Inkthreadable & Coronavirus
18th January 2021
Due to Brexit and staffing shortages caused by COVID, there are delays on us receiving stock from suppliers. Particularly, a small range of Stanley/Stella stock which comes to us from Belgium. Orders for affected items may exceed 7 working days until these delays are resolved by the couriers.
14th January 2021
Not COVID related but still an important update. We have now released information on Brexit which you can find here.
5th January 2021
Last night, the UK government announced that England is entering a 3rd national lockdown. Following government guidance, Inkthreadable will stay operational. Our workplace is COVID-Secure and any of our staff who can work from home, already do so. We're not currently aware of any impact this will cause on our supply chain but we'll keep you updated if we do experience any issues.
We expect lead times to remain within 7 working days or 4 working days for selected items.
Additionally, as of yesterday, all shipments to the below countries have resumed as normal. Deliveries may take longer than usual as the couriers work through clearing their backlog of mail which was held.
21st December 2020
This morning the French Government implemented a 48 hours ban on freight entering from the UK, following announcements around the new Coronavirus variant in the UK. Other countries are taking similar measures, with Turkey and Canada having cancelled inbound flights from the UK.
Following the border closures, we have now heard updates from Royal Mail and DPD; our two main couriers.
Both Royal Mail and DPD, amongst other couriers, will be suspending all road services to Mainland Europe (except Republic of Ireland), Turkey and Canada effective immediately.
As per the courier's recommendations, no further parcels will be dispatched to these countries until further notice.
If you already have an order outstanding that uses an affected service, the parcel will be held and dispatched when the services are reinstated.
Any new orders that are received for these countries will not be produced, and instead, production will be held until there is more clarity around the length of time these restrictions will be in place for.
If you would like to cancel an order affected by this change, please contact our support team via email at support@Inkthreadable.co.uk.
It's expected that more countries will become affected by this disruption over the next few days.
We'll continue to publish updates if further countries are affected and when there are changes to this situation here. Updates directly from Royal Mail can be found here.
We apologise for the extent of inconvenience and delays that these disruptions will cause.
1st November 2020
Business as usual — well, the 2020 usual!
A lot has changed since the March lockdown. We have moved to a bigger premises and more than doubled our team but our new facility is 5 times the size of our old one; we have plenty of workspace for social distancing.
Our workplace is covid secure and we already have a number of our team who can work from home doing so.When we closed during the last lockdown in April, it was the last thing we wanted to do and was due to our U.K. suppliers closing which meant we were unable to receive stock.
We’ve already taken action to minimise the risk of this happening again by holding more stock ourselves, including our core range.
We’ve already brought all stock for forecasted Q4 sales of our core range in-house. I would strongly advise using / promoting these products for the best delivery times.
We’ll be chatting with our suppliers this week to find out what impact, if any, the new restrictions will have on them.As the current lockdown ends on Dec 2nd this means BFCM will take place with no high street shopping.
Sales could be higher than expected and we’ll continue to review our forecasts day by day.
We are now operational 7 days per week and all mail shipped over the weekend is collected on a Sunday from both Royal Mail and our USA courier.
Please note, dispatch days are still counted Monday-Friday as we don’t receive stock over the weekend.
We’ll also be operational 2 shifts per day from 14th Nov.
28th July 2020
From the 29th July Inkthreadable's lead times will change to the following:
- All clothing, phone cases, enamel mugs, travel mugs & 15oz mugs: 7 working days.
- All 11oz mugs, two-toned mugs, posters, socks & multi-use headbands: 4 working days.
9th July 2020
We've now re-launched the vast majority of our product catalogue! All products but dye sublimated totes and cushions can now be ordered for fulfilment.
Lead times remain at 12 working days whilst we settle in at our new fulfilment centre, and our fourth Kornit is being installed on Monday 13th July which will increase our capacity and help reduce fulfilment times as it is phased into production.
17th May 2020
In our last fulfilment update that increased our advised lead times from 9 working days to 12 working days, we expected that only orders placed after this date would be affected, with those placed before expected to be completed within 9 working days as was advised at the time of purchase.
Due to a slower rate of scaling capacity than planned, some orders placed before 7th May are experiencing lead times of 12 working days.
We're continuing to scale our operation to meet the demand we're experiencing right now. We have a consistent addition of new team members being safely inducted across two shifts whilst ensuring we can continue to meet social distancing polices, a new Kornit DTG printer in operation from this coming week and an increase stock holding at our site, and two additional new neighboring warehouses to reduce reliability from our suppliers, who are also facing operational challenges right now
7th May 2020
Since re-opening our fulfilment centre the response has been phenomenal. For some customers, print-on-demand is just a side hustle, but it’s full-time income for others. In either case, having the ability to sell online in the middle of a global pandemic has helped keep heads above water and we’re just happy we can help despite fulfilling at a limited capacity.
The flip-side of this is that the demand for our service has been increasing. Our priority is the safety of our team, and without relaxing our strict distancing and hygiene procedures we can’t reduce or even keep up our current estimated lead times as demand continues to rise.
Until further notice, please expect clothing orders to ship within 12 working days. Lead times for accessory products remains at 6 working days.
15th April 2020
Inkthreadable’s fulfilment centre is now open, at a limited capacity.
The health and safety of our team is our priority, and so measures have been taken to maximise social distancing and hygiene procedures. This will have an impact on turnaround time.
Our suppliers are following similar safety procedures, and so not all products are currently available.
Other areas are also affected by the Coronavirus situation, including Royal Mail’s domestic and international delivery efforts.
To find out everything you need to know, read our blog post.
26th March 2020
Following a second major supplier closing in response to the Coronavirus pandemic we’ve now hit the point where our supply chain can’t support our service.
This means Inkthreadable cannot fulfil orders placed after 1 pm GMT on Thursday 26th March. All orders placed before this cut-off will be fulfiled.
You can still place orders, we’ll still receive them, but fulfilment will not resume until our supply chain can support long-term order fulfilment. We will update customers when we know more about when this will be but for now, it’s in the hands of the British public and its lockdown, social distancing, self-isolation and other preventative measures.
Our support team is available during this time. We can’t fulfil orders, but we can still support our customers and we intend to do so.
Stay safe, stay home.
25th March 2020
As of tomorrow one of our clothing suppliers will be closing in response to the Coronavirus pandemic.
This is the first instance of our supply chain being impacted by Coronavirus, and whilst this closure affects some of the products we offer it doesn’t have a detrimental effect on our ability to fulfil orders.
The supply of two brands is affected by this closure: SOL’s and Mantis. We will continue to fulfil orders that include either of these brands by automatically swapping products for close alternatives. These replacements are:
- Ladies Imperial Heavy T-Shirt — alternative: Gildan Ladies Premium Cotton T-Shirt
- Imperial Heavy T-Shirt — alternative: Gildan Premium Cotton T-Shirt
- Monarch Long Sleeve T-Shirt — alternative: Gildan Softstyle Long Sleeve T-Shirt
- Ladies Moka Tank Top — alternative: no alternative for all colours. Black and white will be replaced with the EP17 Women's Racerback Vest.
- Marvin T-Shirt — alternative: Rocker
- Imperial FIT T-Shirt — alternative: Creator
- Justin Tank — alternative: Stanley Specter
- Regent T-Shirt — alternative: Canvas Unisex Crew Neck T-Shirt
- Kid’s Regent T-Shirt — alternative: Gildan Kids Softstye Ringspun T-Shirt
- Ladies Mia T-Shirt — alternative: Stella Jazzer
- Ladies Loose Fit T-shirt — alternative: Stella Chiller
- Ladies Loose Fit Vest — alternative: Bella Relaxed Jersey Tank Top
All other brands in our catalogue can be sourced from alternative suppliers and remain unaffected.
24th March 2020
Following the British Prime Minister’s announcement last night, Inkthreadable will continue to accept and fulfil orders that are received for as long as situations allow to ensure that our customer’s businesses are unaffected as much as possible as we know many are self-employed.
However, our team’s health is our utmost priority and we’re working on ways to reduce the headcount in our facility and the frequency of travel needed.
We are not actively carrying out any marketing or sales exercises ourselves to increase orders, but we remain open to fulfil those that occur organically.
Please consider the safety of our team in respect to this situation when working on your own marketing.
18th March 2020
In a bid to further protect our production team and keep supply chains flowing in-and-out of Inkthreadable we’ve made the decision to implement remote working for as many of our team as possible.
Our support and marketing teams will be working from home from Wednesday 19th March. This means our phone support will be unavailable, and we would advise that if you need to contact us for any reason you should do so either through live chat or email.
Inkthreadable’s support team will be available during regular office hours, between 9 am and 5 pm GMT. Quality of support will not drop whilst our team is working remotely - if you need anything at all, just get in touch.
You can contact our support team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
17th March 2020
Following recent guidelines from the sources listed at the end of this article, we’ve been reviewing and amending our risk assessments and considering implementing the next steps of our plan to protect both Inkthreadable employees and our supply chains, from goods coming into goods shipping to your customers.
The first step we’ve implemented today is distancing employees where possible. The office team are now spaced further apart, and the communal areas have been rearranged to force social distancing during lunch breaks etc. Following this, we’ve been reviewing our policy on working remotely to identify who can work from home, and what they will require to do so.
With this in mind, in the coming days and weeks we may phase in remote working for members of the office, including our support and marketing teams. This will have an effect on support channels, particularly with limited phone support. However, remote working cannot and will not cause detriment to the quality of support we will offer. Whilst working from home our team will still be available during office hours to offer the same levels of customer service you’re used to and new policies will be put in place to make sure of this. Our support systems are web-based, and so the only difference in remote working is the employee’s location, so there is no reason why the same support levels you are used to won’t be maintained.
As we phase in remote working phone support will become unavailable, and we will direct all customers to contact our support team by either live chat or email. We’re not there yet though, and we will let all customers know immediately if we do reach this point.
There’s a lot of negativity circulating at the moment and it will weigh on you if you let it. When it comes to Inkthreadable as a supplier for your brand, you have nothing to worry about. We’re confident not only in our ability to maintain our service levels but also in our team; whether working from home or working from our fulfilment centre, our priority is you. If you have any questions about how Inkthreadable is responding to the Coronavirus pandemic that isn’t answered in this post then don’t hesitate to reach out.
16th March 2020
The current statusInkthreadable is based in Blackburn, in the North West of England. At the time of writing this, there has been one confirmed case of Coronavirus near us, so things really aren’t too bad and on the whole we’re not yet feeling the effects of Coronavirus. Though with that being said, we’re still preparing - both to protect our team and to keep our fulfilment service running smoothly. We know we can't escape its reach, so our plan is to protect our team for as long as possible to minimise the impact on both our business and yours.
The Inkthreadable TeamOur first response has been to look after our team. We’ve installed additional soap and paper towel dispensers around the building, and had training sessions of hygiene and washing hands correctly. We’ve decorated the walls with reminders to wash hands regularly alongside step-by-step guides for hand washing.
A while back we implemented cleaning rotas for communal spaces, like the bathrooms and staff areas. We’ve added duties to these rotas including sanitising handles and our clocking in machine. We’ve also replaced our daily morning huddles with a digital equivalent: morning bulletins in a dedicated Slack channel.
Finally, we’ve been educating our team from reputable sources like the NHS, passing on the advice and recommendations from professionals. This includes the current advice on spotting symptoms, self-isolation, and social distancing.
The aim of these measures is simply to help prevent the spread of anything, Coronavirus included. Good hygiene should be practised whether there’s a current global pandemic or not, and whilst these steps will help they’re likely not going to be enough on their own.
The Inkthreadable Supply ChainWe aren’t experiencing any immediate challenges with regards to our supply chains. Whilst our catalogue relies on multiple manufactures and suppliers, the vast majority of the products we offer are currently in good supply in the UK.
One or two products in our catalogue are manufactured in China and other high-risk areas, and so these products may be difficult to source if the current situation does not improve in the coming months. Stock for these products with UK distributors is high, and we’ve increased the volume we hold in stock in our own warehouse, so there is no cause for concern for these products just yet. If that changes we’ll be sure to let our customers know.
The Inkthreadable ContingencyWhilst we’re currently in a strong position, we’re not taking things for granted. We have risk assessments in place which are reviewed each time the NHS and other reliable sources release updates. This allows us to keep an eye on the current situation, along with the best advice to follow as things change.
We’ve developed contingencies for supply chain disruptions, as well as for things like working remotely to maximise social distancing. We’re continually reviewing everything to make sure our fulfilment centre can operate throughout the Coronavirus situation and minimise any disruption to the businesses that rely on our service.
The Reputable Sources
During times like these, it’s important that each business and individual chooses the correct sources of information to keep up to date with the current best advice. For the latest official information on Coronavirus in the UK, please visit the Public Health England and NHS websites.