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Ricardo:  Using innovative digital methods to keep both employees and clients safe

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Case studies, Working safely

The West Sussex-based consultancy firm, which specialises in transport, energy and scarce resources sectors, is taking a digital-first approach to keep their doors open, carrying out the world’s first virtual vehicle certification.

Ricardo develops engines, transmissions, vehicle systems, intelligent transportation systems (ITS), and hybrid and electric systems in addition to providing environmental and strategic consultancy services.

Ricardo offices

Ricardo CEO Dave Shemmans, whose company has bases throughout the UK and beyond, said:

“With many test facilities temporarily closed in the current climate, our innovative digital-first approach on vehicle emissions test and certification facilities has meant we can continue to develop and test the vehicles of the future.

It offers an invaluable service to our clients during lockdown and beyond, as it keeps customers and witnessing authorities safe, whilst helping them to work flexibly. We are also finding clients want to use it for more general vehicle tests.”

The company’s strategy to stay open safely has been so successful that they have largely stayed open during the lockdown. Only their Engine Assembly facility has had to close temporarily, but they have so far been able to support employees through the government’s Job Retention Scheme.

Other measures they have used to keep working safely include:

  • The majority of employees have been able to work from home, using their digital network.
  • Regular internal communications and employee engagement from the CEO and other directors which is cascaded down the management chain to teams.
  • Manufacturing and test teams that cannot work from home, have been enabled to continue to meet critical client needs by the regular review and strict adherence to the government’s advice and rules on safe social distancing at work.
  • Managed pedestrian traffic flow on larger sites, limited capacity for offices, and screening for reception desks as well as PPE equipment which has been made available for those who prefer to use it.
  • Hand sanitisers at key site entrances as well as routinely across all work stations.
  • Health and safety advisors regularly touring sites to educate and support employees.
  • A canteen is open for take away with contactless payment and appropriate social distancing measures in place.
  • Increased signage to support these measures onsite.
  • Travel between sites minimised.
  • Transformation for around 2,000 employees from office-based to home-based across UK, mainland Europe and US in less than a week with no material IT issues or loss of productivity.
  • ‘Digital first’ in marketing, and client and supplier communications.
  • Extensive use of Microsoft Teams and other collaboration tools for virtual working, employee engagement and communications

Ricardo office

Mr Shemmans added: “At Ricardo we are proud to have been the first company in the world to carry out virtual vehicle certifications. But more so that we have been able to keep our clients and employees safe whilst keeping the vast majority of our operations going, continuing to deliver work to create a cleaner and more sustainable future for us all.”

The government has published COVID-19 secure guidance to support businesses to reopen and for workers to feel confident, safe and empowered to return to work.

If you run a business and would like to know which of the coronavirus support schemes you are eligible for, you can use the business support finder tool. It takes just minutes to complete and will help you easily find support for your business.

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