That was it, the Corona Virus
Still at the end of February everything was working according to our plans for the upcoming season. But then the Corona Virus surprised us just as many other companies. In the matter of only a few days everything changed, we had to temporarily close our stores, shut down our manufactory and send some of our employees off into short time work, all of our plans changed abruptly in such a short time.
Especially the speed in which all of this took place was astonishing – it didn´t even took 2 weeks from the beginning until the big shutdown. You also begin to wonder why so fast? Are there no reserves? Many companies plan with growing revenues, but does that have to be the case? I don´t exclude ourselves from that. But we always think about making the best out of the situation. We could actually use the time productively and work on our mammoth project, the switch to a modern cloud and browser based merchandise management system. Also we believe that we´re working in a market with our sandals that isn´t affected by the crisis. So the last weeks we kept to our plan which actually seemed to work out in some parts.
We didn´t have a full shutdown, quite the opposite. We worked tirelessly either in our headquarter or in the home office, we worked through a lot of late and night shifts. Thinking about the home office topic, I catch myself having a smile on my face, as even companies that speak about how modern and digitized they are and how well working from home can actually can work out for them. But who produces there? It doesn´t matter if it´s in the Far- East, Spain or Portugal where the tailors, shoemakers and fitters sit and work, they most definitely are not going to keep the safety distance of 2m at their work places. Working from home itself can be a great idea working during a pandemic, but for manufacturing companies, as we are one, this simply isn´t possible. We have to be at our workplace, at our work benches and fitting desks. We are lucky in that regard as our huge manufacturing hall and our generous work place spacing ensures that we´re not facing any problems in that regard. Most of our employees and coworkers are working with us for many years now and know in their own how they have what to do at each step of the manufacturing process. Our good and new digitized work plan through our new manufacturing management system support us in that regard as well.
One good idea and the tide turns...
We also thought about what measures we can take up to be prepared for the coming crisis. How we would be able to compensate for our closed mobile and regular stores. That´s when we came up with the idea of creating a comfortable, high-quality casual sandal for the everyday use. We´ve already been working for 1-2 years on this sandal model which I myself wore for the entire summer season as it really convinced me. It was clear that we had to get our Chalette model ready until the start of production. Next to our big project work we quickly started to heavily improve and recognized how time consuming this would be and which new production steps we needed to implement. We had to buy one new machine. Our fitters and tailors first have to integrate the new processes, our shoemakers were standing before the biggest challenge of them all. But in the end we succeeded and we created a beautiful and unique new sandal. Not talking about the high-quality material themselves we´re talking about more than 3 hours of work going into each pair of our Chalette. But we still created it without the heel strap in a way that still ensures an extremely secure fit on your feet. Our Chalette is a trendy naturally vegan or water compatible and extremely comfortable, unique and new Slip-in sandal.
It´s all in the mix
Apart from that there were many things in the last few days that gave us hope. We finally received our long expected vacuum press which has been specially designed for us. With it we´re not only able to glue more effectively and produce sole plates we´re also looking at increasing the quality of our sandals by a substantial margin. Sole plates can now be processed in different sized staples and at the same time there still is the ideal gluing pressure on each of the sandals in it. We can adjust the pressure to the µ and stop using a time switch. But the best is that our water-based glue dries much quicker and we´re able to process our plates after letting them sit for only 2 hours. At the same time we also reduce the material waste from cutting, etc… and faulty pairs of sandals.
In the area of logistics, the ecommerce and the customer service we´re looking for a major change as we´re switching to a new multifunctional manufactory management system which will ensure a near perfect and much faster delivery process as well as an improved processing of the returned sales. Our customer service will be available from now on from Monday to Saturday during the hours of 10-16 o´clock. By doing this we´ll be able to answer all inquiries in a timely manner and serve with a great customer service to all your needs and questions.
One exclusive goodie comes at the end
To thank you all for your support over the last years and also to give our new customers a warm welcome we´re including into each order (as long as stocks lasts) a high quality vigorous bread baking mix coming from our befriended Donath-Mill from the Allgäu.
Our stores open up again
Starting from the 20 th of April we´re able to welcome you personally in our store in Freiburg and from the 22 nd in Berlin with relaxing and cleansing footbaths. Additionally we´re ensuring your safety by using a lot of disinfectant, disposable gloves and the obligatory face mask.
With the kindest of regards coming from our manufactory