Dear Spectrum Customer,
Thirty years of experience in the healthcare products industry has been a powerful asset to us.
What we have learned in the last 30 days has been humbling.
How it all started
I wanted to share with you our journey. How we got to where we are today. How we have been able to pivot to stay one step ahead. I also want to let you know what we are doing to continue to honor the Spectrum Pledge we made in early March.
In January, we knew a storm was brewing. We learned our team on the ground in China was finding it challenging to locate masks for themselves—for their families. Our office in Houston found themselves in the unique position of sourcing supplies from the U.S. to send to them. Not for commerce, but so they could personally take care of their families. With Chinese factories on lock-down, we utilized our global supply chain network to search and vet factories around the world that manufactured masks, especially the disposable type. What we learned, was that most countries had already banned export of these essential items. This made us nervous. The storm we knew was brewing was not weakening. They say knowledge is power. In this instance, knowing was scary.
As soon as China began to bounce back, so did our overseas team. Working with partners we have had for years—across differing product lines—we were able to vet and work to bring these products into the U.S. We did so using a tried and tested method, perfected through years of being a recognized FDA importer.
It didn’t all happen quite how we planned. To be honest, I do not think is has for anyone.
Part of our pledge was to source hard to find products for our customers. That is where we placed our priority. We did not push to outwardly market our products. Instead, we allowed our customers—new and old—to come to us as a trusted source. To say business has been steady would be quite an understatement.
Where we are today
Our products continue to meet changing guidelines—many masks and other supplies have already made it into the hands of those who desperately need them the most.
The market isn’t looking as far ahead as it needs to at the moment. So much of our energy is focused on the right now. But we need to also look ahead at what our healthcare community will need in a month, two months, and for the years to come.
To that end, we are working to expand and rebuild our inventory so we can have products readily available to ship, without creating a long lead time for our customers.
We continue to build and expand our supply chain and network—to push the market to insure new products meet the standard of quality craftsmanship our customers expect—and at a price that remains consistent and aligns with our place in the market.
What we’ve learned
(From hard lessons, encouraging insight, and a couple tidbits we hope make you chuckle—we all could use a laugh or two!)
- We’ve learned even with our experience in the industry, the changing market still left us feeling fresh faced. Others pivoting into the medical industry need to be careful, the differences in approvals and FDA certifications is key, and is important in protecting lives.
- We've learned when conducting business on a global scale—during a global pandemic—every day is crucial and sometimes their day is our night. Sleep is as hard to find as isolation gowns. We’ve worked countless hours placing orders, making late night supply chain calls, and coordinating the logistics of moving products out the door—all while doing our best to honor a state-wide shelter in place order and keep our team safe.
- Despite the craziness, we learned to be forever grateful for those who work far longer hours to care and tend to those directly affected. We are grateful to be healthy and we are grateful for the opportunity to serve our community of warriors on the front line of this pandemic.
- We learned a day’s hesitation may mean the difference in securing a million masks—or push a lead time from 2 weeks to 2 months.
- We learned, when you make a pledge to reduce 100k scrubs to well below cost, they quickly sell out.
- We learned a single disposable 3-ply face mask will weigh as light as a feather. We learned 200,000 of those mask weigh a ton.
- Through countless calls, we learned how important it is to help our customers find the resources they need to be successful. This has led us to partner with Behalf to offer attractive lending terms to qualified clients. We’ll share more later on this new feature.
- We learned hand sanitizer is the new currency for liquid gold.
When we created our pledge, I had no idea what this world would look like in the weeks ahead. I said myself, “We are Americans, and in the face of adversity we help our brothers and sisters”. I now know just how true these words are and how blessed I have been to be able to live by them. For me, this was the most important thing learned.
I used the following George H.W. Bush quote in our spectrum pledge video.
We are a nation of communities... a brilliant diversity spread like stars, like a thousand points of light in a broad and peaceful sky.
It continues to be the guiding force for the decisions we make here at Spectrum. I hope it serves as inspiration for others to continue to shine their light.
Stay safe and healthy,
Chandani and the Spectrum Family