Summary (Updated 17/03/2020) The UK Government (and other European Governments) want to absolutely minimise social contact, yet
Covid-19 Service Continuity Statement
Summary (Updated 17/03/2020)
The UK Government (and other European Governments) want to absolutely minimise social contact, yet want businesses and the wider economy to continue to operate.
In order to protect our staff and to protect our business capacity to fulfil essential work we need to further minimise our staff’s attendance on clients’ sites by only attending for essential installation or service support work.
Our business continuity plans and financial reserves will enable us to operate a “business as usual” manner in all other respects to fulfil our commitments.
In accordance with UK Government advice, and further informed by close discussions with our Government clients, we have issued the following guidance to all our staff:
- Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
- Maximise your distance from any other person and never shake hands
- Avoid using Public Transport – especially those that are air conditioned
- Avoid public places
- Regularly wash hands for a minimum of 20 seconds with soap and water
- Use hand sanitiser if soap and water are not available
- Always wash your hands when you get home from work
- Catch your cough or sneeze in a tissue or sleeve (not your hands), bin the tissue and wash your hands
Minimise external face-to-face interaction
We recognise the importance of face-to-face meetings to ensure business requirements are clearly and accurately defined. Equally using all the available electronic media, at our disposal including video conferencing, we will strive to minimise face to face interaction with our clients, suppliers and other stakeholders. For example we cancelled a visit to a global industry exhibition & conference at the start of February to minimise the risk to employees and stakeholders alike.
To remove any financial disincentive from self-isolation, we will pay any member of staff at the full salary rate, who decides to self-isolate for the recommended 14 days period and in accordance with our company policies.
All staff have been issued their own lap-tops, including office workers who use desktop PCs, to enable them to work from home. The majority of business applications are hosted, and the limited number that are on-premises will be available via our diverse routing infrastructure.
Incoming phone calls into the Office will be routed to remote/home working staff to their lap-tops via soft codecs and bluetooth headsets.
We will continue to strive to respond to all requests in a timely, proactive and professional manner. If, or as when, our engineering resource is constrained due self-isolation and/or sickness then we start prioritising calls in the following manner:
a) Clients with formal maintenance contracts and
b) the service issues that are genuinely mission critical – as previously agreed
If our engineering capacity is significantly diminished then we may need to prioritise mission critical events with a view to wider society benefits.
To ensure that we can provide effective remote diagnostic support (to minimise the need for on-site attendance) we ask that:
i) A member of staff who understands the operation of the system and the service issue makes the service request so we can best understand and respond appropriately to the service request
ii) Where possible the Client provides internet connectivity to the system to enable us to remote-in* – where this has not already been provided
iii) To speed up resolution we require Client’s to provide a ‘smart pair of hands’ who with guidance from a remote engineer (e.g. using FaceTime) can swap out a suspected faulty item with a spare that is sent direct to site.
iv) Where on-site attendance is essential, we will require car parking to enable our engineers to avoid the use of public transport
Service Spares stock
We are in the process of increasing our stock of essential spare parts to support our service contract commitments, in advance of possible tightening of our supply chains.
Management of Force Majeure Risk
Some audio-visual equipment manufacturers have formally stated that they deem Covid-19 to be a force majeure event. However, in practice, with one or two exceptions we have yet to see major impact on product deliveries or quality.
Choice of Products
Where products do become unavailable, for either a limited or undefined period, we will contact our clients and will advise on the options available – based on relevant factors such as price, specification and/or lead-time. We provide our recommendations when presenting the options available.
We will strive to minimise any adverse cost impacts however we must reserve the right to pass on any such cost increases, arising from the exceptional circumstances Covid-19 has caused globally.
The above information was issued on 17th March 2020 and we will, in future, post the latest updates on our web-site (www.vp-av.co.uk).