Suppliers of Award Programs Take Hit With Coronavirus

Samantha Mikos

Just a few weeks ago, excitement was in the air as China celebrated the Chinese New Year. Unfortunately, that joy was short-lived as recent events brought on the outbreak of the Coronavirus and many hardships along with it. Through this national upheaval, there is a lingering sense of unsettlement as people return to work. 

Operations are not resuming as normal. Workers are cautious to return to the factories, and global business is taking a big hit. Whether it is a loss in revenue in the airline industry or an upset in the stock market, we are seeing the ripple effects everywhere – the recognition space included.    

It is common for award manufacturers to outsource to Chinese suppliersoftentimes finding materials at a low cost. At Cristaux, we support international suppliers because we ourselves have vendor relations all over the world. It is when a manufacturer becomes dependent upon a singular supply chain that we find ourselves in this current bind.  

To avoid further disruption to your recognition awards program, here are a few things to keep in mind over the upcoming months. 

1. REDESIGNS MAY BE IMMINENT  

Although you may have settled on the award details for an upcoming conference, it will bode well to stay open to adjustments.  

If given a larger production window, suppliers will have additional time to source materials stateside. The more flexible a deadline can be, the less likely it is to encounter any issues with supply and shipping. 

Additionally, certain materials can be swapped out at a similar cost. This may alter the design but does not necessarily mean the vision will be compromised. If a recognition vendor has expert design knowledge, they will be able to determine what will make your design shine best.

2. GET A BACK-UP PLAN 

Delays in shipments or production times are becoming frequent manufacturing hurdles. As we see it, this will only continue to rattle suppliers as we power through awards season. 

Discussing a back-up plan with your awards provider is at the utmost importance. If your awards do not show up on time for a show or conference, plan B must kick into overdrive. 

Alternative options will provide a safety net and secure a successful outcome. Options may include delayed fulfillment, where a vendor supplies the awards after an event has occurred.

Drop shipments are an additional option as this allows a manufacturer to seamlessly ship the awards to each individual recipient without having to ship in bulk prior to the event.

3. COMMUNICATION IS KEY  

With anything important in life, effective communication is a great influence.  

Keep in mind that these obstacles will continue to disrupt the supply chain throughout the year. Even if an event date is set for the fall, chances are it will still be affected by these supplier setbacks.

Get ahead of it now and start having these conversations with your awards manufacturer. If logistics, sourcing, labor shortage and other complications are affecting your vendor, ask about what options you may have.  

Honest, transparent communication is a part of our core values at Cristaux. Connect with our team of experts. We are happy to assist you as a resource during this process. Our goal is to protect your brand to ensure this type of setback does not happen. With local and global manufacturing partnerships, we are able to accommodate your needs, no matter the project volume.