Published: April 15, 2020
To all of our customers, partners, and colleagues, we hope this message finds you safe and well.
These are extraordinary times and I want to take a moment to update and reassure you on how we're tackling the COVID-19 outbreak.
Our priority is to ensure the health and safety of everyone working tirelessly at Pal International. Because of them we're able to help those on the frontline of this fight.
Here's How We're Doing It
Our production teams have successfully increased operating output by 75%.
Products are still being shipped to 40+ countries.
Customer services are managing a four-times increase in enquiries and orders.
Existing customers and core lines have been prioritised.
Warehouse and logistics are shipping over three times as many orders as normal.
Looking After Our Staff
Making sure that our staff are healthy and safe is our biggest priority - they're the ones helping us to help medical staff around the world. To do this, we've made a number of changes to our way of working. As well as introducing additional communication tools to make sure our teams are kept in the loop, we've introduced a 'vulnerable and high-risk' plan that gives more flexibility to employees at greater risk from COVID-19. We've also put flexi-working into place that allows staff to take leave at short notice - without losing holiday or pay - so they can support their families and communities where needed.
Dealing With A Surge In Demand
Understandably our teams have been under a lot of pressure. The Government asked us to temporarily downgrade non-core lines and we agree, it's the right thing to do. Some enquiries have had to be turned away and some customers have been left disappointed. Please know, we're doing everything we can right now but naturally there are limits. Some products have gone out of stock, some lead times have extended, and some phone calls and emails have taken longer than usual to answer. No one could ask any more of our teams, and we appreciate your patience and understanding.
To meet the unprecedented demand we've made major changes to our operations. Now, our manufacturing output is focused on products that will help deal with COVID-19. And by prioritising these we've been able to dramatically increase output.
We've also recruited new staff, invested heavily in training, and optimised lines. We're adding machines, bringing them on-stream incredibly quickly. Every small thing that can and will make a difference is being done.
Supporting Our Vulnerable Communities
The vulnerable communities around us need help more than ever right now. That is why care homes and other charities across Leicestershire are receiving any supplies that are not going out to hospitals.
Supporting charities all over the world is something very close to our hearts. We supply products free of charge to less fortunate places, where there's little money to buy essential supplies. This won't stop now. Hospitals from Malawi to Sierra Leone are doing life-saving work every day and need our products right now, just like everyone else. We will continue to support them too.
Putting People Before Profit, Now And Always
It goes without saying that we will not seek to profit from COVID-19. We will not change our prices unless absolutely necessary. The cost of some raw materials has spiked, for example synthetic alcohol, but please know we've absorbed as much of this as possible. For the vast majority of our products, our prices remain exactly as they were before the outbreak.
We've been disappointed to see some of our products appearing in places like eBay and Amazon at vastly inflated prices. We don't sell our products directly and are working with online market places to stop this. We won't supply anyone we believe is inflating prices to end users.
Thinking Outside The Box To Help
Over the past year we have offered an unrestricted training grant that provides infection prevention training to nurses and healthcare workers. This is available through an online training portal with Nursing Times and will remain free for anyone to access anywhere in the world.
For a long time now we've proudly sponsored the A Germ's Journey project in partnership with De Montfort University. In today's world, their message to children about the importance of hand hygiene has never been so relevant. We've made additional funds available to A Germ's Journey to carry on their amazing work here in the UK, and internationally in India, the Middle East, and Africa.
And Finally, A Thank You
Thank you to our incredible team, partners in the supply chain and logistics, field sales and local distributors. You've all risen to the challenge and are actively making a difference. There are no exceptions – every part of our business has stepped up. The UK Government, Bank of England, and a number of international organisations have contacted me to thank us for our efforts; for your efforts.
To our customers and the end users of our products, I also want to share our collective thank you. Healthcare workers, we know you do this all year, every year but right now your efforts are incredible. We are proud and grateful and stand behind you, ready to help wherever we can.
We've been operating for half a century and it's safe to say we've never experienced anything close to this before. Our website and social channels will be regularly updated however, if you do have any questions, we're here to help. Please do get in touch.
The uncertainty is difficult. The concern we have for loved ones is very real. The challenges to business and life in general are unparalleled. But we're positive. We're in this together and believe in our strengths and resilience to find a way through these unsettling times.
Stay safe and best wishes,
Managing Director, Pal International