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Covid-19: Orders, Support, etc.. [April 1st 2020]

Posted on 14th Mar 2020 @ 12:38:01 PM

[Update: April 1st 2020]

We are still in semi-lockdown and orders are being shipped Mondays & Thursday successfully as per the last update (March 26th).

One major change is that postal/courier services are now starting to hit border border closures to package/cargo traffic which will definitely be impacting International customers. It is virtually impossible to keep up with the changes so if you are an International customer we would recommend you check the relevant updates directly:

Royalmail (for services marked "RM" )
https://personal.help.royalmail.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/5317/~/international-incident-bulletin

DHL Parcel (was UKMail)
https://www.dhlparcel.co.uk/en/business-users/help-centre/live-service-updates.html
NB: We're expecting this to continue to work unless the UK shutsdown everything except vital medical/key supplies

wnDirect / Ascendia
https://www.asendiausa.com/asendia-insights/service-updates/
This is changing daily.

DHL Express
https://www.dhl.co.uk/en/important_information/covid_19.html#containerpar_expandablelist_a028
No particularly useful information. Recommend checking the Fedex PDF (see below) for likely delays.

Fedex
https://www.fedex.com/en-gb/coronavirus.html
https://www.tnt.com/dam/tnt_campaign_media/global_media_library/covid-19-docs/fedex-covid-19_service_impacts.pdf
This is changing daily.

Short version... The rule of thumb appears to be "If your country is in completely lockdown there won't be any deliveries, so please wait".
While the restrictions and confusion will vary over time, the overall disruption will likely last for months as different governments adjust to the realities of the situation.

 

Earlier Posts

 

[Update: March 26th 2020]

It's now been a few says since the UK was placed on an effective lockdown. While we are aware that online business has not been told to close we have remained mindful of safety of our staff and families first. To that end the following is now setup.

  1. Orders are shipping on Mondays and Thursdays only. This may be adjusted to Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays in the future but only if order volumes increase.

  2. Orders are now being shipped via tracked services which has increased costs on goods but this has been essential to ensure that goods can be located and delivered successfully.

  3. Support & pre-sales questions are being answered within 24 hours so that side of things is working well.

  4. Manufacturing and product supply shipments is being delayed for obvious reasons. We are working out ways to split the tasks so that work can be done from home where feasible or staff can work in the workshop. The supplier dispatch speed is something we can do nothing about though.

This bears repeating... Stay at home unless you absolutely have to.

 

[Update: March 22nd 2020]

Following information and advice from friends and family working in the NHS we have decided to place ourselves and our families on a self imposed isolation with minimal external contact. As such many of our plans to continue manufacturing are now on hold until we can determine how to effectively avoid cross contamination between our staff. There is also a question mark as to how and/or when a lockdown will be imposed.

As a result we are tentatively changing our plans as follow:

  1. Orders will be physically shipped on Mondays or Thursdays only. 
    This reduces our contact time, reduces potential for cross contamination between our team members and allows us to keep our families occupied while schools are shut.

  2. If any government order should stop us from accessing the works premises we will contact any customers with pending orders to determine if they are happy to wait, process a cancellation/refund or discuss relevant alternative measures.

  3. Assuming we can continue to access the works premises, we'll be continuing to manufacture as/when feasible but it will be at a greatly reduced capacity/volume.


If you are reading this and are still not convinced as to the veracity or need for such drastic measures please consider that this is a key income stream for us. Everything we're hearing, from informed individuals, with direct knowledge and/or practicing in the field of medicine has persuaded us that this is a significant threat to human life. Or to put it another way we're prepared to lose the business rather than take chances.

Stay at home.

 

[Update: March 19th 2020]

Following recent changes in government policy and events in other countries, we are now adjusting as follows:

  1. All shipping services have now been restricted to tracked for all except the lowest value orders
    This will ensure that orders can be located in the event of non-delivery due to the Covid-19 restrictions.

  2. We cannot guarantee next day or priority delivery for any orders.

  3. Due to border closures and restrictions on air transport in particular, some International customers will experience significant delays in receiving orders.
    If your order is critical we would strongly recommend using DHL Express or Fedex to improve your chance of successful delivery within a faster timeframe.

  4. OctoInkjet operating days/times will be changing in response to our parent/family commitments now that school will be closed from March 20th.
    Details will follow but expect some delays before orders are dispatched.

  5. Replenishment of stock is ongoing. We will update our "Stock ETA" page shortly. 
    The nature of the epidemic means that some items may be delayed but we are trying to offset the potential for this as much as possible.

  6. We will continue to provide support and pre-sales advice where possible. Please use our contact form and/or email if at all possible so we can respond when parenting duties aren't getting in the way.
    Note: We can phone customers back if that's preferred, but email is still easier/quicker where possible (it also helps us keep track of discussions easier).

  7. Customer collections have been suspended.

In summary, we're adjusting to circumstances as they change but as noted previously we're in it for the long haul.
Nobody is being laid off and we fully intend to support our customers, staff and wider community over the coming months and into the future.

Thank-you for your understanding, your patience and your continued support.

 

[Posted: March 3rd 2020]

You will undoubtedly have heard about Covid-19 and while we're not going to deal with the massive amounts of confusing information surrounding it, we do need to update you on how this affects our ability to function and supply customers.

Short version

There are delays developing across the board. We may have to temporarily suspend shipping (to some or all destinations), sales and potentially shutter the business temporarily in the future.
Emphasis here is on "temporary".

Long version (bullet points for brevity)

  • Shipping services are being seriously affected Internationally (due to reduced airline activity which affects the capacity for airmail to be carried) and we fully expect domestic mail/courier services within the UK to experience delays in the coming weeks.
  • Supplies of some small components are running low and are affecting various bundled products. Particularly refill bundles.
  • We are identifying workarounds where possible so things like orange clips (for canon cartridges) are being replaced with outlet covers, etc..
  • Some key components, particularly for Printer Potty kits are running low and we're unsure if new supplies can be sourced before our stocks run out.
  • We do still have families to look after and there is an expectation that a state mandated or voluntary self-quarantine may be required at some point. Our priorities MUST be on the health and safety of ourselves, our families and our communities.

The good news is that many of our preparations for the Bre*it mess have meant we have some extra stock, particularly with regards to inks, but unfortunately not across the board.

We should note that we are in this for the long haul. We're intending to make use of any time/space we have to clear the backlog of jobs that have sat on our "would like to get done" list and, assuming nothing dire happens, we will continue to provide support (and any pre-sales advice) via email.

Beyond that we will be looking at ways to help our local community particularly those who will need support so we're not sitting on our hands.

Whatever your own personal situation, please try to weigh up the information with a critical eye and take precautions where you can. We'll update as/when we can.