COVID-19 Response at All Laudisi Enterprises Companies

03/20/20 by Sykes Wilford

As is true of everyone in the world with an internet connection, we've been closely monitoring COVID-19 and its effects worldwide. While we have taken various actions to practice social distancing and limit risk to ourselves as employees of Laudisi, to our families and to our wider communities, the normal operations of the company have not been seriously disrupted. We are still adding new inventory to the site, accepting orders, answering customer service inquiries and shipping out packages. Things are far from normal around here—normal would be irresponsible at this point—but we're all still hard at work.

Following CDC guidelines and Irish Governmental guidelines, we have taken a number of precautions thus far:

Updates by Country as of March 30th, 2020:

  • In the United States:
    • Smokingpipes: Operating normally, with most office staff working remotely (including offices in China and Japan). Some shipping delays, particularly on international shipments.
    • Low Country Pipe and Cigar in Little River, SC: Operating normally, with restrictions. Smoking Lounge closed. Humidor limited to staff. Limit three customers in store at a time
    • Laudisi Distribution Group: Operating normally, with most office staff working remotely. Some shipping delays.
    • Cornell & Diehl: Operating normally.
  • In Ireland:
    • Peterson Factory and Distribution in Sallynoggin, Dublin: Closed until April 13th.
    • Peterson of Dublin on Nassau St, Dublin: Closed until further notice.
    • Smokingpipes Europe: Limited Operations with office staff working remotely. Significant shipping delays.
  • We have encouraged remote work for office staff, as possible:

    • Of the roughly 50 people who work in the main offices in Longs, SC, almost all have been able to work entirely, or partially, from home. There are still people working in the offices every day, but the place is pretty empty. Smokingpipes Customer Service is mostly working remotely; please be patient with us if you need us to look at a pipe in person (it's still possible; it's just slower than normal).
    • On a more limited level—because we don't have very many people per office elsewhere—others are being encouraged to work from home where they can. This goes for office staff at: the C&D building in Longs, SC; Peterson House in Sallynoggin, Dublin; Smokingpipes Europe's offices at Nassau St, Dublin; and Smokingpipes' China Representative Office in Chongqing.

    We have canceled or curtailed all company gatherings:

    • We like to bring our entire South Carolina based staff together once a month and put 70-80 people in one room for a get-together. We're not doing that for the time being.
    • Lunch times and break times at the main office, as well as the Cornell & Diehl building in Longs, SC and Peterson House in Sallynoggin, Ireland, are being staggered and broken into smaller groups and distributed into (now pretty empty) office areas.
    • Other large meetings and company social gatherings have also been canceled.
    • We are accepting no non-essential visitors to our facilities, and are unable to offer tours of Smokingpipes, Cornell & Diehl or Peterson at the moment.

    We have implemented process changes in manufacturing and warehouse operations:

    • The downside of manufacturing and warehouse work is that it needs to be done on-site. The upside is that people already tend to work pretty far apart, compared to office staff. Still, we're adopting various policies to limit risk of exposure and transmission.
    • Latex gloves are being employed throughout the warehouse, with continued and stricter use at C&D, paired with regular hand washing.
    • High-touch surfaces are being cleaned frequently and efforts are being made to reduce touching, particularly on shared computers and touch screens (using styluses instead of fingers, for example).

    We have canceled or restricted all company business travel:

    • All company business travel by air has been canceled.
    • Only absolutely essential business travel by car.

    Of course, we are taking all recommended precautions. We're closely monitoring updates to CDC guidelines. We're washing our hands. A lot. We're practicing social distancing. We're being cautious. In these uncertain times, we think it behooves all of us to take any actions we can to limit transmission.

    The pipe smoking community, filled as it is with resourceful individuals, will get through the current disaster, as it always does. In the meantime, we will continue supporting the needs of the community and maintain our high standards of customer service. Thank you for your continued support.