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WE CANNOT CELEBRATE YET! Covid-19 and Supply Chain effects

June 30, 2020

July, 2020 update from ECCO President

As the United States winds down its 1st half of an eventful 2020, and industry takes a pause for the holiday weekend,  i wanted to remind us all of a few important topical updates:

  1. Predictability is out the window!  We are all struggling with keeping plans in place, and knowing just exactly what is going to happen tomorrow or next week.  Just when we think we have our own situations figured out, a curve ball (on a side note..comeback baseball-please!) is thrown at us and we get back off balance.   So, we need to give each other all one big “hall pass” as being a reliable supplier in these times takes extraordinary effort coupled with some luck along the way.  As our supply chain’s got more sophisticated over the last 20 years, and “JUST in TIME” was the mantra,  this global pandemic put everything out of whack and all it takes is one component missing from a bill of material to cause missed delivery dates and miffed end customers.
  2. Flexibility is required!  Today, we live in an UNPREDICTABLE WORLD.  So, now more than ever we need to adjust our sails to deal with winds coming at us from all directions.  Thus, we need to ROLL with the CHANGES (yes, credit to REO Speedwagon circa 1978) and find ways to take a hit on the port side and lean into the Starboard side, or in other words…communicate effectively all the difficulties in the supply chain across every stakeholder to collaborate for a best outcome.   One example, is to have the ability to quickly add a new product to your bill of materials that might offer a substitute to a current late delivery item.  In this instance, engineering has to support a change to the print and provide resources for testing while  suppliers step up with alternatives and samples.
  3. Accountability will win in the end!  When the going gets tough, the tough get going…and it simply serves us all well to “fess up and move forward”.  I learned early in my career that BAD NEWS needs to be delivered FAST and ACCURATELY.  When we address a failure to execute on any aspect of a business transaction or commitment, whether personal or as the leader of a team, we must pay attention to OWNING IT.  Our customers and suppliers typically have experience in being faced with problems and challenges form their stakeholders, so they have some internal empathy, even if it costs time and money.  But a worse outcome is when our suppliers “go silent’ and/or ‘deflect responsibility”, since the problem will still exist, and deciding who is owning/working the solution just adds to the frustration and delays a workable outcome.

Lastly, I will end with a request to heed my advice and prepare for a CHOPPY supply chain in 2H, 2020 by reading and acting on the following:

COVID-19 UPDATE from Bernard Gizzi…

As ECCO remains OPEN for Business, we are asking our customers to update their lead times given global logistics delays continue to occur due to the World Wide Pandemic.  As raw material factories and freight carriers prioritize health and safety in their operations we encourage you to adjust your lead times temporarily by adding an additional 4 weeks to ECCO’s lead times.  You can work with your ECCO account manager since this will vary by manufacturer and product line, but until things smooth out, please place your orders earlier than normal so we can stay on top of meeting and exceeding your delivery expectations.  THAT IS RIGHT, it is very simple, JUST ORDER EARLY and OFTEN! 👍


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