Best practices and commentary from across the imaging technology industry
This is the second installment in our ongoing series of Business as Unusual.
On Monday I reached out to various dealers and companies to find out how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting their organizations and what measures they are taking to ensure the safety of their employees and customers.
I was shocked at how quickly people responded to my request. In addition to those responses, I have been receiving correspondence that dealers and OEMs are sending to their customers and partners. We are sharing this information with our readers because we can all learn by hearing how others are responding to this crisis and conducting business during this unprecedented time.
Look for more best practices and commentary on Thursday.
Here’s a statement from Ricoh USA President & CEO Joji Tokunaga from the Ricoh-USA website.
We are all seeing the resulting impacts of Coronavirus (COVID-19) around the world. While this is a rapidly-evolving situation, we wanted to share some of the steps we are taking to help keep our employees, customers, partners, and communities healthy and safe.
At Ricoh, we have Business Continuity Plans (BCPs) in place, both at the enterprise and site levels, and we continue to monitor the situation closely. Our internal COVID-19 Task Force, which includes senior leadership, meets daily to review the newest developments and to make prompt decisions. This includes updating our BCPs, when needed, while keeping the health and safety of our employees, customers, partners, and communities our top priority.
We are operating on facts and data, as they become available, and we are emphasizing the importance of following the guidelines and recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) for reducing the spread of COVID-19. This includes:
- Employees visiting customer and partner facilities have information about the basic steps to reduce spread, including hand washing and social distancing as referenced by the CDC.
- Employees who become ill, or whose household members become ill with COVID-19 symptoms, have been asked to stay home. We also have protocols in place for employees to self-quarantine if they or a household member has recently returned from any Level-2 or higher travel-warning locations as outlined by the CDC.
- Instituted thorough sanitizing and disinfecting of our facilities on an ongoing basis.
- Screening visitors for COVID-19 risk.
- Encouraging employees to work from home temporarily, where and when possible, effective through March 31, 2020, or until further notice.
- Business travel (even domestic) has been largely eliminated, except for business-critical activities and customer service.
Based on our current and incoming inventory levels of products and supplies, we do not anticipate significant disruptions to supply chain in the short-term. We are working with our manufacturing division and suppliers to minimize any potential delays in the coming months. Regarding your office and production equipment, Ricoh devices are similar to other electronic devices in your office. We recommend cleaning the outside covers with a non-static lint free cloth. A disinfectant can be used with a non-static lint free cloth, but DO NOT spray directly on the device’s surfaces or components, as getting liquid inside the device can damage the internal components. If using an aerosol, move away from the device and only spray on the cloth.
Our Managed Services sites have individual BCPs that include pandemic preparation and response for short and long-term disruptions. If you have questions, contact your Ricoh representative and ask for your site-specific BCP. Additionally, Ricoh Managed Services has the Field Service Representative program designed to minimize disruptions by providing trained and qualified Ricoh personnel to help seamlessly manage unplanned personnel absences.
Our Service Desks and Support Centers also have specific pre-designed BCPs. For example, our Call Center employees have the capability to provide exceptional customer service to you from just about any location. This resilient and dynamic model ensures we’re able to deliver consistent customer service without disruption.
We understand these are uncertain and unsettling times. Rest assured that Ricoh is focused on providing the high-quality technology and service you expect in a safe manner. We will contact you with any notable updates. In the meantime, we encourage you to visit MyRicoh, our customer portal, for the most up-to-date information.
From all of us at Ricoh, we wish you good health.
This is the email POA President Doug Pitassi shared with his employees:
POA is closely monitoring the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Our top priority is to protect the health and well-being of our employees and their families, our customers, our vendors, and the community.
We are managing the situation with each of our teams to ensure we are minimizing risk and maintaining the best level of service and continuing to operate an effective business under the circumstances.
POA is implementing strategies to attempt to slow the spread of the virus, and appreciate your help in ensuring the safety of all.
- We are canceling any onsite vendor meetings, unless prior approval received by VPs, Branch Managers, or myself.
- We are asking our employees to minimize contact – to use email, phone, intermedia, and other technology to communicate with our partners
- Trainings to be done virtually or remote. Focus on training during this time will be beneficial for all.
- Following CDC guidelines to prevent workplace exposure
We are attempting to get as many employees as possible set up to work from home to limit the amount of risk in our building. We encourage our employees that are sick or have family members that are sick to not come to work, to avoid large group meetings, and to use videoconferencing when possible.
We appreciate the support of our vendors, and are confident that we can find solutions to take on this challenge and continue to operate effectively.
Atlantic, Tomorrow’s Office
Here’s an email that Atlantic, Tomorrow’s Office sent to clients, partners, and friends:
To our valued clients, partners and friends,
During these unprecedented times, we wanted to ensure you we are closely monitoring the rapidly evolving situation around the novel coronavirus (COVID-19); and also share some of the steps we are taking to help keep our employees, customers, partners and communities healthy and safe, while maintaining productivity.
Importantly, at Atlantic, we have Business Continuity Plans (BCPs) in place, both at the enterprise and site levels. Additionally, our internal COVID-19 Task Force, which includes senior leadership, meets daily to review the newest developments and make prompt decisions.
We are operating on facts and data, as they become available, and we are emphasizing the importance of following the guidelines and recommendations of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) for reducing the spread of COVID-19. This includes:
- Encouraging employees to work from home temporarily, where and when possible, effective through March 27, 2020, or until further notice.
- Employees who become ill, or whose household members become ill with COVID-19 symptoms, are required to stay home. We also have protocols in place for employees to self-quarantine if they or a household member has recently returned from any Level-2 or higher travel-warning locations as outlined by the CDC.
- Instituted thorough sanitizing and disinfecting of our facilities on an ongoing basis.
- Employees visiting customer and partner facilities have information about the basic steps to reduce spread, including hand washing, latex glove use, post-service equipment sanitization and social distancing as referenced by the CDC.
- Largely restricted visitors to our facilities (except under special circumstances) and instituted screening, where applicable.
Additionally, because of the possible risks for all parties involved we are strongly encouraging our staff to either conduct all scheduled, non-essential meetings using virtual conferencing technology or to reschedule for a later date, if preferable. While we believe that personal interaction with our customers is invaluable, we believe this is the right course of action at this time.
Throughout the years, we have invested heavily in remote technology solutions aimed at maintaining our high level of service and communication in situations like these. We ask that you don’t change the process, frequency or type of support or communication for which you rely on Atlantic. We foresee a slight decrease in our normal response time, but DO NOT expect any negative impact on the quality of our services and support. If this in any way hinders “Business as usual” for your organization, please reach out to your Atlantic representative or Atlantic leadership to discuss other options.
Above all else, we value the health of our families, friends, employees and customers alike. Thank you in advance for your consideration and understanding as we all work together to silence this unprecedented health threat and emerge stronger on the other side.
Here are the steps that RJ Young is taking to keep its employees safe and business on track.
In a Leadership meeting today we have determined that it is in our best interest to begin our work week tomorrow by working from home if you can do your job from home. More-so than some other areas of our company, we in Sales can do our jobs from home. We will end each day this week with a Leadership meeting to address any discussion topics that we find throughout the day that should be covered. Please share any topics or concerns you may have with your Manager and we will discuss.
As we continue to make adjustments to our schedules in the upcoming days, here are some things to remember:
- This is an opportunity for us to grow. If we address this time with a great deal of intensity and energy we will thrive at the end of this season!
- This is an opportunity for us to help. I encourage each of your to reach out to your customers and potential customers to talk about the 4 packages I sent out to all of you yesterday. In addition, we should take the time to ask them what they think they need right now. Even if that is something out of the ordinary (or something they need personally) we have a great chance to rise above here. Nothing will help us grow more personally or professionally than helping someone in need.
- We entered into this season as a healthy company. We are a company that will find a way to thrive in this environment. Other companies may not be so fortunate. I urge you all to be creative in finding ways to be sensitive to this and to have a heart/mind of service. It is important that we adapt. I will be meeting with your Regional Managers tomorrow in search of ideas for programs we can put together for our customers as well as our employees.
- This is going to be a great time to focus on training both internally and externally. We will have the chance to envelope ourselves in product/sales training with Rick Cordell internally, but our customers will be able to do this too. Consider partnering with your MNS/MPS/SW/AV specialist to set up webinar training sessions to educate your customers. The seeds that you plan today will soon grow.
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