When the Motor Industry Workshop Association (MIWA) workshops around the country opened for business after the initial period of Level 5 lockdown regulations, they faced a new set of protocols and trading conditions.
Customer needs have changed significantly during lockdown, and trust has become more important than ever as people seek to ensure they deal with entities that can keep them safe while providing great service.
The most critical starting point has been preparing a comprehensive risk strategy to ensure members’ workshops are ready for business. Each member was provided with a comprehensive set of sanitisation protocol posters during May for display in their workshops. These included staff, supplier, vehicle, workplace and customer protocols, all designed to keep both employees and customers safe.
We realise that we have to take these precautions very seriously. If anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 enters the workplace, the business will be forced to close and all staff will be quarantined. We know the first two months after the implementation of lockdown have been especially difficult for our members who have introduced a phased-in approach to restarting their businesses. This has helped ease the pressure of paying a full complement of salaries until the business has gained momentum. We remind members that the MIWA team is here to support and help.
The Chinese word for ‘crisis’ is frequently invoked in Western motivational speaking as being composed of two Chinese characters signifying ‘danger’ and ‘opportunity’ respectively. “Although this interpretation is not strictly correct there is a message, and that is ‘Crisis presents an opportunity to come back stronger’.
During the initial opening phase members have had to relook at a number of different processes and tasks usually conducted by a full complement of staff. This has given many business owners a new perspective and a chance to find a better way of doing things. One thing is for sure – we are definitely not going back to business as normal and no doubt we never will.
This is really a chance to improve our businesses without compromising quality. It is a time for collaboration and a time to work collectively to build a stronger and more resilient industry.