This Black Friday, we know many were expecting discounts on our desks to start working comfortably from home. After much reflection, we decided to only offer discounts on accessories.
I thought it would be a great opportunity to give you a bit of context and keep being transparent with our community. It's been one heck of a year so far for everyone. I sincerely thank all our customers for their support, and I can't thank our employees enough who have worked tirelessly during this unusual time.
We know the pandemic has caused and will keep causing severe difficulties for many. My heart especially goes out to employees who have lost their jobs and entrepreneurs who have had to powerlessly watch their dreams be crushed.
We are sharply aware that we've been extremely fortunate to experience growth in this trying time, and we are continually grateful for this. Rapid growth in the middle of a pandemic does, however, come with its unpredictable challenges.
In March of 2020, all hell broke loose. The Quebec government requested that all non-essential businesses shut down (rightfully so, as safety should be the number one priority when dealing with the unknown). Since most of our production is done locally, we had absolutely no products coming out of production for 3 months.
During that same period our sales took off, and the phones started ringing like crazy. Understandably, everybody wanted their desks and chairs right away because they were uncomfortable working at their kitchen counters or on their couches.
So our new routine started. We answered the phones during the day, trying to be as honest with our customers as possible even though we had no clue when the government would allow us to restart production. Then, we'd work on solving problems during the evenings and early mornings.
Finally, a few weeks later, we received the green light from our government and went full-throttle on the production. Our objective was to start shipping orders as soon as possible to start clearing our backlog of orders. Unfortunately, a few unexpected problems arose again. First, there was a shortage of materials, which increased their costs and significantly reduced our profit margins. Then, COVID-19 regulations, such as social distancing and a maximum number of people per square feet, critically slowed down production.
Fast forward to today: the good news is that we're making progress on clearing our backlog of orders, and we have brought down our lead times to 15 to 25 business days. We built ergonofis on strong values: promoting a healthy relationship with work, caring deeply about our employees, producing locally and sustainably as much as possible, and providing our customers with the best experience possible. It is vital for us to stand on those values while managing our rapid growth.
While we did grow our team and our distribution center, offering a discount on our desks would put excessive stress on our operations, our employees, and our ability to respect our promised lead times.
So, why a sale on our accessories then? While our margins on the accessories have also decreased, accessories take less space and they’re easier to ship than desks, allowing our operations to run smoothly. Ultimately, we’re confident this will allow our team to provide the customer experience our customers deserve. And it’s our way to celebrate Black Friday with our customers to the best of our ability.
We thank you for understanding and welcome any questions, comments, and discussions regarding our decision.
Co-Founder, CEO @ergonofis