Many of you have asked about the Coronavirus, how it is affecting us, and what it means for your business. It’s understandably a scary situation, but we are staying pragmatic in our approach to the issue. There are several factors at work and the information is constantly changing, so we are doing our best to make sure this impacts our customers as little as possible. That being said, we are expecting an impact in terms of delays and parts availability.
The outbreak came just as China was preparing for its annual Lunar New Year celebration, which typically results in businesses closing for the holiday. During this time, workers typically return home, and exports cease for a period of about 2 weeks. Because of the outbreak however, China has had to extend the break- twice in fact. First until February 9, and now until February 18. Furthermore, Coronavirus infections have appeared in many other parts of the world and there is an international effort underway towards suppressing the virus.
A Shenzhen marketplace, closed during the Lunar New Year break.
An outbreak like this can have detrimental impacts on the manufacturing industry, as their factories are located in high-density cities such as Shanghai, Wenzhou, and Shenzhen. In order to help control the spread of the virus, the Chinese government has suspended the operation manufacturing industries in order to help mitigate the effects of the outbreak. Additionally, travel and commercial movement are limited as well, further complicating things.
Health officials posted at a screening checkpoint in a station in Yiwu, a city well-known in the small merchandise trade.
However, the timing of the outbreak may have helped to reduce the overall economic impact on our businesses here in the States. Prior to each Lunar New Year holiday, businesses that depend on Chinese supply chains (Maya included) stock up on approximately 3-4 weeks’ worth of inventory due to the break and the challenges it presents (high turnover, raw material availability, quality control). We are currently well-stocked, as we placed a large order of parts following the quarantine of Wuhan City. But because of the closure’s extension to February 18, we do expect some of that stock to diminish before then. For this reason, we are encouraging all of our customers to carefully examine their prior-year records in order to assess their inventory needs. If necessary, purchase extra parts now to avoid any interruptions in your day-to-day operation.
Currently, Shenzhen is scheduled to open back up after the 18th. And while the closure has been extended once already, we feel that this will not be a reoccurring issue. China has been very swift in its handling of the outbreak, having strengthened its abilities after the SARS outbreak of 2003. Moreover, other countries are also lending their resources and efforts into defeating the virus. As a result, we are confident that we will overcome the outbreak and that things will soon start improving.
Also, we are in constant communication with our suppliers to ensure that we immediately start receiving our most critical orders once Shenzhen reopens. Through these arrangements, we expect to minimize any shortages or further delays. For now, we ask that you stay in communication with us so that we know how best to respond going forward. We will be sure to let you know about any new developments.
Lastly, let’s all do our part stateside to help prevent viral transmissions by hand-washing regularly, wearing protective clothing as necessary, staying hydrated, and minimizing unnecessary time spent in public. This will not only help reduce cases here in the US, but also help reduce the spread of the flu (another deadly infection that is common at this time of year).
We thank you all for your patience as we work to overcome these challenges, and most of all, thank you for being a Maya Parts customer!
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. We are eager to help you in any way that we can.