A Message from our President
March 26, 2020
RE: COVID-19: Important Essential Projects Updates
To our valued Customers, Vendors, A+D Partners, and WSI community,
I am writing to provide an update on our efforts to meet your needs for office products during the COVID-19 crisis. As this situation continues to evolve, many states and local governments have issued “stay at home” orders that require all citizens not engaged in essential business or life-sustaining activities to stay at home. These orders require the suspension of in-person operations that are not essential businesses or necessary to sustain or protect life, as defined in the local order. This has created great strain in our supply chain. Many of our suppliers have closed or cut back their operations.
As we and our suppliers work to get back into full operation, we will all need to prioritize and adjust the schedules for the projects we can support. The more critical projects, like providing materials for hospitals on the front line of the virus response, obviously will take priority. You can help us by providing information on your pending projects and why they fit the essential business/life-sustaining activity exceptions to the order applicable to your facility. I know the definitions and interpretations of those exceptions vary significantly, so we can’t give you clear direction on how our suppliers will prioritize the orders we give them for you, but the more information you provide us, the better we will be positioned to work with our suppliers to fill orders for you. I have included below a template for a letter that you can use to advise us about your project.
Steelcase will evaluate incoming orders and assign priority to those deemed essential, in this order:
- Any order for hospitals and healthcare organizations
- Orders to support local, state and federal government COVID-19 response
- Orders enabling pharmaceutical and medical device companies to accelerate their COVID-19 response
- Orders enabling food and food distribution companies to ramp-up their capacity to ensure food safety during the COVID-19 crisis
- Orders enabling other critical infrastructure companies to respond to the COVID-19 crisis, this could include health insurance, utilities, construction, IT or banking companies for example, but only as it relates to their COVID-19 response
- Orders to support local and national security (e.g., police, military)
- Orders helping companies support their employees working from home
Steelcase will continue to accept non-essential orders but will delay work on such orders during this crisis. They are doing everything they can to ship any product that has already been manufactured.
The Covid-19 crisis is creating unprecedented disruption for our operations and our suppliers. We realize how much that disruption provide challenges for our customers. Please be confident that we are doing everything we can to deal with this situation and meet our commitments to you. Do not hesitate to contact me directly to discuss this situation.
Bob Feathers, President and CEO, Workspace Interiors, Inc.
Template for letter from customer to support priority order
We are writing this letter to _____ to confirm that our pending order for office furniture products is intended to support essential business/life-sustaining services under the ____[state/county] Stay at Home Order “Order”. We need the products requested to support our ________[describe project] which fits the exceptions allowed under the Order.
[The more detail you can provide on why this project is essential business under the local Order, the easier it will be to work to get into the queue. Examples of essential business projects include – hospitals or other healthcare facilities providing medical services; government agencies providing crisis response support; commercial operations providing direct food service or other life sustaining critical services; commercial operations providing other essential business services like banking or transportation; essential businesses providing work from home solutions for their employees;]
_______[customer] provides this letter to assist ____ in arranging services from its suppliers to support this essential business/life-sustaining project.