Here's How Peloton Is Managing Field Operations in the Wake of COVID-19
The present global epidemic caused by the outbreak of the coronavirus strain COVID-19 has upended economies and disrupted daily life. Since the virus began spreading across the planet from China, the threat has been growing considerably.
At the time of writing, the latest data from the World Health Organization places the number of confirmed global cases at 234,073 and the number of deaths at 9,840 — although, these numbers are changing day by day. And, while the Americas have not suffered anything like the same impact as many other regions, it seems inevitable at this point that these figures will continue to grow exponentially until a vaccine is developed or the virus burns itself out.
Industry has a role to play as well and businesses must work hard to strike the correct balance of protecting employees and customers while continuing to still deliver as much of their service as possible.
As a brand that exploded onto the scene just a year or so ago, Peloton has been making waves through the world of personal fitness products. Combining an innovative technology-driven exercise bike product with an ongoing live streaming and on-demand fitness class service, Peloton has found its way into the homes of many fitness fans.
Naturally, the nature of the service offered by Peloton means that it must dispatch field service technicians to the homes of customers. Initially, the role of these operators is to install the Peloton hardware in situ at the location and to provide technical support and maintenance throughout the lifecycle of the product.
In the current climate, however, this presents some challenges for the Peloton brand. How is it supposed to both protect employees and customers, while still carrying out business? A lot of companies cannot afford to simply stop trading for what could be months, so a solution needed to be found.
"As of now, our Field Operations teams will continue to deliver Peloton Bikes and Treads to people's homes, while taking extra precautions to address the safety of both our Members and our team," said Peloton Cofounder and CEO, John Foley in a statement. "Our goal is to bring the Peloton experience — and our community — to as many new Members as we can, particularly during this time of uncertainty. We will monitor the situation closely and make any necessary adjustments to this plan as things evolve, to ensure the safety of both our team, our Members, and our communities."
While it's certainly encouraging that Peloton feels it can continue to offer this service, the exact nature of it will have to be adjusted. Thankfully, Peloton has been open and upfront about its intentions in this regard as well.
In a separate statement, Peloton has made it clear that it will be taking the following precautions to ensure its Field Ops delivery teams are following current recommendations from public health authorities regarding sanitation to keep both the customer and its people safe.
- Ensuring every van has sanitizer wipes for easy use.
- At the end of each day, every day, the team will wipe down the delivery van with sanitizer wipes.
- Hand sanitizer and gloves will also be placed in each van.
- Changing operating procedures to minimize interpersonal contact as much as possible.
Aware of the impact supply chains can have on the spread of the virus, Peloton is also requesting that all its third-party delivery partners follow the same guidelines. To address the fourth point made above, Peloton is also making changes to how bikes are delivered and set up.
"At Peloton, the health and safety of our community is always our top priority," said the company in a press release. "In light of ongoing developments in the Coronavirus pandemic, we wanted to share the proactive steps that our Field Operations delivery teams are taking to minimize the risk of the spread of the virus. We are implementing a new delivery format where we will fully assemble your Bike but leave it at the entrance to your home or apartment unit. We will meet you to confirm delivery using a contactless method before departure."
Unfortunately, due to the high touch nature of the product, Peloton has had to suspend sales of the Tread element of its offering. Peloton has also had to postpone any service and maintenance appointment for the time being seeing as they unavoidably involve entering the customer's home.
While Peloton has certainly had to restrict its field operations in the current climate, it's a relief to see that as much of it is being maintained as possible. This not only means customers get as little disruption to the Peloton experience as possible, but field service engineers can continue to work during the crisis.
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