Industry Wide Supply Chain Challenges

 

Just as early 2020 represented a complete nosedive in terms of demand – 2021 is proving to be the exact opposite – with many companies reporting record breaking levels of demand for windows & door installations.

It’s clear that the need for our products never disappeared – simply that homeowners delayed their purchase. All the pent up demand that was built up during mid-2020 in the first lockdown and then stuttered to a false start in late 2020 has now developed into a full scale tsunami of demand in early 2021.

This is great news because it shows that homeowner confidence is strong, people clearly have savings to spend and what better way to spend it than on improving the home that they have spend the majority of their time in during lockdowns (especially given that holidays are still uncertain at this time).

With great demand comes great challenges. Every double glazing company is facing the same issues at the moment – put simply the demand is far outstripping supply. All of the supply chain within the industry is reporting the same story. The most basic components that we rely upon have become extremely difficult to source and cost prices have increased accordingly. Items that used to arrive in two days are now typically taking ten days and special orders that would normally arrive in one month are now sometimes taking three months or longer.

Unfortunately this is an industry-wide symptom of the global pandemic. To name a few basic examples; silicone has become extraordinarily difficult to source – global supply of it’s component parts is scarce and this has led to many shortages, in response companies have taken to stockpiling as much as they can to protect their businesses which further exacerbates the problem. Even basic items such as plaster and timber – so widely used in our industry have become rare from time to time. The delivery time of anything that is delivered on a pallet is extremely unpredictable. Most industries are in the same boat as us. We all share the same distribution hubs for the safe transport of our purchased goods. All hubs are reporting a large increase in demand and a shortage of drivers, which combines to make deliveries something of a lottery at the moment.

As well as supply issues we are also finding that staffing is becoming more of an issue than it was last year. We are following Government guidelines strictly so if a member of staff is symptomatic & waiting for a Covid 19 test result we are enforcing the relevant isolation periods so that we protect the health of our staff and our customers alike. On top of this most companies are acutely aware that staff members are juggling increased childcare responsibilities as well as work commitments. If a school year bubble is compromised, that child’s parents become responsible to look after children at home which means in many cases that they cannot be present at work. This is a pattern repeated over and over again all over the country in all industries including ours.

Unfortunately, all of this is having an effect upon the timescales we are able to commit to. We pride ourselves on the predictability of our customer service and we are continually taking steps to reassure our clients that we are doing everything in our power to mitigate against anything that may detract from the experience they have with our company.

However, some things are out of our control at this unprecedented time. We expect that things will begin to return to normal at some point but for the foreseeable future and certainly for the rest of 2021 it seems that the boom in demand for windows and doors will continue.

If you have any questions then please contact one of the Design Team on 0121 451 3724.

 

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