According to Hills’ David Lenz, Australia’s largest electronic security distributor has 3 priorities during the COVID-19 crisis – looking after its people including staff and customers, continuing to deliver the highest possible level of service to customers and partners, and managing financial challenges the crisis brings.

“As we better understand the short and longer-term impacts of the worldwide coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it is an appropriate time for us to provide an update on what we are doing to look after our people, our customers and our company and its shareholders,” said Hills’ David Lenz recently.

“This challenge is unlike any faced by Hills in its 75-year history and, like every other Australian company, we are managing a rapidly evolving situation that affects every facet of our business, from our supply chains to our sales force.

“We are focusing on 3 priorities: looking after our people; continuing to deliver the highest possible level of service to our customers and partners; and managing the financial challenges that this COVID-19 crisis brings so that we emerge ready to meet all our customers’ needs and resume the execution of our growth strategies.

“Our highest priority has been keeping our people and their families safe, acting on the best advice from health authorities. From the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have taken additional precautions at our sites in Australia and New Zealand to ensure all our employees, including those in our mobile sales force, are operating in safe working environments.

“On March 23, we went a step further by introducing a range of flexible working arrangements to meet the twin goals of protecting our people and ensuring the continuation of services for our customers and partners.”

The changes include:

  • Rotating teams at call centres in Port Melbourne in Victoria, Nerang in Queensland, and Seven Hills in NSW, with 50 per cent working on site and 50 per cent at home at any time.
  • Providing ‘work from home’ options for employees at all other locations, including the head office at Lidcombe in NSW.
  • Operating on skeleton staff during the Level 4 New Zealand lockdown to support essential services and key customers.
  • Introducing additional safety measures, such as strict cleaning and social distancing requirements, to ensure critical branch network and warehouse facilities can remain operational and safe for employees and customers alike.

“For many employees, particularly those whose families may have been affected by layoffs and obligations such as home-schooling, these arrangements have not been without challenges,” Lenz said. “However, our workforce has adapted to these new arrangements with professionalism and a commitment to looking out for each other and our customers.”

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