The infrastructure and construction industry is a critical sector in every economy. Unfortunately, during a pandemic, many companies are forced to re-evaluate their practices and operations. Some construction projects inevitably had to either close temporarily or reduce their work capacities – to the detriment of all stakeholders involved. In line with this, plant hire companies are also significantly impacted by the many changes brought about by the current circumstances.
How can plant hire companies stay open?
For plant hire Birmingham companies, staying open while the world is battling a health pandemic is challenging. The government is implementing lockdown rules and other guidelines affecting essential and non-essential businesses. And since these guidelines can change at any time, the biggest struggle is to ensure compliance, but at the same time help keep the business operations afloat.
One of the ways plant hire services can remain operating is by strengthening their logistics network. Instead of accepting contracts and requests to hire equipment through their offices, they can remotely fill these orders and deliver the service while adhering to minimum health standards. Some examples of contingency measures that these companies can employ are:
- No face-to-face interaction with clients.
- Take advantage of phone conferencing and video conferencing to communicate
- Conduct site visits only when absolutely necessary.
- Implement hygiene and health protocols
- Provide protective equipment and conduct regular sanitation
- Process requests and orders digitally
To a certain extent, plant hire services are considered an essential business. As such, continued operation is a must for these companies. By complying with government regulations, outbreaks can be prevented, and financial loss will be minimised.
Preparing for the inevitable
Despite the extensive safety measures employed, there is still a looming possibility that companies may shut down because of the pandemic. Should stricter lockdown measures be necessary, or an outbreak occurs on-site, there’s no other choice but to shut-down operations. Every plant hire company should be prepared for emergency closure. Along with a well-defined plan, there should be security and safety protocols included which will protect business interests and those of employees as well.
Most importantly, if a closure is inevitable, the plan should include steps on how to secure the company premises, protect the equipment, and implement a monitoring system. Also, there should be a clear process for cancelling contracts which may have been affected by the closure. How will the company accept returns? What if the client requests compensation? If there are any legal matters involved, it’s also critical to have legal representation and advice from the company’s lawyer.
Every industry today should also take advantage of insurance coverage that will protect them from the effect of the pandemic. For example, employees may claim against a company if the infection begins in the workplace. In these instances, insurance is critical for mitigating the liability of the company as well as covering the expense of the claim.
Lastly, since the government is aware of these struggles, there may be some relief and financial aid available. If so, now is the time to take advantage of all help available.