As many of you have probably heard, there have been some major storms in the Eastern US. High winds have knocked out power, and have caused a lot of heart ache and pain for those that have to live through it. On top of all of that, high heat is smothering people while they try to find water and cooler places to be.
On top of those very serious issues, it has unfortunately stopped one of my suppliers in its tracks! Unable to bring up their computers for lack of power, and warehouse temperatures reaching over 100 degrees means that shipping items were delayed for a few days. No phone lines, no emails, no power, no a/c, NOTHING.
I was sending orders in, but weren’t seeing them being shipped out. I noticed it on Tuesday evening, but they were already closed. Then the 4th of July meant they weren’t open on Wednesday… I waited until Thursday morning, and called them. No answer. No machine… What was going on? I sent a few emails, but got no answers. Then I remembered I had a cell phone for one of the warehouse people, and called him. “uuhhhh… hello?” – Finally! I introduced myself, and asked if he knew what was going on. He told me that they were doing what they could, but they had no access to their database, and couldn’t see any orders.
After talking to a couple of people, I came to find out what happened. And although I am rather displeased about not getting a quick phone call, or a simple email, I can understand that a lot of these works and people were probably dealing with their own family problems, and dealing with the lack of power and air conditioning in their own personal lives.
I got off the phone, knowing that they were doing the best they could. Now it was time for me to send out a mass email to all of my customers that I thought were affected. I started gathering emails, writing down what I wanted to say, and trying to come up with every possible answer I could for any questions that my customers would have…
My phone rings…
“Hello?” I said – “Hey Ryan, good to talk to you!” – It was my main contact at my supplier! But what was even more strange was that he was calling me from his office number! The power had just turned on, and he wanted to let me know he was back in business, and working on getting my orders shipped out ASAP. He explained to me that they had a LARGE back-log of orders, and they were getting them out as soon as they could. The orders most delayed would be the orders to first go out. The problem? They only had 2 warehouse guys at the moment, because all of the others were told to go home for the day because of the high heat in the warehouse. Before getting off the phone, I was told they would do what they could to get the orders out as soon as possible, and that they would even try to ship the items out with “faster than normal” shipping.
I feel it is important to let everyone know when things like this happens. We live in a society today, where we want things instantly… But sometimes mother nature shows us who is boss, and there is little we can do.
For those of you that were affected, please know that I am very sorry! Between the horrible storms and the holiday this week, it just turned out to be a very bad situation. Please accept my apologies.