We are all aware that the Coronavirus outbreak has caused havoc in worldwide supply chains. As you would expect from us we have taken steps and stay close to all of our key supply chain partners.

Initially we were concerned about hardware, generally most of these components have been ‘outsourced’ over the years to keep prices down and are now made in China, Malaysia, South America or use Chinese components or Chinese steel in their assembly, despite what some UK distributors might lead you to believe.

Following on from our fact finding (and it hasn’t been easy to get facts believe me) we have now either secured consignment stocks at our factories, bought forward or second sourced components.

I’m sure that this situation will develop rapidly over the coming weeks. As you know companies in Northern Italy were closed with immediate effect but we had already reviewed consumables in our factory machinery spares stores and we have spares, motors and shims for Graf Welders, but that was just luck!

The only products currently affected are blinds in sealed units and my advice to your retail customers would be to “keep the curtains up for now” and avoid. Hi-Tech Blinds (GJB) expect at least a 4-6 week delay and Morley Glass (Listers) have advised a stock out on Anthracite Slats from Pelini and at this stage they will not accept orders.

We appreciate your continued support and we will keep you informed if things develop. Longer term, we will review the supply chain and start a proper industry debate as I think we need to review ‘outsourcing’ generally and not have so many industry eggs in one basket but that’s a bigger industry question as we also need to remain competitive, so it’s tricky.

Roy Frost
Group MD (GJB and Listers)