It’s exciting to see life gradually returning to normal! However, many things in our industry are not returning to normal and we felt an update on our industry, specifically regarding inventory and lead times would be helpful.
Before we get into it, we want to be clear that we are not providing this information as built-in excuses, but rather to provide you with some context for the shifting landscape happening in our industry.
In the past, or pre-pandemic, inventory was widely available, lead times were around two to three weeks and orders could be expedited if needed by working with the suppliers and paying additional fees. This has changed in recent months and is likely to continue through the end of 2021 and possibly beyond.
Today, inventory can be scarce, lead times are longer and there is little to no flexibility on the delivery times from suppliers. While this is not an ideal situation, we feel the most important thing is to be aware of the reality of it and work with you to plan accordingly.
So what are some things our team is doing to respond to the changing environment?
1. Checking Inventory Frequently – We do our best to confirm inventory on each new order. With that said, other customers order from the same inventory which can cause it to change rapidly. We cannot be sure we have secured inventory until we send a PO, but we try to keep you informed throughout the process and get orders submitted as quickly as we can!
2. Confirming Lead Times – We are working closely with vendors on each order to confirm lead times as best we can. One thing to keep in mind is that FedEx and UPS appear to be overloaded right now. While they have never guaranteed ground shipping transit times, it seems to be an issue recently much more so than in the past. Things are slightly less predictable, but we are finding that a little extra effort can help keep things on track!
3. Following Up – Once an order is in process, our team will diligently follow up to ensure things are moving along as promised. Things do come up, but as long as the inventory is available and not on backorder when the order is placed, orders seem to be moving forward according to plan!
We pride ourselves on being your partner and not just your vendor, and we look forward to working through this with you!