Saddleback to move to “minimum operating environment” amid COVID-19 outbreak

Saddleback is to move to a “minimum operating environment” amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Regular sales manager contacts will be out-of-office, so all trade sales and customer service enquiries should be forwarded to either Chris Field or George Wise.

Meanwhile, the Saddleback B2B remains operational and a skeleton crew will be retained to enable the distributor to manage warehouse stock and dispatch items to stockists. Five members of staff plus the company owners will be at Saddleback HQ.

The distributor said it remains “open for business” and intends to offer members of the cycling trade “the best possible service”.

The full statement read:

Since the true implications of COVID-19 became clear just weeks ago, we’ve been working hard behind the scenes at Saddleback to react to the rapidly changing situation as well as planning for as many contingencies as possible.  

With the wellbeing of our team always at the fore, we immediately brought in new measures for employee distancing and increased hand hygiene throughout the offices. Over the last few weeks, we have also transitioned as many of our staff as possible to remote working – our IT team working hard to ensure minimal disruption so that members of the trade and public may not have even been aware of the change. Only essential warehouse and logistics personnel have remained on-site.  

We acted quickly to bring these changes into place. In doing so, we feel comfortable that all staff are well looked after, thereby allowing us to remain open while we support bike shops. 

Now, with the Government lockdown being justifiably tightened as the virus continues to spread and the cycling industry soft-pedalling through this uncertain time, we have taken the tough decision to enact one of our contingencies and move to a minimum operating environment. 

As of today, Monday 30th March, we will be running Saddleback with the minimum number of staff required to fulfil our stockists’ orders, provide customer services and workshop support. As regular sales manager contacts will be out-of-office, all trade sales and customer service enquiries should be forwarded to either Chris Field or George Wise (contact details below). 

Meanwhile, the Saddleback B2B remains operational and a skeleton crew will be retained to enable us to manage warehouse stock and dispatch items to stockists. A total of five members of staff plus the company owners will be at Saddleback HQ. During this hiatus, returns, warranty cases and servicing may take longer to deal with than usual. 

To be clear, Saddleback remains open for business, and we intend, as always, to offer members of the cycling trade in the UK, the Irish Republic and beyond the best possible service, getting our elite performance products to those who need them. However, we will do so with a smaller staff who are protected as fully as possible from a wellbeing standpoint. 

The remaining members of the Saddleback team will be furloughed so that we’re in the best possible position to get back to full trading once the immediate COVID-19 crisis has diminished and cyclists around the world can take full advantage of the opportunity to get back to their clubs, teammates and training buddies – hopefully with plenty of new converts too. 

We would like to thank our brands and stockists for their support during this challenging time and also take this opportunity to extend our sincere thanks to members of the cycling community who are also working on the frontline to help combat the virus in the NHS and other key-worker services. 

Sales and customer service 
Chris Field
01454 285273 
chris@saddleback.co.uk

National account manager 
George Wise
07827 928476 
george.wise@saddleback.co.uk 

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