A Message from our CEO about COVID-19

A Message from our CEO about COVID-19

Updated April 24, 2020

Last week, I shared some of the innovative ways we’re supporting customers through The Next Normal, what we are calling the period of change and adaptability we are entering in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic.

In preparation for The Next Normal, we are creating a process to evolve our business beyond just business assessment and continuity planning from the COVID-19 crisis, to now focus on what our business services, operations and customer needs will be in a post-crisis business environment. To do that, we have adopted methodology we’ve named ARROW to guide our strategy through each stage of this process:

ARROW

Using ARROW, we are beginning to evolve the business from “what is” (or “what was”) to “what will be,” and what our roadmap will look like as we progress into The Next Normal.

As you can see from the chart above, we have largely completed our assessment of the impact of the pandemic and developed a plan to ensure business continuity and a remote workforce. We are now turning our focus to leverage what we have learned during the crisis to develop a strong plan on what our business will look like as we exit the crisis.

Whether it’s shifting buyer behavior, changing workplace and operational environments, new government regulations or stricter attention to health, safety and environment practices, we know that your business priorities may be different going forward than what they were prior to the crisis.

Our goal is to adapt with our customers’ changing needs, priorities and processes post-crisis, ensuring we are prepared for changes in both our industry and yours. By aligning our services, practices and technology with your evolving needs, we will help you be more responsive to your own customers and win in your market.

We look forward to sharing more on these strategies in the upcoming weeks. In the meantime, just a reminder that we have added resources to our website to make sure you know how we can help you transition to The Next Normal, including how global mobility is being shaped by the pandemic and what immigration could look like post COVID-19. We are also keeping our news page up to date so you can understand exactly how our operations may be impacted and how we are continuing to adapt our response to the evolving Coronavirus situation.

Please stay safe and healthy and continue to reach out to let us know how we can help support you during this time.

 


Updated April 16, 2020

“The new normal” is a phrase we’re hearing a lot lately as we all try to adjust to a very different day-to-day during the Coronavirus pandemic. People across the globe are juggling new work arrangements, school closings, and orders to stay home and socially distance. It feels anything but normal and yet somehow, we have quickly adapted.

Times like these force us to pivot and think differently. At Sterling Lexicon, we are guided by our core value of Innovation, which helps us face the new challenges this situation brings with creativity, determination and optimism.

We are not simply adjusting to “the new normal”. We are focused on The Next Normal: taking what we are learning during this period of change and adaptability and incorporating it into the design of how we work going forward.

I’d like to share just a couple of the trends we are seeing and how we are adapting our practices to support our customers through The Next Normal.

  • In the global mobility space, we are seeing opportunities to better serve customers by leveraging technology to support transferees/assignees who are self-isolating. Home search consultants are using video calls so assignees can tour potential new homes virtually. Virtual technology is also being utilized to perform surveys of assignee homes to provide estimates for packing and shipping of their household goods. While this technology is not new, we are seeing increased adoption in the current climate, and assignees are appreciating the flexibility this option provides.
  • To support millennial and Gen Z assignees, we’re recommending online country guides to help them navigate the ins-and-outs of their new destinations from the comfort of their living rooms.
  • Lastly, we are engaging in more conversations around the redefinition of duty of care to include mental health and wellbeing during this time of increased isolation. We continue to monitor these trends and adapt our services to ensure assignees are taken care of from a wholistic approach.

Please stay safe and healthy and continue reach out to let us know how we can help support you during The Next Normal.

Michael Brannigan, President and CEO

 


Updated April 3, 2020

Clearly, COVID-19 has changed the way everyone lives and works, and it is requiring our customers to adjust in ways they never expected. Sterling Lexicon embraces innovation as a core value of our company, and we are leaning into that ethic to help our clients adapt in this unprecedented and evolving environment.

First, know that we are fully open for business across all of our service lines. As local governments rolled out executive orders to restrict the movement of people, we quickly adapted, moving all employees to work from home if they are able to complete their jobs remotely. We have increased IT support and have seen no disruptions to business.

Now that we are in a stable state operating under a “new normal,” we are focused on meeting the unique needs of our customers at this moment in time.

Sterling Lexicon is fortunate to have the financial and operational strength to weather this storm and be here for our clients throughout this period and on the other side of it. With our size and resources, we will have the ability to scale up once activity picks up again and will be ready to deliver a higher volume of services in a compressed period of time.

Sterling Lexicon’s parent company, The Suddath Companies, was founded 100 years ago in the wake of the last pandemic. We have survived and thrived with an unshakeable commitment to our employees and our customers and a focus on innovation. We have listened to your concerns and your changing needs during this crisis. Sterling Lexicon and our partners have adapted to provide creative and agile services to support your immediate needs. This includes providing one-on-one solutions via phone with customers and assignees/transferees, helping expatriated employees with emergency relocation, conducting virtual move surveys, and enhancing the digital home search experience.

Please let us know how we can help you overcome any challenges you are experiencing in this extraordinary time, and how we can help you plan to mobilize your workforce when you return to a more normalized work environment. Together, we will stand strong in the face of this crisis and emerge stronger and more resilient than ever.

Michael Brannigan, President and CEO

 


Updated March 27, 2020

Please take the time to carefully read this message. It contains important information that you, your company and your employees need to know about actions that Sterling Lexicon is now implementing during the COVID-19 pandemic to best protect the health and safety of our employees, contractors, customers and partners.

Below are the latest operational updates.

Singapore Office Reopens
We are pleased to announce that we are reopening our Sterling Lexicon Singapore location, with rotating teams now working in the office. Please reach out to your account manager if you have questions about your services in the region.

UK Continues Home Moving Services
The UK government has clarified that household goods moves are permitted under the Stay-at-Home mandate. Sterling Lexicon and Suddath’s international moving division will continue to perform HHG moves in the region as scheduled.

All Global Locations Continuing Business Operations
Our global offices are closed due to local Stay-at-Home orders and curfews, but business operations are continuing as normal with office employees working from home.

Warehouses in London, Paris and Madrid remain open for business currently, and we are assessing any necessary changes to those operations on a daily basis.

We are following guidance from the CDC and WHO, as well as local country mandates, and will continue to update you with any significant developments or impacts to our business.

If you have questions about how this may impact your services, please contact me.

We hope you and everyone in your organization is safe.

Michael Brannigan, President & CEO

 


Updated March 20, 2020

Please take the time to carefully read the below information. It contains important information that you, your company and your relocating employees need to know about actions that Sterling Lexicon is now implementing during the COVID-19 pandemic to best protect the health and safety of our employees, contractors, customers and partners.

Below are the latest operational updates. 

  • Los Angeles Operations: Effective March 19, 2020: Portions of Los Angeles, specifically Orange County, have issued a Public Health Order intended to slow the spread of COVID-19. The provisions of this order are very similar to the “Shelter in Place” notice issued by San Jose.

We are complying with this order and continuing to follow guidance from the California Moving & Storage Association, that our operations fall under essential services for the public and those supporting such essential services (including shipping).

This will affect operations in our La Mirada location in the following ways:

  • We will continue operations but are limiting our household goods operations.
  • We are limiting commercial operations to support customers who are providing essential services.

If you have questions about how this may impact your service in the region, please reach out to your account manager.

Late Thursday, the Governor of California implemented an executive “stay at home” order for all Californians. We are still assessing the implications of the order, but believe the impacts previously communicated regarding our San Jose operations, as well as the impacts to La Mirada detailed above remain unchanged.

  • Irvine, California Office Closed: Effective March 20, 2020: In light of the latest California “stay at home” order, the Irvine office will be closed and all employees will be directed to work from home until the order is lifted. Business operations will continue as usual. Please reach out to your Sterling Lexicon account manager with any questions.

Additional Support Services

We are here for you during and after the crisis. We understand that many of our customers are adjusting business activities during the next 6-8 weeks and will have new needs and priorities. Rest assured that Sterling Lexicon is here to help you navigate these changes, including:

  • Conducting virtual move surveys leveraging video technology, to produce estimates without having to be physically on-site.
  • Warehousing
  • Distribution
  • Fulfillment
  • Specialized Transportation: Furniture, fixtures and equipment planning
  • International Freight Forwarding
  • Transportation Management
    • Support transitioning employees to working from home
      • Deliver cartons to employees for packing items that they will use to work from home
      • Provide packing assistance
      • Perform disconnect and reconnect services for computers and peripherals
      • Provide computer wraps to protect equipment during move
      • Move bulky items, including ergonomic chairs and sit/stand desks into homes
      • Organize home office spaces
    • Help practicing safe social distancing in the workspace
      • Space planning to spread out workforce
      • Relocate employee workstations within the office
      • IT disconnect and reconnect
      • Relocate employees to home offices
    • Flexible and secure storage to support your supply chain
      • Digital warehouse management system gives visibility to inventory
      • Mitigated risks to our operational team to ensure the continuity of your business
      • Pandemic response focused on scaling with you as you normalize your business activities
      • Nationwide reach for consistency at multiple locations
    • One-on-one solutions via phone with customers and assignees/transferees

We are following guidance from the CDC and WHO, as well as local country mandates, and will continue to update you with any significant developments or impacts to our business.

If any of your company’s questions are not addressed in this communication, please contact us at +1 904.858.1255.

We hope you and everyone in your organization is safe. 

Michael Brannigan, President & CEO

 


Updated March 18, 2020

As we see large segments of the global economy temporarily shutting down to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus, it is more important than ever that we communicate and put the proper planning in place to get us through this unprecedented time. Our priorities and focus continue to be to protect our employees, our customers and our company. The situation continues to evolve rapidly, with new information coming out by the hour. We understand this can cause some uncertainty or anxiety, so I’d like to take you through how Sterling Lexicon is responding to these changing conditions.

  • Supporting our Customers. Our plan continues to be to maintain normal working procedures to the largest extent possible, without compromising in any way the safety and wellbeing of our employees and customers. We want you, our valued customers, to know that as long as you are relocating your employees, Sterling Lexicon is open for business and we are there to support your needs.
  • Business Continuity. Behind the scenes, we have been working on strengthening and operationalizing our business continuity plans, including expanding our “work from home” capabilities to enable a temporary remote workforce. On that basis, we continue to be fully operational.

Our plan to support your business is as follows:

  • Our operating locations will remain open for business as long as possible. Our plan will be to keep the offices open unless we identify an infected employee, the community spread of the virus warrants we close the location to mitigate the risks for our colleagues, or we are required by the appropriate government authority to cease operations.
  • Our operating locations will remain open to provide a place to work for employees who prefer to work in our regular office environment or are unable to work remotely. To the extent possible, we are attempting to provide a sense of normalcy for our valued employees and customers when the situation is anything but normal. We will also adopt a self-imposed policy to limit on-site employees to under 50 at any given time.
  • Notwithstanding the above, we have mobilized our remote working capabilities and begun to deploy our employees on that basis so that we are not dependent on our physical locations as the only means to support your business.

Next Steps

So, what does this mean for you?

  • First and most importantly, Sterling Lexicon is open for business and our expectation is that we will support your business requirements during this crisis. We have taken careful measures to mitigate risks to our employees while ensuring the continuity of your business.
  • Second, we are here for you during and after the crisis. We understand that many of our customers are restricting business activities during the next 6-8 weeks and will have limited requirements for our services. We will adjust accordingly. However, the crisis is temporary and will end, and Sterling Lexicon will be there for you as you get back to business. Our pandemic response plan is not only focused on how to manage the crisis, but how to exit the crisis, and our plans will focus on how to scale the business back to normal operations as you come back online and normalize your business activities.
  • We have been in business for 100 years and will be here for 100 more. In our industry, not everyone has the financial and human resources to survive such an economic shock and guarantee the continuity of YOUR business. At Sterling Lexicon, we are blessed with strong family ownership, a strong balance sheet with more than ample liquidity and the best team in the industry to support your needs. We will get through this temporary and unprecedented shut down of large segments of the global economy and will help you get back to the business of running your business.

We know this is a challenging time for your business and your employees. We expect things to get more difficult before they get better. But this situation is temporary and collectively we will work through it. Regardless of whether you are restricting your business or operating as normal, we want you to know we value your business and the trust you have put in our company and our employees to serve you. We stand with you in these challenging times.

We hope you and everyone in your organization is safe.

Michael Brannigan, President & CEO

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Michelle Dopps
Michelle Dopps

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