Without doubt 2020 will be classed as a pivotal year in the history books, however 2021 may yet prove to be even more significant for business. The effects of the pandemic coupled with Brexit changes will continue to prove challenging for all of us, especially in the UK but we are a nation renowned for its innovation, resolve and determination. We are encouraged that our government has managed to agree a continuing free trade agreement with our European neighbours as well as new deals with numerous countries worldwide. Every challenge brings opportunities, how well we all take advantage of these will determine how quickly we recover and progress to bigger and better things.
In a year when virtually everything changed, we learned to do things differently and often better. Lessons learned over the past twelve months have made us stronger. Whilst the pandemic gave us many headaches, forcing us to adapt on a daily and hourly basis at times, we managed to maintain a high level of production to ensure minimum disruption to continuity of supply to our customers. All credit goes to our employees and management team for their outstanding efforts and commitment despite the dangers and difficulties.
At Velden, we were fortunate to have already upgraded our entire internal IT network infrastructure over previous years, including installation of ultra-high speed leased line internet and were already using cloud-based collaboration software including Office 365 and Microsoft Teams. Therefore, adapting to extended home-working proved a seamless transition and enabled us to avoid any disruption regarding key communications with our employees, customers and supply chain.
Despite Covid, we have been busy looking ahead and making plans for 2021. Undoubtedly, the first part of the year will be difficult as the latest wave of Covid rages, however, the good news regarding the approved vaccines, including the British developed Oxford version, offers the promise that the worst of it will be over by the Summer. We can all look forward to going out and making the most of being free once again and the significant boost to the economy, that this will no doubt bring.
Whilst many would have preferred to remain within the European Community, Brexit also offers the prospect of a strengthened British Manufacturing Industry and at Velden, we are well positioned to take advantage of any upturn. A range of updates have been put in place to our procedures and software to fully support new rules for export. We aim to continue our 5S mission and our Industry 4.0 Manufacturing and Quality Hub will be completed early this year, allowing communication and information within our smart factory to flow and to be further enhanced. Our three storey, heritage, industrial, former cotton mill is having a face lift. Brand new, energy efficient windows are being fitted to restore the distinctive character of the building and to revive its historic integrity. Further refurbishment is to carry on ahead of our planned new administration offices. Our packing and verification section has been moved and extended to a new position to improve the flow of goods to despatch and it also houses two brand new, bespoke, digital and fully integrated packing benches to further accelerate the packing process.
Going forward into 2021, we have an extremely positive order book, we welcome new customers and aim to expand further into greener industries. We are embracing 2021 with optimism and look forward to continuing to work alongside you to grow the business. We wish you all a successful, positive and safe year ahead.