Sigg Can’t Keep Up

I almost had a conniption fit. I found out that Horst Engineering sells bottled water in our soda vending machine. Don’t get me started on the soda thing. I’ll get even more depressed. In my opinion, East Hartford tap water is just fine, but the perception is that bottled water is better. Bottled water is a problem.

In an effort to eliminate the bottled water sales (and subsequent plastic bottle recycling problem), I initiated a research project to install stand alone filtered water dispensers. This is another project on a long list, but we will figure out how to get it done. If you have water but no bottles, you need a solution. I figured, cool, this is a good chance to get those Sigg aluminum bottles with the Horst logo on them. I’m a fan of Swiss made stuff and I’ve had Sigg bottles for 20 years, which is far longer than their recent surge in popularity. About three years ago, I picked up a bunch of them at Sierra Trading Post for $2.99. Well, apparently, this Bisphenol-Athing has caused a run on Sigg’s products.

When the Bishpenol-A story broke last month, I had already been working with representatives from Sigg to get a bulk order (the price has gone way up–$$$). I didn’t hear back on one e-mail request and decided to follow up on the phone. So, I got the scoop. They can’t keep up. They have no inventory. They are trying to expand to three shifts. They have looked at off-shore production, but decided to remain in Switzerland for now. They are in disarray. Well, I’ve been there before. It’s called on-time delivery in the manufacturing business (OTD). Bummer for their customers. Even bigger bummer for Sigg.

There are alternatives, but most are Chinese made, like Kleen Kanteen. We probably still want Sigg and will most likely wait until they are back up to speed. After all, I love watching the video of their manufacturing process. Julian from Sigg told me that they removed all ordering information from their website. My sister wanted a couple of kid’s models and confirmed that you can’t get info from the site. Sigg can’t handle the number of requests, including corporate orders. I spoke with a friend who works for REI. He said they can’t get the bottles either. Horst can be patient, but REI is probably looking for alternatives. I’ve got to go unplug that soda vending machine now.

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