2bm entered 2020 full of optimism with a full order book plus a pipeline of other exciting opportunities, but then COVID-19 struck. Mark King, founder of 2bm, talks about how his company met the challenge head on.

January commenced with the build of a new data centre for ARM and, later the same month, saw 2bm design and build another new facility, this time for the Medical Research Council.

Within a matter of a few weeks, the scale of the COVID-19 virus started to take its toll. By March, the full impact of the pandemic struck and with it, a wave of uncertainty and economic slowdown.

Like most businesses, 2bm were unsure what the future had instore. Customers’ offices were closing, face-to-face interaction was non-existent and projects were put on hold. 2bm entered the technological revolution of engaging with clients via ‘Zoom’ and ‘Teams’ meetings.

Like any crisis, you can either bury your head and hope it doesn’t impact on your business too much or develop a strategy to overcome it. 2bm, known as a forward-thinking and positive organisation, bucked the trend and decided not to pause operations. Whilst many organisations decided to delay decision-making or mothball projects, we saw this as a time of great opportunity.

As well as finding new ways to keep our own teams busy, we introduced innovative processes in order to provide additional support for our customers. Afterall data centres don’t run themselves. We were now able to continue to offer our unrivalled support to our existing customers, a period which also saw us acquire new customers.

We felt we needed to show faith in the science to find a vaccine. Also in the British public to adhere to the rules to minimise the spread of the pandemic. Our strategy, which remains the same today, was based around the fact that businesses would have to learn to operate within the restrictions and knew that we could help them achieve this.

Towards the end of the second quarter we did experience a dip in revenue, which was of course concerning. However, we stuck to our principles and followed our strategy and continued to offer a level of support to our customers that we knew they had to receive if they were to emerge from the pandemic.

Like most companies, we embraced the furlough scheme for a time. However, in order to meet our goals, we knew this could not continue and towards the end of the third quarter new opportunities started to emerge.

Our principles of supporting our customers come what may, started to bear fruit and by maintaining visibility through our marketing campaigns, customers started to re-engage with us. In addition, projects that were previously postponed, began to come back on track as we helped customers move forward their work plans.

This period also saw new opportunities with new clients, one of which we are delighted to announce, has just been successfully completed and, despite the various lockdowns, delivered on time and on budget. Feedback around the level of support and technical knowledge we demonstrated, means we are well placed to provide service and advice on future projects.

Ongoing conversations with new clients about the future, reinforces the confidence the industry has in 2bm to deliver even the most challenging projects rapidly.

On a personal note, I am immensely proud of the work and effort that our staff and sub-contractors continue to demonstrate during these extremely challenging times. Reflected, from a financial perspective, in our year-on-year figures which show an increase in turnover of over 20% compared to the same period in 2019.

With the volume of data being generated rising month-on-month, the surprising statistic remains that less than 1% of all data collected gets used or analysed. Therefore, the potential for those businesses that can store and harness the power of data is huge, which can only mean a bright future lies ahead not only for 2bm, but the industry as a whole.

We look forward to 2021 and beyond and the opportunity to support new as well as existing clients on their respective journeys.