As we know these are unprecedented times and, as your business partner, we want to assure you that we have a robust business continuity plan, and we are implementing best practices to ensure your continued success while making sure our staff are protected and safe.
While it is unknown what lies ahead with the global spread of COVID-19, rest assured our dedicated team is working on your behalf in these challenging times to provide you with uninterrupted service and support.
Here are steps we are taking to prevent business disruptions:
- We have set up a COVID-19 internal response team to communicate in real time with our employees and to continually assess the situation so we can proactively address changes
- To protect our global workforce we have in place a secure IT infrastructure that supports remote working and ensures all essential business functions can continue without interruption to you
- Wherever we have service commitments we have a customized plan to ensure optimal support for you
- We are in daily contact with suppliers to mitigate manufacturing delays and are researching new suppliers to continue progress as needed
- We participate in ongoing communications with our sales team on product delivery and availability schedules so they can communicate expectations directly with you
We have an emergency response plan in place and are fully equipped to continue business as usual as we keep and honor our commitments to our customers. The Technical Assistance Center (TAC) is fully operational and is available 24x7x365 for customers needing assistance. All functions within the TAC site whether it’s opening a ticket, chatting live with an ST Engineering iDirect rep, seeing history, uploading software, searching our Knowledgebase, researching an RMA, or the ability to recreate a user session with an engineer are available to customers per usual.
Cybersecurity remains a high priority for our IT Team. Our network was built for a mobile workforce with infrastructure in place and every employee is able to work remotely and continue our business processes. In fact, we tested our Business Continuity Plan in October 2019 with a simulation of 100% power loss where 100% of our workforce worked remote during business hours. We passed that event and updated our continuity documentation late last year as a result of this proactive testing.
As the world is affected by COVID-19, including manufacturing plants, our Supply Chain team holds daily conversations with our suppliers to monitor the situation, gauge timelines and ensure we are close to schedule. In addition, we are working to broaden our supplier base and have mitigation plans in place should times-to-market be delayed long term. At this time we do not anticipate any delays; however, as you know, these details can shift daily and if there are changes that impact our customers we will communicate them.
Our first priority as a company is our most valuable asset: our employees and their safety. As such, we have taken swift action to protect them and slow the spread of the virus. Employees are working from home and all travel is halted. Last week we made the difficult but necessary decision to close our Erpe-Mere manufacturing plant in Belgium on 20 March. The plant will be closed until 3 April. Our manufacturing supporting teams – those in sales/purchasing/process engineering – are working remotely to serve our customers, and all pre-order processing such as quotes and procurement will go forth as usual.
We want to encourage all of our customers to keep in close contact with us via phone, email, or videoconferencing. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to your account manager.
Thank you for your understanding and patience as we navigate our way through this unforeseen situation.
Thomas Van den Driessche
President of the Executive Strategy Board and CCO
ST Engineering iDirect