Major Winter Storm Impacts Distributors

"Metro Atlanta Is Like A Ghost Town"

Winter StormA still-strengthening winter storm that has already crippled metro areas in the Southeast U.S. is posing significant challenges for industry firms, creating shipping delays and making company and customer communications more difficult.

“Metro Atlanta is like a ghost town,” said Jeffrey Kamin, president of Atlanta-based Kamin & Associates, Inc. (asi/238850), late Wednesday. “Mixed rain and snow have just become freezing rain. We are not going anywhere soon. I had a truck shipment which should have been delivered yesterday to a client. It is now probably delayed until Friday or Monday depending on when they are able to reopen.”

Matthew Watkins, president of LogoSurfing Promotional Products (asi/246818) in Atlanta, still has power, but his outside sales team is not able to operate as normal. The team spreads across northeast Georgia. “We have a few orders that were to be delivered to our local clients today from UPS that will not be delivered on time,” he said. “In total, we will lose well over 200 man hours due to this event – that assumes we are able to operate as of Friday.”

Watkins is planning his response to affected clients. “Once we know the impact on the orders, I would imagine we will be offering discounts when it makes sense and rushing orders that end up with tight deadlines,” he said. “We will definitely do whatever we can for our customers as it relates to getting them the products they need when they need them.”

Scott Alterman, vice president of The Ice Box (asi/229395), knows that employee safety is a top priority as the disruptive weather hits Atlanta. “Fortunately, we are able to dial in to our system remotely and still get some work done,” he told Counselor. “Communication internally and with our vendors and customers is critical. It always puts added stress on making our weekly and monthly revenue goals, but we do what we have to do to overcome the obstacles.”

The potentially historic storm is expected to continue along the East coast, dumping easily more than one foot of snow in interior areas of Maryland, Pennsylvania and New York, among other regions.