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David Manson  
#1 Posted : 07 January 2021 09:22:18(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
David Manson

Dear colleagues,

I am part of a national company that requires a lot of travel within the UK. This includes external sales visits, audit visits, and the usual transportation of goods.

The law, and gov. guidance throughout the UK allows travel for work and overnight stays. 

We have issued an instruction that people should only travel if it is essential for the business and cannot be done in any other way.

Inevitably some depots interpret this to more or less mean "business as usual" whilst others have almost closed down all travel apart from the transportation of goods.

My concern is that morally we should be doing more to stop travel and also that we could be liable if we are seen to be spreading the disease by recklessly allowing travel throughout the UK.

Has anyone got any thoughts on this? 

Thanks and best wishes for 2021

A Kurdziel  
#2 Posted : 07 January 2021 11:17:32(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
A Kurdziel

You are going to have to break this down.

Sales visits, do we still need these can’t it be done on-line in fact do you need travelling reps at all in the 21st century?

Audit visits-what are you auditing? if it’s documentation, well put them on-line, use a good document sharing team working set up. if its site inspections ask yourself how effective they are? Can an external assessor really check every nook and cranny of the site?  Are often as not directed by the site manager to see what he wants them to see?

For now the usual transportation of goods, can be justified, but in ten year’s time it will all be done with automated vans and drones-don’t laugh see this article https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-45786690 , in particular the picture of a New York Street in 1900, full of horse drawn vehicles and then 13 years later full of  cars.

Is it because of lot of businesses are run by ex reps that we stuck with the idea of travelling reps?

 

thanks 1 user thanked A Kurdziel for this useful post.
David Manson on 08/01/2021(UTC)
Roundtuit  
#3 Posted : 07 January 2021 20:23:24(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Some products are a "technical" sale which may involve adjusting supplier owned dosing equipment, scheduling material deliveries, taking samples, providing reports along with shooting the breeze over a coffee the customer having "out sourced" this labour activity and cost.

Then you have the business intelligence aspect you don't see - whose name has appeared in the visitor log, the chance to see how the competitors trial is running, work out how your customers business is performing, get a feeling for how the office politics is progressing - by being on a telephone or video call.

I will concur a lot of the sales directors/managers spent many an hour behind the wheel of their company chariot before securing that promotion but they only go up the ladder by ensuring adequate resource follows.

Even with this scenario technology could eliminate the human such as remote equipment and stock monitoring but these systems need funding (why would a customer pay for a ££££ system when Joe turns up for free?).

thanks 2 users thanked Roundtuit for this useful post.
David Manson on 08/01/2021(UTC), David Manson on 08/01/2021(UTC)
Roundtuit  
#4 Posted : 07 January 2021 20:23:24(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Some products are a "technical" sale which may involve adjusting supplier owned dosing equipment, scheduling material deliveries, taking samples, providing reports along with shooting the breeze over a coffee the customer having "out sourced" this labour activity and cost.

Then you have the business intelligence aspect you don't see - whose name has appeared in the visitor log, the chance to see how the competitors trial is running, work out how your customers business is performing, get a feeling for how the office politics is progressing - by being on a telephone or video call.

I will concur a lot of the sales directors/managers spent many an hour behind the wheel of their company chariot before securing that promotion but they only go up the ladder by ensuring adequate resource follows.

Even with this scenario technology could eliminate the human such as remote equipment and stock monitoring but these systems need funding (why would a customer pay for a ££££ system when Joe turns up for free?).

thanks 2 users thanked Roundtuit for this useful post.
David Manson on 08/01/2021(UTC), David Manson on 08/01/2021(UTC)
AcornsConsult  
#5 Posted : 07 January 2021 22:20:20(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
AcornsConsult

The OP is a little vague as to what was being done pre-covid and how it is planned to be now. Perhaps there has not been enough communication as to what sales etc can be done remotely and what needs travel and then what needs travel and nights out.   Having recently had some nights out, we managed to deal with a lot of things remotely prior to the travel so the exposure on-site was minimised.   We couldn't really see how we could get the final buits of the work done without travel.  By the way, the hotels I used were more covid aware than the few office that are still active, so I felt more at ease n there than nipping to the local supermarket for a lunch time snack!!

thanks 1 user thanked AcornsConsult for this useful post.
David Manson on 08/01/2021(UTC)
David Manson  
#6 Posted : 08 January 2021 16:00:50(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
David Manson

Thanks for your response which are appreciated,

My posting was a bit vague whic kind of reflects curren t guidance. 

I will stick with our current line which is that travel must be essntial for the business and conducted in line with our and Gov. guidance.

REgards

David

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