CURRENT EVENTS & CRISIS MANAGEMENT

AS A RESULT OF THE CURRENT MULTIPLE CRISIS and the long term shut down, stay at home practices, and difficult working conditions, being experienced across the raw material and manufacturing industries, the days of abundant supply and speed of shipment is severely challenged. We feel that sharing this information will help our customer to understand how much this crisis has impacted the flow of business and what it means to current order processing.

Many factories are being emptied as they work to fill orders that have continued to come in for those essential businesses who have continued to operate and many are finding it almost impossible to move their inventory due to a shortage of truck driver availability. Many manufacturer's are even struggling with purchasing as their usual suppliers can no longer get their materials into their warehouses. The challenge created by this shortage has had a major impact on the essential business's purchasing departments, which are already challenged by significantly reduced staff and distancing protocols, making it a real job to get a simple purchase order into their supplier's system, much less get their order filled. The result is that what used to be a 20 minute process to place a purchase order has now become a lengthy, sometimes two to three week, back and forth with the supplier who no longer has easy access to materials, producer's, regulatory systems, or transit options. This has meant that materials are becoming harder to come by and as a result some bulk orders will experience longer delays.  Some materials will go out of stock and if we are not able to get a fairly certain shipping confirmation we will make the item inactive on our website to avoid longer than 30 day back orders.  Except with express permission from our customer we will not allow a back order for longer than 30 days. 

... Shipping Changes :::

Due to the ever increasing difficulty and lack of safety for drivers FedEx and UPS are not making delivery attempts to all locations.  In the case of shipping addresses which have been declared undeliverable due to safety they will update the tracking to indicate that the package is being held for pickup.  In some cases this may mean that they have delivered the package to the pickup location, which may not be a terminal, nearest your shipping address.  You will need to track your package progress and make other arrangement if necessary.   

Due to ever increasing international shipping restrictions across the world, which have resulted in significant delays and an excess of package returns, we have disabled USPS Priority International and USPS Express International.

... Supply Changes :::

Due to a complete lack of availability of 32 ounce HDPE frosted bottles all 32 ounce liquids are now being filled in 32 ounce HDPVC clear bottles.  These are the only bottles still available which meet our requirements and are still recyclable and temperature tolerant to 140F however, our current induction seals are not specific to this type of plastic since that is not our designated plastic.  Because there is also a shortage of the materials to make the seals we are not able to get the specific seal for the new bottle though we will continue in our attempts to procure the specific seal.  As a result we are having trouble with the seal, which is used purely to help us eliminate leakage in transit and is of utmost importance to us and our customers.  You may find that your cap is very tight and even then the seal may not have held securely.  We are applying longer induction times to help ensure a good seal and that means that there may be a, occasional, burning of the seal which will leave a darker appearance on the plastic lip.  This does not effect the quality of the product within the bottle.  If you find this disturbing then please be prepared to transfer the product from the transit bottle to your choice of bottle, using whatever means necessary to avoid contact with the lip during transfer:  eg ... a pump, siphon, or complete removal of the bottle neck.  We will not replace or refund product due to these seal issues.  If you have leakage, and the cap is still intact to avoid a physical contaminant entry, then we are happy to issue credit or send a replacement for any lost product per the guidelines of our damage policy. 

In order to minimize labor without huge price increases, and to maintain an efficient flow of business, we have discontinued many of the small sizes of:   fatty alcohols;  esters;  emulsifiers, with the exception of fragile or more costly emulsifiers;  and humectants.

Aside from raw materials we are also seeing severe shortages in packaging warehouses.  We expected this shortage and tried to anticipate and pre-order however, it wasn't enough as the shortage has turned out to be more severe than anticipated or announced by suppliers. 
As a result of this shortage we have had to make some hard decisions to stay the course until we return to whatever the new normal will turn out to be.  With that goal in mind we have discontinued most 4, 8, and 16 ounce sizes of materials which includes:  carrier oils and oil substitutes or liquid esters, with the exception of the more fragile or costly precious oils;  oil blends;  botanical extracts;  some isolated extracts;  some proteins;  all liquid surfactants;  all liquid humectants; silicones, with the exception of the more costly silicones or blends; and all hydrosols. 

... Filling Changes :::

Due to the packaging shortage and our need to minimize labor we may combine any multiples, of the same item in the 1 ounce size, into the next larger size bottle when necessary (this may be due to reduced staff on that day or availability of packaging).  We are doing this both to reduce labor and the use of excess plastics.  If, for some reason, you are not okay with this measure then you will need to not order the item because we will not be able to make exceptions to this practice.

... Processing Time :::

We are not able to process orders with our usual turn around times due to the many changes in operating procedures, staff shortage, and distancing protocols.  We have, temporarily disabled "Same Day Expedtied Processing" because we are already doing everything we are able to just to get our posted orders out the door every day and do not have any room to make schedule changes to handle a same day expedited order, which is how they were handled during normal operational practices.  We have never pushed off a posted order to process a expedited order because that would be unfair to all other customers.  What we always did was have someone stay beyond their schedule to get the expedited orders out and during this time we don't have the staff to do that as all essential personnel are already working longer shifts and extra days to get regular orders out.  The regular "Expedited Processing" is still available, for those customers with an urgent need, and these orders will post faster but not necessarily the next day as it they would during normal operational practices.  Our processing estimate given at order completion is not reliable at this time and we do apologize but this is beyond our control.  We want every customer to have some idea of how long it may take before their order ships, at the time of placing their order, so we will continue to post the estimated processing time however, the estimate is a real time estimate and is calculated based on the number of orders in the system at the time of the order coupled with expected staff on hand and is a automated feature.  Because staff on hand has become unpredictable the estimate is somewhat unpredictable.  During these times we never know who will come to work from one day to the next.  Normally reliable staff are struggling with unusual circumstances which prevent them from coming in to work and these circumstances are beyond their control right now and as always our staff is second only to our customer so we will respect their current challenges and continue to protect them from customer abuse and unreasonable management expectations as they, like everyone else, are struggling to juggle a whole new set of rules to maintain their household and take care of their families.  Please be reminded that when your need is urgent you may expedite your transit time to speed the delivery but remember that this has nothing to do with our processing time other than it will force post the order faster, which is a automated feature.  You may add expedtied processing to your order to speed the processing time.  Of course, if your need changes and becomes urgent, then please send us email to express your needs and we will do our best to accommodate.  When you send us an inquiry about processing times please refrain from badgering or otherwise harassing our staff.  We understand your frustration however that does not excuse unprofessional or otherwise abusive communication.  Because we will not be put in a position to make a false promise we will not make any guarantee of when your order will ship.  We offer a estimate only and though we will do our best to accommodate your needs we can not make a guarantee if we don't know with 100% certainty that we can meet that promise as we believe that that would be the worst customer service.  If you disagree, we understand however, that does not give you license to abuse our staff.  Any such communication will result in a cancellation of the order, per our cancellation policy, and is subject to fees.

We provide a shipping estimate at the time of checkout and before any order is finalized and put into our system.  If that estimate is not suitable to your timeline then do not place the order.  You are mistaken if you believe that you can place the order and then proceed to badger us with false statements of failure to force us into processing your order immediately and without regard for our other customers, whose needs may also be urgent.  Please know that this will not work and will only result in further frustration and cancellation of the order.  We offer a estimate of "After ... "  only.  By definition this means that any day after the date posted in the estimate is still a success even if that time frame is unacceptable to you.  Your choice and control is limited to your not placing an order.  All orders will be shipped within the legal time limit for a online order which is 30 days.  Prior to that time we will not have failed since we didn't promise anything under that time frame.  You may rest assured that we are doing our absolute best to fill, and ship, all orders as quickly as possible but these circumstances are not within our control under the current conditions.  While we would love to just hire more help there is none to be had at this time and we must work within the current availability of staff and all other restrictions and protocols.  Any order cancelled due to timeline of filling and shipping will be subject to the terms as outlined in our Cancellation Policy.  New customer orders should be expected to take approximately two weeks to fill and ship.  

... Communication :::

Please send all communication via email and we will do our best to respond as quickly as possible however, please understand that we are severely short staffed.  Right now you should expect at least a day for a response and sometimes longer.  We appreciate your patience and understanding while we all work hard to continue to operate as close to normal as possible however ... IT IS NOT BUSINESS AS USUAL and it's important that everyone understands this and has a reasonable expectation to avoid dissatisfaction with the current circumstances which are beyond anyone's control.  As a 20+ year supplier our main priority is as it has always been ... to build long term, positive, business relationships with our customers and we thank you for your patience and understanding.

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