COVID19 Supply Chain Updates 4/23

Supply Chain Updates

Per our last updates, suppliers are mostly operating and processing orders.

They are still practicing physical distancing and operations are a bit slower than usual.

Many are still prioritizing PPE (especially masks; shortest lead times we’ve found are around two weeks).

Keep in mind that some suppliers are considering all sales final and not accepting returns due to COVID-19.

Courier Updates

Keep close eye on shipments. Definitely get tracking numbers and monitor them and make sure items get delivered.

FedEx and UPS are both operating, but are not guaranteeing delivery, have suspended signature requirements for delivery verification, and aren’t always re-attempting deliveries if they can’t deliver to a site.

For global freight monitoring, Agility Logistics has put together this resource.

We recommend having a sign where deliveries occur stating a lab is open for deliveries and any relevant instructions to ensure a smooth delivery.

If a shipment goes awry, contact the shipper first to see if they can resolve it.

The Happi Note

There are a few labs in the HappiLabs network working directly on COVID-19. Distributed Bio is working on a therapeutic. Octant, Inc. is developing a better detection protocol for the virus. They’re two out of many others working to help the world manage a pandemic.

Grants dedicated to COVID-19 are also out there for scientists working on it.

Rheaply has worked with Northwestern University’s Computer Science department to set up a resource exchange program for getting critical supplies where they are needed. Follow the link to register.

HappiLabs continues to operate and we are grateful for the world’s scientists who work to identify, manage, and solve the world’s problems.

Lab Manager actions while physical distancing and COVID19 Supply Chain Updates 4/15

Lab Manager Actions

Here are some action items HappiLabs recommends while operations at the lab are limited:

  • Chemical inventory (and gathering SDSs that are missing)
  • Take refresher courses on safety and operations
  • Inventory and document capital equipment on site
    • Gather serial numbers, warranty expiry dates, service agreements, and maintenance contact info on a spreadsheet
  • Plan to start up again (make a plan for people to ramp up work
    • Including getting orders in place where possible (some suppliers will hold them until you’re up and running again)
  • Review suppliers/supplies currently used and shop around for better pricing/quality (sales reps are pretty responsive just now)
  • Catch up on reading papers
  • Do technical research on supplies/equipment that might be needed
  • Ensure any equipment not in use is properly shut down (e.g. BSCs)

Supply Chain Updates

Per our last updates, suppliers are mostly operating and processing orders.

They are practicing physical distancing and operations are a bit slower than usual.

Reminder that some suppliers are considering all sales final and not accepting returns due to COVID-19.

And some suppliers are noting that FedEx and UPS are no longer guaranteeing delivery.

Courier Updates

Couriers continue to operate, but note they are still missing deliveries, at times only making one attempt before returning to sender. Last-mile delivery is still the biggest current issue.

FedEx and UPS, as we have noted are also not guaranteeing delivery and not offering reimbursement for lost packages.

If you do need an order processed, let the supplier know that the your lab is open and accepting deliveries and post signage at your delivery entrance to signal to delivery drivers deliveries are being accepted.

The Happi Note

Biocom is maintaining a list of institutions needs for PPE that are working on the COVID-19 front lines. If you have excess, consider donating.

There is a similar list of institutions in need in Illinois and a team is working to match those with supply to those with demand.

HappiLabs is continuing to monitor the effects on the scientific supply chain and continuing to help scientists get the quality items they need to continue their research.

COVID19 Life Science Supply Chain Impact March 27, 2020

Our Coronavirus Task Force is keeping up-to-date on the scientific supply chain. Read about our goals and team here.

As we gather supplier statements about their operations during the COVID-19 pandemic affecting the world, here is what we’ve learned this week about Suppliers and Shipping companies.

Supplier Operations

Most scientific suppliers remain open as essential businesses to the healthcare industry. That doesn’t mean everything is operating as normal though.

Suppliers are operating a little slower due to working from home, and people working from the office while following social distancing protocols. This means customer service and other departments are often not as easy to get a hold of by phone or chat. Therefore, processing orders at some vendors is slow. It varies by supplier and changes by day.

PPE like masks, gowns, gloves, soap, and sanitizers are still in short supply. Many suppliers are limiting the amounts of PPE scientists can buy at one time or reserving the supply for hospitals and governments first.

Other notes:

    • 80% of the top 70 scientific suppliers have provided statements about their operations.
    • ULine, Teknova, and Fisher Scientific have stated they are prioritizing supply for those working directly on the COVID-19 outbreak.
    • Teknova has gone so far as to set up a dedicated email address for those labs working on COVID-19 (Covid19@teknova.com)
    • Of the suppliers with no statements thus far, most we have ordered from this week are open and processing order requests.

Suppliers who have announced closure/limited operations due to COVID-19:

New benefits from suppliers:

Amazon

Though not an essential warehouse for critical supplies, Amazon extended the closure of a warehouse for deeper cleaning in Kentucky today. And such incidents are what led BioLife Solutions, in heavily affected Seattle to announce closing of operations until May 4.

Shipping Operations (UPS, Fedex, etc.)

The “final mile” of deliveries are facing some issues. At HappiLabs, we have noticed that UPS in particular is having deliveries not attempted or instantly returned to the sender with no re-attempts made.

In general, note that shipping companies are having some ‘final mile’ issues delivering to varying degrees.

Actions to take

    • For items in transit, let suppliers know your address is open to deliveries.
    • Post clear signage at your door:
We are open. Call 555-1234 if the door is not open. Science must go on!
    • Bribe UPS or Fedex drivers. With food! And kind words (“thank you!”). A snack tray by the door can help ensure future deliveries occur without issue.

Those are the updates for today. Tune in next week as we continue to report our findings.

The HappiLabs Coronavirus Task Force.