Delays in furniture deliveries from Johor to Singapore as COVID-19 slows down jam production lines

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Attic Living Director Jo Chong told CNA: “We have chosen to complete most of our production in Malaysia… this allows quality checks to be accessed on a regular basis and reduces the overall lead time because the furniture is sent to our warehouse on a regular basis. “

She added that as a temporary measure for customers, the company offered to lend their furniture. Customers also have the option to change items to another if there is stock available, with no reloading fees.

A Singaporean customer, who only wanted to be known as Sue, told CNA she bought a coffee table from a retailer in May but has yet to receive it.

“They informed me that it would be delivered in June, but then received information that there was a delay due to the closure of factories in Malaysia,” Sue said.

“I considered canceling my order and requesting a refund as I was kept waiting. I gave them until the end of this month (September) to deliver it,” she added.

OPTIMISM WHEN IMMUNIZATION RATES INCREASE

Despite the problems, there appears to be light at the end of the tunnel.

A month ago, the federal government announced that economic sectors, including furniture production, could resume with operating capacities dependent on the vaccination rate of workers in these establishments.

For workplaces where 80 to 100 percent of workers are fully immunized, operations are allowed to resume completely.

Operations are allowed to resume at 80 percent of capacity for workplaces where 60 to 79 percent of workers are vaccinated. As for sectors where 40 to 59% of workers are fully vaccinated, operations are only allowed to resume at 60% of their capacity.

In addition, furniture retail stores were among the 11 types of economic activity allowed to resume operations. But business owners need to make sure customers prove they’ve been fully immunized before entering stores.

There is optimism that the furniture industry will return to its original levels in the coming months as more retailers and factories are able to ensure their employees are fully immunized.

According to Ng of the furniture association, about 80% of factories and 50% of retailers returned to work in mid-September.

“Businesses are allowed to resume while adhering to current SOPs and this number is expected to increase in the future as vaccination rates increase. Hopefully soon, orders between Singapore and Johor can resume without delay, ”said Ng.

Fong, of Mi Kuang Furniture, said he was also convinced his company could soon increase deliveries to Singapore, as the vaccination rate in Johor recently increased.

Currently, over 60% of Johor’s adult population has received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. The state government aims to have 100% of its adult population vaccinated by the end of October.

“We have seen how businesses have improved in areas with high vaccination rates, such as Selangor recently. I hope Johor will follow suit, ”Fong said.

However, Ng maintained that despite this, some companies continue to face uncertainties and production processes still will not return to pre-COVID-19 levels.

“Let’s say a factory resumes operations, but a worker, despite being vaccinated, is positive for COVID-19. The entire factory will likely have to close and the company will not be able to meet its deadlines, ”Ng said.

“This is the reality of operation during COVID-19,” he added.


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