“ Here and now procurement creates cash�ow , inventory and forecasting problems because it relies on ‘ what is available ’ vs . ‘ what we need now .’”
— BRIAN McGEE , Dazzle Dry
Dazzle Dry has stayed nimble to limit manufacturing disruptions .
development regional managers , who then share information from the report with clients as necessary .” To minimize disruptions and surprises for their spa partners , the company also provides exact details on product ETAs so that spas can factor in delays and plan accordingly to minimize inconvenience or , at worst , loss of revenue .
At Boulevard , which makes bags , clutches and totes often found in spa and hotel retail spaces , Owner and President Christina Oh has dealt with sharp rises in shipping costs and difficulty obtaining materials , which has led to some back orders . Though Oh has spared her clients the gritty details of those issues , she agrees that being clear and honest goes a long way when sharing updates . Mostly , she says , clients want clarity and — if those honest communications reveal a fresh challenge — flexibility . “ They just appreciate having hard data so that they can make a decision . We have a good system where we can say ,‘ Oh , that ’ s not going to be in stock for three weeks — do you want to switch the item ?”
Providing clients with clear , reliable information while leaving room to alter an order or make like-for-like substitutions goes a long way in this climate of uncertainty .“ As long as we ’ ve been able to do that , [ clients ] have been really good with having the ability to make the choice on their end of what to do . We ’ re just trying to be as easy to deal with as possible ,” says Oh .
One especially important aspect of [ comfort zone ] and Boulevard ’ s communication practices is that they have been proactive rather than reactive in nature . When Brian McGee , general manager of business development at Dazzle Dry , noticed that purchasing , shipping and availability issues were impacting the company , he knew he didn ’ t want to wait around for the impact to get larger before touching base with clients . McGee wrote what he calls “ a letter no one wants to write ,” essentially apologizing for the effects of disruptions to Dazzle Dry ’ s supply chain and inventory issues . But he also used the letter as an opportunity to be honest about the continuing uncertainty surrounding those issues and encouraging clients to act early to procure the products they needed in advance of the busy holiday shopping season , which resulted in an informed client base and prevented a potential issue with more back ordering during the holidays .
Stay Nimble Having a solid communication plan in the event of supply chain issues and shipping slowdowns is crucial , but addressing those issues at their root — and even anticipating them before they arise — is even more vital to sustaining a business and maintaining strong relationships with clients . For example , when Dazzle Dry faced increasingly volatile ingredient prices and availability , they recognized the need to shift from a stopgap ,“ here and now ” approach to procurement .“ Here and now procurement creates cashflow , inventory and forecasting problems because it relies on ‘ what is available ’ vs .‘ what we need now ,’” explains Brian McGee .
In response , the company elected to buy in larger quantities to increase their product inventory beyond typical levels . Though they had to procure items at a price above the usual rates , the move stabilized the cost to Dazzle Dry , which afforded them the chance to proceed with a much firmer sense of what their expenses would be for
JANUARY 2022 n PULSE 31