Image Source: Valvoline
During a recent weekly EHS leadership virtual roundtable hosted by ProcessMAP, Gary Allen - the Vice President of EHS and Office & Building Services at Valvoline - shared his experience as well as insights in addressing the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Valvoline is a leading worldwide marketer and supplier of premium branded lubricants and automotive services, with sales in more than 140 countries. It operates and franchises approximately 1,700 quick-lube locations, and it is the No. 2 chain by the number of stores in the United States under the Valvoline Instant Oil Change brand.
Adopting Effective Strategies to Manage COVID-19
To effectively counter the impact of COVID-19, Valvoline embraced the following guiding principles:
- Protect the safety and well being of their global teams
- Develop an overall business continuity plan
- Minimize customer impact
- Maintain store/plant operations
- Preserve liquidity and minimize short-term financial losses
- Ensure continuous, timely and accessible internal and external communication
Valvoline created a response team that included a steering team, a working team for the initial response, a travel review team, a team for planning the return to the office. The response team prepared and executed one global approach while accounting for differences in-country/local requirements. They worked to disseminate consistent messages throughout the pandemic, following Government guidelines to drive decisions and worked diligently on their communications to keep all their teams informed.
In the United States, the automotive repair and maintenance business was deemed an essential business that was allowed to continue operations during the lockdown. All of Valvoline’s manufacturing locations and oil change locations continued to operate. Similarly, Valvoline was able to continue supplying products to their customers in other retail and commercial channels through their manufacturing plants.
Although Valvoline did experience a small number of positive COVID-19 cases within the company, the company treated such cases like any other illness or injury and took those cases very seriously. For example, If a Valvoline Instant Oil Change store were to identify a positive case, they would shut down the store, clean and sanitize it and not re-open until that step is completed. Any employees who might have come in contact with the infected individual would be asked to self-quarantine for 14 days.
Returning to Work
Valvoline continues to monitor the ever-changing national, state, and local guidelines as they execute their plans for effective COVID response management and employees returning to work. Some of the best practices being implemented include:
- Office capacity is limited to 50% - managers segregated employees into two teams that alternate weeks spent in the office, to help minimize exposure.
- Daily temperature checks and health assessment - Valvoline installed temperature scanning kiosks to measure temperatures of employees entering a building. The state of Kentucky has mandated a health assessment, and Valvoline leveraged digital technology for team members to complete the self-assessment at home before arriving at the location of work.
- Protective barriers for guest interface - Valvoline has installed barriers at the highest guest interface areas, including the front desk in the lobby, cafeteria, credit union, and the company store. This significant investment is something that Valvoline believes will continue to utilize in the long term.
- Valvoline instituted a concept called “Leave an empty chair” in all meetings - allowing between 3 to 6 feet distance between people sitting around a table.
- Minimizing high touch points - Valvoline modified areas to include touch-less door openers and personal door opening devices for use throughout the office.
- Enhanced cleaning and sanitization - Valvoline implemented additional provisions to clean all high-touch surfaces, such as doorknobs/handles and printer surfaces, to help make the office environment as comfortable and safe as possible.
- Valvoline will continue to be flexible with “high risk” individuals and those with personal situations working from home and will potentially make their work from home policy more flexible, as several employees are anticipated to prefer to continue working remotely.
For several years now, Valvoline has championed a very strategic and transformative approach towards employee health and safety by leveraging ProcessMAP Incident Management and Audits Management solutions amongst several other EHS modules. The company realized how employee health and safety can turn into a very tangible competitive advantage and continues to stay ahead of the curve by adopting cutting edge EHS solutions. To learn more about how ProcessMAP can help your health and safety processes, sign up for a free trial today!