It has been a little over a year since the health crisis began sending shockwaves throughout the world. In the last 365 days, businesses and communities have readjusted their operations to keep their employees and customers safe per local and federal mandates, as well as CDC recommended guidelines. While the COVID-19 pandemic’s precedence is still on top of everyone’s minds, things are starting to look up. Vaccines are becoming more widely available in the United States and newly reported cases of infection are declining. Could this mean a return to normalcy for our communities? Only time will tell, but we’re extremely hopeful for our recovery.
At Peddler’s Son, we’ve seen firsthand how impactful the COVID-19 crisis has been on our clients and Arizona communities. But, we continued to serve them with the best service as safely as possible. That is why we’re proud to share with you the incredible efforts our team has accomplished to ensure businesses were cared for during these unprecedented times.
The Day The World Caved In
Like many businesses in the United States, Peddler’s Son was blindsided by the COVID-19 pandemic. Vice President, Joe Palmisano reflects, “At the beginning of the week I was planning my next spring training game with clients, and by the end of the week I was making tough decisions on staff furloughs”.
Peddler’s Son was stunned like other businesses in Arizona, but quickly realized we needed to shift from normal to “COVID enhanced” operations. As an essential business, closing our doors was not an option. Our clients and community need our services to ensure they feed their customers, patients, and students fresh meals every day. As a result, we assembled an Executive Task Force to answer the what, when, where, and hows of our adapted operations. From safety, distribution, human resources, and staffing, everything was on the table for our task force.
COVID-19 Executive Task Force Heeded the Call
One of the most important things we knew we had to tackle was our workforce. As mentioned, at the beginning of the pandemic we conducted furloughs and salary cuts. This was a very hard decision for us, as we appreciate every member of our team for their hard work and enthusiasm for providing quality services. One of the first things our Executive Task Force knew they needed to do was answer for this. Subsequently, the task force was on top of emergency aid programs and was able to bring team members back to work if they desired.
As employees returned to work, they still faced other challenges such as social distancing practices and greater emphasis on cleanliness. Jorganne Garcia, Peddler’s Son Human Resources Manager explains, “I knew it was important for everyone to understand what we were dealing with and most importantly, to know how to react if it ever happened to them.” As a result, the company has been fortunate enough not to encounter internal COVID-19 cases.
Another important element our Executive Task Force had to answer was how to keep our drivers safe as they distributed essential products. We understood how vital food delivery is to our customers, especially during these socially distant times. We serve clients, such as those in healthcare and senior living facilities, who rely heavily on food delivery services. Moreover, as many as 40 trucks a day were on the road, meaning those drivers may interact with as many as 500 customers.
We had to reevaluate our entire food distribution operation to ensure our drivers and clients were safe from the spread. This involved overnight sanitizing of all truck cabs, office space, and our facility’s common areas. Not to mention a weekly deep-clean for the entire premises. Also, we added significant driver education to increase and enhance how they deliver products to our clients.
Gilbert Sanchez, Peddler’s Son Fleet and Facility Manager, explains “While some sites were more challenging than others when it came to deliveries, we knew our experienced team of drivers were ready to follow guidelines and remain safe.” Our efforts worked, as not a single one of our drivers reported symptoms or potential COVID-19 exposure in their daily duties.
One thing we quickly learned was how willing our clients were to adapt their operations in the face of the pandemic. We saw how committed these businesses were in overcoming the challenges of the crisis to ensure they stayed afloat. That is why Peddler’s Son threw its life preserver out to ensure we helped in their success. We adjusted our delivery schedules and credit terms to be more flexible to their businesses needs.
Before and After COVID-19, Peddler’s Son Has Your Business In Mind
While the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted many of our operations, our mission remains the same – provide quality produce, provisions and delivery services to its clients. Under these unprecedented circumstances, we continue to grow partnerships, fuel communities and deliver success in everything we do. We’re proud to launch our “The Next 90 Now” series of quarterly videos where Joe and Ted share market trends and updates for the upcoming quarter.
Contact Peddler’s Son today to learn what a partnership with us can mean for your business.