Further to our recent communication regarding the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak and the steps we have taken to protect the health and safety of both our employee’s and customers, I wanted to update you on the measures we have put in place to minimise disruption to your business and to give you a clear and honest appraisal of the current situation regarding product and supply.
These products are directly impacted by the unprecedented demand that the current situation necessitates. We are in regular contact with our suppliers of these products and every effort is being made to provide stock as soon as possible. However, supply of certain products within this category is rightly being prioritised for the NHS and the other public bodies responding to the current situation. As a result, while stock is expected shortly on some products within this category, on others we have no current due-date from our suppliers. This is an ever-changing picture and we hope to be clearer on when stock can be expected as manufacturing begins to catch-up with demand.
To a lesser degree we have seen a significant increase in the demand for certain associated product categories – specifically cleansing wipes, paper towels, tissues and toilet rolls. In these product categories the scale of manufacturing and better availability of raw materials means that currently suppliers are keeping up with demand albeit with some slight delays. In these areas we currently have good stock availability, with only a handful of SKU’s off-stock at present and re-supply of most expected next week.
As I’m sure you can appreciate from the detail above, increased demand and lack of stock availability has resulted in a general market increase in the cost of these products, driven by inflationary pressures on the cost of raw materials and of accelerated manufacturing. We have also taken the decision to pay some supplier’s upfront, where this prioritises and expedites delivery of stock to PBS Group. While we actively work to reduce the impact of these increases as much as possible, some are unavoidable and we may need to pass these on.
The challenges above also mean we’re currently holding a higher number of back-orders on our systems than in the normal course of business. We are happy to maintain these and will aim to fulfil all orders as soon as possible, but we do as a business need to put additional measures in place to protect our own position and that of our supply chain partners, as detailed below…
All existing back-orders and any new orders for products within the Sanitisers product category will be set as non-cancellable and non-returnable from Friday, March 20th. Therefore we ask that all customers review their existing back-orders by close of play on Thursday, March 19th and cancel any that are no longer required in light of this change.
The situation is evolving rapidly but I want to re-assure you that we are doing our utmost to curtail disruption to your business. We are closely monitoring all levels of our supply chain and will continue to provide updates as and when they’re necessary. In the mean time I want you to know that in all instances our goal is to support those customers who support PBS Group – be that through our pricing approach or by means of prioritising stock.
Thank you for your understanding and support during this challenging period. Should you have any queries relating to this communication then please get in touch with our customer services team on 01534 761400.
Managing Director, PBS Office Interiors & Supplies