Filter Supplies Blog
March 11, 2020

Filter Supply Chains & COVID-19

“Can you please confirm that your supply chain is not affected by the COVID-19 Coronavirus.”

If I had a dollar for every time a client has asked that over the past 4 weeks... Some concerned clients are asking weekly. Fortunately, I’ve been able to answer that question in exactly the same way every time – “No we are not affected in any way by the COVID-19 Coronavirus”. It’s a good feeling to be able to tell our clients that. It’s the culmination of a stocking strategy that gives us this sort of supply certainty in light of unprecedented global commercial shocks.

When Filter Supplies was founded in 1967 very little industrial product of any quality was made in China. In the interceding 52 years, the industrialisation and commercialisation of China has been one of the wonders of the modern commercial world. Fast forward to 2020 and the manufacturing might of modern China means that constituent items from China are used across the world in just about every industry. Japanese car companies are having to close plants, Apple is cutting their profit forecasts due to the combination of factories being closed in China and not being able to produce stock coupled with lessened Chinese demand due to whole provinces being on lockdown.

Some of the largest and most recognisable filter brands in the world have moved significant amounts of their global filter production to Chinese factories. You can understand why. Great infrastructure and a government eager to do all it can to assist multinational companies to bring production there. So where is the problem with this structure? Customers, the world over will start experiencing it soon

Why does this not affect Filter Supplies?

Whilst we are the largest independent distributor for so many of the brands we carry, we have no exclusivity agreements with any of them. Not one. Many suppliers over the years have demanded that we stop carrying the products of their competitors. Needless to say, none of those companies are any more than bit players in our product mix now. We don’t appreciate exclusionist stocking policies from suppliers. If they don’t like what we are selling then we can sell exactly 0% of their product.

We believe that we need to carry a broad range of brands to ensure that we cover most requirements of price and brand preference. Sometimes it gets a little out of hand. In some common applications, we carry 8 different brands. Stocktake time is a nightmare.

Having the breadth of supply that we do means we aren’t just tied to one or two brands or even a certain geographical location. We keep some of the largest filter stocks of any company in WA which means we are insulated against any global supply shock.

Coronavirus is going to change the world in ways that we can’t even contemplate at this stage. Filter Supplies can guarantee that for filters at least, it’s not an issue.

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