Business Continuity Update – COVID-19 - Regular News Bulletin

Created: Wednesday 18th March 2020

Latest Review/Update: Monday 30th March 2020

 

 

Latest Update – Successful A/B Teams Trial and Postage Updates


11:30, Monday 30th March 2020

 

 

Despite a challenging few weeks, we are pleased to report there has been no major impact on our usual business operations and we would like to reassure our clients and suppliers that MBA Group continues to uphold its services and standards.

 

As such, we only have two further updates at this time regarding the successful trial and roll-out of A/B Teams and the Postal System. Please read below.

 

Successful Trial of A/B Teams

 

In a further effort to reduce MBA Group’s exposure to COVID-19, protecting our staff members and maintaining business continuity for our clients; we are pleased to report that we have successfully trialled and rolled out A/B team working practices for most office-based departments.

 

The concept of A/B teams allows some office workers to work from home while having a colleague on-site to liaise directly with the factory as and when needed. These workers then alternate their days between working remotely and in the office. This reduces the amount of people on-site and therefore reduces the company’s risk of contracting or spreading any infection

 

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our excellent IT team for enabling so many people to work remotely while upholding compliance with our information management / data security measures, which remains a significant priority for our business at this time.

 

Postage Updates

 

We are pleased to report that MBA Group has successfully handed over to the Royal Mail and all DSAs last week and we continue to do so on a daily basis, including weekends.

 

The postal service is a key part of the UK’s infrastructure, with the delivery of letters and parcels providing a way of keeping the country together, your business operating, and helping many people who may not have the option to leave their homes.

 

However, as expected, many postal providers are experiencing lots of challenges during this time, especially with international mail.

 

From the information we receive direct from the Royal Mail and The Delivery Group, please see summaries of service for each provider below:

 

Royal Mail

 

  • Royal Mail remains open for business and continues to work hard to collect, process and deliver as much mail and parcels as possible in difficult circumstances.
  • Royal Mail is experiencing some absence as a result of the Coronavirus. They are however looking to maintain BAU as much as is possible, with some support staff having been moved into front line positions to help facilitate continuity of service.
  • Despite Royal Mail’s best endeavours, it is likely that some areas of the country will experience a reduction in service levels due to Coronavirus-related absences at local mail centres or delivery offices.
  • Due to the current situation, Royal Mail has suspended the guarantee associated with their Special Delivery Guaranteed by 1pm service. They will however, still prioritise Special Delivery letters and parcels, and still aim to deliver by 1pm or before the end of day.
  • However, Royal Mail’s Special Delivery Guaranteed by 9am service remains unchanged and they still guarantee to deliver by 9am the next day.
  • Royal Mail’s road and rail networks are operating to schedule, but they have experienced delays between the East Midlands and Belfast airports. As a result, a small amount of mail posted from the Midlands, South West and North of England and Wales last week, due for delivery in Northern Ireland, may arrive later than planned.
  • In further regard to airmail and international routes, Royal Mail is working with its airline and global in-country partners to maintain services. However, the rapidly changing nature of the Coronavirus means access to different countries changes on a daily basis.
  • Most major export routes, including the USA, remain open and Royal Mail continues to accept, process and transport international mail.
  • There are however, 31 countries (listed below) where suspensions of service apply and they strongly recommend that customers do not send items to these countries for the time being.

Affected Countries

 

  • Albania
  • Armenia
  • Bermuda
  • Bosnia
  • Caribbean Islands (BVI)
  • Caribbean Islands – Dominican Republic
  • Caribbean Islands – Haiti
  • Cayman Islands
  • Cuba
  • Djibouti
  • Ecuador
  • French
  • Polynesia
  • Kuwait
  • Lebanon
  • Macedonia
  • Mauritania
  • Moldova
  • Montenegro
  • New Zealand
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Samoa
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Sri Lanka
  • Taiwan
  • Tanzania (DAR)
  • Tunisia
  • Turks & Caicos
  • Venezuela
  • Zimbabwe    

 

Please note that this is not an exhaustive list of countries. We are monitoring the continuously changing situation on a daily basis and will update the information on this site in-line with priorities across the business.

 

For the latest information regarding Royal Mail’s international delivery services, please visit their International Incident Bulletin via this link.

 

For the latest information about Royal Mail’s UK delivery services, please visit www.royalmail.com/serviceupdates and for more information about the impact of the Coronavirus on Royal Mail operations, please visit www.royalmail.com/coronavirus.

 

The Delivery Group

  • It is very much “business as usual” at present for The Delivery Group, although international mail is particularly challenging at this time.
  • The Delivery Group continues to work with customers and suppliers to ensure their normal level of service through their collection and delivery network is maintained, and has introduced increased/additional services for storage, automation, line-haul and final mile logistics as and where needed.
  • The business has the capacity to relocate services across its network quickly if the situation requires and they have a wide-range of delivery partner and supplier networks to provide alternative delivery solutions where appropriate.
  • The Delivery Group has put in place a number of robust measures designed to make health and safety a top priority whilst still enabling people to send mail and parcels.
  • As an interim precaution, The Delivery Group will not be asking people to sign for all deliveries. Instead, they will ask for their name and sign on their behalf. They are also asking drivers to comply with the decisions of individual clients and delivery partners with regards to access to their facilities and to maintain good hygiene precautions at all times.
  • The Delivery Group’s biggest challenge is also in regards to immediate international mail changes, driven by the global impact of COVID-19. For more information regarding affected destinations, please visit www.thedeliverygroup.co.uk/news/covid-19-international-delivery-update. All of their worldwide postal and carrier partners have seen a mass reduction of worldwide flights, increased restrictions and demand in air cargo space, couple with reduced availability. This has resulted in substantial price increases as outlined below:

 

Country Letters % increase Flats % increase Packets % increase
Australia 86% 17% 3%
Brazil 0% 7% 3%
Canada 58% 0% 0%
Greece 0% 6% 5%
Hong Kong 0% 29% 0%
Indonesia 12% 12% 3%
Israel 0% 11% 9%
Japan 0% 4% 0%
New Zealand 105% 21% 13%
Pakistan 7% 7% 0%
Philippines 39% 26% 3%
Saudi Arabia 0% 39% 18%
Sri Lanka 31% 17% 0%
South Africa 16% 16% 0%
Cyprus 33% 0% 0%
Russia 0% 69% 0%
USA 12% 43% 62%
Zone EU 5% 5% 5%
Zone ROW 20% 20% 20%


(Increases illustrate as a % increase on top of current rate cards)

Please note: these surcharges supersede any previous related Covid-19 surcharges that have been incurred come into immediate effect. The surcharge will be applied to final unit costs (Item + Kilo = Unit cost).

 

 

 

 

Update – Key Workers & School Closures and Postal Services


17:00, Friday 20th March 2020

 

 

What a difference a day makes! Today, we have two further updates regarding Key Workers & School Closures and Postal Services. Please read below.

 

Key Workers & School Closures

 

Following the Government’s announcement that schools will close at the end of today (Friday 20th March), and the Government’s list of key workers (published in the early hours of this morning) whose children will continue to be cared for at school amid the coronavirus pandemic, we are pleased to announce that MBA Group has reacted quickly to support both its clients and employees.

 

As a business, MBA Group belongs to the key sector of ‘Utilities, Communication & Financial Services’ due to the nature of the communication services we provide (including ‘postal services’) and the sectors we support, namely Financial Services, Utilities, Local Government and the NHS. This means that we will remain operational for the foreseeable future during this pandemic, for the benefit of all our clients.

 

In support of all of our staff members, we are also pleased that our Human Resources team responded quickly to the Government’s dual announcement by advising and supporting colleagues with their schools and informing them of their key worker status.

 

Postal Services

 

At this time, MBA Group is receiving daily updates from the Royal Mail and DSA (DownStream Access) providers. For the latest news re service updates and their actions to counter the coronavirus, please visit:

 

Royal Mail

www.royalmail.com/serviceupdates

www.royalmail.com/coronavirus

 

The Delivery Group

https://www.thedeliverygroup.co.uk/news/covid-19-international-delivery-update

 

Whistl

https://www.whistl.co.uk/news/coronavirus-updates

 

We will continue to add more links to this bulletin in the future…

 

At this time, we would like to reassure you that our business continues to operate as usual and we continue to uphold all of our services and standards.

 

Please remember, we are with you during this difficult time and happy to help in any way possible.

 

 

 

 

Update – FAO of all clients, suppliers and third parties


10:00, Friday 20th March 2020

 

 

In light of the developing situation regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19), we’ve created this bulletin to keep you informed about any potential impact on our usual business operations.

 

At this time, we would like to assure you that our business is operating as usual and we continue to uphold all of our services and standards.

 

In response to the crisis we have made some significant developments to our business continuity plans, which we will continue to develop over the coming weeks/months to protect staff members and maintain continuity of service.

 

In terms of preventative measures, we have…

 

  • Reviewed our pandemic policy to ensure it addresses all potential issues relating to COVID-19
  • Increased cleaning shifts and regularly disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces
  • Staggered shift times with no over-lap to minimise contact between people

We also continue to…

 

  • Provide regular health and safety updates to staff members
  • Monitor people for any sign of illness, including the use of non-contact thermometers to assess the wellbeing of all staff members, contractors, suppliers and visitors at the entrance to our sites
  • Promote good hygiene practices to all staff members, contractors and visitors
  • Provide hand sanitiser throughout the sites and monitor its availability
  • Review our working practices to prevent the risk of contracting or spreading of any infection

In preparation for a potentially worsening situation, we have also put in place the following measures to ensure our business can continue to operate efficiently…

 

  • Resource levels – if resourcing levels in any part of our business become compromised due to illness or inability to work, we have plans in place to refocus teams as necessary to deliver against deadlines.
  • Remote working – we have made improvements to our IT infrastructure to enable office workers to work from home if and when it is appropriate to do so.
  • Electronic communications – we already receive most business communications electronically and recommend that you continue to use email to communicate with us. In addition, for the time being, we would like to ask that any physical documents that need to be shared with us are scanned and attached to emails. Please remember to use your usual secure method (e.g. SFTP) for the transfer of personal or confidential information.
  • Mobile communications – many staff members already possess company mobile phones so they are contactable remotely. Further mobile phone devices will be issued if and where the need arises.
  • Conferencing capabilities – we already have the IT infrastructure in place for conference calls and continue to develop our video conferencing capabilities.

 

 

 


 

 

In summary, MBA Group is as prepared as it possibly can be for the threat of COVID-19 and we continue to review our working practices and take proactive action to prevent the risk and spread of any infection.

 

We also understand that the evolving COVID-19 situation will present challenges to our clients and we want to reassure you that we are with you; we are in this together and we are here to help in any way possible.