Coronavirus: Impact and Preparation

HBD has been producing items in China for over 25 years. Combined with our US-design and manufacturing, this has given HBD enormous flexibility. 

The current environment is obviously challenging and stressful. Much is beyond our control.  However, by monitoring both Chinese and expatriate blogs and talking daily to our Chinese partners, we have worked hard to minimize the coronavirus impact.

Specifically, we have done the following:

  • HBD, as always, increased its shipments before the Lunar New Year. We received four containers in February.
  • HBD has moved some production to Taiwan.
  • HBD has moved production of less labor-intensive items back to our US factory.
  • HBD was able to ramp up production oversees quickly as our manufacturing partners were some of the first to resume production after the quarantine period. 

We have most items in stock, and we expect shipments to resume from oversees in the next week. The size of our inventory plus our US capacity enables us to minimize disruptions to our supply chain.

We have one import request of our valued customers. In order to continue as smoothly as possible, and to mitigate further disruptions from the coronavirus, we ask that you give us an idea of your needs as far in advance as you are able. The more we know and are able to plan, the greater our chance to satisfy your needs without disruption. 

What lessons have we learned? It’s still too early to tell. We’ll leave the health aspects to the experts. We suspect, though, it may be years before they really know the coronavirus’s seriousness, characteristics, and whether it is seasonal. 

One important thing we think we HAVE learned: China is not nearly a first-world country, and much of the disease’s severity stems from, not despite, China’s form of government. Corruption, secrecy, lack of basic preparedness, and buck-passing have characterized the Chinese response. Their authoritarian form of government encourages these responses. 

Democracy is often messy. In the end, though, it gets the best results. 

Thanks for your loyal support. We will keep you posted as we have more information to share. 

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