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Navigating Q4 2021

Your smart business guide to 
getting ahead in the busy season
Navigating Q4 2021

As we’re all preparing for a busy last quarter of 2021, we want to give you the ‘heads up’ on any challenges we think may have an impact on day-to-day business over the coming weeks and months.  We’ve been speaking to the ‘people in the know’ in and around our business to provide you with key information and tips to overcome any issues before they arise, ensuring that you can be as prepared as possible and get ahead in Q4.

This guide will cover:

  • Latest information on stock levels
  • Price fluctuations
  • Delivery timescales
  • Christmas preparations

Download this guide as a PDF and navigate your way through Q4.

Latest information on stock levels

Scott Evans, Purchasing Manager
Mike Symons, Director of Sales, Marketing and Customer Service

Why are some key styles and SKU’s out of stock?

Shipping challenges
We’re aware that there may be issues with some areas of stock levels and that this can cause frustration when you have orders to fulfil for your customers. Unfortunately, because of the global pandemic, and Brexit, there’s production and shipping challenges for many of the brands. The high demand globally for containers has meant everyone is fighting for capacity, and the escalating costs are also making it harder for brands to plan shipping. Infection rates in several garment manufacturing countries has also meant production challenges for factories with temporary depleted workforces.

Driver shortages
Additionally, due to a high demand for logistics capacity once the goods reach the UK, combined with staff shortages due to self-isolation and difficulty recruiting, many suppliers are limiting volumes to their customers, leading to an increase in lead times. 

What is PenCarrie doing to help the situation?

Replenishing stock
Generally, we have a good level of stock on most styles, however where there are gaps, we’ve made significant stock orders with the brands to fill these gaps as quickly as possible.

Speaking to brands
We’re trying to keep an open dialogue with our brand partners about stock levels, but unfortunately there is a lack of visibility for both us and the brands on delivery dates due to the shipping issues mentioned before. We’re working together to get the most up-to-date information available.

How can you get ahead with these challenges?

Check stock levels online
The easiest way to stay informed on the stock levels situation per brand and style is to check back regularly. We know this isn’t ideal, but we’ll be updating our stock levels online as soon as anything changes – and this is happening daily.

We also show a ‘+ days’ figure on stock levels. This is the stock available from our suppliers and gives you an indication of what’s available to us within that time frame, should you want to place an order for more than we currently have in stock.

If a product is completely out of stock, although rare, we’ll display a ‘Due in’ information button. This will tell you what stock quantities we’re expecting and when.

Place orders early
Ordering earlier than you usually would normally is advised, key styles will sell out very quickly, so buying your stock as soon as it’s available will avoid disappointment later on. We’re expecting a high demand for Christmas specific styles, so we’d strongly suggest ordering these early.

Similar styles and Compare feature
We offer similar styles for almost all our products online, so if something you need to order isn’t in stock, there may be alternatives that will help you to fulfil your customer orders. Our ‘Similar products’ feature at the bottom of each product page of our new website will help you see what else is available.

You can also use the ‘Compare’ button at the top of each product page to add a selection of styles to easily compare, so you can see what differences there are between products.

Remember, you can always contact our friendly Customer Service team during office hours, and they’ll be happy to help you with any queries.

Price fluctuations

Tony Lock, Managing Director
Andrea Charteris, Customer Service Manager

Why are brands changing their pricing?

Rising commodity and freight costs
Nobody likes price changes (particularly those that go up!). Throughout the year our suppliers have seen the continuing rise in commodity and freight costs, this has resulted in some price increases. Our brands have been working hard to ensure any increases are as low as possible.

What is PenCarrie doing to help the situation?

Giving you prior notice
We’re making sure that we give you price updates as soon as we hear about them, aiming for a minimum of two weeks’ notice where possible.

Make these changes clear
We also update our Price Lists and clearly mark which prices have been affected on which date, so you can keep track of any new changes.

How can you get ahead with these challenges?

Check for updates online
We’ll always post updates on our website, so please check back regularly. We also email this information to customers, so if you haven’t signed up to emails and want this sent directly to you, please update your marketing preferences in the My Account section of our website.

Check your dispatch date
The prices you’ll be charged are the prices on the day your order is despatched not the day the order is placed. You can check our latest order-to-despatch lead-times on our website.

Be mindful when issuing large quotes
We’d recommend managing your customer’s expectations when issuing quotes for large orders. As things may change, factoring in potential changes would be advised.

Sort by price online
If you’re looking for products within a certain price range, you can use the handy ‘List price’ drop down on our Product by use and Product by type pages and filter ‘High to Low’ or ‘Low to High’.

Delivery timescales

Andrea Charteris, Customer Service Manager

What impact to delivery lead-times are expected?

Delays due to seasonal volume
As we approach our busy online trading period, the run up to Christmas, along with large order dates such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, means the volume of parcels in the delivery network increase significantly. This will of course mean increased pressure on the delivery network and some delays are expected.

Impact of driver shortages and adverse weather
Add in driver resource issues due to self-isolation and the impact of Covid-19, along with the great British weather, and we may see further delays in delivery lead times.

What is PenCarrie doing to help the situation?

Keeping you informed
As soon as we know of any possible delays, we’ll make sure we communicate these to you. DPD send regular updates when any issues arise, so check our Latest News tile on our homepage for up-to-date information.

Weekend ordering
Our warehouse team are picking and packing orders every weekend, so you can get a head start on the week. Order by 12 mid-day on a Sunday for a next day despatch.

How can you get ahead with these challenges?

Download the DPD app
The DPD app lets you arrange the best possible delivery experience. Once your order leaves our warehouse, you can track your parcel easily with the DPD app. You can also update your personal delivery preferences - if you’re not going to be in, you can use the DPD app to make sure you can still receive your parcels. Unfortunately, we can’t pass on delivery instructions to DPD on your behalf. You can communicate directly with DPD via the app for each delivery.

Order early
Factoring in extra time for your orders during busy periods is the best way to avoid disappointment. Please try to order your products well in advance to ensure that any delivery delays don’t affect your schedule. We’ll make sure we remind you to order early when things start to get really busy!

Christmas preparations

Becky Davies, Marketing and Communications Manager

How do I get ahead for Christmas?

Planning ahead
Aside from noting all the above points of stock and delivery lead-times, the best way to get ahead of the Christmas rush is planning.

After another unusual year due to the pandemic, Christmas is set to be another big trading time for many businesses as people are still spending online, and the demand for personalisation is still so popular.

We’ve made sure that we’ve ordered high levels of stock for popular seasonal items, so we’d recommend placing your orders for these items as soon as possible to secure your stock for Christmas.

What is PenCarrie doing to help?

Christmas Gift Guides
This year, we’re bringing back a series of Christmas gift guides to give you and your customers inspiration for the festive season.

Not only will we be sharing carefully selected Christmas collections on our website for you to browse by categories such as ‘Stocking Fillers’ and ‘Christmas Sleep and Loungewear’, but we’ll also be creating a series of editable brochures for each of these categories in our Brochure Hub for you to share with customers.

Bespoke brochures
These Christmas gift guide brochures will be available in our Brochure Hub from early October, simply log in to the hub and these are ready-to use, OR, you can add your logo, own cover, or edit the products included to make these your own to share with your customers.

These collections will also be online so you can easily navigate to what product you want by category. These will also be available on our white label website so you can direct your customers to these directly, without any mention of PenCarrie!

New styles for A/W
As well as all the great styles you know and love, we’re introducing a number of new styles and colours for Autumn/Winter 2021. Stay competitive with the latest new styles, easily found on our website under the ‘New styles’ tab in our Trending menu on our homepage.

Download this guide

Download this guide as a PDF and navigate your way through Q4.