Supply Chain Update
Pick up any industry trade publication, or almost any medium where you get your business news, and you’ll read or hear about the supply chain delays.
Disruption in the delivery of components to manufacturers and subsequently delivery of the finished product to distributors and end users has been ongoing since 2020.
By now you know that it is not one single reason, but several. For example, COVID-19 shut down factories and retooled others to provide home comfort supplies as people locked down. Other factors include an earthquake in Japan that temporarily halted microchip production; a strike at a Finish paper producer, that resulted in a shortage of shipping labels; the war in the Ukraine, which contains much of the world’s supply of copper and other materials; a major outbreak of COVID-19 in Shanghai and Beijing resulting in more lockdowns; and then there is the problem of all those container ships waiting to unload, due to dockworker, trucking and storage shortages. We could go on, but you get the picture.
What that means for us – and our customers – is obtaining the products to meet the demand. We’ve been managing; some items we can get quickly, but others take a longer lead time. An order to a manufacturer once took 4 to 8 weeks, now can take 12 weeks or longer. There is small comfort in knowing no business is immune from these supply chain issue and associated logistic costs.
As a manufacturers’ rep to the essential industry professionals, including plumbers, architects, engineers, wholesalers, and mechanical contractors, we are by nature relationship focused. Our passion is meeting with our customers, understanding their needs and challenges, and providing the products they require.
We have been more communication-focused than ever when there are production issues and shipping delays. We are in constant touch with manufacturers and transportation carriers to help us know when parts and products are scheduled to arrive. We are making every effort to keep all our customers and our sales and service team in the loop. We’re also placing orders earlier to keep our inventory bolstered.
While it’s been challenging for everyone—from those who extract raw materials, to manufacturers, to suppliers, to contractors to the end user – experts are predicting a slow recovery throughout 2022, but a return to the “normal” ways of 2019 are in doubt.
In the meantime, we are doing everything we can to keep our inventory stocked. We will continue to provide you with a greater level of communication so you know when your orders will be fulfilled.
Thank you for your continued partnership with us, and your patience as we work through these issues. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your sales rep with any questions or concerns.