It said that before the official announcement in Germany of school closures, it had put measures in place for its employees including multi-shift systems and regulations regarding working from home.
Some of its employees are continuing to process orders, deliveries and incoming service cases on the site, it continued, but they have all been placed under ‘strict’ protective measures.
The business has also outlined its initiative to support dealers, including a free download of a ‘service workshop open’ window poster and an COVID-19 updates section of its B2B shop.
The full statement read:
The UK hub is open but with reduced staffing to allow safe working of employees and social distancing measures put in place. Orders placed before 1pm should be with customer the next day as our courier TNT is still operating its service. Some regions may take an extra day due to COVID-19. Also, Magura and Bosch warranty is also operating.
During the current COVID-19 pandemic (coronavirus), our top priority is the protection of our Magura Bosch Parts & Services GmbH & Co. KG (MBPS) employees, our business partners and our company. Even before the official announcement in Germany of school closures, we had put appropriate measures in place for our employees, including multi-shift systems and regulations regarding working from home – and one of our major goals was to provide child care as quickly as possible by arranging for our employees to work in their homes.
At the same time, of course, another of our priorities is to continue with our daily work as much as possible and to ensure the supply of components for our customers in the best possible way.
We believe that we and our specialist dealers must continue to guarantee individual transport by bicycle. One way of achieving this is through our broad service structure in Germany. The population must have their bicycles repaired where necessary because cycling will relieve the burden on public transport, avoid human contact points and still ensure mobility.
Some of our employees are continuing to process orders, deliveries and incoming service cases on our site, but they have all been placed under strict protective measures. All our known communication channels are still accessible and our processing times have changed only slightly. At the time of writing, there are no major supply bottlenecks or postponements of delivery dates for our main and partner MBPS brand products.
Our ability to deliver is highly dependent on the work of the parcel services and transport companies. However, shutdowns and designated risk areas mean that some regional delivery restrictions may be applied and delivery times for our products could be significantly extended as a result. Our transport company partners, however, have stated that they expect only initial selective restrictions or delays.
In some cases, there are also delays in border crossings and delivery traffic congestion – but we can counteract this, since our multi-partner strategy enables us to quickly switch to service providers that can provide us with reliable delivery, especially in critical foreign countries.
Magura initiative to support our dealers
The decision of the German state Governments to close the local specialist retail trade and only allow service operations resulted in an increased number of returns and uncertainty among our retail customers during the first days of the corona crisis. Parcel service operators simply did not know whether or how they could deliver goods. In response to feedback from our sales representatives, we have now taken the initiative to offer our bicycle and motorcycle dealers a free download for a “SERVICE WORKSHOP OPEN” window poster.
This idea is simple, but it has met with unanimous approval from our specialist dealers. Simple and timely customer information can make a big difference in these uncertain times, so our appeal to all our dealers is to communicate frankly with their retail customers as quickly as possible.
To continue providing our specialist dealers with continuous information on the business activities of MBPS, we have also created a “COVID-19 Updates” section in our B2B shop. The information is continuously updated, so questions can be answered as quickly as possible.
Current challenges for the MBPS
The biggest and most important challenge was first of all to maintain our business activity, combined with the highest possible degree of protection for our employees. Within a few days, regulations regarding working at home were established and the positions of our workstations were altered to ensure safe distances between employees.
The second step now involves enabling a suitable employment arrangement for our employees, despite fewer orders coming in. The closure of several local specialist dealers is already causing sales losses. Part-time working could also be a future solution for the MBPS to secure jobs in the long term. As things stand as of March 27, however, it is unclear to what extent part-time working will be necessary. We will maintain “normal operation” as long as possible.
To avoid overloading the systems, we would like to see our specialist dealers handling orders and returns responsibly. The task now is to relieve the overworked delivery traffic and reduced logistics teams as much as possible. By this, we do not mean reducing order volumes, but using collective orders that will make the processing of the systems easier.
All information is subject to change at short notice. We are doing our utmost to bolster the local specialist bicycle trade during this crisis. Stay healthy.