COVID-19 – Challenges and Considerations

Apr 2020

Who could ever have expected a challenge of this magnitude would be felt globally. Few businesses could have prepared for such an event and certainly questions are undoubtedly being asked of Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery plans.

But we are here now and as a business that has always worked in close partnership with clients, we have tried to address some of the challenges we have seen and provide simple work arounds, effective and risk adverse solutions, and above all, continuity of our core services and supply chain.

Responsible operational decisions:

We took quick and decisive action at the start of the crisis and moved the majority of staff to home working with minimal disruption. Our systems are adept for remote access and our management team utilise a number of video conference tools to maintain the daily team communications extremely effectively.

Our warehouse and logistics operations were reduced to an effective split shift which enabled us to observe social distancing advice whilst maintaining service to our clients. Daily contact with all our key supply chain keeps us fully aware of their capacity along with any restrictions or difficulties they may be experiencing.  

Client focus: How we view the challenges and how we can support

As an experienced team who are viewed by many clients as a ‘safe pair of hands’, we felt that now was the time to draw on our knowledge, partners, technology and facilities to support our clients with an innovative approach spanning a number of key operational challenges.

We viewed this as three fundamental areas:

1. Now

2. Return

3. Future planning for BAU activity

For each area we highlighted how we view the requirements and what we feel is the best approach, product, solution, etc. to bring the desired outcome.

The key part of this was to ensure:

      • Remote / virtual deployment
      • Speed & ease, minimal disruption, maximum support
      • Risk averse, secure, robust
      • Transparent price structure
      • Remain within the market that we have clear proven ability

Now

With the majority of clients seeing staff move to remote working, we saw the key areas likely to be compromised as:

Return

Whilst many employees have now settled into remote working, Facilities Managers and operational departments will be planning for the eventual return to the workplace. Current thinking is that many will opt for a phased return, with flexible working hours and ‘split shifts’ to avoid rush hour crowds and to aid in social distancing.

Our immediate thoughts focused on:

      • Coronavirus advisory signage to maintain awareness and prevent the spread. This can be done in a variety of ways but our key point to clients is ‘do it now’ and avoid the supply bottle neck anticipated in the coming weeks. – Click here to view the cdl Workplace COVID-19 Signage Guide
      • Logistic support for remote working – With many staff still destined to remain remote working during a phased return, we are supporting clients with additional storage and distribution services for a range of items from electrical goods to stationery items. This is being supported by our online portal which ensures that a full audit trail, approval process and inventory management is provided.

Future Planning for BAU Activity

No one can predict the coming months, when ‘business as usual’ will return and markets will recover.

We should anticipate the potential changes within the supply chain and where possible we will be working closely with our clients on future campaigns, projects etc. This will be important especially for volume or specialist production needs as booking in work as soon as possible will hold a production slot, even without full timings being known.

It would be reasonable to assume that the second half of the year (we hope) will be seen as a chance to recover for many businesses and therefore activity may become quite consolidated and manufacturing bottle necks the norm, especially on specialist and popular lines.

The unprecedented countrywide ‘remote working’ experience may throw up some new considerations for how businesses adopt this going forward. Already we hear many speaking of the ‘success’ of remote working and, whether part time or full time, it will clearly become a topic for many board rooms. – Click here to read more out our Remote Workers Logistics solution and to find out how we can provide cloud based solutions, regardless of where you are.

Clearly much has been learnt from the past few weeks and indeed more will come in the months ahead, but our thoughts will continue to pursue versatile services and solutions that in their structure incorporate a sound Business Continuity element. Having these in place at cdl has protected many of our clients but we can take this further by providing industry specific advice to answer the questions and operational requirements that will undoubtedly come up and need addressing.

As a trusted partner to our clients, we will endeavour to share with you our experiences and changes in thought and approach, both in the supply chain and within various client sectors.

If you would like to find out more about any of the topics raised in this post please contact the cdl Business Development Team on 01732 447 320 or email 

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