Office supplies firm National Express Products (NXP) is beginning urgent delivery of supply packs to thousands of Kiwi employees now forced to work from home because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The rapid rise in remote working was being driven by large multinationals and has seen local employers and their staff scrambling to establish home-based offices to ensure business continuity.
NXP, formerly known as Staples and Corporate Express, is creating packs which include; small printers, monitors, keyboards, handsets, copy paper and stationery as well as cleaning and hygiene products.
“We have more than 200 customers who employ around a million Kiwi workers with most of these people having to work remotely in the coming weeks," said NXP CEO Joe Taylor.
Businesses were preparing the majority of staff for a potentially extended period of home-based work, which may grow further if schools were closed, Taylor said.
“While the technology is in place to allow remote working, there is still a need to equip the home with basic office, cleaning and hygiene supplies.”
NXP's expertise in the commercial cleaning industry will also provide a high degree of continuity against supply shortages.
The company has been purchasing and holding pandemic and self-isolation kits in stock for several years and is helping the government prepare.
In a joint effort with Gull, announced today, thousands of litres of local ethanol production will now be repurposed from its intended use as a fuel additive to fill a critical supply shortage of an ingredient needed for the manufacture of hand sanitiser.
Exports of ethanol were banned earlier today by the Australian government - putting further pressure on existing supplies.
The new supply channel will see 50,000 litres of ethanol made available, enough to manufacture sufficient quantities of hand sanitiser to meet the immediate needs of essential service organisations such as police, schools and healthcare workers during the outbreak.
“The current health care concerns facing New Zealand will require businesses to cooperate at all levels to ensure scarce resources are allocated where they are most needed," Taylor said.