Supply Chain Challenges
As contractors and construction professionals, our entire industry has shifted with the devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic. Shortages have led to price hikes for vital products and equipment. For example, we’re all too familiar with the lumber crisis and the implications it had on our businesses, our clients, and our industry as a whole. Unfortunately, shortages of supplies and other resources don’t seem to be going away any time soon. However, there are steps we as business owners can take to ease the burden of supply chain disruption in our industry.
Communication is Key
The supply chain challenges have not only affected construction businesses, but the increase in cost has translated down to the clients we work with. Having clear, regular, and informative methods of communication can help ease— and even avoid —certain problems that may arise due to supply chain challenges.
Redwood highlights the value of communication, reporting “Communicating as much as possible through access to data, visibility of the supply chain in motion, and accurate up-to-date information is key. Utilizing technology that allows clients to address and respond to shifts and changes in real-time will lead to greater customer satisfaction.”
Order Materials ASAP
As soon as a design is finalized, order the materials as far in advance as possible. Multi-Housing News points out the practicality of this from a pricing and planning standpoint— “By ordering and purchasing the items at an earlier stage, it allows developers to lock in the price and avoid unpleasant future surprises and price increases due to supply shortages, or drastic swings of exchange rates if materials are bought overseas.”
Plan, Review, and Assess
The availability of materials, pandemic mandates, and consumer demands are changing constantly and rapidly. In a world of relative uncertainty, it’s important to have a plan in place, review the plan regularly, and assess what changes need to be made to mitigate damage to your business. Keep a pulse on the global and local market to know the best course of action for your company.
Perspective is important as we continue to work through the lingering challenges of a global pandemic. Supply chain challenges won’t last forever— we’re already seeing price hikes decrease into the normal range for certain products. Levelset reminds us that “it’s important to note [price increases in the supply chain] do not mean inflation is here for good. Rather, the current issues may only persist in the short term.”
Keep working hard and stay committed to your projects, clients, and business overall. Better days are ahead for the construction industry!