Giving safety a lift during lockdown

29 April 2020 | Web Article Number: ME202018951

Disaster Management
Food & Beverage
Materials Handling & Bulk Handling
Transport, Distribution & Warehousing

IN an effort to keep customers in the essential service supply chain running during the national lockdown, Goscor Lift Truck Company (GLTC) has kept its Aftermarket Division – which comprises service and parts – as well as the Rental Division, operational.

That’s according to MD Cecil Oates, who said this had been mainly to support customers in the food and fuel supply industries.

“Our service teams are on the ground, assisting customers with primarily breakdowns and repairs, while our short-term rental team is supplying forklifts where extra capacity is required to fulfil the demand in critical areas of these essential businesses,” he said.

Giving safety a lift during lockdown

The company also has teams that are stationed on key sites and for them it’s business as usual, but with specific focus on breakdowns during the lockdown period. They will, however, attend to normal scheduled maintenance where they have capacity.

“Where we don’t have teams mobilised on site, we have implemented special procedures focused specifically on quick reaction to these key customers. Work is being channelled directly via contract managers, who stay in contact with their respective customers to ensure that their support needs are fulfilled during this critical time,” said Oates.

The contract managers then report all their activities daily to senior management. The company has a risk register in place that is updated by all managers on a continuous basis.

The company is also closely managing its parts inventory, given that the supply chain from its different principals is severely disrupted at this point in time.

“In emergency situations, we may resort to taking parts from our new machines where necessary, and these will get replaced when sanity prevails – once we receive stock from our factories across the globe,” said Oates.

“However, we still expect parts to arrive from abroad during this period and this will require special processes to ensure that they are offloaded at the harbour, transported to our premises and then offloaded again at our parts facilities for distribution to our essential goods and services customers.”

In neighbouring countries where lockdowns have been implemented, GLTC’s aftermarket team is responding to these markets in a similar manner to South Africa. Countries further away from the company’s South African base are supported by local dealerships in those respective areas.

Oates said that with its technicians on the frontline during the lockdown period, the company had put in place strict measures to ensure their health and safety. These include educational talks, providing sanitisers and encouraging social distancing.

“With safety in mind, the special procedures we have put in place are aimed at shortening the process, and not exposing too many people to the office. Apart from educating our employees on how to protect themselves during this time, we have also provided them with additional PPE (personal protective equipment) to ensure their maximum safety.”

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