1st July 2022
Payments via Cheque
We have been informed by our bankers, Lloyds Bank, that they will be closing their branch in Bourne in November 2022.
As a result of this closure and our ongoing commitment to reducing our carbon footprint it has been decided that with effect from 31 October 2022, we will no longer be accepting cheque payments. We therefore request that all future payments be made directly into our Lloyds Bank account.
Please could all remittances be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Should you wish to pay your account by card then please contact the Credit Control team on 01733 230 230.
It is important to remember that we will never ask you to amend our bank details without written communication and it is always advisable to contact your supplier to confirm their new bank details before making payment. Should you wish to confirm our details please contact Credit Control department on 01733 230 230.
Please do not hesitate to contact us should you require any further information.
12th May 2022
Market Challenges May 2022
Unfortunately, the UK market continues to see more of the same disruptions that it has faced over the last 12 months. Demand is still outstripping supply in certain product categories, it has been particularly prevalent in the paper industry. Labour and transportation costs remain at a peak; however, we have seen a glimmer of hope in the shipping industry.
Whilst not as sharp an increase, raw material costs are still increasing, for example domestic recycled paper prices have risen a minimum of 5% from February to March. If we see similar increases through May, undoubtedly in turn, we will see further increases from paper suppliers.
Plastic Packaging Tax
The new plastic packaging tax came into effect in the UK in April. This is a new tax that will apply to plastic packaging manufactured in, or imported into the UK, that does not contain at least 30% recycled plastic.
Most of our range is already manufactured from recycled material or does not contain plastic packaging, and we endeavour to improve on this as it is one of our key sustainability objectives: to reduce the use of plastic packaging and increase the use of recyclable material.
Manufacturers that do not currently use at least 30% recycled plastic in their packaging, may decide to pass the tax cost to customers. However, as a business we are doing our utmost to limit these increases being passed to our customers and rather work with manufacturers to ultimately reduce the use of plastic.
For more information on the new tax please click here
Transport & Freight
Further good news: although freight costs rates remain high, they have decreased from the peak we saw in the height of the pandemic and currently remain stable. Delays in shipments have also improved, however isolated incidents continue to impact some arrivals.
As mentioned above the paper industry has been particularly impacted by supply challenges and price increases. Unfortunately, price increases from paper suppliers continue to flow through at an alarming rate, often with no forewarning. Following from discussions with our suppliers, we don’t expect to see this pressure ease up anytime soon.
Some source data is provided below:
- Recycled Fibre – Over a 30% increase in the last 12 months.
- Pure Virgin Pulp – This has increased by over 45% since Jan 2021.
- Packaging – Core Board – 28% increase in the last 8 months.
- Packaging – LDPE – 38% increase in the last 8 months.
- Labour - The warehouse sector continues to struggle to replace European staff who work in warehouses and distribution centres. Members have reported increases in pay of between 20% and 30% to secure workers for entry level jobs.
- Transport – This is mostly being attributed to the cost of fuel which has increased by over 25% in the last 12 months.
- Energy cost – These have risen 436% since Jan 2021, 127% since August 2021.
The factors outlined above continue to result in extended lead times and price pressures which unfortunately need to be passed onto our customers. We recognise that the market situation continues to cause complications and inconvenience for all, however as a business we are doing our utmost to limit the impact to our customers, and we will continue to do so.
Any changes in these circumstances will be communicated to you as soon as we are able to, we will however share a further review in a few months’ time.
Thank you for your continued support and understanding.
1st April 2022
EASTER OPENING TIMES & DELIVERY SCHEDULE
Need your order before Easter?
3rd Feb 2022
Market Challenges February 2022
Following from our previous newsletter regarding supply chain challenges and inflationary price increases in the UK and globally, we invite you to read our latest update.
Unfortunately, we haven’t seen many market improvements and we are still experiencing ongoing disruption to our supply chains and cost increases from our suppliers due to the persistent challenges and backlogs that COVID-19 presents.
Energy & Raw Materials
As global industry starts to return to pre-Covid levels of production we are seeing raw material costs increase further, with demand often exceeding supply.
Oil prices have risen to a three-year high and this impacts our entire supply chain. Products that require higher energy consumption to produce are worst affected, thus paper and pulp producers for example have been severely impacted. Increased energy and raw material costs result in products costing more to produce.
Industries within the UK are competing for a far smaller pool of workers. We see workers in vital sectors such as manufacturing, warehousing and logistics move to those sectors that can provide higher wages. This has resulted in a labour shortage which is impacting production and delivery, whilst also resulting in employers having to increase wages by up to 20% to retain and recruit staff. This in turn increases production costs and lead times.
Transport & Freight
Globally, ocean freight costs remain at an all-time high. Shipping costs have increased by up to 500% in the last 18 months, this coupled with their extended lead times has caused shortages in containers and capacity into the UK. This has a direct impact on the cost of products arriving in the UK and delays in receiving deliveries.
Within the UK, we have seen an increase in demand of UK manufactured products. Unfortunately, the local demand of raw materials often outstrips supply, and the delays to get it to the UK combined with the shortage of HGV drivers in the UK results in longer lead times from UK suppliers.
The factors outlined above have resulted in extended lead times and price pressures which unfortunately need to be passed onto our customers. We recognise that the current market situation is causing complications and inconvenience for all, however as a business we are doing our utmost to limit the impact to our customers, and we will continue to do so.
Any changes in these circumstances will be communicated to you as soon as we are able to, we will however share a further review in April 2022.
Thank you for your continued support and understanding.
1st Nov 2021
Market Challenges November 2021
As a business, like many others, we are experiencing disruption to our supply chains and cost increases from our suppliers due to the challenges that COVID-19 continues to present globally. We acknowledge that these are difficult times, and we want to ensure that we keep you, our valued customer up to date with the challenges that we and our suppliers are currently facing.
Rising energy costs impact our entire supply chain to varying degrees, depending on the product. Products that require higher energy consumption to produce are worst affected, thus paper producers for example have been severely impacted. Increased energy costs result in products costing more to produce.
Demand and supply of raw materials globally have fluctuated considerably over the last 12 months. As global industry starts to recover following the pandemic, we are seeing raw material costs increase, with demand outstripping supply
Industries within the UK are now competing for a far smaller pool of workers. We continue to see workers in vital sectors such as manufacturing, warehousing and logistics move to those sectors that can provide higher wages. This has resulted in a labour shortage which is impacting production and delivery, whilst also resulting in employers having to increase wages by up to 20% to retain and recruit staff. This in turn increases production costs and lead times.
Transport & Freight
Globally, ocean freight costs are at an all-time high. Haulers have reduced the speed of their ships causing increased shipping times and shortages in containers and capacity into the UK. Freight costs have increased by up to 500% in the last 12 months. This has a direct impact on the cost of products arriving in the UK and is creating delays in receiving deliveries, which we envisage will continue up to Christmas.
Within the UK, all industries are being affected by the shortage of HGV drivers, which has been widely reported in the press. Actions are being taken by companies to address this, such as increasing wages and offering signing on bonuses. Despite these measures, we are still seeing longer lead times from UK suppliers.
All of this is resulting in longer delivery lead times and cost increases, which we unfortunately have to pass onto our customers. As a business we are doing our utmost to limit the impact to our customers, and we will continue to do so. Any changes in these circumstances will be communicated to you as soon as we are able to.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support and understanding.
1st October 2020
To ensure that vital supplies reach those who need them we have placed temporary purchasing restriction on the website.
Global PPE supplies are still strained, therefore we continue to use product restrictions on a few products.
We would like to thank our customers for your continued support during this difficult time, especially as we continue to experience issues with the supply of disposable gloves and PPE products.
Unfortunately, the consistent increased demand in glove (and PPE) products endures. There are many factors contributing to this, but essentially there is still not enough production output to meet the increased global demand and therefore the supply (and cost) of gloves, and other PPE products remains a global challenge.
Please see below the answers to your frequently asked questions.
Can I Order Disposable Gloves & PPE?
Due to low stock levels and ongoing supply issues, some of our Disposable Gloves and PPE products are classified as ‘Restricted Products’, meaning that we are currently only able to supply these to our current Care and Front Line Healthcare customers. We are constantly reviewing our stock levels and as soon as our stock position improves, products will be taken off restrictions and will made be available to our wider customer base. We have already removed some restrictions on several of our products.
What are restricted products and why are they restricted?
We are temporarily restricting certain products so they can be reserved for our Current Care and Front-Line Healthcare customers. These are products where our stock levels are low, and they are vital in the Healthcare and Care sectors. As these products are in short supply, we feel we have the moral duty to ensure that they reach the sectors most in need of them. We are constantly reviewing our stock levels and so rest assured that as soon as our stock position improves on the lines affected, these products will be taken off restriction and will be available to our wider customer base.
- Care / Nursing Homes / Domiciliary & Home Care Agencies / Hospices
- Hospitals & GP Surgeries
- Funeral Directors
Why are some products being rationed?
Due to limited stocks and supply delays on certain product lines, we have had to implement a rationing system thus limiting quantities customers can purchase, this is to preserve stock and to be fair to all of our customers at a time of limited supply. If customers attempt to order over the rationed amount, an alert will pop up advising what maximum order quantity is and you will be unable to add the item to your basket until your order quantity has been decreased to below rationed amount. As our stock situation improves or worsens, affected product lines will be removed or added to the rationing system.
Are your delivery lead times longer than normal?
For the vast majority of our customers delivery times have returned to normal, “next day delivery if you order by 3pm”. On the odd occasion there may be small delays and we apologise for any inconvenience caused.
Why are prices increasing?
Eight months after the Coronavirus pandemic’s unwanted arrival it continues to generate an unprecedented demand for medical consumables and associated products worldwide. Unfortunately, this consistent increased demand, coupled with a shortage of raw materials and limited production capacity is causing manufacturers to increase their prices. Our focus is securing a consistent supply of stock for our customers, and therefore having to accept these increased prices.
We know that price increases are never welcome and cause disruption to our customers, so we only request them when completely necessary. Rest assured that as soon as prices start coming down, we will pass these decreases onto our customers. We have already reduced pricing with hand sanitisers, masks and aprons for example, where supply has improved, and costs decreased.
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