Like many organizations, the Broda team has been working remotely since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. But we’ve also been working to comply with guidelines to keep our employees and customers safe.
We primarily serve an older population. With CDC statistics showing this demographic tends to experience higher mortality rates related to COVID-19, we knew it would be responsible and healthy to do our work from a safe distance.
Taking Precautions Seriously
Broda serves at-risk populations — especially those who are immunocompromised or whose mobility is deteriorating — and provides them with a high quality of life that extends to infection prevention and safety measures. A large part of our business comes from equipment rentals, which only makes these safety measures more critical.
Care facilities often rent wheelchairs and then use them for multiple patients. While this didn’t pose a significant risk before the global pandemic, it is more important than ever for facilities to properly sanitize and clean this equipment between uses. With our chair and wheelchair users at higher risk for infection, we worked to find a way to change our production and sales processes to serve these individuals and the facilities that care for them.
Changing Operations to Better Serve
Since the virus took hold in early March, our sales team has shifted to remote work. This means spending more time on the phone and making ourselves available when facilities and dealers need us, whether we’re answering a question about a product or supplementing a facility’s needs with information available on our website and in our marketing. We’ve offered webinars to continue to connect with people and educate them on our products.
Further, we’ve offered remote in-service training for some time, but the need to stay home has made this service essential. In cases where salespeople would typically perform in-services in a facility, the remote option has made it possible to continue this important work.
Our salespeople may have be able to travel the U.S. before, but more than ever, they couldn’t be everywhere at once. Because of that, the team has pivoted to a remote support model while social distancing and lockdowns are in place. We’ve also found that we can reach more people through remote support tactics like videos and webinars and by educating our customer service team to answer questions more effectively.
Before the pandemic, our team was working on webinars and virtual consultations. We had decided to roll these services out earlier than planned to provide remote customer service amid a time of social distancing and lockdowns in nursing homes
Safety in Production
In our factories, we’ve always prioritized the health and safety of our customers. Our manufacturing process already ended by wiping down the completed product with mild soap and water; we never wanted to risk using a cleaning agent that could irritate a patient’s skin.
We’re now taking things in an even better, more thorough direction by using disinfectant as part of our cleaning process on the production line. We require our team members on the line to wear masks, gloves, and safety equipment, and we now use a more stringent cleaning procedure for products that are going to ship out than ever before. When we realized we had the capacity, our upholstery department began making masks for the Broda team and everyone who works in our factories — as well as other organizations in the community that needed the equipment.
At Broda, we’re dedicated to providing facilities and patients with top-of-the-line products that ensure a higher quality of life. Part of that promise includes ensuring that we never put patients at risk of infection. While the coronavirus may run its course and eventually become a thing of the past, we don’t intend to loosen our production or cleaning guidelines — or provide less remote customer support to facilities and dealers. COVID-19 may have urged us to change our business quickly, but we plan to keep elements that changed our operations for the better.