Stationery and Office Supplies Jamaica Ltd (SOS) ended 2019 with its highest-ever revenue haul while managing costs which lead to them enjoying record profits of that financial year. The company used the year to sharpen their focus on reducing costs and becoming more efficient. The expectations for 2020 were high, with plans for great growth and acquisition, as has been SOS’ pattern in recent years.

This was a feat which was mostly accomplished in the first quarter of the year. Businesses across the globe began feeling the domino effect of the Coronavirus outbreak in China in early 2020, and as the year progressed the outbreak quickly became a global pandemic. As such, businesses have had to change their sales and acquisitions strategies to meet the new needs of the marketplace. SOS is one such business.

It has always been a trend for SOS’ financial operations to mirror that of our economy and this season has proved no different. “When the economy does well so do we. With COVID-19 limiting the economy, this has been a challenge that I am confident we will overcome,” said Allan McDaniel, Deputy Managing Director & Director of Warehousing & Logistics of Stationery & Office Supplies Limited. The company has taken the necessary precautions to maximize the full capacity of the resources they have on hand to secure business continuity during this time.

In light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), SOS has had to undergo changes to its operations to ensure it continues to provide services for their clients as best as they’re able to. McDaniel indicated that the company had sufficient inventory to sustain their operations for the first quarter of the year, but the virus began to affect the company in February, when issues with their suppliers in China started to impact the volume of their imported goods.

In the months that followed, COVID-19 rapidly changed the business landscape in Jamaica – specifically with the enforcement of work-from-home measures for non-essential workers. This had a direct impact on SOS’ operations, as this meant there were fewer orders from their clients as their employees no longer occupied the shared spaces that housed their operations. In addition, this would also decline the timeline for plans of growth within the BPO sector that would also affect sales.

SOS remains confident in the resilience of our people and our economy and looks forward to the timely resumption of business operations in Jamaica. Allan McDaniel expressed his confidence saying, “The current unprecedented down turn in the economy is being felt by all, which is why we have put measures in place to support our current clients and cut prices across the board to do our part to support businesses. While the reopening of the economy fast approaches, and the reopening of schools is on the horizon, we are certain that we will be able to realign with some of the objectives we set at the beginning of the year for the business.” 

Expansion and revenue plans, including plans to increase Caribbean business for the company, have been put on hold, but the company remains committed to playing their part in the economic recovery of Jamaica in the near future.