In the wake of COVID-19, the last thing any supply chain needs right now is another disruptive shutdown caused by ineffective workplace practices. At O’Neill Logistics, we believe that every business should not only have a risk management plan in place but also up-to-date operating procedures that address the current need for better hygiene requirements to keep employees safe.

With the right practices in place, we hope to appropriately protect ourselves (as well as our customers and partners) and prevent untimely delays or shutdowns that interrupt the logistics functions our customers count on us to perform.

For example, eliminating the chances of cross-contamination between individuals is one of our top priorities, which is why we’re taking these extra precautions to intensify our cleaning regiment for the safety of everyone surrounding us. The list below highlights the steps we are using to thoroughly disinfect all of our work areas by introducing the following protocols, which are performed at least 2-3 times per day:

  • Full-coverage cleaning processes, including additional cleaning supplies for all individuals and offices
  • Complete office wipe-downs between every meeting
  • Easy-to-follow hygiene instructions for employees with clear signage in all bathrooms, kitchens, clocks, etc.
  • Increased quantities and use of hand sanitizers / antiseptic wipes for employees and communal surfaces, such as biometric clocks
  • Temperature checks taken before individuals enter a facility at the start of the day and then again at midday, which are consistently logged
  • Enforcement of personal protective equipment (PPE), like masks, for employees — especially in shared spaces
  • Social distancing rules that ensure at least six inches of distance and factor in table placements and the number of chairs per table
  • Installments of plexiglass by driver entries that mitigate risk between team members
  • Bathroom reconfigurations that minimize employee interactions
  • Restrictions limiting access to facilities. If permitted to enter, check of visitors’ temperature before entry and proper PPE equipment requirement
  • Reduced paperwork handling between drivers
  • Sending B/Ls and PODs in advance with PODs sent back by customers

Every step taken from decreasing personal contact, to maintaining safe spaces, to enforcing PPE helps us combat the harmful risks of COVID-19, but our efforts are not stopping here. In order to move forward and eventually overcome the effects of the pandemic, we as an industry need to do our part by focusing on the execution of long-term strategies. We encourage all of our partners to think about the following.

Are you considering your suppliers’ needs and their upstream upsets? How about the concerns of your customers, transportation partners, and employees? Does your business have the support it requires to continue operating at optimal levels? Are you prepared to either consolidate or potentially increase your production and distribution? How will the market for your company’s products be different 12 months from now and are you prepared for such a transition? Despite how new these the conditions are for everyone, these are all questions that need to be addressed.

In a time of full of uncertainty, industry leaders are having to reassess every aspect of their businesses, and many are realizing just how important end-to-end visibility and automation can be for their logistics operations. A lot still remains uncertain; however, those who are taking their time and resources to adjust to what may become permanent changes are the companies who will outlast their competition.