As we collectively face unprecedented circumstances due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, we would like to assure our customers and partners that Canon is monitoring the situation very closely and taking a full range of precautionary measures in line with the recommendations from the World Health Organisation and other relevant government authorities.
Our existing business continuity plans have been designed to support the continued delivery of products and services by providing options to mitigate the effects of a range of risks, including infectious disease/pandemic and related impacts. Due to the exceptional and rapidly changing circumstances brought about by the COVID 19 pandemic, we are reviewing and updating our business continuity plans on a daily basis. Our primary focus is on what we can control, specifically the support we provide to our people, customers and partners.
We have been taking all necessary steps to minimise disruption while taking preventative measures to serve the best interests of our employees and extended communities. We appreciate that many of our business customers are on the frontline in helping our communities confront the pandemic and we are committed to supporting them while they navigate this extremely difficult time.
The package of measures we are implementing includes the following:
In order to protect the health and safety of our employees, customers and partners, we have:
• Temporarily closed all Canon UK & Ireland premises to visitors (except for critical access only). Following the restrictions introduced by the UK government on 23 March 2020, visitors will not be allowed admission, except for essential business needs and with specific executive approval.
• Taken actions to encourage social distancing by activating flexible working arrangements we have long had in place for our staff. Our workforce is fully equipped to work remotely, using the current collaborative technologies. We have therefore asked our employees to work from home for the time being, where possible.
• Taken steps to reduce all non-essential customer and partner visits; while ensuring that sufficient levels of remote communication and support can be maintained. Our remote working arrangements will help ensure the continuity of customer meetings and support.
• Implemented proactive steps to be taken when arranging and carrying out customer visits, in order to protect the welfare of all individuals. This includes issuing guidance for employees visiting customer sites, aimed at reducing the spread of infection, such as regular handwashing/sanitising.
• Implemented temporary augmented employee absence policies to provide clarity and assurance to staff, should they display the symptoms of coronavirus and need to remain at home in isolation.
• Suspended non-critical business travel; and we are following official international travel bans as advised by the relevant state authorities.
We buy raw materials and produce consumables and printers, cameras and other products globally. Our supply chains for equipment, ink and toners, media and spare parts are set up with our customers’ business continuity interests in mind. As part of our existing business continuity planning, we have conducted extensive analysis in order to deal with potential impacts on our supply chain.
As with most businesses who source products internationally, there are likely to be some uncertainties relating to manufacturing, supply chain and logistics, over the longer term. We are doing everything we can to anticipate and prepare for any potential disruption; and you can be assured that we will be proactive in keeping customers updated on any specific supply issues.
We have already undertaken measures to increase our warehouse stock of business imaging products within the UK, as part of our contingency planning in relation to Britain leaving the EU. We therefore currently hold significant stock levels of toner, inks, paper and frequently used spares (parts) in our UK warehouse, in addition to our engineers’ car stock. This will support us in the short term in continuing to meet with standard levels of demand across all existing UK customers.
We use trusted partners for the delivery of devices and can confirm that they have also implemented appropriate measures in relation to COVID-19.
Given the gravity of the current situation, logistics providers are increasingly being expected to switch their operations to key critical activity only – such as the delivery of food supplies and medical equipment. We have been advised that our logistics partners have already redeployed some of their resources to focus on key accounts involved in the delivery of ventilators and medical personal protective equipment. We are monitoring the situation daily to gauge whether there will be any impact on other non-essential deliveries. Our UK warehouse currently remains operational. Again, we are monitoring this on a daily basis.
Direct service and support
As a temporary measure, we have developed amended helpdesk workflow processes which will be adopted as necessary. These allow for circumstances where the delivery of consumables or an engineer visit is halted or restricted due to isolation requirements stipulated by the customer or governing authorities.
Canon has a highly effective remote resolution and response team in place and an agile field service presence of around 300 directly employed service technicians, based throughout the UK. Our engineer scheduling system provides optimal engineer availability and coverage and our flexible working arrangements can extend to providing on-site support, in certain exceptional situations.
In every case where support is requested, we will be assessing, in partnership with customers, the necessity of a Canon employee’s physical presence at a site. Therefore, we will call ahead of each visit to confirm the following:
• whether there are alternative print devices available to use, which would prevent the need for a visit;
• that there have been no confirmed cases of Covid-19 in individuals at the site to be visited;
• that measures and actions have been put in place at the site to minimise the risk of infection or spread; and guidelines from the authorities are being upheld.
Each request will be assessed case-by-case and all necessary precautions and measures (as outlined above) will be taken. Certain service activities may need to be performed remotely or postponed by mutual agreement. Should the government enforce further, more stringent lock-down measures, support visits may have to be postponed completely for a time.
Indirect customer support
The information on people, product supply, logistics and ‘Care of Your Canon Print Devices’ contained within this document will apply to your respective business. We understand that some of you will be supporting customers who are government-defined essential organisations during this period. We urge you to work through your respective Canon representatives to define any critical needs and how best we can support these.
Care of Your Canon Print Devices – cleaning
As part of our standard support process, our engineers will always ensure a device is cleaned thoroughly afterwards, to exacting standards. Thereafter, we advise that the cleaning guidelines provided in the device manual are followed. (Copies of manuals are available online.)
In the current situation, many customers have been asking us for best practice advice with regards to cleaning the common-touch areas of devices. We recommend following the instructions below. However, please be aware that these cleaning guidelines do not guarantee effectiveness against coronavirus. The effectiveness of alcohol-based cleaners should be checked with the manufacturer of the cleaner.
• Perform any required shut down procedure and disconnect the device from the mains supply before cleaning.
• Use a soft cloth soaked with an alcohol based cleaner for disinfection. Wipe the parts users may touch such as numerical keys on operation panels, touch screens, covers and handles.
• Never spray alcohol or any other disinfectants directly on areas where liquids may enter, such as the edges of touch screens or numerical keys. Be sure not to drip any liquid onto these areas.
• Depending on the type of alcohol or wiping method used, the printer exterior may be discoloured or lose colour, however, the printer function will not be affected.
• Note that some commercial products such as wet wipes may contain non-alcoholic compositions and therefore are not recommended for use.
• Canon does not recommend any brand or manufacturer of alcohol based cleaner. However, it is recommended to use a cleaner that contains a minimum of 60% alcohol. Please note that alcohol is a flammable liquid, therefore it should never be used near fire.