Since spring this year we have found ourselves in an extraordinary situation because of the COVID-19 problem. The effects on obtaining our raw materials and our production planning have been enormous. To add to that, demand for paragliding equipment soared during the summer. The result: there is now much more demand for ADVANCE products than we can produce and deliver – in the short term. With this boom in individual sport many manufacturers in the leisure and outdoor industry are similarly confronted by the same problem. We at ADVANCE are doing all we can to manage the situation as well as possible, and ask you pilots for your understanding. This article should provide some important background information about the present situation.
For the time being, a lot is different from life as we used to know it. Circumstances everywhere demand a high degree of flexibility. In our case, production planning and raw material procurement in particular are complicated. During the spring months, we had to virtually stop production for several months due to great uncertainty about the future. At the end of the first Covid wave the demand for paragliding equipment increased dramatically. Like many other outdoor manufacturers, we did not expect such strong demand.
All this leads to the well-known situation of delivery bottlenecks and longer waiting periods for many of our products. We know how frustrating it is to be looking forward to unpacking your new paraglider and then have to wait several weeks for it. Of course, we are not happy with this situation. Nevertheless, we can assure you that our production in Vietnam has been running at well over 100% since the beginning of the summer, and our 300+ employees are working a lot of overtime. We are constantly training new people, but it takes almost a year before a new employee can achieve our high standard and then be fully productive. This illustrates that it is practically impossible for us to increase production capacity in the short term. Last but not least, we depend on our suppliers. They, too, do their utmost to ensure a supply of raw materials, although their starting position is equally difficult.
Of course, we are delighted that so many people enjoy our equipment. We see the smiles on your faces every day on all the social media posts. We want this to continue and assure you that we will spare no effort to keep delivery times as short as possible. Nevertheless, some longer waiting times will be unavoidable in the coming months. We hope that we have been able to give you a good "look behind the scenes" and would like to thank you for your understanding.