AutoZone has offered some tips and best practices that can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 at your shop.
Keeping Your Shop Safe
- Wear gloves. Protects hands from shared surfaces like computers, tools or equipment, and discourages face touching.
- On-hand sanitizer. Make sure you have hand sanitizer at each work station and throughout the front of the shop. Keep a good supply of soap at each wash station.
- No visitors. Vendors and non-employees should not be allowed in the shop in order to reduce contact and exposure.
- Pickup and drop-off spot. Designate a location for parts and deliveries to be dropped off or picked up. Also, consider labeling this location with signage to direct staff and reps accordingly.
- Limit crowds. From work schedules to lunch breaks, try to make sure that personnel are not scheduled at the same time to help physical distancing. If you have more than one location, eliminate employees traveling to other offices. Limit staff meetings to no more than 10 people at a time, keeping people at least six feet apart from one another. Rotate lunch schedules so everyone does not eat together and has space between themselves.
- Reduce illnesses from home. Employees showing any symptoms of illness should stay home until they are completely healthy. Offer a clean space to have employees change and store their work clothes and gear at the shop
- Get your team’s buy-in. Review these safety measures with your team and ask them for their thoughts on how to keep everyone safe. This can encourage greater compliance and employee satisfaction.
Taking Care of Customers
- No customer contact. Use a key lock box for vehicle drop offs. If need be, meet them outside at a safe distance (six feet).
- Space out appointments. Limit the number of people coming to the shop at one time, where possible.
- Disinfect. Be mindful of items being used or exchanged by customers, disinfect or don’t reuse items after use. For example, pens. When a customer signs a document, give them the pen to keep. Consider getting email approval instead. Keys: disinfect and wipe down thoroughly. Vehicles: disinfect and thoroughly wipe down commonly touched areas before and after the work is done – door handles, armrests, steering wheels or other areas commonly touched by technicians.
- Proactive communication. Make sure your customers are aware of these new safety procedures so they know what to expect and can comply with them.
Steps for Leadership
- Your No. 1 responsibility. Take care of your customers and your employees. It is critical for everyone to comply with your safety measures to keep the public and your business safe and healthy.
- Perform a risk assessment. Assess all services and operational aspects of your business, focusing on hygiene and safety measures, to safeguard people, systems and processes during the outbreak. Including but not limited to: check-in process and bay check-in/out; customer interactions and procedures; part exchanges and deliveries. Look to the CDC for complete, up-to-date recommendations and resources, as well as the OSHA Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19.
- Build a business plan. Use the information on hand rather than emotion. Short-term: Take care of employees and make sure your supply chain will continue for day-to-day operations. Medium-term: Make sure you have enough cash flow and plan for potential layoffs.
- Plan for the long term. Your local bank or the Small Business Administration may help with disaster assistance loans for shops impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19). Click here for more info.
- Communicate new plan and processes. Staff: establish a routine time to communicate with employees, understand how they are being personally impacted by the virus and be able to provide reassurances on how you plan to support them. Customers/stakeholders: Take the time to reach out to any customers or stakeholders to reassure them that you are taking appropriate measures to fight the spread of the virus.