Ricardo is well prepared for the ongoing challenges of COVID-19 and Brexit
An open letter from Ricardo plc CEO Dave Shemmans
There can be no doubt that 2020 has been a challenging year for communities, families and businesses worldwide, and Ricardo is no exception. We have successfully worked to avoid disruptions caused by COVID-19, while at the same time acting responsibly to do what we can to prevent further spread of the virus. Our digital-first strategy has provided us with the flexibility to work remotely and where physical requirements demand, and has enabled us to deliver innovations such as virtual certification, remote audits and inspections. Together with the use of virtual conferencing tools, we have been able to use this approach to continue our business processes largely unimpeded
As we enter 2021 with more stringent restrictions placed on many cities, regions and countries around the world, our focus on the safety of our employees remains as important as ever. The guiding perspective of ‘Healthy People, Healthy Business’ remains the business as usual focus for Ricardo, and we have no voluntary closures of any of our international network of offices and technical centres.
Within the UK, of course, we also have had the yet to be clarified issue of Brexit to prepare for. Regardless as to whether a free trade deal is secured before the end of the transition period, Ricardo has robust plans in place to ensure that we can both contract and operate without customer risk within the European Union, where we continue to grow our successful business footprint. Having strong technical and commercial bases in many cities within the EU gives us the necessary trading flexibility, and we are already contracting from these locations for engineering, consulting and certification projects. We can confirm that we have all the necessary precautions to continue to meet and deliver our customers’ expectations. Where clients need support for long-term visits to our sites, we will support visa applications – as has long been the case for our non-EU customers – but we understand this will not be needed for normal business trips. Where parts supply is required, we have the additional stocks in place to cater for distribution delays during the immediate post-transition period, and we have trained many staff in the new customs procedures, including briefing on changing travel documentation needs.
We will continue to closely monitor and assess the evolving situation over the seasonal break. If any Ricardo client has a concern, I would urge them please to raise this with their usual contacts in the business.
Finally I would like to thank all Ricardo clients, employees and suppliers for their support over the last year, and look forward to better and even more productive times ahead in 2021 and beyond.
Dave Shemmans - CEO, Ricardo plc