Making good on all payments to suppliers has been a key priority of Quentin Stott of Reflex Gaming’s lockdown philosophy – second only to the safety of his staff.
Reflex Gaming director Quentin Stott has spoken of the importance of honourable business behaviour – with the company continuing to honour all payments to its suppliers despite the difficult trading environment.
In line with government guidelines, the Nottinghamshire-based games manufacturer, which was assimilated by national machine supplier Dransfields late last year, has closed down its factory in Newark, and furloughed many of its workers. But that hasn’t stopped the company’s development team from continuing to work on upcoming projects from the comfort of their own homes, nor has it meant that Reflex has left business partners in the lurch.
“Although Reflex’s income has been greatly reduced since lockdown, we have made it a priority to pay all our suppliers in line with standard payment terms,” Stott told Coinslot. “We are of the belief that this period of crisis is not a time simply to stop paying suppliers, providing you are able to, and that the way companies behave through this period will be remembered for a long time to come.”
In marked contrast meanwhile, Stott said that he was aware of some “extremely well-funded businesses” which had faltered on this front, and ceased meeting a number of important financial obligations – citing the lockdown by way of an excuse.
“Meanwhile, these same companies have been keen to highlight their charitable efforts in the press, in order to send out an entirely positive message,” he explained.
But whilst good business practice is of evident import to Reflex, Stott says that the number one priority for his company remains the health and well-being of staff.
“That’s been paramount to us from day one,” he remarked. “In fact, we actually started introducing working from home just prior to lockdown, and for our development and some finance and administration staff, this has proven to be very workable. Even once lockdown is lifted, we’ll be ensuring that social distancing measures are introduced into our working practices, via physical or demarked boundaries, and that both PPE and anti-virus cleaning products are available to all staff.”
And it’s just this kind of post-lockdown caution which Stott anticipates will bleed through to the player base, who he envisions are likely to “remain wary” of coins and notes for quite some time – given their hygiene implications. To that end, a silver-lining to the cloud of Covid-19 is that the recent introduction of Reflex’s contactless Game Payment Technology solution might well prove providential.
“The likes of Game Payment Technology facilitate cashless play on machines, which will be no doubt play an important role in any staged return to widespread machine play,” Stott remarked. “With the public more attuned to notes and coins as a carrier for microbes, it’s hard to imagine a future where these kind of tools aren’t seeing increased application.”
Quentin Stott Q&A: How to Reflex under lockdown
CS: How has it been adjusting to the “new normal” of life under lockdown?
QS: Well, working from home 100 percent of the time is a first for me. I do find it productive but very much miss the camaraderie and collaboration that I get from the Reflex office environment. Also, managing the initial process of furloughing of staff has been a slight challenge as it has all been done remotely. Under more normal circumstances, I’d be able to speak to people face-to-face and discuss any concerns with individuals directly. Some developers have remained working from home, but as their projects have come to a natural conclusion, they too have now been furloughed. Meanwhile, I’m attending a number of Bacta conference calls, from regular Mancom meetings, to focussed Covid-19 strategy calls. I’m also having daily calls with group colleagues and weekly Game Payment Technology update calls.
CS: Have there been any tangible, unexpected gains from the period of quarantine?
QS: As mentioned earlier, we have finished off new game developments, but equally, we’ve been using this unprecedented time to complete some developments that we simply haven’t had time to undertake under normal business operations. By the time we return to work, we will be able to put into action a number of these measures very quickly.
CS: How do you envision business returning once lockdown is lifted?
QS: The lockdown will not start for us until the venues we supply are able to open properly. So that means pubs, clubs, AGCs, FECs and bingo halls. Then operational businesses will have to do their bit, so for single-site operators that means re-floating the machines with cash and doing any machine maintenance works necessary. Only after this has been done and the income starts to flow through these venues, will Reflex be able to drive out new products.