In response to the current COVID-19 situation in the UK, SLS would like to take this opportunity to share a number of precautionary actions to ensure that we can continue to supply products to our customers during this current Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak, whilst keeping our team safe.
Business as Usual
We are operating as normal, however we have established a dedicated taskforce with representatives from across the business, who are monitoring the situation daily and meeting on a weekly basis. This taskforce has started to implement several pre-emptive measures. We are keeping up to date with government and Public Health England’s advice and adapting business plans to reflect changes. We have stopped all but essential visitors to our sites. Any visitor who has returned from a category 1 or 2 country or area with in the last 14 days will not be permitted on to any of our sites. Non-essential meetings are being conducted remotely using various communication tools.
We are encouraging our team to follow best hygiene practices as recommended by the World Health Organisation. Hand sanitiser and disinfection wipes are available across our sites for our team to use. We have increased our provision for people to work remotely should we need them to. This is to prevent the spread of infection, and to ensure minimal interruption of day to day activities and continued support to our customers.
Continuity of Supply for Existing Customers
SLS are liaising closely with suppliers and customers to ensure that existing demand for the regular supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is maintained. Excessive demand has made this challenging and we are prioritising the supply to existing customers over any new enquiries. Customers should be aware that lead times for affected products may be longer than usual.
Access to Products Manufactured in Affected Areas
A small number of products are sourced directly from the affected areas and ongoing supply of these products may be more problematic. In most cases, alternative products will be made available and we will advise customers directly regarding the status of their orders. Other products supplied from unaffected areas in China and the rest of the world will continue to be available and we currently see no immediate risk to their availability, however we are closely monitoring this situation.
Large Volume Orders
We have recently received many large volume orders and enquiries from both existing and new customers. Satisfying these orders will have an unacceptable impact on our ability to support our current customers with their regular supply needs. In order to accurately manage customer expectations, SLS will offer quotations and lead times only after consulting with manufacturers for a limited number of PPE products. During this time the provision of information on enquiries may take longer due to the overloaded demand on the global supply of PPE products.
Other Mitigation Activity
SLS have an extensive network of supply partners with whom we are liaising to minimise any disruption to supply. Where possible we are working to increase our own stocks of product. Where alternative products are available, we will propose these to our customers in the event of stock outages.
To confirm, so far, we have had zero cases of Coronavirus and our taskforce is monitoring the situation very closely. We will update this statement as the situation develops.
Bruce Mowbray – General Manager of Operations