Anticipating that 2021 would bring us new challenges to the delivery of our product range around the world, Allectra began reviewing procedures in early 2018 and implemented significant changes as early as January 2020:
– we increased stock levels across all warehouses by 35%;
– we Invested in new infrastructure and software to better manage the new customs requirements;
– we restructured our sales & support departments so that all orders originating from within the EU are serviced from our facilities in Germany.
We pro-actively addressed all known issues and prepared for potential unknown issues to minimize any disruption to our customers. By presuming the worst-case scenario we were well-prepared for the difficulties in customs clearance that did come up.
By factoring in lengthier times for customs clearance we have planned stocking and reordering to compensate for these longer transit times. Though initial problems due to insufficient customs staff have had some impact, we expect this to smooth out in the future as shipping companies and customs officials allocate more resources.
Many members of staff have been on preparatory courses, both in Germany and in the UK, to understand which repercussions the new trade deal would have on trade. New software has been acquired, and the expertise gathered in our international departments (we also ship regularly to the Far East, the Middle East and the Americas) was key in getting import documents correct for our restocking pathways.
Our international expertise also prepared us well for the shifting of EU-UK trade to 3rd country status; by transferring all EU business from our UK office to our Berlin headquarters at the beginning of 2020 our EU customers continue to receive goods without import duties, and without having to pay VAT/sales tax at the moment of import, as is otherwise necessary for imports from extra-EU countries. By doing this early Allectra guaranteed that this transition was practically painless.
We would of course prefer to have less paperwork, and less bureaucracy, and some of our other suppliers are experiencing more difficulties, however we are determined to continue to support you to the best of our capabilities despite all the challenges of these times.
With broken trade deals, pandemics and now La Nina icing up half of Europe, we are particularly grateful to you for your support in this complex historic moment, we are thankful for your patience and flexibility when plans do have to change and, thanks to the robust infrastructure we put in place, we are looking forward to supporting you through these challenging times into the more rosy future that we are certain will follow!
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