Like any company, Zentein’s logistics operations is an intricate system of many different gears that have to work together. From the various raw materials coming in, to the boxed up Zentein bars going out to our customers, it takes a tremendous amount of time and effort to get everything right.
Every Zentein bar’s journey starts off as a bulk form of our various raw materials. Starting off with collagen/gelatin, it is trucked by UPS from Grayslake, Illinois. The rest of our materials (honey, oats, peanut butter and boxes) are driven in from our suppliers by ourselves by truck.
Small business owners like ourselves can benefit from the use of 3rd Party Logistics (3PL) providers such as Shiptime, eShipper, Stallion Express and others. They are able to offer better rates that what you get quoted directly from various carriers. They also offer shipping supplies that you can buy directly from them at a discounted rate. We also use a local
COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on global supply chains. Zentein has been affected through set backs of our own expansion plans through longer delivery and production timelines. Previously, it would only take about a day or two for Canada Post to deliver packages within the province. Today, it takes up to two weeks for them to deliver a package within the province. We know for a fact we aren't the only small business being affect by this. We've been proactive in taking steps to avoid the use of Canada Post recently and turned to 3PL providers in aims to having our customers receive their packages as soon as possible.
On the production end from our suppliers, their lead times have more than doubled in many instances. Most notably boxes, where they usually only had a timeline of only couple weeks, our most recent box order took a few months. Not all the blame is laid on our supplier but was rather experienced across the industry with a shortage of a raw material that goes into producing the cardboard itself. That resulted on a toll on our expansion plans and forced us to dip into reserves and find other creative solutions in the meantime.
The take-away from this is that COVID-19 took a devastating toll on businesses around the world and it will still be a matter of time before we fully recover. Logistics operations from the supply chains of cardboards to our growing production lines are forecasted down to the day, and when delays occur, it makes operations very complicated and requires out-of the box thinking.