FAQs

coronavirus

Why are your DCs still open?

The health, safety and wellbeing of our people and customers is our number one priority and at the heart of everything we do at RS. A high number of our customers are in critical industries such as the public sector (including the NHS), food & beverage manufacturing, power generation and utilities. We play a vital role in these customers’ supply chains, including the provision of personal, protective equipment (PPE) where stock allows. Many of our employees, particularly those working in our DCs, are fulfilling an important role in maintaining the flow of these essential supplies. While we continue to support these important organisations, we are adhering to advice from government health agencies including the World Health Organisation.

What measures have you put in place to protect your workers?

We are committed to following the government guidelines in respect to home working and have moved most of our non-DC staff to homeworking. This has not been an easy task given the condensed timelines, but it has been successful and we have had some amazing stories of people innovating to support our customers and being able to adapt to working from home.

Additional measures we have put in place to protect our employees include:

  • For our workers that need to be on site to fulfil their vital role we have split shifts, to minimise contact
  • Installed additional hand sanitisers, providing anti-bacterial wipes throughout the DCs and implemented videos showing how to sanitise correctly
  • Instructed employees on entry and exit to sanitise their hands which is being monitored by our security teams
  • Increased our cleaning teams to include regular cleaning of frequent touch points on a continuous basis
  • Making ‘Health & Safety’ and ‘Management’ teams more visible, reinforcing the social distancing and 2 metre distance rules
  • Rearranging working areas, where practical. Where we have been unable to do so, we have changed our processes so that employees take turns to use an area
  • Providing extra PPE for employees
  • Restricted access to the DCs for all other personnel, contractors/visitors and stopping delivery drivers entering our premises
  • Making mental health first aiders available to provide emotional support where needed whilst encouraging and supporting our vulnerable people to self-isolate
  • Implementing a robust reporting process aligned to global and local guidance that is reviewed by our H&S and risk teams regularly
  • Closed our retail showrooms in our 16 RS Local branches across the country
  • The vital ‘click & collect’ service for important customers is now done in the open air

Are you using the Government Furlough scheme to protect your people?

Like many businesses across the UK we have taken the decision to use the Government Furlough scheme. Our focus is the protection of jobs and our business, while trying to maintain the best possible service for our customers and suppliers. This important scheme introduced by the Government will protect people’s roles during these difficult unprecedented times.

What is RS doing to support the nation and government during the current crisis?

A high number of our customers are in critical industries such as the public sector including the NHS, food and beverage manufacturing, power generation and utilities. We play a vital role in these customers’ supply chains. We have received many requests from customers, who provide essential services (food producers, medical suppliers and utilities providers), requesting our assurance that we can continue to supply. Finally, we are playing a key role in several of the UK Government initiatives around vital equipment medical equipment ventilators and personal protective equipment (PPE).

How are you supporting the healthcare industry, particularly the NHS?

We have made the NHS a priority, ring-fencing critical products and supporting UK government initiatives. We are a supplier to every NHS Trust in the UK and we work in partnership with key healthcare suppliers to meet the needs and requirements of the NHS. We have always been and continue to be committed to supporting the NHS. We have a public-sector team with a dedicated National Account Manager for the NHS, supported by an external and internal sales force across the UK. We have adapted our ways of working in line with, and beyond the government guidelines, to ensure the safety of our people, our customers, our suppliers and the communities we operate in.

I work for the NHS; can I have items for free?

With the outbreak of COVID-19 we have made the NHS and their orders a priority, ring-fencing critical products and supporting UK government initiatives. Whilst we are not providing items for free we are ensuring that the orders placed are prioritised. We also have a public-sector team with a dedicated National Account Manager for the NHS, supported by an external and internal sales force across the UK.

Are we prioritising NHS orders?

Yes, with the outbreak of COVID-19 we have made the NHS a priority, ring-fencing critical products and supporting UK government initiatives.

Are RS Locals still open for business?

Following the latest Government advice, we have taken the decision to close the RS Local Showrooms. However, we are continuing to offer an open air click and collect service at all our branches. This means we can continue our operations and do not have to close completely. However, keeping our customers, our people and their families healthy is a priority to us.

Has there been a change to the opening hours of your customer services teams?

In order to safeguard our people who need to work at the Corby site and given the reduction of inbound volumes, we have taken the decision to amend our opening hours to 0700-1800, Monday to Friday, from Monday 30th March 2020. This will cover telephony and Live Chat - emails will still be received.

We are working hard to provide excellent customer service during the COVID-19 pandemic and support our customers who are providing essential services.

Why aren’t you providing a guaranteed next day delivery service anymore?

Unfortunately, due to a change in service from our couriers, our pre 10am deliveries and all guaranteed next day delivery services have been removed as they are not able to offer these at this time. any orders placed after 8.30pm on a Friday will now be delivered the following Tuesday, not the Monday. We apologies for any inconvenience this causes and as soon as this service becomes available again from our couriers we will re-instate this for you.

Do you have any face masks in stock?

Demand has been unprecedented for face masks and currently we have very limited stock, however this is changing daily. We are working tirelessly with our suppliers to secure additional stock.

What is your stock position on other PPE products?

We are investing significantly in those PPE products that we are seeing higher than usual demand for. These include: aprons, disposable gloves, hand cleaners and soaps, hand wipes, multi-purpose wipes, overalls, reusable respirators, reusable respirator accessories and safety goggles and more. Our stock levels change daily, and we are working closely with our suppliers to be able to meet the demands required in these unprecedented times. To check our stock levels on an item please visit our website or contact your local customer services team.

What about wider stock availability, do you anticipate any issues?

We hold a substantial depth of inventory. We have been in contact with all our suppliers to confirm the availability of stock and we are confident that we are currently in a strong position.

Are you prioritising stock for the impacted regions?

We are seeing a significant increase in demand for products such as face masks, hand gel and other PPE products. We’re working with our supplier partners and doing everything we can to maintain good levels of stock.

Do products coming from other countries present a contamination risk?

No, people receiving packages are not at risk of contracting COVID-19. From previous analysis, the World Health Organisation has stated that it does not survive long on objects such as letters or packages. We are waiting for further guidance on this and will update our guidance accordingly.

How do I get free 3D printer filament?

RS have partnered with our suppliers to donate off-cuts of PLA filament to the National 3D Printing Society for them to distribute amongst their network. These end of production off-cuts are not normally suitable for sale, due to the colours being faded or mixed and their varying weights. However, they are of use to those printing PPE currently. The National 3D Printing Society will be distributing this filament to their network of volunteers. To find out more about our collaboration with the National 3D Printing Society, the wider initiative and how you can get involved, please visit our DesignSpark engineering platform.

To find out more about our collaboration with the National 3D Printing Society and the wider initiative, please visit our DesignSpark engineering platform.

Are you giving away RS 3D printer filament stock?

We are not giving away RS 3D printer filament from stock. We have donated PLA filament off-cuts directly from our suppliers to the National 3D Printing Society for them to distribute amongst their network. In normal circumstances these end of production off-cuts are not suitable for sale, due to the colours being faded or mixed and their varying weights, however they are of use to those printing PPE currently. To find out more about our collaboration with the National 3D Printing Society and the whole campaign, please visit our DesignSpark community page.

My 3D printer filament order hasn’t arrived, is that because you are giving your stock away?

We are not giving away RS 3D printer filament stock and are continually working to ensure that as many of our product lines are available for customers to purchase. We have donated off-cuts of PLA filament directly from our suppliers to the National 3D Printing Society for them to distribute amongst their network. In normal circumstances these end of production off-cuts are not suitable for sale, due to the colours being faded or mixed and their varying weights, however they are of use to those printing PPE currently. If you have a query regarding your order, please click here to get the support you need.