After more than a month of lockdowns across the country, machinery dealers have adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic. Dealers from all industries have implemented different strategies, from working from home, to social distancing and limited showroom time, to ensure business remains as normal as possible. So what are some of the things that machinery dealers are doing to keep their staff and customers safe during COVID-19, while also ensuring their business remains afloat?
Working From Home
As with almost everyone that can, many machinery dealers have implemented working from home procedures wherever possible. From accountants and receptionists, to salesmen and managers, many roles in the industry can be successfully done from home. This has allowed dealers to continue operating, even with social distancing and travel regulations.
“We’ve got really good, robust remote working technology to allow us to keep giving our customers the service and support they expect.”
Daniel Fisher, Applied Machinery
Of course, not everything can be done from home. Technicians, showroom salesmen and machinery operators need to be physically present to do their job. This means working from home simply isn’t a possibility, so dealers are taking other steps to ensure those who do need to be in the office, yard or showroom are kept as safe as possible.
For those still working in the office or in public-facing roles, proper social distancing has been, and still is, crucial to maintaining high health standards. Not only is it government mandated, it’s also just common sense to limit your exposure to COVID-19 as much as possible. Thankfully,maintaining a 1.5m space between you and a potential buyer is relatively easy around large equipment like an excavator or tractor.
While staying responsibly distant from someone outside of a machine is fairly simple, there are obviously times where maintaining that distance can be tricky, like showing the inside of a cab to a customer. In these cases, many dealers are just enforcing a 1 person at a time limit. It’s very simple, and very basic, but it works.
For service technicians and machinery operators where working from home isn’t an option, social distancing has become a crucial way to stay safe during this pandemic. By reducing the number of workers onsite at one time, as well as restricting the number of operators in or around a machine, businesses are able to maintain their workloads and keep the country running. While also keeping workers safe.
“We’re splitting our team, so that we have a bit of risk management. We don’t have all our salesmen working in one area, we don’t have all our accounts girls in one area, etc.”
Rick Foster, Hare & Forbes
When it comes to office workers who are still in the office, machinery dealers have come up with a few unique ways to handle proper social distancing. Aside from simply putting as much distance as possible between all their workers, some workplaces are also ensuring people in the department are working in separate areas.
While office cleanliness has always been a priority for machinery dealers, COVID-19 has increased the need for proper cleaning procedures. Obviously the needs for each business will be different, but there are some standard procedures that are highly recommended for most businesses.
Frequently Touch Surfaces
For frequently touched surfaces, like door handles, light switches tabletops, commonly used equipment etc, should be frequently cleaned, and always wiped over with detergent or anti-bacterial wipes after every use or contact. The best method for achieving a proper clean is the ‘mechanical’ method. Where you wipe down the bench or area with detergent or disinfectant, then use another cloth and clean water to wipe it off and let it dry.
Minimally Touched Surfaces
Floors, walls, blinds and other minimally touched surfaces don’t need as stringent cleaning, but should still be kept to a high standard. Detergent solutions and disinfectant wipes are enough for most cases, with damp mopping being recommended over dry mopping.
Hand Washing & Hand Sanitiser
The biggest way many dealers and worksites are handling the COVID-19 pandemic is through simple, yet vital, hand washing and hand sanitiser procedures. Workplaces supplied with plenty of hand sanitiser, and employees following the recommended 20-second hand washing procedure goes a long way to preventing the spread of Coronavirus throughout workplaces.
Aside from physical changes, many businesses have implemented procedures to ensure the good mental health and wellbeing of their employees, especially those who are working from home. Extended periods of time with little-to-no contact with others can be harrowing for many, so managers and business owners are establishing daily online meetings or phone calls to simply get in touch with their employees and check up on them.
“We try to stay in touch with everyone every day, whether that be conference calls or facetime, that sort of stuff. Just to keep a sense of normality to the situation.”
Daniel Fisher, Applied Machinery
With restrictions slowly being lifted and normality slowly coming back, how dealers and worksites handle the influx of workers back to their ordinary days remains a crucial matter in preventing the potential recurrence of COVID-19.
Has your workplace implemented proper or unique COVID-19 countermeasures? Leave us a comment below.