In the past few weeks, normalcy has been disrupted on a global scale. At Nomad, we started our week with everyone working from home, and finished it with our home state of California, issuing a shelter in place order. As time progressed, we began asking ourselves, what could Nomad do to help stop the spread of COVID-19. At first, we offered tips on working from home and made playlists to help stem the ennui that social distancing can create. All of this felt rather trivial, considering that we are facing a global crisis. Meanwhile, we’ve been getting more reports from people on the frontlines of fighting this pandemic of the supplies shortages they are facing.
The last time we faced an immediate, collective threat that required this level of mobilization to fight was during World War II. American factories that previously made household appliances began manufacturing ammunition, and B-52 bombers rolled off of the Ford assembly lines. Our entire country reprioritized production so that essential goods and services could be rapidly made and distributed.
Fast forward to the present day: at Nomad, we have a robust global supply chain and an agile, committed team that can rapidly switch gears. We design our products here in California, manufacture them in China, and ship from our warehouse in Hong Kong to over a hundred countries worldwide. We do this 365 days a year, by truck, plane, and boat.
Right now we believe the single best thing we can do is to assist in the distribution of much-needed supplies around the world to aid those on the frontlines of flattening the curve: nurses, doctors, and first responders.
We believe that we can help because we are in a unique position as an agile eCommerce business that has deep supply chain relationships in Asia and a global shipping operation unencumbered by the current outbreak. As such, we’ve been able to work with our manufacturing partners that have the capability to make PPE masks but lie outside the conventional medical supply chain. Our phone case supplier has already switched from making bags and wallets to surgical masks for the Chinese medical system. But, as the disease slows in China, they now have excess capacity and a desire to help others who may be in short supply.
Since we have a warehouse in Hong Kong, where effective prevention measures halted the spread of the virus early, we are uniquely positioned to help out while all of the Nomad crew in California works from home. We can ship masks and other needed medical supplies anywhere in the world in two-three days’ time. Our factories in China also benefited from early effective prevention measures, so they can manufacture what is most needed right now, rather than their standard goods.
This is an unprecedented move for Nomad, and as far as we know, any eCommerce company. We recognize there are uncertainties and that we will encounter challenges given the quick pace necessary for the best chance to make a meaningful impact. We’re driven by the call to serve, and not by profit, and we will take every measure possible to streamline the delivery of highly needed medical equipment at the lowest cost and fastest way possible while determining allocation based on medical need.
When we launched on Kickstarter almost a decade ago, we never imagined something like this happening, so we never considered having a response to a global pandemic. Yet here we are. Our grandparents and great-grandparents likely never imagined living through two world wars and the Great Depression, yet they did — and triumphed over it. We feel that this is a defining moment and are proud to offer our support to our global community in a time of need.
Please reach out to us at email@example.com to discuss this initiative.
Noah Dentzel & Brian Hahn