Managing an inventory in the age of Covid ……it’s a challenge.
Our customers know that we offer a diverse and affordable selection of rough. I love nothing more than diving head first into our inventory and arranging a palette of gems to wow and entice. Our clients around the world have come to expect the unexpected and have grown accustomed to seeing the widest selection of quality rough in the industry.⠀
As the pandemic has dragged on, the challenge of maintaining a large and diverse inventory has grown. This is, candidly, an unfamiliar feeling for me. In times past, our inventory seemed inexhaustible – and while it is still broad and deep, shipping 100+ parcels each week has resulted in some unaccustomed stress. ⠀
I recognize the need to be clear-eyed and pragmatic about the situation. I’m well past the point of when I would have been overseas on a buying trip. This business requires travel and a lot of it. But borders are closed, supply chains are interrupted and there is no end in sight. In addition, production around the world is down substantially….with buyers unable to reach mines, digging has been scaled back. That is just the truth. ⠀
So, how are we proceeding? We are leaning heavily on all of the hard work we have done with our overseas partners over the years. I’m so grateful for the relationships we’ve developed. The training we’ve provided to our partners has allowed them to continue to work on our behalf. Travel has been replaced with WhatsApp and most nights, I’m up late into the evening, looking at offerings and negotiating deals for new stones. The good news is that African borders remain open and we’re able to receive shipments from our partners there albeit at a substantially slower pace but many Asian borders remain closed. Nevertheless, we will continue to invest heavily in Asia as we wait for the situation to improve. ⠀
It’s a juggling act for sure, but one thing is clear: we will make it through this trying time. ⠀