Friday, April 24, 2020

Evolving Times Call for New Beginnings

The matriarch of Comstar Supply (as well as my family), and one of the original Founders of Comstar, Gwen Punchard, is a former history teacher and has an affinity for Winston Churchill. Last week, she sent us a note with a famous quote from Churchill after winning “The Battle of Egypt.” 

“Now this is not the end,” wrote Churchill. “It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”

This quote holds true as our nation continues to make progress in its fight against COVID-19 and is also relevant to Comstar as we have settled into new routines and business operations.

We continue to take the lead of Pa. Governor Wolf in regard to safety measures for our existing staff at the office, and in preparation for other employees to rejoin us, which we hope will be some time mid-May. We have made several changes to our daily operations to get ready for our full staff’s return. From wearing masks at work, to hand sanitizing stations, to staggered breaks, to weekly anti-bacterial, electrostatic spraying of our offices, Comstar remains committed to the health and well being of our employees and customers. 

I wrote our staff recently that this is by far the longest I’ve been in the office in years without customer travel or an off-site event, but the additional time has been beyond valuable to me. 

I’ve spent countless hours talking with vendors, customers, manufacturers, and leaders in other industries, about the impact this is having, and will have, on businesses around the country. Compiling the lessons learned from these conversations has led me to believe we need to be even more creative and opportunistic as we all emerge from the current situation. And while I believe this to be true, I also know that I don’t have all the answers. 

Each of us has been impacted in a different way due to the work constraints we’re currently under. You’ve all been patient with us as we met customer demand during a difficult time for our nation. So, I’ll challenge you the same way I did our employees - if you have any suggestions on how we can work better together please feel free to respond to this note with any encouraging ideas.

In the meantime, we remain committed and vigilant on ensuring your success by providing the knowledge, materials, equipment, and experience needed at your greatest moment of need. These past few weeks have only encouraged our resolve, and we look forward to working with you as we arise from this fight victorious.

Best Regards.

Chad Punchard
President, Comstar Supply

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Our New Normal – For the Time Being

From the desk of:
Chad Punchard
President, Comstar Supply

It’s been about three weeks since we moved the majority of our administrative staff offsite to work from home and transitioned to a skeleton crew here in the office. During that time, we’ve maintained the unparalleled service levels that you have come to expect from Comstar Supply. I couldn’t be prouder of the team we’ve built as our employees have been unflappable during this crisis.

I’ve been one of the “lucky” ones - part of the small team we’ve affectionately named the “Covid Command,” tethered to my desk and diagnosed with "video conference call syndrome." Like many of our children are currently discovering, as they continue their school work in this video world, we are fortunate to have the technology available to stay connected and continue forward with life. I’m humbled that the critical infrastructure we provide to our customers every day is delivering this connectivity, as it creates a powerful impact on the world during these uncertain times.
Comstar meeting via video conference

I expect this new normal will be our mode of operation for the foreseeable future, until we’ve at least been given a green light from the governor of Pennsylvania to conduct business as usual. And I don’t expect that to occur until at least May 1. Until then, our management staff will continue to provide the necessary health and wellness safeguards for both our employees and customers. We are committed to ensuring that our operations continue running and that our response to this global crisis is transparent for our customers and vendor partners.

Although the entire global supply chain has been impacted due to the COVID-19 outbreak, we have yet to see any disruption to our manufacturers or suppliers. While we realize this situation is dynamic, to date no product lead times have been severely impacted, nor have we had any significant delivery delays.

In the end, what’s most important is knowing that we will get to the other side of this crisis. As Americans, we are proud and resilient. The ride will be bumpy, but we will prevail.

As always, I hope this note finds you well. I will continue to publish additional updates as warranted throughout these changing times. Please stay healthy and safe.