Our response to COVID-19

By Marc Shiffman on March 22, 2020

SMS Assist community,

COVID-19 is at the forefront of all of our minds right now. Here at SMS Assist, we have been tirelessly working to keep our customers, Affiliates, and employees safe and healthy. SMS Assist’s Emergency Management Team has activated protocols outlined in our longstanding Business Continuity Plan.

Below are the actions and commitments SMS Assist stands by in the face of this crisis to keep our communities safe and thriving:

We’re here for our customers

Now more than ever, our customers are focused on the health and safety of their customers and employees, and we want to do everything we can to help. At this time, we do not anticipate any significant service delays or disruptions, and we have seen little impact from COVID-19 on our Affiliate network’s performance.

Although our customers won’t notice any significant service delays, we know this isn’t “business as usual.” Here are some specific measures we’ve taken:

  • Our SMS Assist workforce is working remote, as we’ve done in the past at various times. We’ve successfully worked under these conditions and are equipped to maintain our exceptional customer service levels 24/7.
  • Our Affiliates have adjusted operations to maintain social distancing, implement disinfection protocols, and wear personal protective equipment when appropriate.
  • We have added troubleshooting questions to our work order creation process to capture if a resident is experiencing flu-like symptoms or was exposed to COVID-19.
  • We have qualified Affiliates prepared to help COVID-19-impacted residents in emergency circumstances across nearly all our trade and region combinations.

We also have Environmental Health and Safety Affiliates equipped to help with preventative cleaning and sanitization as well as contamination cleaning and disinfection. Here is more information on these services.

We’re keeping our Affiliates safe

Our Affiliates are facing this crisis head-on alongside SMS Assist. We understand that this may be a time of uncertainty for many, but we want our Affiliates to take comfort in knowing that their business relationship with SMS Assist will not be adversely affected by COVID-19.

Here is how we’re helping local businesses that make up our Affiliate network stay safe and run smoothly:

  • We have put together a guide of tips and best practices for ensuring safe and successful service during this time.
  • Where shelter-in-place orders are in effect, technicians can contact their Affiliate market manager or vendor relationship representative to obtain a letter of authorization for applicable customers.
  • We remain deeply committed to paying our Affiliates for all completed services during COVID-19.

We’re proud of our dedicated employees

Our customers depend on SMS Assist to continue to provide high-quality service, especially during unprecedented times like these.

Here are steps we’ve taken to keep our employees safe:

  • Abided by CDC, WHO, and government directives, including closing our offices in Illinois and allowing employees to work from home
  • Communicated about preventative measures to our employees. These communications began in January 2020, and we will continue to keep our employees updated every step of the way.
  • Provided resources to help employees support local businesses, stay mentally and physically healthy, and seamlessly communicate with one another.

We are closely monitoring the rapidly evolving situation. This past week in particular, there has been a lot of change in our personal and professional lives. One thing that has remained consistent is our ability to be there when our customers, Affiliates, and fellow SMSers need us.

There is no roadmap for a crisis like COVID-19, but we are resilient, and we’ll evolve as new information becomes available. Our customers, Affiliates, and employees are our community. In times of crisis, what we do matters, but how we work together matters more.

Stay healthy,

Marc Shiffman

President and Chief Executive Officer