IFS Response to the Coronavirus – Update

Corona Virus Update

Below is our latest update explaining how we, as a business, are responding to the Coronavirus.  This is our response as at 16th March 2020.

Upgraded Risk

As you will know, the Coronavirus situation is a public health emergency and the risk in the UK has recently upgraded from low to moderate.  The steps we are putting in place follow those issued by the Government and advisory bodies and also include any further guidelines issued by the Toyota Group.

We are preparing for all scenarios, however, until any guidance changes we are operating business as usual.

BCP Working Party

We have established a cross-department working party, comprising of senior leaders and subject matter experts.  This group is working to the protocols in our current BCP and developing them to adapt to the new challenges and risks posed by the coronavirus, including to respond to any new guidance issued by the Government.

Each department is updating their specific business continuity plans to ensure that they can mobilise effectively if the need to partially or fully invoke them arises.

The BCP Working Party is monitoring developments daily, meeting regularly and will respond quickly to any new guidelines, advice or challenges that we are presented with.

Current Activities

General Precautions:

We have already take actions to mitigate contamination and spread by:

  • Reinforcing good hygiene practices and reminding all staff to continue good hand hygiene in particular;
  • Increasing the number of hand sanitisers and hand gels throughout the building;
  • Asking visitors to the building to complete a questionnaire to assess whether they pose any additional risks to our employees and our operations.
  • Taking precautionary measures by asking visitors to postpone or cancel non-essential visits to Haven House, utilising technology to hold meetings remotely where possible.
  • Upgrading our current cleaning regime to include specifically disinfecting metal surfaces where the virus can linger for longer periods

Travel Restrictions & Self-isolation

We have adopted the following guidelines regarding travel and self-isolation:

  • Putting in place an international business travel ban – we will utilise telephone and video conferencing systems wherever possible;
  • Asking all staff to self-isolate for 14 days if they have visited a high risk affected country (regardless of whether they have symptoms or not).
  • Asking all staff to self-isolate for 7 days if they have symptoms (however mild) or if they have returned from abroad from a country or place where Coronavirus has been diagnosed.

Business Continuity Plans

We are working on updating our current Business Continuity Plan or developing further plans, including:

  • Working with our off-site disaster recovery location provider in the event the Haven House has to close;
  • Ordering additional laptops for our staff which will support our home working capabilities;
  • Strengthening operational plans to deal with telephone calls in the event that wider home working is required;
  • Preparing to adopt operational solutions which could include providing a service which prioritises emergency situations over non-essential workflows;
  • Assessing the impact and reallocating resources, if needed, to prioritise emergency responses;
  • Creating call scripts and IVR messages, if required, to notify callers of potential delays and any risks if services are disrupted or call waiting times are delayed;
  • Asking customers, if required, to email non-essential queries in the first instance.

Supply Chain

With parts and vehicles being sourced from many regions of the world, global supply is highly likely to be affected by limited production and transportation restrictions – this will affect the entire industry.

Our parent company is a major global OEM and we are working closely with them to ensure our processes and procedures are supported by their own business continuity provisions and global scale.

We are also working with our supply chain to ensure they are also prepared for this situation, including:

  • Receiving regular updates from our suppliers on their own business continuity proposals;
  • Working with our out of hours telephone service provider to ensure that cover is available in the event we require it;
  • Maintaining contact with any fleets and drivers impacted by any closures or restricted access to garages or repair centres to put in place alternative arrangements;
  • Continuing to monitor the situation with our supply chain at all times.

Our Employees

Our duty of care to our own employees is paramount and we are also taking the following precautions (where not already mentioned above):

  • Evaluating our most at risk colleagues to protect their health and safety as a proactive precautionary measures;
  • Issuing internal FAQs and guidance to support colleagues who are concerned or affected by the situation
  • Encouraging employees to take sensible approaches and not put themselves at more risk than is essential when arranging meetings and travel plans.

Contractual Compliance

We believe we are taking all reasonable and necessary measures to endeavour to provide a continued quality of service for all of our customers.  However, there is still a risk that these events may have some impact on the service levels which are either set out in a contract or routinely expected of our business.  We know you are also in a similar situation with your own stakeholders who utilise the services your own businesses provide and trust that you will understand.  In the event that there is a real impact on service levels, caused by any temporary building closure (for deep cleans) or significant number of self-isolations or illness, we may request temporary suspensions of contracted service levels or KPIs as we would not be able to meet these due to the circumstances beyond our reasonable control.

Further Information

Should any official advice change, we will take this into consideration and act further on it.

We will continue to keep you up to date, especially if it looks as though there is a significant impact on either our own services or those of our suppliers.

If you have any questions relating to the above, please speak to your Account Manager who will be happy to help.

Kind regards,

Matthew Rumble
Inchcape Fleet Solutions