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Coronavirus – Business Continuity Policy

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Networks Centre expresses their empathy and solidarity with all customers who are going through this difficult time.  As part of an industry recently identified by the UK Government as of a critical nature in support of our country’s IT and Telecommunications Industry we re-iterate our commitment that we will remain open for business whilst at the same time taking every recommended precaution to protect staff. 

Summarising the key points to mitigate as far as we are able, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic:  

i) Working closely with our suppliers & customers to manage changes in the supply chain

ii) Implementing good workplace hygiene practices

iii) For essential workplace staff, maintaining social distancing rules at all times

iv) Adhering to UK Government guidance

v) Flexing our infrastructure assets across the group (Offices / Warehouses/ vehicles)

There is currently no timeline on ending movement and work restrictions hence this document will be frequently reviewed and updated as the business and social climate changes. 

Suppliers and Second Sourcing

We are in daily contact with our suppliers who are based in many locations across the Far East, Americas and Mainland Europe. At the time of writing we have had no reports of delays to shipments from any region. As a major distributor, we have alternate brands for the vast majority of   products  and  hold  in  excess  of   £4m  stock  at  our  warehouses  in  the  South  East.    At existing run rates, if manufacturing supplies were to completely cease, we estimate that we would be able to continue to supply for several months for standard products if customers are flexible and accept similar alternate products. As an additional safeguard we have also issued advance purchase orders to key suppliers so that they can build up their surplus stock as an insurance against possible future mass workforce illness. 

Infrastructure Flexing

Networks Centre group operates from two office locations and two warehouses. Whilst separate group businesses, we use common IT systems and procedures so would be able to transfer functions between office locations in the case where one office was severely affected.  Similarly we could flex our warehousing to some extent in the same way. We have our own fleet of delivery vehicles to facilitate stock moves.  

Labour Continuity

Networks Centre staff are all directly employed, not contract. We anticipate that delivery drivers (both deliveries to Networks Centre and from Networks Centre to Customers) will be at higher risk, coming into contact with multiple people in multiple locations. We employ our own drivers but also have couriers deliver. If a driver is off work we do have staff who can cover and we own our fleet of delivery vehicles but inevitably this could have a detrimental effect on service. Our courier, DHL have their own policies on Covid-19 continuity which can be found here:
DHL UK Covid-19 information

For our office & warehouse based staff, we are taking additional precautions to protect them which have been notified to staff including:

  • Attendance to all external meetings and events by staff is suspended. 

  • Video conferencing or telecon will be used in all cases.

  • Non-essential visitors to our offices are prohibited and all visitors will be temperature checked if required to enter the building. 

  • The temperature of all staff entering the premises is checked daily. Visitors are also to be checked on entering the premises. Any sign of raised temperature or new dry cough will require self-isolation for the prescribed period as per the Government advice (link below). Any staff member who lives with someone with Coronavirus symptoms will also be required to self-isolate and work from home.

  • Providing more hand washing facilities, tissues, as well as sanitiser and face masks for warehouse staff in contact with delivery drivers.

  • Restricting access to communal areas like canteens. 

  • Maintain the 2m distance from colleagues at all times. (Desks have been re-arranged and distance between staff increased with work groups dispersed.)

  • Asking staff to notify Purchasing if they hear about any issues affecting our supply chain.
  • Issuing a list of precautions as below:

General advice to our staff to protect them from respiratory infections

  • UK based employees are more likely to have influenza than coronavirus, but the precautions listed below are reasonable measures:
  • Frequently clean hands by using high percentage alcohol-based hand sanitiser or preferably soap and water. Bear in mind anti-bacterial is not anti-virus.

  • When coughing and sneezing cover mouth and nose with your elbow or a tissue – throw tissue away immediately and wash hands

  • Maintain social distancing at all times (2m) 

  • Avoid all contact with anyone who has fever and cough

  • Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean

  • If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing call NHS24 on 111

  • Avoid all non-essential travel. Police have powers of imposing fines or detention for those who flout the travel ban. Share previous travel history with NHS24 on 111 if returning from travel and feeling unwell.

  • The consumption of raw or undercooked animal products should be avoided. Raw meat, milk or animal organs should be handled with care, to avoid cross-contamination with uncooked foods, as per good food safety practices.

Stay at home advice can be found on the UK Government website:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance 

The link below provides the most recent government guidance: 

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-information-for-the-public

This document will be updated as the threat evolves.