 2? However the PM spoke last night about many students not attending schools next term, and that those businesses that were able to work and employ people are essential. So we are using this time to plan for what we are going to be doing in term 2.

We are currently exploring the possibilities of working in the evenings, and having a 5 day week that always includes Saturdays and Sundays and has 2 weekdays off for the weekend. Weekdays and weekends are becomming more similar, and it also provides extra money to the stocktakers with the Saturday and Sunday rates and much needed taxes to the government. One possibility is that we can do areas of low risk where there are no students such as the maintenance sheds etc, and on the weekends the stocktakers can return to do the areas like classrooms which would normally have students in them. Similarly, some stocktakers could start their workday in schools from after school has finished for the day. We are looking at all of these possibilties and for those schools who have stocktakes booked in term 2, we will be in discussion with you about the possibilites closer to that time, again assuming schools will be open and they very well may not be by then.

Other than that, we are working very hard and making the most out of these holidays with no students in the schools. We are prepared for further tightening of restrictions to occur that mean schools are completely shut to any activity. At that point, our stocktakers will move to the admin work we have been generating from each stocktake we do.

As I have think I have done in nearly every previous post, I would like to reiterate our absolute and deepest thanks to you, all of the wonderful schools who have supported us at this time. I have had so many heart-warming conversations with Business Managers from many schools. The school community is helping to hold this country together at the moment in a world where the situation will get worse before it gets better. Not only are you providing a lifeline to small businesses like us, but you are also coping with trying to educate our children using unprecedented methods with next to no time to get it ready. Georgie and I have primary and secondary children at home with us while we work and our optimism we have is providing security to them as they watch the world around them change before their eyes in a very short space of time.

Finally as I have stated in earlier posts, when this crisis really started to take hold in the past few weeks, we committed to keep employing each and every one of our wonderful staff including all of our casuals for as long as we possibly can and we will all get through this. I have had staff members in tears worrying about their jobs, I have had staff members unselfishly offer to step down so that other more vulnerable employees can keep their jobs, it has just been an amazing display of humanity and an absolute priveledge to lead this fabulous and diverse group of people. It is my turn now to return the loyalty they have shown us over the years and provide some comfort to them which would have been impossible without you, the schools. We have already been able to do more stocktakes than I had planned for in the worst case scenario and we have more booked for the remainder for the holidays and tentatively into term 2 if the situation allows that. This, along with some government assistance for businesses and our own reserves will all help us get through a substantial period of no income for our business, if and when required. We have been planning in advance, and have a mountain of admin work piling up from our stocktakes which will help keep everyone employed including our amazing stocktakers on the front line for when they can no longer stocktake.

This will be our last update for a little while as we don't expect things to change a whole lot more in the next few days. More updates will be provided as details comes to hand.

Wes Stecher
Director at A for Assets

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