Our products play a part in keeping them moving, which means the economy and critical services keep moving at this time of extreme uncertainty. I’d like to share with you the current focus of the UK leadership in reaction to unfolding events.
We are currently focused on three key things: –
- The safety and wellbeing of our people whilst keeping our business moving.
- Supply chain security so we can keep your business moving.
- Supporting those helping others to keep our communities and the economy moving.
The UK office is currently operating on a skeleton staff to maintain operations with all remaining colleagues working from home. All elements of our business processes are running with this model and we do not anticipate any major interruption to our operations.
I’d like to reassure you that we very much remain open for business and welcome communications by phone, email or other messaging platforms should you need to communicate with us.
The global supply chain environment is shifting very quickly, with local governments updating their policies and guidance for dealing with the COVID-19 situation on a daily basis in countries where we have component suppliers or manufacturing bases.
We are monitoring our stocks each day across the entire supply chain and will advise our channel partners if specific lines go into allocation. It’s important to note that going into allocation does not mean there is immediate shortage but simply to prevent bulk buying and commercial speculation in the short term.
We recognise that many of our products, such as consumable items, are critical to key workers in areas like GP surgeries, hospitals and pharmacies, who will be providing care for communities and those affected by the coronavirus outbreak. As such, we’re making the availability of supply to these groups our number one priority.
We are the largest provider of printing devices to the GP community in the UK and we know many will be worried about items like obtaining repeat prescriptions if in self-isolation, so we think it’s the right thing to do to keep those essential public services operational and focused on the most vulnerable in our communities.
Our technical support platforms are resourced by a mixture of third-party providers and our own people. Our own technical support specialists remain available however we are experiencing some service level issues with our outsourced partners as many of their contact centres are large and in other countries who have high cases of the COVID-19 outbreak and staff self-isolating. This means our usual high standards of support are being impacted at times.
From our side, we want our providers to put the health of their people first so please be patient with us if you have to wait a little longer.
Quick answers to general technical issues can be obtained on our twitter account @brothersupport and I’d also encourage you to use our resources online at https://www.brother.co.uk/support or download the support centre app for your phone at https://www.brother.co.uk/support/support-center.
Practical things we are doing
I want you to know that – right now – our hearts at Brother UK go out to all those people being directly impacted through job losses or the loss of business for the self-employed and freelancers/contractors who are the backbone of the economy.
These are some of the things we are doing in the short term: –
- All invoices are being paid quickly to all suppliers and we are prepared to pre-pay any freelancers who work for Brother UK who are experiencing hardship due to cancellations in other contracts. Cashflow is so important right now and we’ll do our bit with all of our suppliers.
- We’re putting a lot of time in to support the sudden change of circumstances for our colleagues who are used to office working rather than home working, as I’m sure many of you are too. We’re finding that keeping in touch regularly through video calls and video conferencing is helping everyone to keep feeling connected to one another It’s important too that, so long as government guidance permits it, we’re getting outside at regular intervals to get fresh air breaks and exercise.
- We are ensuring our supply chain is as fluid as possible so that those businesses that are still operating continue to operate and stay open.If there’s anything we can do to assist you further in the short term, please do let us know.
At Your Side.
Phil Jones MBE