23 April 20

Covid 19 - Customer Communication Update April - 2020

Dear Customer,

I am writing to give you a general update relevant to the logistics activities of Howard Tenens.

In summary, we remain in a strong position thanks to the actions, performance and support of our colleagues and customer base.

Our colleagues are indeed our most valuable asset and as such, our focus has been, and continues to be their health and safety in the workplace by strictly adhering to Government guidelines and ensuring we listen to any concern or recommendation to assess and practically apply across all sites where feasible.

Communication is critical so we have introduced a number of additional measures to ‘business as usual’ protocol with the leadership team together with the collation, review and sharing of advice not only from our Government but also from industry bodies such as the Road Haulage Association, Freight Transport Association, United Kingdom Warehousing Association and Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport, British Retail Consortium and British Coffee Association.

Equally as important to said measures has been the enhancement of colleague communication such as;

  • Home working policies focused on the physical and mental health of our colleagues
  • Clear and concise processes to ensure all colleagues understand the protocol related to self-isolation, furlough, social distancing
  • Weekly ‘Life after Furlough’ electronic communications to furloughed colleagues to include ‘what to do’ and weekly competitions
  • Regular electronic colleague updates and business announcements to all within Howard Tenens encouraging a two-way communication to ensure inclusion and provision of support that is applicable to all
  • A fortnightly ‘Keep your COVID-19’ sanity quiz for all sites to participate
  • Links to our website to ensure customers remain in touch with all Howard Tenens Customer updates – https://www.tenens.com/news
  • And of course our weekly Thursday evening 8pm clap for the NHS and Key Workers.  If you’ve not already seen it please visit the following link to gain a feel for the pride across our business with such amazing people

Whilst the implications of COVID-19 has clearly impacted our business, we have conversely witnessed an uplift in volume relating to food, drink, medicine in line other sectors such as home/garden and health/fitness that encourages the application of home delivery rather than members of the public having to continue visiting retail units, risking infection to themselves and others.

We are particularly proud of our involvement with Elis whereby our Andover site has been working incredibly hard to provide both the NHS Nightingale hospital in London and NEC Birmingham with over 365,000 items of bed sheets, bath towels and scrub suits – https://www.linkedin.com/posts/howard-tenens-logistics_howard-tenens-has-been-working-in-partnership-activity-6656193785292304384-6GyP

Also Costa Coffee – Proud to Serve whereby we have dispatched in excess of 15,000 cases of Costa Ice Coffees to the NHS London Nightingale hospital – https://www.linkedin.com/posts/howard-tenens-logistics_howard-tenens-andover-has-been-working-in-activity-6654009394914820097-3Pq6

Given a total of approx. 720 colleagues, we have currently enacted furlough to 93 individuals which represents 13%. The diverse range of Howard Tenens customer base has meant that our organisation remains in a robust position during such unprecedented times with only a small number of customers and sites impacting operations across the group. We have seen incredible support from many customers of which I, and the rest of the Board, would like to personally thank for your ongoing partnership approach with Howard Tenens.

I would finally like to pass on our companies’ gratitude, not only to you and your organisation, but also your families.  We have a large number of customers working from home at this moment in time and we want to thank their husbands, wives, partners and of course children for the invasion of logistics and supply chain on their home environment!

Holding Microsoft Team, Zoom or Skype meetings is key in maintaining personal contact with our customer base and we actively encourage a more informal approach whereby the occasional cup of tea or coffee being delivered into the home-working environment by a loved one or even better the introduction to younger family members who are keen to demonstrate their latest art work!  It’s all part of the journey…

We would also like to take this opportunity to pass our thoughts and prayers to all those directly or indirectly impacted by COVID-19.

Following yesterday’s announcement regarding the 3 week extension, our focus is now on the shorter-term implications and also preparing for the medium to longer term de-furloughing processes.  Our Divisional/Senior Management Team will continue to work closely with each site/team, and all customers to monitor daily change in demand during the coming weeks to ensure we support a phased increased as the country returns to normality over the coming months.

Once again, thank you all for your continued support, we wish you all the very best and we will continue to communicate with you regularly whilst we together navigate through these challenging times.

Kind regards,

Karl Hodgkinson