Vending Cups: It has been said, not unkindly, that I appear to be thinning up top, and this is true. You see, I’ve been tearing my hair out. Not because of COVID, (that tore my heart out), but because of Vending Cups. I can’t get the situation regarding cups out of my mind, it gives me grief day and night. June – Mrs Crichton – has had enough: I am now banned from saying the ‘c’ word in the house.
We’ve got an issue with our cups supply. Talk about ‘events beyond our control’!
The vast majority of the Vending Cups we sell are sourced in China and for years, we’ve all enjoyed the benefits of good quality, consistent supply and a fair price. But now, it’s going pear-shaped and it’s all, at the end of the day, down to the pandemic.
The global demand for PPE is such that China can’t produce the stuff quickly enough. The laws of supply and demand mean that PPE is commanding high prices and every order seems to be classed as ‘urgent’. But – and here’s the rub – there are only so many ships available to transport the goods to market… What’s developed is a kind of auction mentality. PPE producers are consciously paying over the odds to get their products into containers and in order to compete, other suppliers – such as the company that makes our Vending Cups – are having to out-bid, or at least match them.
You don’t have to have an MBA from Harvard to realise that this means Vending Cups prices will be going up.
The truth is, we don’t know if this is for the short term or for the foreseeable future. We’re looking for an alternative source. We’ve tried a couple, to mixed reviews, but I want to reassure you all that we are all over it like a rash and, trust me, we’ll succeed in the end.
And if that wasn’t enough to contend with, Brexit complications are affecting our deliveries to the island of Ireland. We’re getting through OK to both the Republic and to Northern Ireland, but the reams of paperwork involved mean that we now need an extra day to get to your door. It’s a pain, but unfortunately it’s another example of ‘events beyond our control’ impacting on the business.
There’s good news too: vaccinations are up and infections are down. That puts everything else into perspective, doesn’t it? But it doesn’t stop me tearing my hair out!
Meanwhile, back to work.
John Crichton, ARN.
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