It’s always been essential for us to keep our customers up-to-date, even more so during the past 18 months.
We’ve had many trials and tribulations come our way throughout our 17 years of business. Unavoidable delays and problems have always been part and parcel of running a successful business, and it’s fair to say we’ve been able to cope with these better than most in our industry.
This is only possible because of the strong team in our office and the experience we have built up throughout the years, which has come from listening to customers’ needs and always dealing with all aspects in a professional manner.
Since 2004, we’ve always maintained that excellent communication can mitigate the risks, reduce uncomfortable conversations and overall keep a customer happy and that we’re doing everything we can to keep their businesses running at full speed. Transparency is vital. Being honest with a customer is beneficial, and most people would prefer to know if there’s a problem before it becomes impossible to contain and resolve. That’s why we’ve worked with some businesses for over 10 years!
And for the most part, we managed to do this throughout the pandemic. Our lead times were kept low; customers received their packaging on time, all whilst still maintaining the high-quality products we’re known for. As a result of our expertise, we were also more than equipped to deal with the problems arising from the fallout from Brexit and the freight crisis currently sweeping the nation.
In terms of production, we have been able to ensure business continuity in most cases and our manufacturing partners have been coping remarkably well. Unfortunately, some shipping delays have been unavoidable due to coronavirus outbreaks in certain global regions and massive port congestion both at departure and arrival hubs. However, thanks to our excellent planning skills and pro-activity, we have so far managed to carry on supplying our customers globally, and they have received the packaging they needed whilst still working hard to replenish and deliver new stock from our suppliers.
As mentioned before, managing the expectations of our customers is paramount. It would be easy for us to say we can get the packaging out in a super quick time, but that would be deceiving, and in the long run, would cause us even more problems. Instead, being honest with customers is the way to go, and by working and compromising with them, we can make sure both of our businesses are running efficiently, and we both get what we need from each other – a great working relationship that will last for many years to come. Being realistic about lead times is simply essential.
In normal circumstances, we quote standard lead times of 10-12 weeks but in the current situation, we have had to increase these to minimum 14-16 weeks and whilst ensuring that our customer knows that we do everything to meet these, things can literally change within days. Again, communication is critical, and that’s why our customers rely on us! As soon as anything changes with a shipping date, we call straight away and explain, so they’re always in the know.
Stock management for existing customers has been a massive key to success even before the pandemic began but certainly took on a new meaning as we progressed through 2020 and into 2021. Making sure our customers have a certain amount of stock to fall back on is incredibly vital to make sure there are no gaps. This means there’s no or little knock-on effect of the freight/driver crisis because we can supply bags to them throughout the delays. This is a big deal for our customers and another reason why our service is so valuable to many brands.
We’re expecting Christmas to be a busy yet challenging time for us. This is why, at the beginning of August, we already started to prepare for it by setting the wheels in motion for customers and ourselves. As a result, we’re confident that should this crisis continue well into 2022, we’ll be able to carry on providing our excellent service until then and beyond. It has been a learning curve, and it has been stressful, but without the help of our patient customers who recognise that we’re doing the best we can, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do daily. And that’s to supply high-quality packaging to some of the best brands in the world!
We understand the supply chain pressure on our customers and the difficulties they face with retailers and consumers alike. These are trying times for all, so as many suppliers globally, we are affected by the pandemic crisis consequences, and we still do our best to deliver packaging on time. However, our current lead times are estimated, and this is exactly what they are – estimated. Of course, we work closely with our suppliers to keep these down, but we recommend our customers more than ever to order in plenty of time to avoid disappointment and stock disruptions.
If you need any more information on how we’re working to overcome the problems caused by the pandemic, Brexit, freight crisis and more recently the UK drivers shortage, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Also, if you’re a new business and are worried about what this could mean for you, just give us a call. We can talk through the options available to you and show you how we are truly a leading packaging supplier!
If your brand wants to invest in quality packaging, we will guide you through the entire print process. In addition, we are providing recommendations along the way to improve efficiency, reduce costs and add untold value to the end product.
Contact us on +44 (0) 161 440 7302 or follow this link to complete our contact form.