COVID – 19 SERVICE IMPACT ALERT
28 April 2020
As we navigate through week 6 of the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, we want to provide an overview of how we are operating during this period. Rico and Circle Express have needed to adapt the way we deliver our services to customers, like all other UK businesses. The changes to how we are delivering our services are to ensure the safety of our teams and of our customers and to follow the guidance issued by the Government.
However, despite the changes to the way that our services are delivered, we have continued to maintain all services to a high standard and have full confidence that we will continue to do so whilst the restrictions remain in place.
Social distancing measures
– were implemented at an early juncture within our business to protect our teams with actions such as;
• A large number of additional laptops were sourced, configured and issued to those team members able to perform their work from home.
• We made changes to office workstations to move them further apart where this was possible.
• Where we had large numbers of people working in a team, we changed shift patterns to reduce the number of people in open plan locations where feasible and moved some team members to alternative offices.
• We sourced and distributed additional PPE to our people, from UK and Far East suppliers and set up a dedicated distribution centre in the North to manage PPE inventory.
Levels of absence in our teams resulting from sickness or self-isolation – have occurred across the entire network, with higher rates of absence seen in London and the Southeast, the Northwest and the Midlands regions. But where absences have occurred, there has been no material impact to service as our contingency actions have ensured our front line resources have remained fully supported by colleagues in less impacted areas of the network.
Front line service teams – are not able to work from home so we have needed to take different actions to help protect them and the services provided, with new social distancing protocols in the FSL and PUDO environments and new collection and delivery protocols for road based teams.
FSL and PUDO social distancing measures include – customers are now served at counters on the basis of ‘one in and one out’, so that they are served individually at counters. The same protocols apply to couriers collecting parts from an FSL. Where customers need to queue either inside or outside of the FSL or PUDO, we ask that they respect the 2m distance rule to other people around them, to observe social distancing measures published by the Government.
Although the new social distancing protocols at FSL’S and PUDO’S can sometimes create delays, we have been grateful to customers visiting these sites for their patience and understanding. Thank you!
We have created an online map of the PUDO network – in Google maps to assist customers to track the network status of individual PUDO’S. You can access the map here – Rico PUDO Map
We have implemented new collection and delivery protocols for our road based teams – to ensure we maintain social distancing insofar as we are able for the protection of our teams and our customers with the following actions implemented. This new protocol has been supported by the creation of an animation video which can be viewed here – Covid-19 Delivery Protocol Animation
Covid-19 Delivery Protocol – no contact collection and deliveries
• Upon arrival at the collection or delivery point, the courier will politely inform the customer that they are observing the ‘no contact and social distancing’ guidelines published by the Government and adopted by Rico / Circle Express.
• Couriers will maintain a no contact stance insofar as they can when making a collection, to achieve social distancing of 2 metres. This will be achieved by asking the customer to place the parcel on a nearby surface, even the floor, so it can be picked up without physical contact with the customer. The same process to be used in reverse when making a delivery to a customer.
• Gloves should be used when handling the consignment where available. If no gloves are available, couriers should avoid touching their face until they have washed their hands with soap or sanitiser, in line with the Government published guidelines.
• Couriers and drivers should not offer the mobile device or paperwork for the customer to sign for a delivery. Instead, customers should be asked to confirm their name and the courier / driver can write the customer name into the mobile app or delivery note and add ‘CV19’ after the name to signify that the courier / driver has signed on behalf of the customer.
• In the event that a customer refuses to confirm their name after receiving the consignment, the courier / driver will enter ‘refused signature CV19’ to complete the delivery.
• In the event that a customer refuses to cooperate with the ‘no contact, social distancing’ protocol and if the courier / driver is concerned, they should withdraw and seek further guidance from the company.
In addition to these measures we have needed to change the way that front line couriers are deployed – with couriers remaining at home until required to perform a confirmed job booking, rather than wait at FSL locations. This has ensured compliance with Government guidelines to only undertake essential travel and another example of social distancing measures to ensure the safety of our front line couriers and that of our customers. Although this may sometimes lead to a delay for some collection times, there has been no material impact to service.
We have provided communications to front line teams to assist their road travel – with letters of authorisation and windscreen notices issued to help them clear any roadside checks that may occur from time-to-time. Rico front line office staff have also been issued letters and windscreen notices to assist them to navigate roadside checks to travel to and from their place of work.
Even before the current restrictions were imposed by the Government, we formed a Covid-19 Contingency Project team – made up of the Rico Logistics and Circle Express senior management team. This team has conducted regular electronic meetings to review service impacts, progress contingency actions and assess the effectiveness of contingency actions. The project team has also agreed on new contingencies to mitigate any new risk that emerged.
We launched a centralised Covid-19 customer communication program – right at the start of the lockdown restrictions, in anticipation of the need to issue clear communication updates to all of our customers as and when issues occurred, or where new mitigation measures needed to be implemented.
The communication program is in addition to the updates provided by Account Managers and Operational Managers. We created a new portal to allow customers to subscribe to receive the Covid-19 updates and saw a 400% increase in the number of our customers subscribing to receive these updates.
The Covid-19 customer communication program will continue to operate during the period of Covid-19 restrictions. The key updates from the Covid-19 communication program are also uploaded to our website and can be found here. https://www.ricogroup.global/latestnews/
Customer support – during this challenging period has been at the forefront of our approach to protecting and maintaining front line services. Many of our customers are organisations who support critical infrastructure and services. In addition, many have had their own contingency plans to be implemented and we have supported a number of ‘contingency projects’ in support of our customers.
We have established a team to support – customers with help to deliver contingency or recovery projects where required, using any of the varied Rico service solutions. You can find out more about the service solutions available or reach this team here. FIND OUT MORE
Our approach to moving out of lockdown restrictions – whenever it comes, will be characterised by the same planned approach that we have applied to the period of full lockdown contingencies. We will review updated Government plans, advice and guidance and ensure compliance to safeguard both our customers and our own teams. We will continue to protect front line services. We will consult with our customers to reflect their changing service needs and requirements as we emerge from the current restrictions. We will continue to provide clear communication to our customers as we transition to any new post lockdown changes and amend our contingencies accordingly.
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 remains 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 remain 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.