In early 2020, the pandemic had officially begun. Many questions were unanswered, and the world was entering a period of uncertainty. For us here at Sani Sport, we felt like things were about to change but the truth was, we had no idea what would change and how much things would change. Now that the pandemic is mostly in the rearview mirror, let’s take a look back at the last two and a half years and see just how Sani Sport was impacted and how we were able to adapt and learn from what transpired. This blog post will go over the main departments that we have here at Sani Sport and how they were impacted by the Covid-19 Pandemic.
Supply Chain – As a consumer, supply chain almost felt like an easy excuse for companies to delay orders and shipments, but let me tell you, supply chain issues were real and have impacted many businesses, both small and large. Over the last twenty odd years, Sani Sport has been able to supply our machines on an average, two week lead time. This shortened lead time, compared to others in the industry, is a byproduct of us having our own factory where we make the machines. Without our own factory, two week lead times would never be possible.
At the height of the pandemic, lead times were extended to six months at a certain point. This was much more due to the demand for our products vs. issues that were caused by supply chain buildups. The main reason we were able to navigate around the supply chain issues was because of our logistics and procurement staff. They were able to forecast certain shortages and an uptick in demand for our product. We can proudly say that Sani Sport didn’t have supply chain concerns.
If we needed to give out an MVP trophy to a specific department here at Sani Sport, I don’t think anyone would second guess our factory staff members. They were tasked with ramping up production to a level that has never been attained in the companies’ 20 plus year history. Our factory had to increase production while maintaining the Sani Sport quality that our customers have come to expect throughout our history. For over two full years, they worked harder and smarter than ever before. Without them, their efforts and their willingness, Sani Sport would not have been able to supply all our sports, law enforcement and military customers like we did.
Besides our staff members extended efforts, they had to figure out how to increase the output of the factory within the same square footage. Ultimately, they reorganized the machinery in the factory and altered the order in which they performed certain tasks. These two changes yielded for greater output with the same level of input. Efficiency was maximized.
Sales and marketing
First and foremost, inbound leads had quickly spiked up. More people than ever before were calling the office and reaching out through our website for quotes, marketing materials and general information. This was an overnight change.
Secondly, media outlets were calling for interviews with our founder and stories were being written about our company in major publications (The Detroit Free Press and The Athletic to name a few). In person meetings and shows were quickly a thing of the past. This was tough for us as our product lines have always been easier to explain, market and sell in person. Our first big virtual meeting was the NFL Equipment Managers Annual Show. These meetings had always been in person but for the first time ever, we were speaking to many of our customers through Microsoft Teams. We quickly realized the importance of video conferencing and got on board with it.
The Seattle Seahawks were widely considered the NFL team with the least amount of Covid-19 cases throughout the pandemic; by the numbers, there really wasn’t a close second. As the pandemic picked up, we got a call from the Seahawks as they were interested in our technology. They performed their own independent lab studies and air quality studies with our VE machines. They eventually order six VE machines to help treat over 250,000 square feet of facilities.
One final takeaway
If someone were to ask, what was the biggest shift, the most noticeable change or what did we here at Sani Sport learn throughout the pandemic. The answer is simple and rather clear, it came from a US Marshals customer when they said, “your machines are no longer a luxury item for us, they are a necessity.”