With the current reports in the media surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the requests that we have received relating to action plans as a business, we have decided to release the below statement -
We are closely monitoring the guidance from the UK Government and the World Health Organisation.
We are continuing to follow existing risk assessments with regards to safe systems of work. There is no perceived increase in risk for handling post or freight from specified areas. ‘’The likelihood of an infected person contaminating commercial goods is low and the risk of catching the virus that causes COVID-19 from a package that has been moved, traveled, and exposed to different conditions and temperatures is also low.’’ Whilst we do not directly import, some of our manufacturers do whether that be product or components.
With regards to stock holding issues, currently we have plenty of stock at current run rates, as do our manufacturers. There may become a time where these levels are depleted, but we will always aim to communicate this with our customers. Some manufacturers have advised that factories in the far east are slowly opening and operating with skeleton staff, meaning that goods and back orders are slowly being fulfilled. Generally, manufacturers hold and place orders 3 months in advance, to avoid stock shortages. We of course cannot guarantee that there will not be an impact on stock, as we cannot be sure how long factories will remain on lockdown, as there have been extensions over the last couple of months.
Addendum 18/03/2020With the rapid developments surrounding COVID-19, we are updating our internal processes and procedures accordingly. Effective as of 16th March 2020 and with the health and safety of our employees and customers at the forefront, we have put the following in place –- Office. We have put in place stringent cleaning regimes which are carried out throughout the day on all surfaces/handles/shared areas, etc.- Meetings. We are no longer holding meetings onsite or visiting supplier/customer sites. All meetings will be held by telephone for the foreseeable future. - Staff. All staff have been briefed on hand hygiene and best practice relating to social distancing and are following these rules. We are currently fully staffed internally at our offices.- Collections. We are still accepting customer collections at our premises but these are by appointment only. Visitors will have to adhere to hand hygiene policies and areas will be sanitized on departure.With the UK Government allowing businesses to remain open at this time, we are utilising this time to ensure customers’ orders are fulfilled and despatched as quickly and efficiently as possible.Currently, stock and manufactured stock is not an issue. At this stage, we are confident with our stock holding along with stock available from manufacturers warehouses. Business is obviously dependant on the courier network along with end user sites allowing access to their premises. If we are delivering to a site address, we would highly recommend that this is checked before committing to delivering. We are in regular communications with our courier DPD Local who have advised at this time, business throughout the UK has not been affected and normal practice on failed/carded deliveries will apply. Our Business Continuity Plan will remain the focus in the coming days and weeks. We would like to reassure you that we do have measures in place should the situation change drastically, of which you will be kept informed of.We will continue to monitor the situation closely and will update this notice should there be any changes.
Whilst monitoring the situation closely and maintaining business continuity, we have taken the decision to limit the amount of staff onsite. We will be working with skeleton staff effective 23rd March until further notice.
Staff will be on weekly working patterns over all departments to ensure our service levels are maintained along with being extremely mindful of social distancing. Senior Management will be contactable and onsite at all times, unless the situation develops further, in which case further steps can be put in place.
We are no longer allowing customers to enter the premises for collections. We will be asking customers to wait in their vehicles so that goods can be loaded for them.
Our main aim is to ensure the health and safety of all staff along with their families and of course customers, suppliers and their families too. We are still very much committed to providing the same service and flexibility to the industry until we are told otherwise.
Of course if things change over the coming days and weeks, we will notify you accordingly.