Thursday, 19 March 2020
(Updated Monday 6 April)
Nobles is closely monitoring COVID-19 developments and our thoughts are with those directly and indirectly impacted by the spread of the virus. Our number one priority is the health and wellbeing of our employees, customers and suppliers. We want minimal disruption to our business and yours, and as such, we are taking the following precautions to protect against the spread of COVID-19.
Products Supply Chain
As a significant product importer from Asia, Europe, the US and UK, Nobles supply chain depends upon the continued efficient operations of production facilities, raw material suppliers and goods transportation in several countries with high rates of COVID-19 infections, including China, UK, Germany, Austria and the Netherlands. Note, we have no specific supply chain exposure to Hubei province in China, Italy, Spain or Iran.
We have completed a full assessment of our supply chains in these countries and have determined there is currently minimal risk to our ability to continue to meet your demand. While there have been some minor shipment delays (of an average of 3 weeks) from some of these countries due to temporary shutdowns, all our major suppliers in these countries are now operating at full or close to full capacity and are catching up with demand.
Nobles has enough domestic stock around Australia to cover current supply chain delays without impacting customer lead times. Where product availability or delivery has been an issue, we have sourced alternative domestic supply and we will continue to do this should the need arise. For urgent orders of low volume/weight, critical imported items, Nobles can also readily airfreight these. In rare cases of critical products out-of-stock we can also source alternatives from other suppliers of similar products, with whom we maintain ongoing sourcing arrangements. Note, for most product ranges we have at least two suppliers located in separate countries.
Nobles will continue to conduct daily monitoring of the logistics system to ensure our inventory and production planning accounts for any disruption to normal transportation schedules. We will notify you well in advance if we see any indications of potential impacts to our supply chain that may impact on your business.
Technical & Engineering Services
There are presently no disruptions to our technical service and customer engineering capabilities and Nobles will continue to provide our full range of these services to customers, including all scheduled field inspections and onsite services. All our field technicians have been instructed to protect themselves against the spread of COVID-19 by practicing additional hygiene through regularly hand washing and sanitising as well as social distancing such as avoiding shaking hands. If a Nobles technician feels unwell, they have been instructed not to come to work or attend site. If this occurs, we will work as quickly as we can to organise another technician to attend site and complete your services.
Some of our technicians are required to travel domestically to attend customer sites to perform essential maintenance and inspection services in remote and regional locations. In doing so Nobles will ensure we comply with all customers COVID19 site-specific regulations and state government domestic travel minimisation, exemption and isolation measures.
Unfortunately, due to the current international travel restrictions we have postponed all international services indefinitely until these restrictions have been lifted. We are working closely with our international customers on that basis and these customers should now be aware of any changes to their services requirements.
Any customer facing staff that have been required to travel internationally to perform services will be required to self-isolate for 14 days upon their return in accordance with government orders. Where required by state goverment regulation, we also will require employees who must travel domestically across state-lines for essential services to self-isolate, excluding government exempted employees.
Employee Health & Safety
Nobles has placed restrictions on all non-essential domestic air travel (note, as above this excludes regional and remote field services which is defined as essential) and banned all work-related international travel across our business. To limit unnecessary exposure, we are limiting domestic air travel to essential service requirements only. Anyone returning from leave who has traveled internationally or working across state boarders will be required to self-isolate for 14 days, except where specific government exemptions exist.
We are also increasing preventative measures in the workplace by: asking office employees to work from home where practical; providing additional site sanitation stations in common areas; contactlessly testing employee & visitor temperatures at all Nobles sites; mandating staff who do not feel well or who have any signs of fever to stay at home; increasing the use of gloves in warehouse & production areas; and, practicing social distancing in the workplace.
As industry networking and exhibition events across Australia are being postponed or canceled to comply with government restrictions, Nobles has withdrawn from several near term scheduled events and conferences to decrease the chance of exposure to and spread of COVID-19. This includes the NSW Water Industry Operations Association Conference (WIOA) in April (now cancelled) and the Queensland Mining and Engineering Conference (QME) now postponed until September.
Ordering & Delivery
For all goods inwards, order collection, and deliveries our freight carriers no longer require signatures as confirmations. To further reduce unnecessary contact, we recommend customers utilise phone, email and our online store for all product enquiries/ordering and where collecting, use commercial carriers rather than coming in to Nobles branches to collect goods.
We have a wide range of products catalogued online, available to purchase and can deliver direct to your site/door. If you would like some advice prior to purchase, simply contact your account manager or call our customer service centre on 1300 711 559.
Nobles will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation daily and take the latest advice from Australian health authorities. We are working towards limiting the disruption to customers, staff and suppliers and will keep you updated weekly (here) on any further precautions that may impact your business.
If you have any queries or concerns, do not hesitate to contact your account manager or our customer service team on 1300 711 559.