Iaroslav Neliubov / stock.adobe.com
Just when we thought we could confidently start walking out of the dark woods that, for all of us, have been the 18-month impact of the pandemic, it seems we now have to contend with another issue. As with most things COVID-related, this issue is not confined to our industry. Importantly, and reassuringly, however, we do know it is an issue that will be resolved and, very importantly, I suggest it represents an impressive insight to the strength, resilience and support that exists within the professional strands of our industry, even when faced with such challenging times as a global pandemic. So, what is this issue to which I am referring? Quite simply: resources.
As we came out of lockdown, the pent-up demand for tanning salon services and the confidence of operators in their business model saw new product orders firing in from all angles. Of course, this was fantastic and with an ability to warehouse on a significant scale, we were generally able to promptly satisfy all product orders. However, it has become increasingly apparent that the impact of the health crisis has resulted in significant challenges in the supply chain across all sectors.
We all work hard to build these relationships and value their roles in our business success.
For our sector in particular, whether this is in the supply of OEM parts to tanning bed manufacturers, ingredients for lotions, packaging and so on, obtaining resources to meet demand became increasingly difficult. And when combined with ongoing travel and trade restrictions, the outcomes were inevitable, resulting in increased delays of finished products to meet demand.
It is the basic law of economics: when demand exceeds supply, prices tend to rise. However, the impact of COVID has realised unprecedented times resulting in global grief, financial hardship for many, along with business, employment and personal challenges across the board. And this is where I have seen and personally experienced our industry being stand-out. As we navigate these choppy waters, I simply cannot understate how impressed I have been with the attitude and commitment of companies that I have the great pleasure to work with to minimise these increases – together.
I am sure we would all agree that in our industry, relationships are paramount. These take time, often many years to build, yet can be lost in a flash. From the tanning salon operator who recognises that the customer always has a choice where to spend their hard-earned dollar, through to the supplier to the largest of chains. We all work hard to build these relationships and value their roles in our business success.
As far as I can tell, everyone is going that extra mile in an attempt to work together to minimise disruption and delay in the supply chain, as well as working every angle possible to ensure salon owners and operators (and in turn, consumers) are not being presented with increased bills. I suspect this will not always have a 100% success rate; but I believe we are setting a standard that I am confident will reap rewards for us all, as we each play a part in helping sustain the ongoing viability of our sector.
When we look back on this moment in time, I know that along with the difficulties and challenges we have faced, we will also have amazing memories of the people and businesses we have been able to support in the continued success of our resilient industry. I like to call this #SunshineSupport
In the tanning industry since 1982, Gary is Managing Director of the UK subsidiary of Ergoline, and runs Ergoline Plus, the exclusive distributor for a wide range of sunless products and spray systems. He is also Chairman of the Media Committee for the UK’s Sunbed Association & a European Sunlight Association member.
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