IFS Response to the Coronavirus
We realise that you may be concerned by the recent news on the spread of Coronavirus and that you would like to be reassured about the steps IFS are taking to ensure the continuity of your service. We have therefore produced this communication to inform our customers, partners and suppliers of the steps we are taking as a business to respond to this situation.
We would like to stress that the risk of contracting the virus in the UK remains low; therefore, the steps we are putting in place are precautionary measures at this time. However, we wish to ensure that we are prepared as a business, should an unlikely outbreak occur.
As part of its response to the Coronavirus outbreak, the IFS senior leadership team has been working on a number of fronts to mitigate any risks to its staff and also to establish what issues are likely to affect the wider operation of its business.
From an IFS staff perspective, a number of initiatives are underway, including provision of additional hand sanitisers at various locations throughout the building and posters in communal areas and washrooms emphasising the importance of good hygiene and taking extra care. Home working, where possible, is being encouraged. We are also asking staff who have access to items such as work laptops and phones to ensure that they take them home each evening in case there is a sudden need to work remotely.
Small meetings are continuing to take place and will do so until Government advice is changed, however a number of major industry events, primarily involving overseas travel, have been cancelled or IFS has withdrawn voluntarily.
We are putting in place a self-quarantine regime where employees are returning from business and/or holidays from countries which have been heavily impacted by the Coronavirus (such as China, Japan, South Korea, Iran, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Singapore, Italy, Germany and France).
Any staff members who have either been positively tested, or have been exposed to an individual who has been positively tested, for the Coronavirus in the last 14 days have been requested to avoid attending work. This will also apply to anyone who may suspect they have been exposed to the Coronavirus.
From a network perspective, we have sent out a communication requesting updates and, whilst some have responded, the majority have been non-committal and manufacturers in particular are taking a ‘watch and wait’ stance. It is widely believed that there will be some delays in manufacturing, particularly where parts are sourced from China or other affected countries in the region. However, at the present time it is extremely difficult to quantify this. The majority of manufacturers, and indeed dealers, keep limited levels of stock but the impacts of Coronavirus are not yet being felt.
In terms of garage/bodyshop availability, this is almost impossible to quantify as each dealer group/garage will take an individual stance and there are thousands of garages/bodyshops in the network we procure (either directly or via EPYX). We will continue to monitor the situation and, if we are made aware of a location that has reduced staff levels or has required to close, will maintain contact with those fleets and drivers impacted to put in place alternative arrangements.
Should any official advice change, we will take this into consideration and act further on it but, for the present time, we continue with business as usual.
Finally, as a business we will adhere to our business continuity plans in addition to the steps above if required and are updating those to specifically include responses to the Coronovirus. We are coordinating our activities and communications with our stakeholders and have established a working party.
If you have any questions relating to the above, please speak to your usual Inchcape Fleet Solutions contact who will be happy to help.
Inchcape Fleet Solutions