Top Supply-Chain Questions Customers Are Asking SHI about COVID-19 – Updated 7/28/20
To the SHI valued partners and customers community,
SHI continues to closely monitor all aspects of the COVID-19 situation and providing our extended teams the necessary information and protocols to help proactively mitigate supply chain disruptions and allow us to continue to provide world class service and support.
Governments around the world continue to order restrictions of varying levels to curb the spread of COVID-19. SHI continues to adhere to restrictions, while maintaining operations to meet our customer’s needs. In areas where SHI has a significant onsite presence (most notably at our World Headquarters campus in Somerset, NJ and our two Integration Centers in Piscataway, NJ), the local government has designated SHI as an essential business. Each facility remains open and is staffed only by mission-critical personnel whose responsibilities do not allow a reasonable work-from-home option.
Inventory continues to move in an out of our warehouses in Piscataway and through our network of distributors around the world. However, available stock levels vary by individual products and can change minute to minute.
Our shipping carriers have not been significantly impacted by the current situation, but SHI personnel, dedicated to understanding up-to-the-minute shipping status, monitor shipping availability and notify SHI account teams and customers when necessary.
With shipments continuing and the vast majority (94%) of our workforce adjusted to working from home, SHI remains ready to assist customers in any way possible.
Overall SHI Statement
We are committed to being responsive to support to our customers and partners through the challenges ahead. We are carefully monitoring this situation and providing our teams with the necessary information and protocols to ensure minimal supply chain disruptions, and to make sure we are doing everything we can to provide world class service and support.
As SHI continues to monitor the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, we want to again emphasize that our top priority continues to be the safety and health of all employees, customers and partners as well as that of their extended families and communities. In support of this, our business continuity plans have been activated since the outbreak emerged and we convene regularly with teams across the business.
For our colleagues, we have taken increased health precautions like significantly restricting travel; requiring colleagues to work from home if they have traveled to, through or from high risk countries as noted by the CDC, or US states where quarantine orders apply, or have had any direct contact with others who have; increasing communications with information about the virus and how to prevent the spread of illness; and providing increased cleaning routines and access to hand sanitizer in our facilities. For our business partners, we are doing everything possible to mitigate service disruptions, including working with our vendors to ensure we have adequate supply to accommodate potential disruptions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does SHI have a Return to Office plan?
SHI has a multi-phased plan to safely bring employees back to each office location.
What safety guidelines will be enacted for employees returning to the office?
In an abundance of caution, the following guidelines will be enacted for employees returning to the office during the optional/voluntary Work from Office period and possibly beyond:
- Employees will be asked to complete a daily health and wellness questionnaire.
- Additionally, employees are asked to check their temperature upon arrival using self-service temperature-checking stations. Anyone with a temperature reading of over 100.4oF (38oC) will be required to leave the facility.
- Facemasks will be required while entering/exiting and moving within the building.
- Facemask rules for Knox and Ridge Integration Centers are different and follow the rules established by the State of N.J.
- Social distancing practices including, but not limited to, partitioning and one-way directional signage has been implemented.
- Employees will maintain at least 6 feet (1.8 meters) distance at all time.
- All meetings will be held virtually. Conference rooms will be off limits to groups of employees.
- Additional cleaning of our sites, specifically high touch points, are in practice.
- ‘Best Practices’ signage and anti-bacterial hand sanitizers are located throughout our sites.
- Non-essential visitors are not permitted entry to our facilities.
How is SHI impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak?
SHI continues to monitor and implement precautions to reduce the risk COVID-19 poses. We will be diligent to ensure the safety of our workforce and we will continue to amend processes and procedures, reacting in accordance to the ongoing and changing nature of the global situation.
Does SHI have a Pandemic Preparation Plan or any type of pandemic action plan currently?
SHI’s Pandemic Plan integrates with its Business Continuity program and incident management processes, allowing us to be proactive and responsive. Parts of these plans and associated strategies have been activated, and SHI leadership continues to monitor, assess and amend actions as appropriate to respond to the evolving situation.
Our Pandemic Planning and Response Committee has been active since the onset of the outbreak enabling responses to COVID-19 where necessary and appropriate. SHI has implemented preventative measures that include, but are not limited to, company-wide distribution of health and safety guidelines to raise awareness among employees and a review of our travel and visitor policies. Due to the sensitive nature of the guidelines and policies implemented by the Committee, SHI does not share them externally.
Does SHI have a Business Continuity Plan?
SHI does have a Business Continuity Plan. The document is updated quarterly or more frequently as needed. SHI’s Business Continuity Program contains strategies that are developed and tested to address business impacts, allowing SHI to be ready to ensure that we meet our customer’s needs.
- Workspace Strategy – Loss of primary workspace
- Staffing Strategy – Loss of critical resources
- Technology Strategy (Disaster Recovery) – Loss of primary infrastructure (Data Center including Telecom) and data
- Supplier/Vendor Strategy – Loss of critical supplier(s)
What business continuity actions have been implemented?
In addition to the SHI Leadership Team, the Pandemic Response Team (which is a cross-functional team comprised of various stakeholders from support and business groups) continues to monitor, assess, and work to identify strategies and solutions. Our Pandemic Response Team remains in contact with our sales and supply chain partners. We have daily calls to ensure we are aware of any potential delays or disruptions that could impact our customers.
In addition, keeping the safety and health of our employees as our top priority, while ensuring SHI operates as usual, we continue with our teleworking program. We are prepared to serve our customers at full capability, regardless of where the work is taking place. Should global conditions worsen, we are confident we can quickly respond to changing market dynamics, minimizing impacts to our business and disruptions to our customers and partners.
Has SHI implemented any infectious disease action plans, such as temperature monitoring, evaluating past travel plans at or near cities with infections?
SHI has enacted preventative measures that include but are not limited to company-wide distribution of health and safety guidelines to raise awareness among employees and a review of our travel and visitor policies. Additionally, at focused locations, health and safety supplies have been distributed and temperature scanning is in place.
What actions have been taken to clean equipment prior to delivery to minimize the spread of COVID-19?
Prior to shipping, our technicians ensure equipment is free of dust and debris. In addition, our cleaning companies have increased and enhanced their cleaning practices; abiding by stricter sanitary and health guidelines.
If an employee is confirmed to have COVID-19, other than sending them home, what is SHI’s response on their handling employees that were in close proximity or has been in contact with the infected employee?
We engage with the affected party to gather a detailed timeline and geographic information as well as a comprehensive list of people with whom he/she was in physical proximity. Any individual (including SHI employees, partner representatives, visiting customers, etc.) are notified, and asked to maintain social distancing techniques (this includes self-isolation/teleworking). In addition, they are directed to exercise health and safety precautions, keep in contact with management and HR - and if symptoms appear or get worse - contact their healthcare provider.
What is the process in place for cleaning the infected area?
In the event of a confirmed or strongly suspected exposure to COVID-19 at one of our sites, SHI personnel will act according to the instructions of relevant government authorities and in a manner that safeguards our colleagues. We are contracted with our cleaning companies to provided decontamination services at all facilities. Specific actions and timelines will depend on the specific circumstances and the advice of the experts that are engaged. Such matters are among the considerations made by SHI’s Incident Management Team with a focus on ensuring the health and safety of our colleagues while mitigating business impacts for our channel partners. When actions are taken, they will be communicated to all relevant stakeholders.
What actions have been taken to minimize the risk of supply disruptions?
With the current state of global health and safety, we know you have concerns about the impact on your business. SHI assures you that we are planning for any potential supply challenges and addressing possible scenarios accordingly. SHI has always taken pride in our ability to adapt and innovate quickly, and this global pandemic has SHI implementing new policies and procedures to aid us in helping colleagues, customers and partners overcome the business, technical, and personal hurdles facing us all today. We are implementing steps to mitigate any impact to the delivery of products and services due to COVID-19, and we are committed to maintaining an appropriate coverage model for our customers.
The best way to understand the status of a specific order - along with all possible options – is by working directly with your SHI Account Team.
What additional steps have you taken to respond to the increased security threat?
We continue to evaluate our security posture given the changes to our work environment and new threats. While we have made some adjustments, we do not expect the need to make any major changes. We have been protecting a sizable remote work force for many years.
Are there changes to SHI’s visitor program and what are they?
Our top priorities remain the health and well-being of our employees and the satisfaction and support of our customers and partners. To that end, and to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak, SHI has reviewed its visitor policy and is enacting the changes described below across all SHI locations effective Monday 3/16/2020.
Only critical vendors/visitors will be allowed access to SHI sites. Unscheduled, unapproved visitors will not be allowed to access any SHI location.
Meeting and event sponsors will send their visitors a questionnaire to assess high-risk behaviors via email prior to scheduling their visit. Out of an abundance of caution, if the answer to any of the questions presented is “yes,” the meeting will be rescheduled or conducted virtually. Once onsite, visitors will be asked to sign a Visitor Attestation form. They will be asked to sign only once at their point of entry, either with reception or the sponsor. Visitors who have completed the form within the last 14 days, will not need to sign another form.
In addition, beginning on Friday 5/22/2020 visitors will be required to wear a cloth face covering, maintain at least 6 feet (1.8 meters) of distance between themself and others, and successfully pass a temperature screening. If a reading of 100.4oF (38oC) or above is received the meeting will need to be rescheduled or conducted virtually.
What – if any – direct or indirect impacts are you experiencing in your supply chain from the outbreak (e.g., supply shortages, personnel attendance, safety concerns, etc.)?
Available stock levels vary by individual products and can change minute to minute. Whenever possible, SHI has identified popular products and product lines, and has increased inbound inventory to improve ETAs. SHI has direct electronic access to a global distribution network, and customers who are able to utilize reasonable alternatives in product order, shipping carrier and location of shipping warehouse may be able to significantly improve the ETA of their order.
SHI has enacted preventative measures to ensure the health and safety of our staff. We have been able to maintain the staffing levels necessary to meet an increasing workload.
Citing an abundance of caution - prior to shipment - technicians and staff are thoroughly wiping down any equipment shipping from our Integration Center to ensure it is free of dust and debris. Cleaning crews at all SHI facilities have increased cleaning frequency and enhanced their cleaning practices; abiding by stricter sanitary and health guidelines.
SHI will continue to keep customers apprised of any current or future anticipated impact or delay to delivery.
Does SHI have a customer notification procedure that notifies customer if impacted by an outbreak?
Our top priorities at SHI continues to be the health and safety of our employees, the strength of our supply chain and our commitment to our customers. SHI will ensure that its customers are kept apprised of any impact or delay to their orders.
How will SHI’s supply chain be impacted by COVID-19?
SHI’s teams conducted assessments to identify various eventualities. We remain committed to doing everything within our power to abate any potential negative impacts to our relationships with our valued customers.
How does SHI mitigate supply chain risk?
By continually optimizing our supply chain, we can respond quickly to changing market dynamics, minimizing impacts to our business and disruptions to our customers
How can I find out if my order is impacted?
If you have concerns or questions, Account Executives and our sales teams remain ready to assist you. SHI has over 700,000 sq. ft. of integration and warehousing space available to our customers. Our warehousing capabilities are available to all our customers, be it to mitigate the supply chain demands created by this current crisis or to protect our customers from unnecessary risk.
What potential risks have you identified if disruptions worsen?
While this is a fluid situation, we are making efforts to mitigate service disruptions due to low inventory quantities and transport to our channel partners. Specific actions include working with our vendors to ensure we have adequate supply to accommodate potential disruptions, as well as monitoring vendor backlogs and to assign alternative shipment and delivery options. We continue to monitor the health and well-being of our employees and have put plans in place to ensure our workforce levels remain consistent to address customer needs.
In the event a confirmed COVID-19 case is discovered at a SHI facility, how quickly will SHI communicate with customers and vendors?
As always, consistent, timely communications with all our stakeholders are critical, and we will communicate relevant information when possible.
In the event a confirmed COVID-19 case is discovered at a SHI facility, what is the procedure for any impacted facilities? Will SHI close the facility for cleaning/contamination control? If yes, what is the estimated timeframe for reopening the facility?
We will act according to the instructions of relevant government authorities and in a manner that safeguards our colleagues. Specific actions and timelines will depend on the specific circumstances and the advice of the experts that are engaged. Such matters are among the considerations made by SHI’s Incident Management Team with a focus on ensuring the health and safety of our colleagues while mitigating business impacts for our channel partners. When actions are taken, they will be communicated to all relevant stakeholders.
How will SHI manage staff at an impacted facility to ensure continued operation?
The nature of the facility impacted will determine the continuity plan. We have various options for ensuring continuity, including remote working or shifting work to other locations where remote work is not possible. When actions are taken, they will be communicated to all relevant stakeholders.
We understand that this is an extraordinary and difficult time for our customers and their workforces. To that end, together, we are committed to doing whatever we can to alleviate our customers’ business concerns.