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01 May 2020 4 min read

Covid-19: A smart match – creating a new cross-industry partnership to support the national crisis

Anya Davis

Anya Davis
Partner | Energy, utilities and resources | London

Baringa has a long history of working in the energy sector and supporting many of the world’s largest energy suppliers. In the UK, for example, we continue to play a critical role in the smart meter roll-out programme. As Covid-19 started to unfold, we recognised that due to social distancing there was a good chance that the smart roll-out activities would be halted, and energy suppliers would need to consider alternative operational strategies for the thousands of field operatives deployed across the country. At the same time, news stories about the logistical challenges of distributing food and medicines across the UK’s network of retail outlets and directly to vulnerable consumers emerged. 

Playing Cupid 

We had an idea. Over the past four years we have built a consumer products and retail practice, working with major global clients, and have also recently launched our Pharma practice. With that in mind, we undertook a rapid exercise of ‘cross-sector matchmaking’ to see whether the smart-meter field forces could be leveraged to support the national Covid-19 effort. We reached out across our energy network to test the appetite for redeployment of their smart-meter resources. In parallel, we managed a series of bilateral discussions with grocery retailers and health and pharmaceutical providers – industries we anticipated would have increasing demand and a probable shortfall in capacity.  

The perfect match 

We connected Boots with EDF Energy, and EDF’s Energy field force that is stationed up and down the country now delivers medicine to vulnerable customers. We are delighted to see the partnership live and the outcomes it is delivering for vulnerable or isolated people across the UK. You can read more about it here: Delivering essential medicine to the most vulnerable 

Baringa continues to work directly with government and a variety of sectors as we all adjust to a new normal. We’re proud to partner with our clients through this challenging period and support the development of strategies to operate in a Covid-19 world. 

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