Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response Plan

Update: March 26, 2020

Mike Brannigan, President & CEO, The Suddath Companies

Dear Valued Customers,

Below are the most recent actions Suddath® has taken during the COVID-19 pandemic to best protect the health and safety of our employees, contractors, customers and partners.

Operational Updates: March 26, 2020

Singapore Office Reopens
We are pleased to announce that we are reopening the Singapore location for our relocation management brand, Sterling Lexicon, with rotating teams now working in the office. Please reach out to your account manager if you have questions about your services in the region.

Stay-at-Home and Essential Business Mandates
Additional local mandates in the U.S. were announced in the past day. Below is a summary of how our locations have been impacted:

  • Minnesota Stay at Home Mandate (effective March 27, 11:59 PM)
    • Minneapolis/St. Paul (Suddath): Continuing operations but aligning household goods operations with the details of the mandate and providing limited commercial operations to support only those customers who are providing essential services.
  • Orange County and Osceola County, FL
    • Orlando (Suddath): Continuing operations but aligning household goods operations with the details of the mandate and providing limited commercial operations to support only those customers who are providing essential services.
  • Pinellas County, FL
    • Tampa (Suddath): Continuing operations but aligning household goods operations with the details of the mandate and providing limited commercial operations to support only those customers who are providing essential services.

If you have questions about how this may impact your services, please reach out to your account manager.

Sincerely,

Michael Brannigan
President & CEO, The Suddath Companies
 


Update: March 25, 2020

Dear Valued Customers,

Below are the most recent actions Suddath has taken during the COVID-19 pandemic to best protect the health and safety of our employees, contractors, customers and partners.

Operational Updates: March 25, 2020

Stay-at-Home Mandate for Charlotte, NC
Mecklenburg County in North Carolina issued a Stay-at-Home mandate that goes into effect tomorrow, March 26. This impacts our operations in the following ways:

  • Charlotte (Suddath): Continuing operations but aligning household goods operations with the details of the mandate and providing limited commercial operations to support only those customers who are providing essential services.
     

South Florida Closes Non-Essential Businesses
Broward, Miami Dade and Palm Beach counties in Florida have mandated closures for all “non-essential business”. This impacts our operations in the following ways:

  • Miami and Ft. Lauderdale (Suddath): Commercial/ Logistics/ warehousing operations are not affected by the current orders as part of the Critical Infrastructure exemptions. We are aligning household goods operations with the details of the mandate.
     

If you have questions about how this may impact your services, please reach out to your account manager.

Sincerely,

Michael Brannigan
President & CEO, The Suddath Companies
 


Update: March 24, 2020

Dear Valued Customers,

Below are the most recent actions Suddath has taken during the COVID-19 pandemic to best protect the health and safety of our employees, contractors, customers and partners.

Operational Updates: March 24, 2020

Jacksonville, FL “Work from Home” Order
The City of Jacksonville has ordered that all employees who can perform their job duties remotely (i.e. at home) are required to do so until further notice. We recognize that some of our office-based employees may need to go into the office periodically to complete some of their tasks, but they should remain in the office only as long as necessary to complete a specific task. Production personnel performing essential services are exempt from this order but should practice social distancing and good hygiene practices per CDC guidelines at all times.

Stay-at-Home and Shelter-in-Place Mandates
Additional Stay-at-Home and Shelter-in-Place mandates were announced in the past day. Below is a summary of how our locations have been impacted:

  • United Kingdom
    • London and Newbury (Sterling Lexicon): These offices, along with all Sterling Lexicon offices globally, are now closed, but business operations are continuing as normal with office employees working from home. Warehouses in London, as well as those in Paris and Madrid, remain open for business currently, and we are assessing any necessary changes to those operations on a daily basis.
  • Washington
    • Seattle (Suddath): Continuing operations but aligning household goods operations with the details of the mandate and providing limited commercial operations to support only those customers who are providing essential services.
  • Atlanta, GA
    • Suddath Atlanta: Continuing operations but aligning household goods operations with the details of the mandate and providing limited commercial operations to support only those customers who are providing essential services.
    • Sterling Lexicon Atlanta: Office closed, but business operations continuing as normal. All employees working from home.
  • Tarrant County, TX
    • Dallas-Ft. Worth (Suddath): Continuing operations but aligning household goods operations with the details of the mandate and providing limited commercial operations to support only those customers who are providing essential services.
  • Oregon
    • Portland (Suddath): Correction: Yesterday’s communication mentioned a stay-at-home mandate for Oregon but did not mention our operations in that location. Portland is continuing operations but aligning household goods operations with the details of the mandate and providing limited commercial operations to support only those customers who are providing essential services.
       

If you have questions about how this may impact your services, please reach out to your account manager.

Sincerely,

Michael Brannigan
President & CEO, The Suddath Companies
 


Update: March 23, 2020

Dear Valued Customers,

Below are the most recent actions Suddath has taken during the COVID-19 pandemic to best protect the health and safety of our employees, contractors, customers and partners.

Operational Updates: March 23, 2020

Stay-at-Home and Shelter-in-Place Mandates in the U.S.
Over the weekend, additional Stay-at-Home and Shelter-in-Place mandates were announced in several U.S. states and counties. Below is a list of the current mandates we are aware of and how they affect our operations:

  • California
    • San Jose and La Mirada (Los Angeles): Continuing operations but limiting household goods operations. Limiting commercial operations to support customers who are providing essential services.
    • Irvine: Sterling Lexicon (relocation management brand) office closed, but business operations continuing as normal. All employees working from home.
  • Connecticut
    • Shelton: Sterling Lexicon office closed, but business operations continuing as normal. All employees working from home.
  • Ohio
    • Cincinnati: Sterling Lexicon office closed, but business operations continuing as normal. All employees working from home.
  • New Jersey
    • Totowa: Sterling Lexicon office closed, but business operations continuing as normal. All employees working from home.
  • The following are states that have Stay-at-Home and/or Shelter-in-Place mandates but have no physical Suddath/Sterling Lexicon/Perdue locations. We are aligning our household goods operations with the specific details of each respective mandate and providing limited commercial operations to support only those customers who are providing essential services.
    • Delaware
    • Illinois
    • Kentucky
    • Louisiana
    • New York
    • Oregon
    • Pennsylvania
    • St. Louis, MO
    • Kansas City, MO
    • New Orleans
    • San Miguel County, CO
    • Athens-Clarke County, GA
    • Blaine County, ID
    • Dallas County, TX
       

If you have questions about how this may impact your services, please reach out to your account manager.

Sincerely,

Michael Brannigan
President & CEO, The Suddath Companies
 


Update: March 20, 2020

Dear Valued Customers,

Below are the most recent actions Suddath has taken during the COVID-19 pandemic to best protect the health and safety of our employees, contractors, customers and partners.

Operational Updates: March 20, 2020

  • Los Angeles Operations: Effective March 19, 2020: Portions of Los Angeles, specifically Orange County, have issued a Public Health Order intended to slow the spread of COVID-19. The provisions of this order are very similar to the “Shelter in Place” notice issued by San Jose.

    We are complying with this order and continuing to follow guidance from UniGroup and the California Moving & Storage Association, that our operations fall under essential services for the public and those supporting such essential services (including shipping).

    This will affect operations in our La Mirada location in the following ways:
     
    • We will continue operations but are limiting our household goods operations.
    • We are limiting commercial operations to support customers who are providing essential services.
       
    Late Thursday, the Governor of California implemented an executive “stay at home” order for all Californians. We are still assessing the implications of the order, but believe the impacts previously communicated regarding our San Jose operations, as well as the impacts to La Mirada detailed above remain unchanged.
     
  • Sterling Lexicon Irvine, California Office Closed: Effective March 20, 2020: In light of the latest California “stay at home” order, the Irvine location for our relocation management brand Sterling Lexicon will be closed and all employees will be directed to work from home until the order is lifted. Business operations will continue as usual.
     

If you have questions about how these changes may impact your service, please reach out to your account manager.

Sincerely,

Michael Brannigan
President & CEO, The Suddath Companies
 


Update: March 18, 2020

Dear Valued Customers,

Below are the most recent actions Suddath has taken during the COVID-19 pandemic to best protect the health and safety of our employees, contractors, customers and partners.

Operational Updates: March 18, 2020

  • Site Closure: Effective March 17, 2020: Our facility in San Jose, CA has been impacted by mandatory government orders for certain counties in Northern California to "shelter in place".

    We are complying with this order and also following guidance from UniGroup and the California Moving & Storage Association, that our operations fall under essential services for the public and those supporting such essential services (including shipping).

    This will affect our operations in the San Jose location in the following ways:
    • Continuing, but limiting household goods operations
    • Limiting commercial operations to support our businesses providing essential services only
       
    If you have questions about how this may impact your service in the region, please reach out to your account manager.
     
  • Remote Workforce: Effective March 18, 2020: We have begun allowing all employees at all locations who have both the ability to work remotely and have manager approval, to work from home. Work from home timing, scheduling and protocols vary by location and department, based on business and local market conditions, and as determined by senior leadership.
     
  • Home Office Restrictions: In our Home Office in Jacksonville, FL, we are following CDC guidelines and adopting a self-imposed policy for limit on-site employees and contractors to groups of no more than 10 at any given time.
     

Additional Support Services

We are here for you during and after the crisis. We understand that many of our customers are adjusting business activities during the next 6-8 weeks and will have new needs and priorities. Rest assured that Suddath is here to help you navigate these changes.

Support transitioning employees to working from home

  • Deliver cartons to employees for packing items that they will use to work from home
  • Provide packing assistance
  • Perform disconnect and reconnect services for computers and peripherals
  • Provide computer wraps to protect equipment during move
  • Move bulky items, including ergonomic chairs and sit/stand desks into homes
  • Organize home office spaces
     

Help practicing safe social distancing in the workspace

  • Space planning to spread out workforce
  • Relocate employee workstations within the office
  • IT disconnect and reconnect
  • Relocate employees to home offices
     

Flexible and secure storage to support your supply chain

  • Digital warehouse management system gives visibility to inventory
  • Mitigated risks to our operational team to ensure the continuity of your business
  • Pandemic response focused on scaling with you as you normalize your business activities
  • Nationwide reach for consistency at multiple locations
     

For more information about services we’re offering to support our clients during this crisis, please reach out to your account manager.

We are following guidance from the CDC and WHO, as well as local country mandates, and will continue to update you with any significant developments or impacts to our business.

If any of your company’s questions are not addressed in this communication, please contact your Suddath account manager.

We hope you and everyone in your organization is safe.

Sincerely,

Michael Brannigan
President & CEO, The Suddath Companies
 


Update: March 16, 2020

To our valued customers,

As we see large segments of the US and global economies temporarily shutting down to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus, it is more important than ever that we communicate and put the proper planning in place to get us through this unprecedented time. Our priorities and focus continue to be to protect our employees, our customers and our company. The situation continues to evolve rapidly, with new information coming out by the hour. We understand this can cause some uncertainty or anxiety, so I’d like to take you through how Suddath is responding to these changing conditions.

  • Supporting our Customers. Our plan continues to be to maintain normal working procedures to the largest extent possible, without compromising in any way the safety and wellbeing of our employees and customers. We want you, our valued customers, to know that as long as you are moving your employees, business or products, Suddath is open for business and we are there to support your needs.
     
  • Business Continuity. Behind the scenes, we have been working on strengthening and operationalizing our business continuity plans, including expanding our “work from home” capabilities to enable a temporary remote workforce. On that basis, we continue to be fully operational.

    Our plan to support your business is as follows:
     
    • Our Home Office location, as well our field operating locations, will remain open for business as long as possible. Our plan will be to keep the offices open unless we identify an infected employee, the community spread of the virus warrants we close the location to mitigate the risks for our colleagues, or we are required by the appropriate government authority to cease operations.
       
    • Our Home Office and field operating locations will remain open to provide a place to work for employees who prefer to work in our regular office environment or are unable to work remotely. To the extent possible, we are attempting to provide a sense of normalcy for our valued employees and customers when the situation is anything but normal. In the case of our Home Office, we will be respectful of CDC guidelines and will adopt a self-imposed policy to limit on-site employees to under 50 at any given time.
       
    • Notwithstanding the above, we have mobilized our remote working capabilities and begun to deploy our employees on that basis so that we are not dependent on our physical locations as the only means to support your business.
       
      • Vulnerable employees in “at risk” categories for the virus are required to work remotely for their personal safety.
         
      • We have divided our operational teams in the field into “Team A” and “Team B” working from separate locations in our markets. In the event there is an infected team, we will sanitize the location immediately and then deploy the non-affected team to the location to ensure business continuity.
         
      • We have identified critical functions. Critical functions will be sub-divided, with some staff working at our Home Office or operating locations, and others working remotely. This mitigates the risk for our customers and will ensure uninterrupted operations for you.
         

Next Steps
So, what does this mean for you?

  • First and most importantly, Suddath is open for business and our expectation is that we will support your business requirements during this crisis. We have taken careful measures to mitigate risks to our employees while ensuring the continuity of your business.
     
  • Second, we are here for you during and after the crisis. We understand that many of our customers are restricting business activities during the next 6-8 weeks and will have limited requirements for our services. We will adjust accordingly. However, the crisis is temporary and will end, and Suddath will be there for you as you get back to business. Our pandemic response plan is not only focused on how to manage the crisis, but how to exit the crisis, and our plans will focus on how to scale the business back to normal operations as you come back online and normalize your business activities.
     
  • We have been in business for 100 years and will be here for 100 more. In our industry, not everyone has the financial and human resources to survive such an economic shock and guarantee the continuity of YOUR business. At Suddath, we are blessed with strong family ownership, a strong balance sheet with more than ample liquidity and the best team in the industry to support your needs. We will get through this temporary and unprecedented shut down of large segments of the US and global economy and will help you get back to the business of running your business.
     

We know this is a challenging time for your business and your employees. We expect things to get more difficult before they get better. But this situation is temporary and collectively we will work through it. Regardless of whether you are restricting your business or operating as normal, we want you to know we value your business and the trust you have put in our company and our employees to serve you. We stand with you in these challenging times.

We hope you and everyone in your organization is safe.

Sincerely,

Michael Brannigan
President & CEO, The Suddath Companies

 

Update: March 10, 2020

Dear Valued Customers, 

As we continue to learn more about the Coronavirus (COVID-19), Suddath wants to update our clients and partners on the impact to our business.

The evolution of the Coronavirus is a fluid situation, and one which is top of mind for many people given the stories in the media and the impacts we are seeing globally as a result of the outbreak. We are mindful that may have an impact on our customers and partners and may prompt many questions.

Suddath’s plan is to continue running the business and serving our customers without interruption to the extent possible. At the same time, we are being vigilant as the situation evolves and taking appropriate and timely actions to mitigate risks for our employees, customers and partners.

Below is a summary of the actions we are taking and what impact, if any, you can expect to your service:

Coronavirus Taskforce
The Suddath Companies has formed a global cross-functional working group to lead our response to the evolving COVID-19 outbreak. The goal is to ensure the protection of our employees, our customers and the health of the overall business.

Travel Restrictions
Due to the rapidly evolving nature of this situation, we have chosen to limit company travel to that which is essential to support our clients. Employees are required to obtain executive approval before traveling for work and are advised to meet in person only if requested by a client/partner. For employees traveling on personal business, we have asked them to notify their immediate managers. Determinations about work or process changes will be made on a case-by-case basis, based on employees’ recent travel and symptoms, following guidance from the Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization, as well as local country mandates.

Impacted Employees
At this point, none of our employees have been directly impacted by the virus. We are engaging in an interactive process with employees, customers and partners as needed to determine whether they have been impacted and what impact, if any, that will have on our operations going forward.

Mitigating Risks
To address the potential risk of virus spread among our employee and customer populations, we have taken the additional actions below:

  • Ensuring all work sites are stocked with disinfecting products so all work tools and equipment can be sanitized daily or as needed throughout the day
  • Asking residential customers and relocating employees whether they have traveled to virus hotspots or are exhibiting symptoms of the virus
  • Allowing employees to work from home as needed if they are ill and/or part of a high-risk population for contracting the virus
  • Limiting customers/vendor visits to our sites
  • In situations where our employees are working on-site at a client location, we are fully complying with any and all local site guidelines put in place to mitigate risks
  • In early “hot spot” markets such as Shanghai and Singapore, we initiated actions to have our employees work from home in support of our clients and transferees to mitigate their exposure in public settings
     

We are following guidance from the Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization, as well as local country mandates, and will update you with any significant developments or impacts to our business.

Please find below a comprehensive response to the most common questions our customers have regarding our response to the outbreak.

If any of your company’s questions are not addressed in this document, please contact your Suddath account manager.

Sincerely,

Mike Brannigan
President & CEO, The Suddath Companies

 

COVID-19 Response: Frequently Asked Questions

Updated: March 10, 2020


What actions has your company taken to respond to COVID-19?

Coronavirus Taskforce
The Suddath Companies has formed a global cross-functional working group to lead our response to the evolving COVID-19 outbreak. The goal is to ensure the protection of our employees, our customers and the health of the overall business.

Travel Restrictions
Due to the rapidly evolving nature of this situation, we have chosen to limit company travel to that which is essential to support our clients. Employees are required to obtain executive approval before traveling for work and are advised to meet in person only if requested by a client/partner. For employees traveling on personal business, we have asked them to notify their immediate managers. Determinations about work or process changes will be made on a case-by-case basis, based on employees’ recent travel and symptoms, following guidance from the Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization, as well as local country mandates.

Impacted Employees
At this point, none of our employees have been directly impacted by the virus. We are engaging in an interactive process with employees, customers and partners as needed to determine whether they have been impacted and what impact, if any, that will have on our operations going forward.

Mitigating Risks
To address the potential risk of virus spread among our employee and customer populations, we have taken the additional actions below:

  • Ensuring all work sites are stocked with disinfecting products so all work tools and equipment can be sanitized daily or as needed throughout the day
  • Asking residential customers and relocating employees whether they have traveled to virus hotspots or are exhibiting symptoms of the virus
  • Allowing employees to work from home as needed if they are ill and/or part of a high-risk population for contracting the virus
  • Limiting customers/vendor visits to our sites
  • In situations where our employees are working on-site at a client location, we are fully complying with any and all local site guidelines put in place to mitigate risks
  • In early “hot spot” markets such as Shanghai and Singapore, we initiated actions to have our employees work from home in support of our clients and transferees to mitigate their exposure in public settings
     

Are you experiencing or do you anticipate any disruption to your supply chain or other disruptions that could impact your ability to deliver services?

As a service provider, our people and our assets (trucks and warehouses) represent the core of our service delivery mechanism. Therefore, our primary disruption would be an outbreak of the virus in a facility or among our crews or support teams. At this point, we have not had any outbreaks at any of our locations. To mitigate the risk of infection, we implemented the actions delineated above and have also advised employees that if they have symptoms, to stay home, seek medical attention, communicate with their frontline manager and avoid contact with colleagues.

We are not experiencing any disruptions to our U.S. domestic supply chain at this time. To date, the only disruptions that we are seeing to our U.S. business have been customer-imposed, where certain customers are closing their offices or limiting vendor access to their campuses. We understand that our customers may decide to change or reschedule services due to their own needs related to the virus, and we will respect and comply with those changes as requested.

In highly affected markets such as China, Italy and, to a lesser degree, South Korea, we are seeing delays or limited availability of agent crews to provide in-market origin and destination services. Should these delays continue, it could impact the timeliness of supporting transferees in and out of those markets.

Concerning materials and supplies, we rely primarily on packaging and materials which are sourced directly in local markets, so we do not anticipate any impact to those materials at this time. The only exception is for moving blankets, which are primarily manufactured outside of the U.S; however, we have coordinated with our supplier to ensure we have ample supply to cover our operations. We will also opportunistically pre-purchase select materials and supplies if we believe there are emerging supply chain risks.

Regarding our government moving services, Transcom Europe has published a local message regarding a “stop” for Permanent Change of Station (PCS) moves in and out of Vicenza, Italy.

Will COVID-19 directly impact any of your service providers?

We are assessing daily for any impact to our service providers; however, we anticipate minimal impact, if any, due to the nature of our supply chain. We do not have any sole-source providers and typically work with multiple service providers for all contracted services, ensuring that we have ample coverage to service our customers.

The risks that we see with regard to our service providers are more market-based risks, where governments and businesses take broader measures to keep people at home to stop the spread of the virus, as we have seen in China and now in Italy. In these cases, we would expect to see impacts to our service providers and even our diverse supply chain would be impacted.

Our desire to keep our service providers financially healthy by continuing to use them to service our customers is a key component of our mitigation plan.

Do you anticipate any issues with continuation of normal operations in your business? Do you have mitigation plans in place to ensure you can meet your customer commitments?

At this point, we do not anticipate any disruption to our operations, beyond the potential risks detailed above. For many areas of our business, we use a mix of employees, contractors and temporary labor, which helps to prevent service disruptions. For our customer service and support functions, we operate from several hubs across the U.S. and around the world. Therefore, we can divert business to be handled by employees at other locations if one of our sites is impacted.

As noted above, we have taken precautions to keep our workplaces sanitized and are educating employees about how to protect themselves from contracting/spreading the virus, including but not limited to hand-washing instructions from the CDC and guidance on interacting directly with customers in person.

Do you have adequate stock of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) that may be required when working in an infected site?

Yes, we are taking steps to ensure that our locations have appropriate PPE in the event that a site becomes infected.

What are your trigger levels for communicating and processing future changes in service levels/expectations if needed?

Our Coronavirus Taskforce is meeting weekly (and more often, if needed) to determine whether any actions need to be taken which would impact our operations. That team is also tasked with determining when/what needs to be communicated to our employees, customers and partners.

The well-being of our employees and customers is of utmost importance to us. In the event that we have an outbreak or issue in a particular location, we will notify customers in the affected markets as soon as practical.

Does your company have a pandemic response plan/business continuity plan?

Yes, The Suddath Companies maintains a pandemic response plan, which includes plans to adapt our business according to changing conditions, including but not limited to:

  • Utilizing cloud-hosted applications to minimize site risk and ensure business continuity
  • Allowing employees to work remotely as necessary
  • Increasing server capacity to allow for additional remote workers
  • Redirecting operations to alternate locations within our U.S. domestic and global hubs
  • Redirecting inbound customer calls to alternate locations
  • Modifying work activities based on threat levels
     

Has your company issued communications or conducted training regarding COVID-19?

Yes, The Suddath Companies is sending regular communications to our employees, with advisories regarding travel and business continuity plans. We are also taking the following steps to educate and prepare our workforce:

  • Educating employees about preventative measures such as hand washing and site sanitation
  • Advising moving crews about revised protocols for interacting with customers
  • Providing FAQs to frontline managers to help them support their workforce and customers as the situation continues to evolve