Delivery to the Front Line.
It’s at times of crisis when people become aware of things they take for granted. For example, a fridge freezer, it sits nicely in a kitchen, quietly going about its work, managing and maintaining the correct temperature of whatever is put in it.
In the current lockdown situation this fridge freezer is stocked more than normal because it is used more than normal because people are home more than normal. The good weather will mean that the fridge will have to work harder to keep up with keeping food at a safe and ideal temperature. Packing it before the weekend barbeque and squeezing in all those party essentials will be normal.
Oops “ Folks…….something is wrong with the fridge”. Now this kitchen cabinet is now seen for what it really is, a machine that is critical to maintaining and storing fresh food supplies, for extended periods of time. For the time that the machine has been in the kitchen it has never been serviced or had any maintenance. “Someone check the fuse”. This one has a life cycle and it is done…time for a new one.
Stores closed, service centres closed, only essential services open. “We can get one online and they deliver, brilliant”
It’s the next phase that puts the role of the home delivery driver into the essential front line worker. Regardless of the size of the appliance the delivery crew will ensure that the appliance is handled with due care and where necessary they will do what real front line workers do. They protect themselves and their customers from any risks to health and safety. Moving a delicate appliance weighing 120 Kg needs to be done with care. It takes training, experience and expertise to do the job safely and without damaging the appliance or the flooring or doors, walls, skirting, furniture, lamp shades or your back!
As delivery crew members, we are asked to deliver within current HSE guidelines. That is to say, if there are people who are infected with covid-19 or the symptoms of the virus, in the dwelling, we are to leave the appliance in the front of the house. We can take away the packaging, which will fill any green bin or black bin and more. (Not that you are allowed to put Styrofoam in the green bin, it has to go into the black bin for land fill). We can even take away the old appliance, once it is left outside for us.
Delivery crews are very well supported in terms of PPE. The site we work from follows HSE social distancing and have stayed well ahead of the health risk curve. This it must be said in no small part to the general manager who runs the site like a military camp. All employees have benefited greatly from the controls and the training he initiated. None of the crews have reported any illness since the guidelines were issued. It is a team effort to make a delivery. Route planners, warehouse management, loaders, checkers and customer services. All of these workers are essential to getting the job done. As a result of the proactive measures taken by the GM everything is running like a well-oiled machine.
As crew members we evaluate the risks associated with the delivery. If it’s a 40” TV we know that the customer can move it from the driveway into the TV room. However, a large fridge freezer needs careful handling and we have the necessary equipment and competence to move large appliances. We are human, we have mothers and fathers and grandparents and we know who should and who shouldn’t move these items. We understand the importance of the appliance to the customer and will do everything within reason to meet reasonable expectations.
Delivery crews will continue to deliver essential appliances to customer homes, and we are provided with and use, gloves, antibacterial gel and cleaning wipes before and after every delivery.
If anyone in the household is self-isolating because of potential exposure, to protect the customer and the crew, we don’t provide the recycling services as can only deliver to your front door. However, if it is OK with the customer we can remove the packaging in the front of the house and take it away. The customer is advised that we will collect the old appliance for recycling as soon as it is safe to do so.
Crews will always call 30 minutes before delivery to ask them if they would prefer a ‘contact free’ delivery to the front door or garage or real patio doors. We simply take a photo of the delivered item and ask the customer to send a text to say they received delivery.
As crew members we understand, that for the foreseeable future, we are going to have to give a little extra attention to the vulnerable. We take pride in the work we do and we are committed to supporting our communities at this most difficult time.
We do appreciate what our customers say about us, it gives us that feeling of making a positive difference to people’s lives.
Here is a selection of a view customer testimonials.
“Very polite delivery guys and helped out as much as they could with social distancing respected”
“Notice received of delivery time which was accurate, pleasant driver and helper”
“The delivery guys were extremely helpful and positive as we checked goods before they headed off. Really appreciated the good attitude during these tough times.”
“Efficient service. I was called directly about 40 minutes before delivery arrived to advise delivery was on route”
“First time ordering such an appliance online. Delivered on time. Lads polite friendly and very helpful.”