As the COVID-19 virus continues to spread around the globe, the health and safety of our employees and partners is critically important. In the spirit of our core value of drawing the blueprint, I wanted to take a moment to briefly outline some of the steps we’re taking to safeguard the health of our team while providing business continuity for our customers.
As social distancing and the elimination of large gatherings become commonplace, we’re keenly aware of the role our company plays in helping our clients stay in touch with their customers. While no substitute for face-to-face interactions, mail is a valuable, highly-personal communication tool. Our broad print delivery network, and scalable cloud infrastructure allows us to support higher levels of communication across the education, healthcare, insurance, and other impacted sectors. Here are some of the specific things we’re doing to keep the mail moving during these challenging times.
The continued safety of our people is my most important concern. Over the past several weeks our leadership team has developed a COVID-19 response plan as well as specific guidelines for the company. Starting today, we have closed our offices in San Francisco. All employees will be working from home. We are providing connectivity/internet access assistance to those who need it to ensure they are able to work and collaborate effectively. The office will remain closed for at least the next three weeks, and we will deep clean and disinfect the space during that time.
We have suspended all non-essential business travel, and cancelled any face-to-face customer meetings and corporate events. All recruiting activities and interviews will happen virtually. This shift to remote work will be a change for us, but I’m confident that we’ll be able to support our customers and our product at the same level we do today. We will communicate any changes to this policy directly and in our blog as the situation evolves.
Our Technology Infrastructure
Our infrastructure and processes will allow us to provide the same customer experience and support you have come to expect from us. Our Print & Mail and Address Verification APIs are hosted on Amazon Web Services (AWS) with the ability to dynamically increase scale as needed. All of our systems are designed to run independently without human intervention, and are monitored by production-grade monitoring systems.
In the event a system needs attention, an on-call engineer will be paged. While they are now working remotely, on-call engineers have internet or mobile wifi devices with them at all times to respond to issues immediately as they arise. Our customer support coverage and hours will not change. Each Lob employee has remote access through SSO to our core business applications, and works off a company-assigned laptop with VPN, endpoint protection and automatic security updates.
Our Print Delivery Network
Unlike other software companies, we have a physical component to our business, and rely on a network of commercial print partners as well as the USPS to produce and deliver the mail that is generated through our APIs. Our partner operations team is working closely with all of our partners to extend our continuity planning to this part of our business.
At this time, none of our print partners are anticipating a change in production schedules or supply chain disruptions that would prevent them from producing mail on Lob’s behalf. All of them have developed their own business continuity plans which include:
- Enabling remote work for administrative and other employees
- Limiting plant visitations and employee travel
- Providing capacity beyond contractual obligations to ensure network reliability
- Sanitizing equipment between shifts
- Preparing to mobilize temporary labor if needed
- Preparing to engage third party vendors (in extreme circumstances with Lob approval in accordance with our customer agreements)
While the situation today is unprecedented, this is why we have built significant redundancy into our Print Delivery Network. If for any reason a partner in our network is unable to fulfill an order, our systems can automatically reroute the mail to other partners.
This is a challenging time for all of us, and one of the best things we can do is continue to communicate with you as openly as possible. Please reach out to your customer success manager, our customer experience team, and visit our status page for additional information or if you have any questions.