Supply chain disruptions won’t affect Franmar’s commitment to customer service
When the Coronavirus pandemic first took hold early last year, Americans who were used to an abundance of everything 24/7 suddenly saw shortages of paper towels, toilet paper and cleaning supplies, as well as lots of empty grocery shelves. People stocked up and supplies dwindled.
Fast forward to today. Shelves are fuller, and paper products and cleaning supplies are easier to come by, but the global supply chain remains in disarray. The reasons are many: shipping container shortages, bottlenecks at West Coast ports, not enough factory workers and truck drivers, damage from Hurricane Ida and more. These factors and others have in turn affected how many businesses, including Franmar, are able to operate.
And while the way we do things has changed, Franmar remains committed to delivering the best possible service we can in these difficult times.
“Our goal is to always provide top-notch customer service,” said Vice President Dan Brown. “Right now, we are doing our best to anticipate and navigate the uncertainties we face to ensure our customers’ needs are met.”
The primary difference Franmar customers will notice is that shipping times are longer. Before the pandemic we could ship most orders in one to three days; today that time is two to three weeks. It’s a faster turnaround than some other businesses, but not as fast as we’d like.
Prior to the pandemic, Franmar used a Just In Time production system, relying on prompt delivery from the dozens of suppliers we use to produce our BLUE BEAR® retail and industrial lines, as well as our full line of screen printing products. We could depend on receiving cardboard boxes overnight and basic chemistries in a week or so. Important components like trigger sprayers were easily obtained. That easy access allowed us to turn around orders quickly.
Today “our key suppliers are struggling to keep up with demand,” said Franmar General Manager Tim Whitlock.
The result is cardboard boxes can take as long as six weeks to arrive, and basic chemistries can take one to three months for delivery. Trigger sprayers that were in abundant supply became scarce as plastic resins were diverted for use in hand sanitizer bottles.
So, what is Franmar doing to provide the best service we can under these less-than-ideal conditions?
- Added inventory: We are no longer using the Just In Time production model and whenever possible, are increasing inventory of the supplies we regularly need.
- New sources: We are seeking out additional suppliers. We are trying to minimize our risk of disruption by increasing the number of vendors we rely on for the products we need, especially in cases where suppliers are not permitting us to increase our orders.
- Constant monitoring: The Franmar team is paying close attention to news within the plastics and packaging industries, and other affected sectors. Continual checking of trade publications, industry newsletters, relevant websites and more allows us to anticipate potential problems faster, so we can make any needed adjustments as soon as possible. And as the pandemic has continued, our understanding of the issues has also improved, allowing us to be more proactive.
- Staffing: Our production department is working at full capacity, as is our customer service team. Taking care of our customers will always be of paramount importance to us.
“Our delivery time is part of the quality service we give customers,” said Brown. “Our promise is to provide the best delivery times possible, given the circumstances of the day.”
We encourage our customers to order earlier whenever possible and to contact us with any questions they may have. Our customer service team can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or speak directly with a team member by calling 1-800-538-5069 during business hours.
Thank you for your patience and understanding.