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Covid-19: company update

Covid-19: company update
Throughout the coronavirus pandemic Rapid Electronics has been operating in accordance with its business continuity plan. As for all organisations it has been an exceptionally challenging period, but we are proud of the way our staff have responded. We are lucky in that we are an agile business with systems in place to react quickly to changing circumstances. As England goes into another period of lockdown from November 5th, we would like to provide an update of how our business has functioned in response to Covid-19 and what the new national restrictions will mean for customers, suppliers and stakeholders.

Customers may have questions which we will try to answer in this update.

Is Rapid considered an “essential” business?
Yes. We are an importer and distributor of components and finished products for a broad UK customer base. The government has stipulated that warehousing and distribution businesses are to remain open. Our electronics and components are used in manufacturing for research and development, small batch PCB production, machine building and servicing and monitoring equipment across all UK industries. It is extremely difficult to determine which customers or orders may be deemed critical, but we have a number of customers designing and manufacturing medical equipment specifically for Covid-19 related life support and testing systems. These customers have contacted us to confirm that they and the UK government rely on our products and services to deliver work that they perform.

We also supply nurseries, primary and secondary schools with curriculum-related education products and consumables across all subjects. If home schooling is temporarily required, our ability to ship educational products or art materials to consumers' home addresses with a next day service has meant that our education products can be easily accessed by parents, teachers and students.

Universities have a tough job balancing the educational needs of their students and courses with the restrictions the pandemic has placed on onsite teaching. Rapid provides kitting services which source and package up technical product requirements to create student kits. We distribute kits on behalf of the universities to both UK and students globally so they can then take part in virtual lectures for technical subjects.

At what capacity is the company currently operating?
Service levels remain high. Staff in our distribution centre will be working on site during the November lockdown as they have done since the start of the pandemic. Social distancing guidelines within the company building are being followed at all times and there have been no confirmed Covid-19 cases reported amongst staff or transmissions on our site. Our OTIF (on time in full) benchmark measure is in line with pre-pandemic levels. We monitor and manage this key metric and are confident our resources and processes are fit for purpose.

Are you prioritising certain customer orders?
No, we are operating at normal levels. We aim to despatch all orders on time. We can prioritise specific customer orders and do so at the customer's request. Please contact our Customer Experience team on live chat if you are interested in this service.

Will my order be delayed due to Covid-19?
We generally distribute to customers from our UK warehouse on a next day service, and therefore have full control over this service level. We also utilise manufacturers to supply customers directly with large or bulky items. We monitor data to ensure delivery dates we confirm are met. As soon as we are aware of any delay, we would immediately contact you to advise a new date.

How do your couriers ensure they deliver safely?
Our courier service provider DHL and Royal Mail are fully compliant with the latest World Health Organisation and UK government guidelines on reducing the risk of spreading the infection. Signatures will no longer be required to accept a parcel. The driver will leave the item at the customer’s door and retreat to a safe distance in accordance with the social distancing guidelines, before scanning the customer’s name.

Are your suppliers delivering to Rapid on time?
We import products to replenish our stock levels and we are seeing due dates into Rapid delayed. This generally will not impact our customers as we hold between 1 to 24 months worth of stock.Some delays are being experienced at UK ports, and if there are any unavoidable delays due to supplies from UK or EU manufacturers we are able to inform you immediately. We strongly advise contacting us to discuss your requirements, as we can control our own service levels from our stock and are happy to hold stock on your behalf to meet your required deadlines.

What are you doing to keep customers and staff safe?
We consistently review the latest government guidance and track local Covid-19 case rates to aid our decisions on how to operate safely and effectively. As well as a significant number of measures we have taken to portect staff on site, our Trade Counter remains closed to protect both staff and customers. Order collections are not available, unless critical and in an emergency. Customers can order online and deliveries will be made to their home or work premises.

How can I contact you or place orders?
live chat
  • Live Web Chat. Our sales line has been temporarily replaced by our Live Web Chat service, which can be used by customers to contact our Customer Experience, Customer Services, Sales and Website staff, who are working remotely. You can access this service on our website from the 'Can we help?' prompt (pictured) at the bottom right of the site. This service will be staffed from 8am-5pm Monday to Friday. It will be available to log your enquiry outside of these times and it will be attended to as soon as possible when business hours reopen.
  • Online. Rapid’s website remains, as ever, the easiest, most contactless way to order from us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Are face coverings, hand sanitising and cleaning products available from Rapid?
Yes, with a wide range of equipment in stock. As well as CE certified disposable face masks, we also have hand hygiene and site safety equipment available, as businesses, schools and academic institutions do all they can to keep their premises safe. View our full range of workplace safety equipment here.

If you would like to discuss our any of our services, or have any queries or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us on the Live chat service.

Rapid Electronics

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