COVID – 19 SERVICE IMPACT ALERT
14 April 2020
As we enter the fourth week of UK Government restrictions we wish to highlight some of the key changes made to our operating procedures, introduced as part of our contingency arrangements and designed to protect our staff, our couriers and our customers, whilst maintaining effective front line services.
Our core services have continued to operate strongly throughout the period of restrictions and with our contingency measures in place, we have full confidence that we can maintain all services to our customers across the entire network, no matter how long the restrictions may continue to be applied. So how are the restrictions affecting services and how are Rico Logistics and Circle Express managing services through the restrictions?
Operational staffing levels – We have experienced outbreaks of illness with symptoms of Covid-19 and absences from self-isolation where family members fall ill, in various parts of the UK network, whilst some other team members have returned to work following illness. Where absences have occurred, other members of the team have covered front line services and there has been no material disruption to our services.
Staff safety – we have dispersed our teams insofar as we are able to reduce risk, with more of our people working from home where possible. Where our teams continue to work at our network sites, we have taken steps to reinforce social-distancing wherever possible. We have worked to ensure that our teams have access to PPE, with increased bulk purchasing of supplies completed.
Front line driver resource – Our national network of Couriers, Techs, and Drivers have continued to operate throughout the period of restrictions. Although we have experienced levels of absence through illness or self-isolation in various parts of the network, there has been no material impact to services as demand for service from those of our customers who have closed has meant that we can concentrate our resources on customers supporting critical infrastructure and essential services. We continue to maintain good capacity across the network and are able to respond to customer requests to support even large scale projects.
Changed operating protocols
We have implemented a number of new protocols during the period of restrictions, to protect our people and our customers, as well as comply with Government restrictions.
• Rather than waiting at FSL locations, our couriers are remaining at home until required to ensure their travel is only for essential purposes (i.e. to service a confirmed job booking). This may result in some delay for occasional job bookings.
• New protocols for counter services at FSL’S and PUDO’S have been implemented for the safety of our teams and customers visiting our sites, with couriers and engineers served one at a time at counters to ensure social distancing is observed within the FSL environment.
• Where a courier is collecting from an FSL, some delays may occur to a sameday job because of the new counter protocols implemented.
• Our front line Couriers, Techs and Drivers have adopted a ‘no contact and social distancing’ protocol when undertaking collection and deliveries, consistent with guidelines published by the Government. This means that we are not able to obtain a customer signature on a mobile device or paperwork. However, we will continue to obtain the name of the recipient upon delivery and enter this as the POD and add the words ‘Covid-19’ in the signature portion of the app to indicate that delivery has been completed under the no contact and social distancing protocol.
• Any individual jobs delayed because of these factors will be updated as, ’Delay in collection due to Covid-19 protocols’
Internal communications – our network teams file a report at the start of each day to highlight any issues that have arisen overnight or at the start of the day, whilst our line managers continue to communicate with our teams throughout the day, to ensure our teams remain safe and service to our customers continues to be delivered to the highest possible standard.
The Rico Logistics and Circle Express senior management team conduct virtual meetings daily to review service impacts, progress contingency actions and assess the effectiveness of contingency actions. The senior management project team also agree new contingencies to mitigate any new or emerging risk. This allows us to react quickly where needed, to ensure rapid decisions to protect our people, our customers and the services we provide to you.
Customer communications – we have launched the Covid-19 contingency customer communication program to ensure we keep our customers informed. We will inform you of any issues that may arise as a potential risk to service in a particular area and tell you what action(s) we have taken to mitigate such risks.
As all UK businesses adapt to new challenges, with new ways of working designed to maintain as near normal service as possible, our communication program will ensure that we keep you updated in as near to real time as possible, allowing you to keep your customers informed of any new developments each day as they arise. Please note that if a communication update is not issued on a particular day, this will be because we have no material updates to provide.
The Covid-19 contingency communication program will continue to operate until Government restrictions have been lifted.
Rico assistance with your Covid-19 contingency plans
Our service and operational teams are currently supporting a number of our customers with Covid-19 related contingency arrangements, utilising our wide range of divisional services. With capacity available across all network services, we stand ready to assist and support you to deliver contingency or recovery projects where required. Click the banner at the top of this message to link through to our teams. (Cannot see the banner? – Right click the image box in this message, then click to ‘download images’ to see the banner and click to access the service solutions team)
We will continue to keep customers informed of any individual job delays through the normal channels and will issue general updates on any further impacts to front line resource as they occur.
The safety and well-being of our staff, partners, contractors and customers remain our priority during this difficult time and we will continue to work with you to preserve our services wherever possible. Further periodic updates will be issued as the situation changes.
Rico remains committed to providing our services, however, with front line resources being affected and the situation developing on a day by day basis we may not always be able to meet your expectations. We will endeavour to keep your business updated with any impact to service levels and estimated delivery times on a job by job basis. If you have specific concerns please do not hesitate to contact your Account Manager or local Branch team for further local information.