By: Esther Meima, Sales Manager Daabon USA
From the earliest days of the pandemic, DAABON USA (DUSA) has worked to be as proactive as possible with our risk management surrounding COVID-19. Initially there was a clear focus on two main factors: the health & safety of our team and the stability of our supply chain.
DUSA had already done a lot of work in modernizing its infrastructure to support a team that is spread across the United States (U.S.). With the onset of COVID-19, DUSA moved quickly to close its primary office (located in Miami, FL), enhancing its existing technology systems to support a fully virtual working environment. With our team members safe at home, our key focus was to ensure continued and uninterrupted operations, with the ultimate goal of maintaining a high level of undisrupted customer service.
The DUSA team worked closely with our customers and logistics partners in the U.S., as well as the DAABON leadership and production teams in Colombia, to keep a careful watch over our entire supply chain. This involved increased virtual communications with various stakeholders and careful inventory planning in an effort to minimize any potential impact for our customers should there be any unexpected disruption in the pipeline.
While the international shipping networks utilized by DUSA did experience some minor disruptions and delays, thankfully, there were no major service outages. With the pandemic planning our team had put in place, we were able to maintain reliable supply for our customers despite these logistical issues.
In the U.S., coordination of the response to the pandemic and related closures and restrictions was largely left to each state to manage (rather than a unified national protocol). This generated a high level of uncertainty regarding potential impacts on our supply chain, with concerns about closures of plants or highways in certain areas of the country. As a result of the state-by-state management of COVID-19, the availability of trucks and an increase in trucking costs have been ongoing issues.
In addition, demand has become much harder to predict, with panic buying very prevalent early on and, afterwards, shifts in consumer behavior that have driven notable sales growth for certain segments of the U.S. food industry (such as snacks and home baking items), while other segments (such as on-the-go food) suffered. This increased unpredictability required DUSA to be as vigilant as possible to keep things running smoothly and to enable us to meet for our customer’s needs.