Here at The Malt Miller HQ we’ve been closely monitoring the situation daily with regards to COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and paying close attention to the facts and advice given by health authorities, government and watching as other countries take steps to reduce the risk to their customers and staff.
On the 3rd of March we gathered all of our team and briefed them with a change in our practises and business operation. They were all issued with the following statement:
COVID-19 – The Malt Miller Procedures
The spread of Coronavirus is something that, as a business we need to take seriously. This is to protect our staff and the family and friends thereof. In most cases the virus is nothing more than a cough/cold/flu like illness however, for vulnerable groups, and we do have those amongst us it can be more serious.
We need to introduce various methods to the possibly of transfer of the virus to a minimum, it is imperative that all staff are fully on board, we are looking after the team as a whole.
- Hands to be washed on entering and leaving the building.
- Hands to be dried using blown air or blue roll that is dispose of immediately
- Touching face, eyes, mouth to be kept to an absolute minimum. Hands washed afterwards.
- Coughs and sneezes to be caught in a tissue which is then immediately disposed of.
- Each member of staff is to have their own cup, cutlery, plate etc. Which is taken home to wash or immediately washed here. No sharing of communal crockery / Cutlery
- No washing up left in the sink or drainer
Visitors to the site must also adhere to the same rules and must not intrude to the warehouse any further than the front desk. This is an evolving situation and will be monitored.
Symptoms of coronavirus
The symptoms of coronavirus are:
- a cough
- a high temperature
- shortness of breath
If any staff display any of these symptoms call BEFORE coming to work.
Last week we also took the decision to suspend all planned travel for all team members, this unfortunately meant we did miss out on visiting a couple of our suppliers and attending BeerX in Liverpool, but the well being of our team is far more important at this time.
What you really want to know is will there be any effect to us processing and producing your orders? Will any of the products we offer be effected or is there a risk of reduced availability?
And what steps have we put in place to ensure we can continue to provide the service that you are used to.
As a business that is supplying many types of products including items which are classed as food products hygiene and cleanliness has always been a high priority in our day to day activities. Whenever products which we pack in house such as malts, hops, yeast, flavouring ingredients or sugars are handled our team have always done this in designated areas of the business that reduce risk of cross contamination and allow for a thorough clean down afterwards. Any person packing such goods is always trained to wear protective items such as face masks, gloves and aprons to protect themselves as much as the product itself.
We have increased our stock holding here on site and are talking with our suppliers regularly to inform us of any delays they might be experiencing with production or supply at this time.
The supply of equipment faces different challenges as our products come from all over the world, some of those that are manufactured in China have had longer lead times applied to them, and those that come from Italy such as kegs and regulators for example are just showing signs of delay to production and delivery.
But in all instances we’re monitoring the situation and talking with the manufacturers to try and ensure we have a good level of stock either here or on route to us at all times.
So at this time there is no need to panic buy, its business as usual and processing your orders is our number one priority.
What next though? How do we plan for the unknown? How do we ensure we are able to fulfil all of your orders when and if we have team members become ill?
Even on a normal week if we have a couple of team members missing the processing of orders in a single day to have them with you the following day is more challenging. This is because we are a small team, and we all count on each other to get each bespoke ‘made to order’ parcel turned around in less than 3 hours, from milling malts, weighing hops, building items of equipment, we really do make everything to order for you.
But getting orders processed and out the door is and always will be the first priority in the day, and we will always do as much as we can to try and get all orders completed in a single day.
So when the virus does start to impact on team being in work we have worked on a plan which will mean moving the customer service team away from phone calls and emails, this will of course mean we have to manage and prioritise which calls and emails we respond to, we will of course do our upmost to respond, it just might not be in a our usually quick response time.
There will also come a time when we will have to remove the option for collections of products and close our doors to visitors looking to browse I’m afraid, but we’ll keep watching the situation and follow what guidelines the government and health officials advise for businesses and shops to follow.
We will keep monitoring the situation, making adjustments that we need to make and we will communicate changes that we need your help and support with so that we can continue to get you your order as quickly as possible.
Rob and the team