A Christmas reflection

A Christmas reflection

Christmas is the time of year when many of us take a break and reflect on the year that was.

I know I am not alone in saying 2021 has been one of the most difficult in recent times from a business perspective, as well as throwing up personal challenges for many of us.

Western Australia, as everyone knows, has experienced boom times while many other places around the world continue to struggle due to the ongoing disruption caused by Covid-19.

Meeting customers’ demands and requirements during these times of stock shortages, freight delays and lockdowns has been extremely demanding. Raw material costs have increased worldwide, which in turn is seeing the cost of goods rise. International freight is at an all-time high with shipping costs double to triple what they were pre-Covid.

The EPE team has done what we can to minimise the impact but some price rises have been inevitable. We’ve invested in a good stock holding to ensure as much as possible that we have supply chain continuity.

Our sales and warehouse staff have done an awesome job keeping up with the demand. We have employed an extra person for each area to help meet the ongoing demand, although some days we still struggle.

The workshop has been very busy staying on top of customer requirements and time constraints while still turning out first-class work.

Something I feel that Covid-19 has taught us all is to be a little more patient. While some people may have previously complained about long lead times, many customers have come to expect delays and stock shortages and are working their way around those things by forward ordering or holding more stock themselves.

We are blessed to live and work in Western Australia where the constraints of lockdowns and restrictions have been minimal compared to other states, however there is no doubt there has been a mental heath impact on many people for many reasons.

Not being able to travel to see loved ones, postponing big events, uncertainty about what the future brings and mandatory vaccinations are the types of things that can play on a person’s mind. It is my sincere hope that with growing rates of vaccination throughout WA, Australia and the rest of the world, we will all be able to move forward and get back to some semblance of our pre-Covid lives that we all enjoyed.

I would like to thank all our customers for your ongoing and growing support. It is certainly most appreciated. Thank you to our suppliers, some of which have been part of the EPE family for decades, for your ongoing support and enthusiasm. And a special thank you to all our staff for their hard work and commitment.

I wish everyone all the very best for the Christmas break and my best wishes for a fantastic – and hopefully more “normal” – 2022.

Peter Gardner

Managing Director