I know, you hadn’t really gone anywhere. But it seems like we’ve been in an alternate universe for about 15 months now. Although we will never be the same, I share the same sentiment as everyone else and hope that we will soon be back to some semblance of life as we knew it. Restaurants are open, sporting events are back to full capacity, entertainment is roaring back, and people are starting to plan events with live participants. There is excitement in the air.
Unfortunately, we are not out of the woods yet. Although we have survived, the effects of the pandemic are still affecting the country, specifically the movement of goods. Supply chains are damaged, and in some cases outright broken. I’m sure everyone has been touched by something being suddenly more expensive, or it is weeks before something will be available that you used to be able to get in a day or two. Our industry is no exception. For the most part things aren’t terrible currently, except for some name brand items. There are still reasonable supply levels on most products, although we are beginning to receive more and more notifications of products either being out of stock or taking extended periods to get to the customers.
Here lies the issue. The business of branding to live people, whether it is through events, incentive programs, employee recruiting, or sales and marketing, is just now starting to come out of hibernation. This market has been more or less dormant for 15 months. All of those purchases have been put off. Soon, all of those budgets will open up again. Everyone will need marketing and branding materials and they will need it now. They will be planning events, live recruiting, and having sales teams in the field trying to impress customers they haven’t seen in over a year. My concern is that as an industry we aren’t prepared. Speaking with some national suppliers, the industry concern is that by fall there will be little to choose from for the holiday season, the busiest time of year, with no opportunity to restock in time before the New Year.
How is QMI Group addressing this? First, it is our recommendation that you plan ahead. This will be the simplest way to make sure you get what you want. And when I say plan ahead, if you want it before the end of the year you should potentially be placing your order in the next 30 days. We will be in constant contact with our largest suppliers monitoring inventory levels. We will be keeping track of what is no longer available and seeking alternatives wherever possible. We have the capabilities to imprint most products in house, so we aren’t reliant on other factories. And finally we have a great team who cares, and will do everything to make sure you have what you need, when you need it.
I hope the supply chains are mended sooner rather than later and all of this was just me being a chicken claiming the sky is falling. But then I never thought I’d be coveting toilet paper either.
James Shereda Jr.
1645 East Avis Drive Madison Heights MI 48071
(248)589-0505 Sales@qmimail.com fax: (248)589-0903