With a large complement of customers in the essential goods and services supply chain, Goscor Lift Truck Company has made the necessary provisions to support these customers during the nationwide lockdown, while adopting stringent preventative measures to protect the health, safety and well-being of employees.

To keep customers in the essential service supply chain running during the national lockdown in South Africa – which started on the 26th of March and is due to end on the 30th of April – Goscor Lift Truck Company (GLTC) has kept its Aftermarket Division – which comprises service and parts – as well as the Rental Division, operational. This is mainly to support customers in the food and fuel supply industries at this stage.

“Our service teams are on the ground, assisting customers with primarily breakdowns and repairs, while our short-term rental team is supplying forklifts where extra capacity is required to fulfil the demand in critical areas of these essential businesses,” says Cecil Oates, MD of GLTC.

The company also has teams that are stationed on key sites and for them it’s business as usual, but with specific focus on breakdowns during the lockdown period. They will, however, attend to normal scheduled maintenance where they have capacity.

“Where we don’t have teams mobilised on site, we have implemented special procedures focused specifically on quick reaction to these key customers. Work is being channelled directly via contract managers, who stay in contact with their respective customers to ensure that their support needs are fulfilled during this critical time,” says Oates.

The contract managers then report all their activities, on a daily basis, to senior management. The company has a risk register in place that is updated by all managers on a continuous basis.

The company is also closely managing its parts inventory, given that the supply chain from its different principals is severely disrupted at this point in time. “In emergency situations, we may resort to taking parts from our new machines where necessary, and these will get replaced when sanity prevails – once we receive stock from our factories across the globe,” adds Oates.

“However, we still expect parts to arrive from abroad during this period and this will require special processes to ensure that they are offloaded at the harbour, transported to our premises and then offloaded again at our parts facilities for distribution to our essential goods and services customers.”

In neighbouring countries where lockdowns have been implemented, GLTC’s aftermarket team is responding to these markets in a similar manner to South Africa. Countries further away from the company’s South African base are supported by local dealerships in those respective areas.

With its technicians on the frontline during the lockdown period, GLTC has put in place strict measures in place to ensure their health and safety. Some of measures implemented to protect and educate staff range from educational talks, making sanitisers available and encouraging social distancing.

“With safety in mind, the special procedures we have put in place are aimed at shortening the process, and not exposing too many people to the office. Apart from educating our employees on how to protect themselves during this time, we have also provided them with additional PPE (personal protective equipment) to ensure their maximum safety,” says Oates.

“I am happy to say that all our staff are totally committed to carrying the company and our customers through this unchartered territory, and it is my wish that we will all be able to return back to work after the end of April,” concludes Oates.