While many companies in the UK closed their doors entirely during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle specialists Brotherwood were hard at work.
Preparing their vehicle demonstration, delivery and production processes for safe operation under the ‘new normal’, the work has enabled Brotherwood to continue serving the varied needs of their clients as soon as lockdown restrictions lifted enough for them to do so.
Brotherwood provide accessible transport for disabled and vunerable people across the country, many of whom are entirely dependent on their WAVs.
The team wasted no time in reviewing and designing entirely new ways of serving their client base in ways that ensured the safety of their staff, and respected the needs of their clients, including those shielding in their homes.
Brotherwood’s first point of action was to produce a COVID-19 Code of Practise, a written document outlining their approach to home vehicle demonstrations and deliveries.
Detailing the cleaning and sanitization processes, social distancing, protective equipment and other steps that would be observed whenever handing a vehicle over to a client.
CODE OF PRACTICE
The Brotherwood team then created a series of videos; first describing their Code of Practise in further detail, followed by detailed instructions on how to use each of their vehicles – from loading and unloading a wheelchair passenger, to comprehensive overviews of the driving controls.
These videos are sent out to each Brotherwood client prior to their vehicle delivery or demonstration, ensuring that the vehicle can be safely operated without the close attendance of any Brotherwood staff.
A completely contact-free method of performing home service visits was also introduced, that enabled Brotherwood engineers to carry out safety-critical WAV inspections at clients’ homes, safely and autonomously.
The introduction of further digital systems, including electronic-signature software, and live video applications, allowed the Brotherwood team to continue providing a friendly, face-to-face customer experience in an entirely safe, virtual environment.
Meanwhile at the Brotherwood factory, production of vehicles continues, with clients eager to receive their new accessible vehicles.
Fortunately the Brotherwood facility lends itself well to socially-distanced production, with each engineer safely spaced, and provided sufficient protective equipment including masks and gloves.
Regular cleaning procedures also ensure that the workspaces are comprehensively sanitized.
While it may be some time before things are completely back to normal, Brotherwood have quickly adapted to the COVID-19 situation, in order to give their clients the confidence that their wellbeing is considered a priority at all times, and to ensure that they can continue providing outstanding service to those most in need of comfortable, inclusive and safe wheelchair-accessible travel.