COVID-19 Operation Procedures
As we are all aware, the COVID-19 situation has had a profound effect on our livelihoods and our industry. As a result of these unprecedented events, we will be required to make changes to the way we work to ensure the safety of our staff and customers and that we are prepared for the challenges that lie ahead.
The following document outlines the enhanced protocols we have implemented throughout our dealerships to safeguard our staff and customers health and safety when our premises reopen.
The purpose of this document is to outline the measures that Denis Mahony Motor Group are undertaking and actions that we are asking customers and staff to take in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This document will be updated and reissued as required with any changes clearly noted
The spread of COVID-19 is most likely to occur when there is close contact with an infected person and the risk of exposure is increased the longer the period of interaction. The two main ways in which infection is spread:
1. Through respiratory secretions droplets produced when an infected person coughs, or sneezes, and may be spread to people who are nearby (within 1 metres) or possibly could be inhaled into the lungs.
2. Most of these droplets fall on nearby surfaces and objects- such as desks, tables or telephones.
Covid-19 possibly can be contracted by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then
touching his or her own mouth, nose or possibly eyes.
Personal hygiene is the best way to kill and prevent the spread of the virus. It is vital that staff maintain personal hygiene by washing their hands regularly and encouraging customers to do so too.
The HSE have outlined strict guidelines around washing your hands and cough/sneezing etiquette which can be found here https://www2.hse.ie/wellbeing/how-to-wash-your-hands.htm.
To protect yourself and others around you from getting sick you should follow the below advice:
Wash your hands frequently
Regular hand washing is essential to prevent the spread of the virus. Hands should be washed regularly with liquid soap and water for at least 20 seconds. All bathrooms will be stocked with liquid soap, warm water and paper towels. If you can’t get to a sink, hand sanitiser will be available throughout the building.
Maintain Physical/Social Distancing
You should maintain at least 2 metre (6.5 feet) distance between yourself and other people. Also avoid crowded or communal places. Do not shake hands or make close contact with people. Social Distance should be practiced everywhere outside the home.
Practice good respiratory hygiene
Make sure you follow good respiratory hygiene, when coughing and sneezing you should cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Dispose of the used tissue immediately into a closed bin and wash your hands.
Clean and disinfect frequently
Use disinfectant wipes to clean common touch points such as phone, keyboard, mouse etc.
There will be a no hand shaking policy in place until further notice. This is to minimise contact with others and help prevent the spread of the virus.
Strategies to minimise spread of COVID-19
Health & Safety
The company has appointed COVID-19 Response Managers in each branch to manage and enforce the new measures outlined below. All staff members will receive COVID-19 information training and will be asked to complete a COVID-19 survey before returning to work.
It is imperative that any customer who is experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms does not travel to our dealerships. If you have a scheduled appointment, please notify a member of staff via email or phone and we will reschedule your appointment for a later date.
Signage will be introduced throughout the showroom and any locations where customers will be in proximity of each other (waiting areas/bathrooms) to ensure people practice good hygiene and social distancing. Signage will also be distributed throughout the dealership outlining the protocols we have implemented to minimise the spread of the virus. HSE COVID-19 posters will also be visible at entrances/exits and customer waiting areas as reminders of the restrictions in place.
Splitting Staff into teams/shifts
The National Standards Authority (NSAI) have recommend that staff should be split into teams where practically possible to ensure separation of personnel in order to limit joint exposure and protecting the business function. Therefore, we will be splitting staff members into different teams where they will operate the same time shifts for work and tea & lunch breaks. This will reduce unnecessary interactions between different shift personnel and will aid contact tracing in the event of an employee contracting the virus.
Work from home
In order to limit the number of people in the building during opening hours, employee’s who can work from home will continue to do so until further notice.
To to comply with HSE guidelines we will be limiting the number of people who enter the building. There will be a one-way system set up at entrances and exits. There will be limited access for children in the premises.
All work areas and frequently touched objects and surfaces will be cleaned at regular intervals using disinfectants (chemicals) to kill germs on the surface and lower the risk of spreading infection.
All employees will be required to report any foreign travel either on authorised leave or on personal time off to managers prior to returning to work.
Below outlines the protective equipment that will be available for staff and customers.
- Hand Sanitisers: Wall mounted hand sanitizing facilities will be installed at the entrance and exit to the showrooms and customer waiting areas. Normal hand sanitizer bottles will be available at sales desks and reception.
- Latex gloves: all staff members will be required to wear latex gloves during sales/aftersales appointments. They will be available at the reception desk. They will be positioned at the entrance/exit of the showroom/service/parts reception. Gloves must be disposed of in the general waste bins provided.
- Disinfectant wipes: will be provided to staff members to wipe down their work area and any regular touchpoints. Examples include card machine, pens, computer mouse, phones, keyboard, stapler etc.
- Face Masks: will be available for staff and customers and will be kept at the welcome/service reception desk.
- Safety Screens: All customer facing staff members will have Perspex glass, either a fixed or mobile unit, installed at their desks. They include sales desks, service/parts desks and reception.
- Reception Barriers: A roped barrier will be positioned in front of all reception desks to encourage people to maintain the social distance requirement of 2 metres.
After Sales & Parts Operations
After Sales and Parts departments will be reopening as part of the Government’s first phase of easing restrictions on the 18th May. Changes will be made to the after sales and parts sales operation in both branches to ensure the health and safety of staff and customers. These changes include:
Contactless Service Appointments
Service and parts advisors will consult with service and parts customers over the phone and online prior to customer arriving. This will reduce the interaction time between the service advisor and the customer when dropping your car to the dealership. Please note that call recording for verification purposes will be implemented.
Service appointments will be staggered in order to space out people attending the premises. Loan cars will be suspended, and customers will be advised to arrange their own transport if they do not wish to wait on the premises.
All service bookings made via phone will be followed by an email to the customer outlining their booking details, such as date and allocated time, as well as the Denis Mahony Ltd Vehicle Cleaning Policy and the Customer Procedure prior to arriving at the dealership.
Vehicle Collection & Delivery Service
We will be operating a vehicle collection and delivery service for customers who are cocooning and unable to travel to the dealership. This will be at no additional charge.
A separate customer procedure document will be sent to the customer via email outlining our procedures when collecting and delivering the vehicle.
Service & Parts Counter / Workspace
A roped barrier and perspex shield will be positioned in front of the service and parts reception desks to encourage people to maintain the social distance requirement of 2 metres. After sales and parts staff working at the front desk will be spaced out to ensure that there is physical distancing.
Service Check In
Zip lock/Jiffy bags will be used to store Smart Keys for customers’ cars so there is no one need to touch the key during a workshop visit. For older style keys, these bags can be cut to allow the blade to enter the ignition.
A sanitation station will be positioned beside the service reception with hand sanitiser, gloves and a face mask. It is mandatory for all customers to use hand sanitiser while the latex gloves and face masks are optional.
COVID-19 can be spread through contact with contaminated surfaces therefore cleaning and disinfection practices are of the utmost importance. Vehicles will need to be cleaned thoroughly in the below scenarios:
- When a car is delivered to workshops prior to work commencing
- Before a car is returned to the customer
- Vehicles used for delivery and collection purposes
Common human touchpoints that will be cleaned in the above scenarios include:
- Door handles (interior and exterior)
- Steering wheel & the stalks on the steering column (indicators and windscreen wipers, cruise control)
- Seat belts and buckles
- Elbow Armrest
- Any push-button areas on the dash and doors (radio, electric windows, thermostat, window etc).
- Glove box and centre console
- Gearstick-Shift levers and knobs, handbrake
- Hazard light buttons
- Cup holders
- Rear view mirror
- Fuel cap
For more information please see our vehicle cleaning procedures.
Warranty & Retail signatures
The requirement for customer signatures on Warranty & Retail job cards does not apply at this time. In this instance, service advisors will be required to mark the job card with “Customer will not sign job card due to Covid 19”.
Handover after service and parts
All work completed, parts purchased or eVHC work deferred will be discussed with the customer over the phone prior to returning to the premises to assist with speeding up the physical handover process.
Customers will be asked to make payment over the phone before the vehicle is collected. Alternatively, we will ask customers to make payment by card (debit/credit) where possible. All card machines will be disinfected with sanitised wipes before and after use and staff wearing necessary protective equipment. All documentation will be emailed to customers.
Waste bins will be positioned at the exit if the customer wishes to dispose of their protective equipment.
Changes will be made the sales operation in both branches to ensure the health and safety of staff and customers while also ensuring that any customer queries can be handled remotely or online. These changes include:
Appointments Only System
Unplanned showroom traffic should be reduced to a minimum. Therefore, we will be introducing a sales appointment only system, where practically possible. This will enable us to make the necessary sanity preparations prior to the customer arrival i.e. protective equipment, vehicle prep, documentation etc.
Hand sanitising station will be set up at the entrance/exit of the showroom for all customers. It will include hand sanitising gel, face masks, plastic gloves and signage outlining health and safety measures. It is not compulsory for customers to wear face masks.
Some showroom vehicles will be removed to ensure there is sufficient space between vehicles. Brochures will be stored behind the reception and will be made available to customers upon request.
Chairs will be removed from the customer waiting area to ensure adequate spacing between seats and tea/coffee will be unavailable until further notice.
Vehicles will need to be cleaned thoroughly in the below scenarios:
- When a car is traded-in
- Before a car is returned to the customer
- Prior to a test drive and after a test drive is completed
For more information please see our vehicle cleaning guidelines.
Test Drives and Handovers
Salesmen will not be allowed to accompany customers on test drives as they will not be able to adhere to social distancing guidelines. This includes sitting inside the vehicle to explain the features. Salesmen will utilise video demonstration to communicate any issues with the customer. All test drive vehicles will be sanitised thoroughly before and after use following our vehicle cleaning guidelines.
We will be offering a home test drive and delivery service to customers who are not comfortable coming to the dealership or who may be cocooning. Employees will be provided with hand sanitising gel, disposable gloves, for when they handle the vehicle or customer paperwork, and disinfectant wipes for wiping down the vehicle after a remote test drive.
Part Exchange Appraisal
Customers will be asked to send photographs or videos of their trade along with other details requested from the salesman prior to arriving at the dealership. This will allow our salesmen get a better understanding of the vehicle condition before arriving to the dealership. Protective equipment, such as gloves, will always be worn during the appraisal stage.
All documentation will be sent to the customer via email for their signature and will be required to be completed before they visit the showroom. Salesmen will discuss the process with the customer via phone. We cannot share pens with other staff or customers.
Home delivery will be available to customers who do not feel comfortable travelling to the dealership.