Hope for the Best, Plan for the Worst

October 13, 2021

Hope for the Best, Plan for the Worst

I hope that we are going to have an easy ride and an open summer with lots of fun in the sun with family and friends. I hope that we will have freedom to go where we want and see who we want. I hope that I don’t know anyone that gets very sick, or dies, from some new disease. I hope my kids can play on a jungle gym, visit their grandparents and eat ice cream from a cone. I hope Santa comes.

What I am planning for is that Delta is here to stay. That we are going to have community infection in every part of the country and that we are going to be facing a summer of high infection and huge disruption to our way of life. I am planning for a Christmas where the whole country is locked down, not because we have been instructed to during a 1pm briefing, but because the unvaccinated are sick and our health system is on its knees, which will impact our way of life more than we have ever experienced.

We can’t get rid of it, so now we have to get through it.

I am not wanting to drive fear or make a political statement, I am only wanting to look at what could impact our businesses and present some practical solutions to help get through and ensure we all come out the other side in the strongest possible position.

Our role in your future.

Fero’s purpose is to support local manufacturing and ensure that New Zealand manufactures can operate and compete on the world stage. In order to live to this, we must look forward and see what we can do to help our industry get through.

I expect that we are going to face an impact on our capacity, as an industry and country, to maintain our productivity. We have done a fantastic job until now, but it has mostly been theoretical. The next few months are going to see us face Covid-19 in the same way as every other country has had to.

The good news is we are facing this period of infection with the vaccine as a tool to minimise the impact. There is no doubt that this will shorten the period that we have to get through and will see us coming out the other side with less societal impact and faster than if we did not have it.

The other good news is, we will see a return to normal life by the end of this summer and, 12 months from now, will be preparing for the end of 2022 in a much more normal way. Soon Covid will be a thing of the past. Until then we need to get through the best that we can.

What have we done in the last few months?

  • We have increased our stock holding by about 40% since April in preparation for disruption.
  • We have worked with our customers to understand better the future demand on our resources.
  • We have increased our capacity, and now we are wanting to get ahead of production in order to buffer against any productivity reduction that we see impacting us or our customers.

We have found some additional solutions with some customers.

One customer has filled a warehouse with 8 weeks of All stock that they need for their production. This buffer is to protect against any supply chain issues and already has allowed them to continue manufacturing whilst some of their suppliers struggle to deliver.

Another customer has provided us with orders for all their expected demand out to January. We have produced this and are confident that no matter what happens we will be able to dispatch to their required dates for the next 4 months. We also understand that under the model, there will still be some unforeseen demand, but we have capacity for this and it is much easier to achieve.

Our recommendation to you.

I strongly recommend getting orders placed with us as far out as possible. Please communicate to us that you would like us to make this and to deliver to the future dates. It helps us to ensure that we have product ready to go a long time in advance of when it is needed and it does not impact your cash flow at all.

I encourage anyone that is wanting to plan for the worst to get in touch and look at what Fero can do to help you ensure that your supply chain is as strong as possible and that if you have demand and capacity, you will be able to continue to supply you customers and maintain your productivity.

This is a call to all to protect our capacity, productivity and business continuity and ensure that you have orders in to see you at least until the new year. We are working frantically to get as far ahead as possible and ensure that we have finished product that we will be able to send.

We will get through this and those of us that have planned and taken steps to do so and allow our businesses to continue will come out the strongest. Please get in touch to discuss how we can help to ensure continuity and the best outcome for your recovery.

I hope our health system can cope and that our vaccine rates mean we will be able to live without restrictions, however if this is not to be, we want to be ready for it.

March 6, 2020


I have been getting a huge amount of enquiry into how Coronavirus is going to impact our production. As you all know, it is very hard to predict. We are now starting to see some feedback from suppliers on materials that are disrupted and we are working to understand if our buffers will cover these delays.

For the most part, we are covered and are not seeing much delay yet… However, I am sure that there will be a significant impact on all industries and that the longer the quarantining of people in China, and therefore reduced production, the more impact we will see in associated sectors.

For instance, we are starting to see delays in shipping and increased costs due to this. There has also been an increase in costs for materials and so we are looking for alternative products to substitute where we can.

At Fero, we can only work with the demand that we have in our system, so my advise is to get orders in to cover some extra demand in your business. We are working hard to ensure that we can continue to deliver to all of our customers but, as we know, it only takes one component to severely impact production. NOW IS NOT THE TIME FOR JUST IN TIME MODELS.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you would like to discuss further how we are minimising the impacts of Coronavirus and putting plans in place to ensure continuity of supply.

December 4, 2019

Situation at Fero Samoa regarding Measles Epidemic

Talofa all,

The situation in Samoa with regards to the Measles outbreak is one of the worst epidemics to hit the country in the last 100 years.  You will be aware from the news reporting that there have now been 55 deaths in the country and most of these have been of children under 5.  It is a very difficult disease to contain, and in a country where medical assistance is not just around the corner, and living is in a very communal manner, it has swept through the population very quickly.

At Fero Samoa, we have taken all of our staff to be vaccinated.  We have had two staff infected with the disease at this stage, but expect that due to our vaccination efforts, we are not going to see many more of our team affected.  We also feel extremely fortunate that we have not had any of the immediate families of our teams suffer from measlesrelateddeath, and we are all praying that it stays this way.  We are supporting our team and ensuring that all public health messages are communicated during daily meetings.

The government of Samoa is implementing a number of measures to contain and protect the population.  The most recent of these is to declare a state of emergency and order that all businesses, public and private, are shut down for Thursday and Friday this week.  The plan is to try to keep as much of the population as possible at home,so that mobile vaccination units can visit villages and all of the population can be immunised.  This mass MMR Vaccination plan is to be held on the 5th and 6th of December.

Fero Samoa fully supports the efforts of the Government and are assisting in any way we can to help stop the spread of this disease.  Our operations are going to be impacted by this closure, however, we have plans for such an occurrence and do not expect to see any disruption of supply to our customers.

Unfortunately, we do expect to see further disruption until the Christmas break, but we have contingency plans in place to ensure that we are able to supply all product to our customers during this time.  We will be increasing our capacity in NZ and will be able to fill any gaps with this plant. At this stage, we are not expecting to see any delays on delivery dates but will communicate any issue as soon as we are aware of it.

Good information has been a bit slow to filter through to the population.  As of yesterday, we started to receive good information on what actions to take if early symptoms present.  We have a very close and supportive team at Fero Samoa and everyone is keeping an eye on each other. We know that when the immediate danger is over the country is going to go through a period of grief and of asking what has happened.  At this stage, we will also need to support our families in Samoa. Tragedies such as this highlight the need for us all to be ensuring that we are vaccinating our children. We wish all the success to the Government in their plans to protect the population and all our support to the people of Samoa in this difficult time.

February 28, 2017

Important news from Fero

We are aware that after the announcement to the market yesterday of the liquidation of TradeTech NZ that there is some confusion as to how this relates to Fero.

Prior to 2014 Fero incorporated TradeTech and Wire Solutions.  In 2014 Fero sold TradeTech NZ to a private operator.  At this time Fero and TradeTech became completely separate entities with no common ownership or other interests.  Both companies are operating in different sectors of the market and providing different services.


As separate entities Fero is in no way effected by the liquidation of TradeTech. 


We do have some common customers, and some of those customers are unclear on how the businesses are structured and owned.  This has caused some confusion in the market, of which we would like to clear up.  Fero is a business that has seen significant growth since 2014 and is very secure in its operations.  We have a strong future supporting New Zealand Manufacturers and helping to ensure that the local manufacturing sector remains strong.  2017 looks to be a very exciting year for Fero with a number of new initiatives that we will be introducing to support our customers and to continue to support manufacturing in New Zealand.


If there are any questions or uncertainties I am always happy to discuss.  Please don’t hesitate to contact me at sam.fulton@fero.co.nz


July 20, 2015

Do you want to work at Fero?

Every employer knows how important it is to have great staff. Finding the right people can at times be difficult on a small island like New Zealand. That’s why Fero has teamed up with Knowhow to develop a specific Fero careers site. The new site will enable us to better fit candidates to jobs, and ensure that Fero continues to have excellent staff.

If you would love to work at Fero, then take a look here and see what’s available.

May 10, 2015

Fero launches new MRP System

Fero NZ - Active image

May is going to be a very big month for Fero. We’re making a change that will take us one huge step forward as a business and how we operate.


Our mission over the past few years has been ‘to contribute to the sustainability of local Australasian manufacturing and our customers’ ability to remain competitive on a world stage’.

 To help achieve this we have set a goal to provide a 5 day lead time with 98% DIFOTIS within the next 12 months. We’ll achieve this once we have launched our… new MRP system.


Very soon we’re introducing a sleek new system that will integrate all of our IT functions under the one umbrella.   For a couple of years we have known that we’re fast outgrowing the systems that we have been working with. In order for us to provide the accuracy, quality and service that our customers require we have identified the need to improve the way we drive the business.   We are now at that point and the implementation of this software has come at just the right time.


In order to continue to increase our efficiency, accuracy and productivity we know that we need a customisable system that is developed for a high mix, low volume manufacturing business such as ours. With our goal of a 5 DAY LEADTIME WITH 98% DIFOTIS within the next 12 months, it is imperative that we have an MRP system that can help us to deliver this. We will also need to work with our customers to ensure that we have some forward planning of resource and materials required for this leadtime.


Scoping and researching various solutions over a number of months, we settled on Abel Solutions. We feel that it gave us the best product for our business and in turn will ensure that we are able to provide an even better service to our customers. It was our requirement that whatever we used will contribute significantly to improving our delivery to the customer and our mission of ensuring local manufacturing sustainability and competitivity on the world stage. We feel that Able will provide that and more!


The last 4 months have been very busy with data transfer, customisation, and training to ensure a seamless transition. In May we will go live and we are looking forward to have a host of functions that will greatly increase our internal efficiency and delivery of a superior service to our customers.


Your feedback please.


Unfortunately we are very aware that we do not live in a perfect world and that any major change to software can cause some interruption to the business. If you do see anything that is not working well please let us know. We have worked very hard to ensure that there will be no major issues, however there could be some minor oversights and we will be able to fix once we become aware of them.


Fero NZ - Feedback


You should see very little change in the way that we interact with you. There will be a slightly different look to some documents such as order confirmations etc, however we want to ensure no disruption to business as usual.


At Fero we are looking forward to working with a new system that will make our lives a lot simpler and will ensure that we continue to lead the market in service, quality and delivery.