Update from CDS President Don Dohanyos – June 17, 2020
It was an exciting week for us!
On Tuesday in the US, we began performing trial demos in two locations. We are using these demos to try out our new procedures, determine how to effectively ensure social distancing, introduce and improve talking food demos (where we explain product features and uses rather than serving samples), and work through other opportunities. Thus far, the trial has gone well and we thank our leaders and Sales Advisors who have been part of this test.
Meanwhile, our Talent Acquisition (TA) team has been reaching out to associates in the warehouses that will beturning back on in our first stage. Fortunately, many associates are ready to return to work, and the TA team is working to complete their onboarding. We are happy to have them back!
Looking forward together,
Update from CDS President Don Dohanyos – May 21, 2020
Hello CDS Team,
I have shared with you how we have been working with Costco to find opportunities to bring back our program in Costco in the US as soon as possible. We are narrowing in on the first phase of our return, in a limited number of locations, towards the end of June.
States where business restrictions have already eased, including restaurants being open for inside dining, are in consideration for this first phase. We are working with Costco to finalize the list so that we can start to ramp up for our return.
We will start up slowly in these locations with a very limited number of demos. We will bring back those resources needed to meet this initial demo demand, then expand in these warehouses as our volume grows.
Once we have successfully brought the program back in these locations, we will work with Costco to identify warehouses for our second phase. I will keep you apprised on our progress.
Happy Memorial Day!
Update from CDS President Don Dohanyos – May 14, 2020
Two weeks ago, I shared that our team in Australia would be restarting demos soon. I am pleased to report that on May 11, CDS Australia did resume operations in all 12 locations. Our associates were glad to be back in the warehouses and members were pleased to see us up and running. I am including pictures from a couple of demos below which demonstrate some of the safety precautions introduced to make them successful. We anticipate that our demo volume will grow over the next couple of months in Australia.
This week, our focus has been on connecting with Costco management in each region to plan together to address the opportunities and challenges for our regional demo programs. The Costco teams are fully behind our demos and want to do everything they can to help us come back when restrictions ease. We will be working with them to develop solutions on maintaining social distancing around our demo stations.
We are working with Costco Management to define the conditions that need to be present in order to bring demos back. Once we finalize the list, we can begin tracking the status in each region. We will continue to closely monitor the easing of restrictions in each area as that is essential for us to be able to restart demos.
Wishing you good health and happiness,
Update from CDS President Don Dohanyos – May 7, 2020
Dear CDS Team,
We hope that you continue to be safe and healthy.
As we continue to collaborate with Costco operators and buyers, this week we are focused on getting input from Costco on how we can best come back into the warehouses. This collaborative planning:
will shorten the amount of time we will need to get things going when we get the OK to start back up
keeps demos in the minds of the buyers and suppliers and
addresses the safety and well-being of our returning team members.
One of our key focus areas is discussing how to maintain social distancing at our demo carts. We all know how popular our demos are and how members like to gather around the carts. How we safely interact with Members and best serve samples at the cart will change when we come back.
Personally, I have been working on developing a dashboard that will help guide both Costco and CDS in making important decisions about when we can restart in each warehouse. This dashboard will contain specific checkpoints that need to be achieved before we can restart in any state or area.
We are making great strides in this area and I will keep you updated on our progress.
We want to wish a Happy Mother’s Day to all of you who will be celebrating the day. Your celebration this year will probably be a lot different than in years past, but we hope you find ways to make it special.
All our best,
Update from CDS President Don Dohanyos - April 30, 2020
Hi again, everyone!
We trust that you are all staying well. Hopefully, with summer approaching, you are able to get outside a little…while maintaining social distancing…and enjoy the nicer weather.
This week, the entire Advantage management team has been engaged in planning and discussions about how to best bring back product demonstrations as soon as we get the okay to do so. The CDS management team has been reaching out to Costco regional operations and buying executives to get their input on what products we should be keying in on and how we will approach coming back in their warehouses. We hope to finish this work by early next week. Getting their input will be key in us providing Costco management with a plan on how and when we bring the program back.
We received good news this week from Australia, where we are working toward restoring demos in the warehouses by the middle of May. They will start with a few demos in each warehouse each day then work their way back up over several weeks to ensure the safety processes and procedures we put in place are the proper ones to reassure members, keep them safe and encourage them to engage with our teams. I am sure the things they learn will be helpful to us when we bring demos back to the US, Canada and Mexico. I will keep you updated on their progress.
I want to give kudos to our Talent Acquisition Team who have worked with various Advantage operating teams to hire 507 CDS veterans to support various Advantage customers and to those CDS associates who are doing this important work. Your efforts continue to provide full store shelves and safe shopping environments across the country.
Wishing you health and safety!
Update from CDS President Don Dohanyos - April 23, 2020
Hello CDS Team,
I hope to this finds you safe and healthy.
We promised to keep you updated on the changing situation of our business on this web page. My intent is to do just that. We sincerely miss each and every one of our CDS team members and will endeavor to update this page each Thursday.
The CDS management team has been hard at work with Costco putting together a plan to bring us back when appropriate. We are taking into account all the different aspects of what it will take for us to do so. Some of those tasks include onboarding our associates, implementing new health and sanitation procedures, working with Costco buying teams and vendors, and making sure we have all the right equipment and supplies in place for our first day back. The plan we put together is quite extensive, and I am sure it will continue to evolve. We are working with Costco to ensure we are aligned as we proceed together.
There are no timelines yet for our return, but please know that we are having regular conversations about how we will return when the time is right. We are just as eager as you are to see our amazing associates back in the office and out there on the sales floor!
While we continue planning, we realize there are many of you who are interested in employment in the interim. There are some great opportunities you can pursue with our Advantage companies, providing retail service with other customers across the country. Currently, about 500 CDS veterans have joined the Advantage teams and are contributing to keep shoppers all over the country safe and satisfied. If you are interested in pursuing these opportunities, please click on one of the links below.
Club Demonstration Services will temporarily cease operations,
effective April 6, 2020
Due the continuing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have to temporarily cease CDS operations, effective Monday, April 6, 2020, as a means to protect the long-term viability of our company. We are temporarily reducing our staff to just a few associates who will keep the company open until our demo program resumes. Our hope is that the COVID-19 pandemic passes quickly so that we can continue to provide the highest quality demonstrations and services, at the best value, to Costco Wholesale, its suppliers and its members.
We are grateful to Costco for their support during this difficult time and we look forward to continuing our 32-year collaboration with them when this pandemic subsides. We would like to also praise the efforts of our warehouse teams for going above and beyond the call of duty in providing pertinent services that made a positive impact to the health and safety of Costco employees and members.
If you are an associate who has been impacted by the temporary closure of Club Demonstration Services and who is looking for work, you can find job openings with our parent company Advantage Solutions by clicking here.