SUPPLY CHALLENGES – COVID REALITY SETS IN
Earlier this summer, we were all getting confident that the Covid pandemic was on the run. Infections were falling, the economy was recovering, and people were traveling more. Particularly in the United States the widespread availability of vaccines meant that everyone who wanted a vaccine could get one. We experienced an increase in sales and interest on our website.
It turns out that this picture was a little too rosy. The Delta variant has impacted the lives of even vaccinated people, and there’s more concern about travel. We’ll beat it eventually, particularly here in the US, with booster shots, greater population vaccination levels, and public health measures, but it signals that the post-pandemic world will be more complex than we thought… life will not simply return to “normal”.
Even worse, the rest of the world outside the US is, in many places, in their worst stage of the pandemic, as populations aren’t vaccinated, and the new variants are far more contagious than the original. One of those places is Vietnam, which is currently in an aggressive lockdown mode. We manufacture our product in Vietnam, and, like everyone else who sources from much of Asia, we are unable to get product. Our factory is currently closed because of the lockdown, and all the supplier’s factories are also closed.
What makes this worse is that the early summer sales contributed to a rapid drawdown of our inventory. We now are currently projecting that it is likely we run out of inventory on many of our products by the end of August or early September… with no clear timeline of when we can get back in stock.
I wanted to share this with you in a fully transparent way. Once we run out of stock, we’ll post more information on our website about the projected return to availability. But for now, candidly, if you were thinking of buying one of our products, I would encourage you to move quickly.
Small businesses are flexible and resilient; we will weather this, even if it means a period of stockout. Our suppliers are also resilient, and our eager to get back to work. But for now, availability will be a problem, and, as a responsible founder and entrepreneur, I wanted to let our community know.
Dave, and the Onli Travel team