Due to the evolving conditions under which we’re working, we want to share an update on the operations side of our business.
We spoke with Nate Bauer, Senior VP of Operations for field services and distribution centers, Mat Grasseschi, Operations Manager for Wisconsin, and Catherine Mika, VP of Client Experience, to provide answers to questions we’ve been hearing from facility managers, business leaders, and partners in our supply chain.
Are you open?
Nate: We’re open because we have clients that are essential, and we continue to meet any and all expectations our clients have of us in all markets in order to continue serving them. We are a skilled trade and therefore classified as an essential business under both the construction and the moving & relocation designation, which allows us to continue providing our clients with Warehousing & Storage, Installation, Moving and MAC services, Transportation and Logistics.
Is it safe to have your crews in the field, on location?
Nate: Absolutely! In our industry, we are tightly integrated with the construction industry, and follow similar protocols and safety practices, such as a site check-in-desk and 1:1 health checks between our onsite supervisors and crew members.
We are taking every available precaution because we know we’re supporting clients and industries that are considered essential and critical infrastructure. We are pulling out the stops because our clients need us more than ever.
We have instituted protocols that follow the CDC guidelines for proper physical distancing, safe hygiene practices, and Personal Protection Equipment (PPE). Our crews are working regular hours, scheduled direct to locations to minimize exposure and all field personnel are extensively informed on expected protocol to ensure the highest quality even while physically distanced.
Our health & safety team has also added protocols for assessing the health of field personnel, having them stay at home if symptomatic of an illness and ask that they not return to the office or to the job-site until cleared.
Mat: We are ensuring we connect directly with an on-site contact prior to arrival, so that our drivers and installers are meeting expectations. Even if the expectations change daily.
I have to reschedule our project dates, how long can I store products in your warehouse?
Nate: Some of our clients need to delay or reschedule projects, due to economic conditions beyond their control. Naturally, this means we need to adjust for storage changes or diverted shipments. We have over 500,000 sq/ft of controlled storage space across our locations, and can work quickly to arrange for short-term or long-term storage solutions, or even act as a storage alternative and accommodate shipments unrelated to our core business.
Mat: As our manufacturers change shipment schedules, we are in constant contact with them to make adjustments on the receiving end.
We know some manufacturers have scaled back, and our orders were put on hold. What should our Plan B be?
Catherine: This is a dynamic situation and unprecedented. Each Manufacturer has handled their production capabilities differently. At Atmosphere, we are in tune with our manufacturers and speaking with them weekly as the fluidity of this situation is ever changing. We are receiving real time updates and providing this communication back to our teams as we look at order fulfillment and communication to our customers.
We expect manufacturing capacities to increase as they plan for social distancing within their production facilities and shelter-in-place orders are lifted, and orders will be fulfilled based on when they were placed. I recommend our clients stay connected with their sales representative, as they will have visibility into manufacturing schedules and can best predict when you can expect to see new shipment dates.
We recommend you continue to place your orders as they will go into the production queue, and orders will be fulfilled based on when they were received. We are working closely with Steelcase to identify new lead times as production capabilities increase.
We also continue to receive ancillary orders at a steady pace, so we can re-prioritize project installation phases based on the product we have on-hand.
Mat: I would consider a decommissioning program – our crews can help you focus on preparing your facilities for future projects.
My industry, Hospitality, took a huge hit. Tourism, conferences, fear of traveling and being quarantined are major concerns. Our projects are on-hold indefinitely. Can you help us mitigate our costs so that we can emerge financially healthy and return our own people to work?
Nate: Hospitality is an important business segment for us, and we have been working diligently to support clients that have suddenly found themselves in fragile financial positions. We understand the challenges this presents to our collective supply chain, so our focus has been to provide creative and flexible solutions that will keep the chain intact and ready to return to full capacity.
My local service provider closed, how quickly can we get on your schedule?
Nate: We have already started receiving diverted shipments due to this unfortunate situation. We have labor resources at the ready to support whether it be at a job site, warehousing or project management consultation. We can react quickly and support your needs with 48-hour advance notice.
Do you ship to residences? I am unexpectedly working from home, and my kitchen table isn’t cutting it.
Mat: Some of our clients were able to remain open by sending their workforce home with their current technology. However, over time, working from a setup that’s not ergonomically supportive can take a toll. We’ve been matching new home office workers with adjustable height worksurfaces that we have on-hand, that can be drop-shipped to residential addresses.
Catherine: Our clients are looking for work-from-home solutions for their workforce, even as they prepare to return to their office space. We have some great home office packages available that can be introduced to clients who are seeking this as an option. We believe re-introduction into the office space will be phased, to ensure clients can manage new protocols around density, hygiene and social distancing. We are prepared to help our clients navigate these new norms. Please watch for additional information on our website regarding what the workplace looks like post COVID-19.