Many of you will have seen the briefing from the Prime Minister last night where he talked through further measures to slow the spread of COVID-19. You may also have heard Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove confirming this morning that both the manufacturing and construction industries should remain open as they are of significant importance to the economy.
The Knauf brand has been built on being a responsible and reliable business partner. The safety, health and wellbeing of our people, external stakeholders and customers is paramount to us every day and even more so during these uncertain times. As a result, we have had to make changes to the way we operate now and over the coming weeks. The main points are summarised below;
As part of our emergency actions to date, we have;
- Moved all head office, admin and field based teams to home working with no service impact to our customers.
- Instigated short term distancing measures in our production and warehousing operations to mitigate risks in these teams.
It is, however, now clear as the situation develops that our production and warehouse/distribution operations will experience significant disruption.
On Friday 27th March we will bring our two UK plants to a controlled stop, leaving them in the best possible state of readiness for re-start when the time is right, with robust medium and long-term social distancing systems and procedures in place.
We currently have high stocks in our warehouses which can support significant demand. For the remainder of this week we will be revisiting our warehouse processes with local safety and staff representatives to understand if we can operate whilst adhering to the current government guidelines.
At this stage, it is not clear whether we will be able to continue our warehouse operations into next week. I will update you further as the situation becomes clearer.
It is important that we meet the existing commitments that we have made to our customers. This means;
- We will continue to load and despatch orders until Friday 27th March.
- We intend to fulfil orders confirmed for week commencing 30th March once the above warehouse review is complete and will make contact with specific customers to offer updates.
- We will remove timed delivery as a service provision with immediate effect to support our hauliers who are also servicing the supermarkets.
For customers wishing to place new orders;
- Our home-working Customer Services Team will remain open throughout this operational disruption for general enquiries and order placements.
- From 8am tomorrow morning we will be taking orders for deliveries from Week 16 (week commencing 13th April).
- We will make delivery slots available in Week 15 (week commencing 6th April) and Week 14 (next week) if we can recommence production and warehouse operations as described above.
- If needed, we will confirm plans for allocation controls to be put in place to ensure loyal customers are protected and service performance is strong as we re-commence our operations in what is anticipated to be a period of high demand.
Thank you for your continued and trusted relationship, and please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns. It is a difficult time for all of us and while we cannot guarantee that there won’t be any challenges in the future, we promise that we will do everything we safely can to support you and your business.
Commercial Director Knauf UK & Ireland