While there is much uncertainty as to the impact of the COVID-19, we, at Whitebox, would like to instill confidence in our preparedness for the possible impact of the virus on our team, your business, and your customers. As a key supplier of food and beverage products, we are classified as Essential Critical Infrastructure by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). We recognize the importance of keeping vital supply chains open during this time, and we plan to play our part. A cross-functional task force has been formed to continuously assess the impact on the safety of our clients, our team, and the successful continuity of business operations. Our task force meets daily and I have full confidence in its ability to provide oversight and recommendations that will effectively address the upcoming virus challenges and its impact on our business and our service to our customers.
Our preparation for the challenges that may be presented by the virus is guided by two key principles:
- The health and safety of our employees and customers; and
- Our continued high level of commitment to our clients.
Health & Safety
We are closely following the CDC guidance and news. As the national health care experts have stated, it is very likely that COVID- 19 will continue to spread, and is very dangerous for older individuals and those with underlying health conditions. We are taking this situation very seriously, and will continue to do so. Protecting our employees and our client’s business, and using the measured guidance of the CDC is our plan of action as the world responds to this virus.
Currently, all Whitebox offices and fulfillment centers are open and operating as usual. In addition to our regular cleaning and sanitizing procedures, we have implemented additional and significant precautionary procedures.
We are following CDC: Keeping Workplaces Safe guidance from the CDC. In addition, we are monitoring our local community guidelines and using CDC: Community Strategies to increase planning and response as needed. Currently, all of our facilities are in the "None (preparedness phase)” category according to the CDC category designation for level of community transmission or impact of COVID-19. Should the situation change, we will follow health official guidelines from the CDC.
Delivering for our clients’ businesses and to our clients’ customers is a top priority for Whitebox. As stated above, we are following all CDC guidelines. Below is a summary of additional steps we are taking to ensure success through these unknown times.
- Fulfillment Centers: Our fulfillment centers nationwide were already clean and professional places, but we have taken extra steps to increase the frequency and detail of cleanings, and promote additional employee safety precautions.
- Business Continuity Efforts: While each client will differ on the best business continuity plan, our team is prepared to discuss options and make recommendations. Whitebox has multiple warehouses across the US, giving us flexibility in our storage and shipping options. In the event that operations at any warehouse are impacted, we will quickly and clearly communicate with clients as to the status of their business operations.
- Managing Increased Demand: We are hiring additional associates and adding shifts to keep up with increased demand and we will be proactively consulting with clients to discuss any pre-planning we can do to ensure supply chain continuity for their brand.
- Marketplace Updates: As key marketplaces make updates and changes to their services and processes, Whitebox will clearly communicate those changes to our clients along with any recommended actions. For real-time updates, check out our Whitebox Flash Alert: COVID-19 Marketplace Updates Blog.
- Shipping Delays & Setting Expectations: We have increased staffing to reduce shipping delays, however, with the increased demand we recommend clients update shipping commitments to set proper expectations ahead of a purchase. There may be, at times, a delay of 1-3 days in processing FBM/SFP and website orders. For Fulfilled by Amazon orders, we have seen even longer delays. We will work with your team to determine the best option for your business.
- Increased Whitebox Account Support: Our Account Management team is proactively reviewing accounts, inventory, and demand and will be in touch with recommendations for future planning.
Our clients trust us and rely on us to be key contributors to their success. We work together as a team to address questions, execute plans, and overcome the obstacles and challenges that may arise. We will continue to do this in the coming weeks. Please reach out with any questions or concerns you may have.