Supply Shortages and Limited Reachability due to the Corona Pandemic
I apologise for our currently unsatisfactory customer service and long delivery times and would like to openly explain the reasons for this.
The current demand goes beyond everything we have ever experienced and can handle on a technical and professional level. Over the last few weeks, our average of incoming orders has been more than 20 times higher than during the same period last year. These numbers alone show which difficulties we are facing. Despite all our efforts, we cannot adapt our company to this situation within a few weeks. In addition, there are numerous time-sensitive orders from crisis centres, which have to be organised individually with special trips, police protection and many other measures.
We have reorganised our company in recent weeks and have transferred all employees from areas that do not necessarily need to be staffed in the current situation to the customer service and logistics departments. Thus, employees from marketing, IT or human resources are currently working in shifts in logistics and customer service. We are working day and night with countless overtime and still can hardly cope with the workload. Our top priority at the moment is to procure goods and to deliver as quickly as possible. As a result, the repayment of orders we cannot execute or that were cancelled by customers, is currently delayed. We will of course refund the money. Our telephone system is currently overwhelmed. Every day, we receive thousands of calls, which can only be served partially due to our staff numbers. This is aggravated by the fact that we also employ staff, who are in domestic quarantine for security reasons and are therefore absent. In addition, the job market hardly offers any suitable applicants and we currently do not have the time to train new employees.
In addition, none of our sectors and processes currently run "normally". Whole truckloads of goods are a standing at the borders to Poland and Switzerland. Even the items that are not covered by the export ban remain at the customs offices because there is a lack of personnel to handle them.
Daily, new regions of Europe are added to which we cannot deliver anymore. This means that the goods are sent back and need to be returned to the warehouse while the customer needs to be notified and payment must be credited.
In the procurement of new goods, we are currently only believing what actually arrives in our warehouse. Unfortunately entire pallets of goods are currently disappearing or goods are stolen from individual boxes. Numerous deliveries of ready and paid goods are stuck in countries that have issued a short-term ban. In that case, we are putting in a giant effort to obtain special permissions in order to at least get the goods out of customs, because disinfectants and face masks in a customs warehouse are not helping anyone.
Of course, we are not the only ones to be overrun with orders. Many suppliers can’t meet such an increased demand of goods, as the raw materials often cannot be obtained so quickly in such gigantic quantities. In addition, there are entire regions, such as northern Italy, where many manufacturers of medical products are based, that are currently unable to produce and are not shipping finished goods.
Due to the urgency of the situation, we are currently importing a large number of gods via air freight from all parts of the world. Unfortunately, flight schedules are constantly changing and capacities are extremely limited.
I do not want to make excuses with these accounts. I am aware that despite the enormous commitment of our employees, suppliers and logistics partners, we are currently making a shameful impression. We promise that we will do everything to procure the urgently needed goods and deliver them as quickly as possible to wherever they are urgently needed.
Fortunately many customers show understanding about the current situation as the entire medical sector is facing an exceptional situation and as customers are facing similar challenges and difficulties. I fully understand that customers are dissatisfied and angry. However, I have no sympathy for people, who insult or threaten my employees with attorneys or spread insinuations and lies.
Together, we will master this challenge with humanity and hard work!