8 May 2020 – Mercury has built strong relationships with many of the contractors and suppliers who support our business. Even before the lockdown required by the response to the Covid-19 pandemic, our procurement team started reaching out to our contractors and suppliers to start a conversation about ensuring the health of our respective people and businesses.
Nicola Muggeridge, Commercial Services Manager, is based in Rotorua and her role supports Mercury’s electricity generation teams (for our geothermal and hydro generating assets). In alert levels 4 and 3, she worked from home in her bubble with her two young children and her husband who is an essential worker with the Police.
“I thought that during lockdown things might slow down but they’ve been busier than ever,” says Nicola. “My usual work continued, and I stepped in to organising increased communication with our suppliers. Initially, this was to keep them informed about what we were doing and logistics such as access to sites. But as the lockdown progressed we widened the conversation to include how our need for their services might need to flex through alert levels, and the potential financial impacts of the varying alert levels on them.”
Many of our relationships with suppliers and contractors have been built up over a long time, and they add huge value to our business.
“They are service providers, they know our sites and our offices and their knowledge will be really important for when we want to get back rolling quickly and be ready to return to work.”
The procurement team work with different areas of the business. Nicola, focusing on our generation function, coordinated with team members to make phone calls with 250 suppliers. The idea was to talk through any challenges they may be facing in their own businesses, check in on how they and their people were doing, understand what other work they had on and how they were coping financially.
The response to the phone calls surprised Nicola. “I thought people might not want to hear from us but it was completely the opposite. Many of them told us it’s good to hear from Mercury and know we care. It’s good to know there’s someone they can call if they need to. They really appreciated hearing from us.”
“Keeping in contact with key suppliers around the return to our sites of their people, and ensuring good communication around how that would look, has been very important over the last few weeks. We have consciously considered these relationships as partnerships when we talked to our suppliers during this time.”
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Mercury’s mission is energy freedom. Our purpose is to inspire New Zealanders to enjoy energy in more wonderful ways and our goal is to be New Zealand’s leading energy brand. We focus on our customers, our people, our partners and our country; maintain a long-term view of sustainability; and promote wonderful choices. Mercury is energy made wonderful.
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