With Black Friday and Cyber Monday now behind us, we are all indeed well into this historic December peak season. Even though Dotcom has planned against the record-breaking volume and around the challenges of the continuing pandemic, we have been impacted by, and are working through, some labor related challenges that are impacting Dotcom’s operations.
Over the last week we have seen a surge in COVID cases that are directly impacting our workforce. All cases, or presumed cases, have originated outside of Dotcom’s facility and are not spreading across the workforce within Dotcom. However, the untimely spike in occurrences, are impacting our ability to maintain the stability in our workforce that is critical for driving consistent output. As of this writing the known cases are sporadic across warehouse labor, warehouse management, and IT, including some IT talent that was scheduled to be onsite from our technology partners.
Likewise, the increase in cases across New Jersey and the tristate area, have driven some workers to remain home to care for family members or to refrain from reporting to Dotcom until testing negative to COVID. These collective instances are the first time potential or actual COVID exposure has affected not just the full-time and temporary warehouse workers but have also affected the management team.
Keeping our workers safe continues to be paramount as we continue to operate multiple shifts, seven days per week. We are also working closely with our temp agencies to keep supplementing Dotcom’s core operations team with team members that can be trained and on-boarded each day throughout the peak season. Similarly, our management team is adjusting schedules to make sure each shift has proper coverage with team members that are now forced to work-from-home team supporting operations in back-office tasks and analysis. Dotcom’s Program Management team will continue to keep you posted regarding any impact or plan adjustments that are specific to your program.
In the meantime, we are communicating this news with you so that you can, in turn, communicate with your customers.
Examples of this kind of communication include the Roots Canada clothing website which makes special mention of lengthened time in transit on their shopping cart by plainly stating, “Due to the current situation surrounding COVID-19, some countries are experiencing severe delays or transportation has stopped at this time. Please refer to your local government or country transportation updates for more information.”
Apparel brand Express urges their customers to “SHOP EARLY. SHIP EASY. Check off your holiday list early and stay ahead of shipping deadlines and unforeseen delays.”
Skincare brand Carol’s Daughter instructs their shoppers about holiday receipt order deadlines as early as 12/11 for ground shipping and no later than 12/21 for overnight shipping while also conveying a message that “due to high volume, delivery times may be a bit longer than normal.” Even UPS has a message on their home page that encourages shippers to use UPS Ground by 12/15 to ensure delivery by Christmas.
We are working hard to get all packages out quickly and fully before Christmas. We appreciate your patience and your continued collaboration in cascading clear messaging out to your end customers.