Just like you, we’ve been eagerly waiting for this moment. It feels great to watch shops from coast, to coast, to coast start turning the lights and machines back on.
Tattooing suffered a massive hit while being shut down. As a result, your day-to-day life as a Tattoo Artist has been significantly impacted. We want you to know we've got your back...
When we say we’ve got your back, we mean it. We need to be honest and transparent with you, it’s what good partners do.
As you prepare to get back to tattooing there are new realities to be aware of, and consider, as they pertain to buying supplies.
The COVID-19 pandemic has turned the entire supply chain upside down which means things are slightly different since the last time you placed an order. New safety measures are needed, shipping times are less predictable and the cost of the products you love has gone up.
That's the truth.
Let's break down the current situation, and then look at some solutions and ideas that can help you navigate this.
Supply and demand are ultimately out of whack. There’s a massive strain on production, logistics, sourcing materials and a host of other things, which inevitably impact availability, quality and price.
Frontline workers, and now virtually every other industry, require PPE. Unfortunately, many substandard products have entered the supply chain as people try to take advantage of the demand.
Prices have gone up, and will likely stay up for the immediate future due to increased complexity in the supply chain. In addition, the USD exchange rate has become volatile due to the instability of the markets, resulting in the increased cost of imported goods.
Shipping carriers are struggling to meet delivery timelines. A never-before seen increase in online shopping across North America and around the world, means they’re dealing with “Cyber Monday” volumes on a daily basis.
Looking at this situation and our guiding principles, we’ve laid out some objectives we want to share with you:
Sourcing PPE that meets our standards is challenging, we’re not gonna lie. It’s a massive investment, with equally massive risks attached - but we’re committed to getting you what you need when you need it.
We’ve introduced new measures on our online store to discourage bulk buying, in order to allow more equitable access to these products, so you don’t have to worry about essential items being out of stock.
We’ve set strict criteria for PPE Suppliers: They must be reputable, licensed medical manufacturing facilities. They must provide tested and verified products that meet our production and quality standards. Our commitment is backed by our Medical Device Establishment Licence (No: 4071).
As we said before, the supply chain is out of whack - which means the costs of goods have become over-inflated. It’s a delicate balancing act, but we’re doing everything we can to keep your costs as low as possible, while ensuring we can continue to deliver the service you’ve come to expect from us for years to come. Like all small businesses in Canada, we're reacting and adjusting on a daily, or even hourly basis.
We work extremely closely with our account managers at the shipping carriers (UPS & FedEx) to resolve exceptions in a timely manner. Our proven internal processes are strong, and were designed to avoid the majority of shipping related issues. However, once orders go out our door, shipping delays are essentially out of our control.
Many of you may feel like this is just “corporate shenanigans”. To set the record straight - we’re not part of any conglomerate, there are no Venture Capitalists or investors bankrolling us. We’re still a privately owned family business, as we have been for 25 years.
Ok, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way….
As an artist, there are things you can do to try and stay ahead of the curveballs COVID-19 is hurling at all of us.
Plan Further Ahead - ensure you have the supplies you need at least 1-2 weeks ahead. Next-day, and “just in time” delivery from our carriers, cannot be counted on or guaranteed.
Avoid Hoarding Supplies - If everybody buys only what they need, there will be enough for all. For sure, get a little extra to carry you along, but don’t panic buy...see above “Plan Further Ahead”.
Be Vigilant - make sure you’re getting your PPE equipment from trusted sources, as poor quality PPE can be harmful to you, your customers, and your shop.
Look to other similar businesses for ideas and ways to recoup some of the costs of PPE and other new requirements.
We’re all in this together - remaining calm when issues arise and having a problem-solving mindset is the most helpful way to get things resolved. Be kind. We’re all going to face challenges, so let’s work together to solve them.
Tattooing has been around for thousands of years, and survived many crises. We don’t believe that’ll change anytime soon. These are difficult times, but we firmly believe they’ll shape a more robust and united trade that will emerge even more resilient, and creative.
We love this industry and what we do. We’ve been part of thousands of artists' careers from apprenticeship until retirement, day-in-day-out, providing the supplies you need to do your art. We’re doing our best to ensure we stick around so we can continue to serve you for years to come.
Dean & Monika
Owners of Eikon Device