Chief operating officer of Pioneer Balloon Company, Dan Flynn, has issued a public statement and update regarding product availability, in which he issues an apology for recent stock shortages in the face of increased demand and outlines the company’s plans for improving access to the most popular lines.
“I hope that you, your associates and families are all healthy and safe as we work through these very difficult times. As we went into 2020, none of us could have guessed how disruptive this year would be, as we all have had to dramatically change our daily activities and adapt to a very different world than we were used to.
Obviously, the pandemic has upended many of our businesses. For Pioneer, we went through about 10 weeks of very minimal activity, and then saw an uptick significantly greater than we (or most people we talked to) had anticipated. I know many of you are frustrated by the current backorder situation and even more so because our customer service team can’t give you definitive times for fulfillment of out-of-stock items. I apologise for this and thank you for your patience and support. Our executive, planning and operations teams are working long hours to try to rectify this and please be assured you have our total commitment to standard lead times as soon as possible.
I don’t want to go into all the reasons for the situation, as I don’t want you to feel we are making excuses. COVID is still impacting our company and our supply chain partners and no one can control when or whether the disease will impact a part of that supply chain or our operations. We are and have been working to create failsafe and redundant systems so that we will have greater certainty, but we are not yet at a point where we are able to set definitive timelines that we could share with assurance.
We believe (assuming no significant new disruption) that our foil balloon availability will significantly improve and be close to ‘normal’ by late November. Our latex plants are increasing output, but the continued surge in demand makes it more difficult to predict when we will be beyond shortages. Our plant personnel are working overtime to make this as soon as possible. We are also doing everything we can to improve Bubble lead times, but our supply chain remains constrained. We are trying to ensure production prioritises most-needed designs, which means slower-moving items will have longer lead times or may be discontinued so that we improve responsiveness on the most popular designs. We will work hard to communicate better our progress on all fronts.
As many people have told me, it’s a better problem to have extreme demand than to have too little demand. This is certainly true, but it doesn’t diminish the frustration of customers who can’t get our product as quickly as they would like. We won’t stop until we rectify that.”