News

6th September 2022

Market Challenges September 2022

As I write this, the rise in energy costs and cost-of-living crisis headline across all news stations, by all accounts the UK is in for a rough winter.  Our market is still thwart with many challenges however, there is some good news to report back on too.

 

Demand and Supply

The very good news: product supply has normalised with key categories experiencing supply meeting demand. This has led to reduced lead times and improved order fulfilment.

 

Cost Increases

Whilst as a business, we have done as much as possible to absorb cost increases by improving ordering and storage efficiencies, the situation continues to be unsustainable and we are likely to see further price increases.

 

Raw Materials & Packaging 

Energy has been incredibly volatile over the previous 12 months and forecasts suggest that the cost per therm will now continue to rise through the winter for Q4 2022 and Q1 2023, this will undoubtedly lead to further increases from energy dependant manufacturers such as paper and pulp providers.

Raw materials have continued to see price increases, for example over the last 6 months Sorted Office Waste (SOW) has seen increases of 27% and wood pulp 29% respectively, therefore we would expect to see further increases on paper and pulp products. Coreboard costs are also up 11% in the last 6 months which will impact businesses using board to package their products.

 

Pulp

Due to the continuing reduction in availability of Over Issue Newsprint (OIN), which is the fundamental raw material in the production of our pulp healthcare products, the decision has been made to move to 100% kraft in the production of these items. This is a more readily available material ensuring continuity of supply for these crucial products. Performance of the product will be unaffected, and the only visible difference will be a colour change of grey to brown due to the new material being used.

 

Transport & Freight 

We have seen a slight decrease in sea freight costs in recent months, this is predominantly due to vessels having excess capacity available as global demand for shipping has been in decline.

Whilst consumers are starting to see fuel decreases at the pump, diesel prices are still significantly higher than they were at the start of 2022 and domestic haulage rates have yet to reflect any reduction in costs.  As fuel charges continue to fluctuate and there is poor availability of drivers, we expect to see transportation and logistics costs remain very high.

 

New Product Development (NPD)

At Brosch Direct new product development is always high on the agenda, we are eager to bring new innovations to our catalogue.

Our latest exciting addition is our Compostable Eco Disposable Gloves- Manufactured from PLA (Poly Lactic Acid) which is a biodegradable starch-based polymer. Manufactured in accordance with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) by the European PPE Regulation (EU) 2016/425 and product Food Approved to EC1935/2004. For more information click here.

 

Sustainability program

#phAMBITION is Polyco Healthline's new sustainability program. At Brosch Direct, we are dedicated to playing our part in this ambitious plan set in motion by our parent company, Polyco Healthline.

We have considered the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) against our value chain to better understand risks and opportunities and drive positive change.  For further information, please view our new sustainability web page.

 

Thank you for your continued support.

 

The Brosch Direct Team


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 creditcontrol@broschdirect.com

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. 

Raw Materials 

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. 

Paper Industry 

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?

Order before 12pm on Wednesday 13th April 2022 for Easter Delivery.
 
Wednesday 13th April 2022: 9am - 5.30pm / Normal Deliveries
Thursday 14th April 2022: 9am - 5.30pm / Normal Deliveries
Friday 15th April 2022: Closed
Saturday 16th April 2022: Closed
Sunday 17th April 2022: Closed
Monday 18th April 2022: Closed
 
Normal hours will resume on Tuesday 19th April 2022

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.

Labour
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.

Energy
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.

Raw Materials
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

Labour
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

Coronavirus Update

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.

 

Our stock of certain products which are being used on the Front Line in the fight against Coronavirus are extremely low, with supply from our suppliers extremely limited due to the unprecedented global demand which they are facing. While we are working our hardest to ensure continuity of supply of these products, for the time being we are having to prioritise the limited stock we have for current Care and Front-Line Healthcare customers.
 
Restricted products are clearly marked on our website by the ‘Restricted Product’ logo, this will also be stated within the product descriptions. Customers that we are classifying as ‘Current Customers’ are existing regular customers with accounts who have placed orders with us since October 2019.
 
Customers that we are classifying as ‘Care and Front-Line Healthcare Customers’ include:
 
  • Care / Nursing Homes / Domiciliary & Home Care Agencies / Hospices
  • Hospitals & GP Surgeries
  • Funeral Directors 
Customers who fall into this classification of being a ‘Current Care and Front Line Healthcare Customer’ will be / have been contacted by our sales team to notify them, and their online ordering account will have access to order these restricted product lines.
 
We fully appreciate that this restriction may not be popular with some of our existing loyal customers that do not fall into this classification, however we feel that we have the moral duty to ensure that while supplies of certain products are limited, that we do our upmost 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, they will be taken off restriction and will be available to our wider Current Customer base.
 
Be sure to keep checking our website as we are regularly updating the status of products.
 
Thank you for your support and understanding during this challenging time.



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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