The Pandemic Continues
Acquiring and maintaining our balloon inventory remains very challenging as the COVID-19 Pandemic continues to pop up around the world. Safe practices including staying home and reducing shopping trips for necessities have increased demand on shipping companies to an unprecedented level. It has caused shipping delays for non-essential items, and at the worst, it delays someone's life-saving medication.
Within our country, restrictions differ from state to state. But most include limitations on the number of employees you can have working within a manufacturing facility, and this has reduced output from previous operating levels. If a manufacturer imports any of their product or an ingredient used to create this product, then they must also navigate the global supply chain. Other countries, who in turn have their own virus restrictions, are also dealing with the same issues increasing the challenges and time it takes to produce and ship product. All of the manufacturers we utilize are suffering from different challenging points of production and distribution.
Currently, there are several colors and sizes of balloons that are out of stock across the country, but everyone is working as fast as they can under the current circumstances to get this product back in stock. Making this stressful for balloon professionals who have made it their mission to provide the magic their customers dream about for that special occasion, no matter how quickly the event occurs. It is frustrating considering that balloons are in high demand but finding the exact colors and sizes you need requires much more time, energy, and patience. Never has the creative flexibility for you and your customer been more significant. Will that color you need come back in stock in time for the event? Maybe. But rest assured, once the manufacturers catch up on those colors, others will likely go out of stock. Until the current situation stabilizes not just domestically, but globally, inevitably this will keep occurring.
As a distributor, we feel your frustrations when the product you need is out of stock. We are also at the mercy of the tug of war for market demand and production capability. Please know that we have done everything we can to provide that product you need, including the utilization of multiple manufacturers to increase the chances that what you need, or something very similar, will be in stock when you need it. We can provide an estimated time of arrival for specific products as our best approximation upon request.
As an industry, we have always known that balloons are very important for celebrations or to lift someone's spirits when they are down, technically we are not an essential business. What makes it so difficult now is seeing the basic emotional necessity that balloons meet laid bare in the middle of a life-threatening pandemic that reduces our capacity to fill it. We will get through this with patience, kindness, and with hope for the future. As your distributor, we will strive to innovate ways to stabilize this situation using every resource available to us. We appreciate all those who have reached out in concern and support for us and are so proud to be a part of this wonderful industry, our balloon family.