The strange, unpredictable supply chain of 2021
As we have mentioned in this space before, many people around our community are interested in making small talk about the industry as we meet them here and there around town. Most all the people we speak with are familiar with the crazy up and down of the lumber market and lumber futures. Fewer folks have a true appreciation for the "waiting game" that we once just knew as "buying materials".
Pre-Covid era the building market was fairly strong and the supply chains were humming along in an effort to meet the needs of builders and their customers. When Covid started to be something to be reckoned with, many suppliers pressed pause on production. In a relatively short time, industry watchers realized that instead of slowing the demand for products, Covid INCREASED demand for building products as people stuck at home decided to invest in their homes.
Unfortunately manufacturers were unable to ramp up capacity - fighting issues like illness, distancing requirements, state shut downs and more. Since the middle of 2020, it appears that the increased demand has continued to outpace any ability of the "makers" to catch up to the "users".
Today we see extended lead times and difficulty in getting products across multiple categories. Shortages and delays have occured in cabinets, flooring, decking, appliances, paint and more. The people that build the components that allow contractors to build/remodel homes just can't keep up!
What ideas do we have for the savvy customer who is interested in home buying or home building?
Start early! Make your selections and place your orders NOW for the best chance to get your products.
Talk to different suppliers - not everyone is in the exact same boat.
Be Patient - all the foot stomping in the world won't make those faucets show up any faster.
Partner with an experienced contractor, with multiple industry contacts. If you need a name, I know a guy...
Thanks for reading!