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How Manufacturers Are Supporting Customers During the COVID-19 Pandemic


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As the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic thicken—from stay-at-home orders to social distancing practices—manufacturer officials are doing their best to not only support their customers but the employees who work for them.

Take a look at how manufacturer officials are responding during these unprecedented times. (Dates refer to when company officials issued statements describing what actions they have or are currently undertaking in correlation to the pandemic. PPN encourages pet retailers to check with individual manufacturers regularly for updates.)

Carnivore Meat Co. in Green Bay, Wis. (April 9)

  • Donated the use of its ultraviolet sterilization machine to sanitize and disinfect personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline medical and public service workers throughout Northeast Wisconsin
  • Established its Vital Relief Challenge as part of its COVID-19 community response plan, which kicked off with a $100,000 donation to Green Bay food banks and shelters

CASCO Pet in Ontario, Calif. (March 25)

  • Created a portable, collapsible enclosure to temporarily house dogs/cats in overrun adoption centers due to the pandemic
  • Donating 10 percent of any profits from the product to animal shelters across the United States

Clawguard in Charlotte, N.C. (April 6)

  • Shifting its manufacturing priorities to focus on making reusable personal protective equipment (PPE) face shields for health care workers on the front lines
  • Ramped up capacity to produce up to 100,000 face shields per week

Coastal Pet Products Inc. in Alliance, Ohio (April 9)

  • Remains open with reduced capacity
  • Following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for social distancing and environmental hygiene to keep employees healthy
  • Supporting local health care facilities by making masks with fabric donated by Joann Fabric and Craft store

Cosmos Corp. in Wentzville, Mo. (April 15)

  • Converted production lines to produce hand sanitizer for the St. Louis area and bi-state region, and hired 18 new employees to assist in the production
  • The hand sanitizer, Fresh & Clean, is now available at Schnucks grocery store locations in Missouri and Illinois
  • Donated thousands of bottles to local charities and critical organizations regionwide, including METRO Transit in St. Louis, St. Charles County Ambulance, City of O’Fallon Meals on Wheels, City of O-Fallon Police Department, various preschools, Refuge & Restoration Church, Tabernacle Community Development and SMS Hospital staff, among others

Evanger’s Dog and Cat Food in Markham, Ill. (March 24)

  • Actively in touch with brick-and-mortar partners to help facilitate the flow of curbside pickup and home delivery
  • Increased its rescue organization outreach to help offset food costs, and sanitized the exterior of each case of food
  • Working at full capacity to meet the demands of distributors
  • Educating others about quality, safety and the importance of keeping pets healthy
  • Advocating for retailer partners that have put a creative spin on its current business situation, including Houston-based Flying M Feed Co., which created a mobile food truck outside the store offering customers remote options
  • Working with its international distributors to help pet owners get through this “together, safely and comfortably”

FieldStack in Portland, Maine (March 25)

  • Helping pet retailers enable shopping features that support social distancing
  • Providing online set-up for retailers who don’t have an e-commerce site
  • Assisting retailers with sizing their inventory, optimizing their supply chain and enhancing automation features to allow them to do more with limited resources

Fluff & Tuff in Troy, Mich. (March 25)

  • While adhering to local government guidelines, the company remains operational to fulfill retailers’ inventory and shipment needs
  • Working directly with and supporting its smaller retail partners, which are expanding services outside their usual business activities (e.g. delivery and curbside pickup)

Freshpet Inc. in Secaucus, N.J. (April 9)

  • Taking the temperature of every team member before entering the kitchens
  • Installing increased space for social distancing
  • Instituting staggered shifts
  • Enhancing daily sanitation efforts and weekly deep cleaning of all common areas
  • Limiting access and administering a health check on all visitors
  • Suspended its absenteeism policy, and brought in incremental staffing to meet demand
  • Continues to produce Freshpet with limited interruptions
  • To thank its team members for their efforts, Freshpet is paying all kitchens’ team members a $500 post-tax bonus and giving them $50 gift cards bi-weekly to support locally owned restaurants

Honest Kitchen, The in San Diego (March 24)

  • Programmed its reseller locator to highlight stores with curbside pickup or home delivery and promoting the update to customers via the company’s social channels and emails

Honest Paws in San Juan, Puerto Rico (March 25)

  • Shifted to a work-from-home policy for all employees, and began flexible working hours to accommodate those with children and in varying time zones
  • Implemented a work-from-home office set-up allowance of up to $700 for each employee to purchase any supplies they need during this transition period
  • Offering unlimited paid time off to all full-time employees, whether it’s due to illness or otherwise

Jax & Bones in Baldwin Park, Calif. (April 5)

  • As of March 19, shifted its operations to include manufacturing PPE masks and supplies for doctors, nurses, food and essential workers
  • Temporarily ceased the production of customized dog beds to focus on “the nation’s immediate needs”
  • Shipping pet products that are currently in stock within 96 business hours

Lightspeed POS Inc. in Montréal (March 23)

  • For the next three months, Lightspeed will be offering the following services for free: Lightspeed eCommerce for retail customers and Lightspeed Loyalty for omnichannel customers
  • Rolled out a #lightspeedlocal rebate initiative that encourages its company employees to shop locally and support small businesses in its network
  • Launched an online COVID-19 Retail and Restaurant Resource Guide, which includes tips for operational tasks, as well as tools for new revenue streams

Midwestern Pet Foods in Evansville, Ind. (March 25)

  • Remains open, operational and uninterrupted
  • Protecting team members by implementing travel restrictions and remote work
  • Sales team is offering retailer support through phone calls, FaceTime, emails and courier services
  • Sending pizzas to individual stores

Nulo in Austin, Texas (March 25)

  • Created social media content and signage to help stores let their customers know that they are open and considered an “essential” business
  • Providing incremental products, such as bone broths and pouches, for stores to give away with each curbside pickup or home delivery order
  • Purchased lunch for more than 100 accounts from local restaurants to have delivered to store staff still working
  • Increased inventory levels
  • Expediting deliveries to avoid any shortages on retail shelves

Only An Ocean in Charleston, S.C. (March 17)

  • Stepping back to give its community the space to be with friends, family and loved ones
  • Keeping work light for its sales and marketing communications personnel until they feel comfortable reengaging
  • Warehouses continue to fulfill orders placed through the sales team or website

Petcurean in Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada (March 23)

  • Donating 270,000 meals of premium dog and cat food to support shelters in Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec
  • Encouraging individuals who are able to do so, to contact their local animal rescue group or shelter to see what kind of help they might need

P.L.A.Y. (Pet Lifestyle and You) in San Francisco (March 19)

  • Transitioned team to a work-from-home set up
  • Extending Net 30 terms to any customer who places an order on Handshake, its online ordering platform
  • Taking extra measures to keep retailer stores well stocked
  • Ramping up its donations to assist long-term partner, Petfinder Foundation, with its animal relief efforts

Pure and Natural Pet in Norwalk, Conn. (March 24)

  • Reduced staffing at headquarters and warehouse to practice safe distancing, with many employees working from home
  • Reminding customers that it has new corporate offices in Norwalk, Conn., but its corporate phone number remains the same (844-698-4367)

RestoraPet in Gaithersburg, Md. (April 15)

  • Pivoted operations to manufacture hand sanitizer under the new sub-brand, Rejuvien
  • Donating Rejuvien hand sanitizer to nursing homes and health care facilities throughout Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C.
  • A limited number of bottles will be made available to businesses for purchase; those sales will help fund further donations to health care facilities

Skout’s Honor in Irvine, Calif. (March 24)

  • Through a unique opening in its supply chain, the company can now offer hand sanitizer to its pet specialty retailer customers

Vetericyn in Rialto, Calif. (March 23)

  • Continuing to fulfill orders of its Vetericyn Animal Wellness products
  • Employees, where possible, are working from home, and its production and logistics personnel are doubling down on personal hygiene measures and personal distancing while at work

Warren London Dog Spa & Grooming Products in New City, N.Y. (March 23)

  • Taking all precautions to keep its warehouse sanitary
  • Practicing safe social distancing by switching off weeks with workers in the warehouse and following all government rules
  • Shipping orders as they come, noting that there may be slight delays

West Paw in Bozeman, Mont. (March 12)

  • Created a temporary program called “Swap Stock” to help retailers maintain continuity of inventory
  • Continues to ship orders directly to retailers within one business day to keep retailers in stock
  • Providing its employees and their families support as infections and economic disruptions impact their local community

 

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