By now, you’ve probably noticed the challenges many industries are facing due to shipping delays. Well, the hard truth these days is, in order to avoid delays, products need to be purchased and deliveries need to be scheduled far in advance. Otherwise, you run the risk of missed deadlines… and that’s just not how we do things.
How has the pandemic caused problems in shipping?
COVID-19 and shipping delays are in a cause and effect relationship. According to the UNCTAD, “changes in consumption and shopping patterns triggered by the pandemic, including a surge in electronic commerce, as well as lockdown measures, have in fact led to increased import demand for manufactured consumer goods, a large part of which is moved in shipping containers.”
With such high demand for products produced overseas, there just haven’t been enough cargo containers. Many shipping ports have even been forced to close due to a lack of dock workers (who are either temporarily out due to the illness or decided to stay home altogether).
Understanding the effects on your orders.
Here’s a quick example of how supply chain issues can affect any industry: If you’ve ever dined at a restaurant, you know there are two critical components that keep it running: product and staff. Without food or people to serve it, restaurants would have a difficult time keeping customers satisfied and coming back.
Similarly, our industry relies on efficient product manufacturing and supply chain distribution in order to meet our customers goals and deadlines. And though shipping problems amplified by COVID-19 can easily cause delays in these processes, our team is working harder than ever to ensure every Smarter Furnishings customer still receives the products they need on time.
Wondering how we do it? First and foremost, we got ahead of the curve.
Increase your lead time to help prevent delays!
The famous saying goes: “don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.” In the custom furnishings industry, we’re able to help proactively mitigate delays by increasing lead times.
Pre-COVID, summer was one of our busiest times, as schools and universities need furniture in order to open their dorm doors to students. Now, we’re no longer waiting until the following summer to serve our Education industry customers and their students. In fact, we’re already reaching out to ALL of our customers to kickstart discussions about next year’s orders and allow for extra time to plan accordingly—because there is no such thing as ordering “too soon.”
This ability to adapt to today’s economic situation has shifted our operations to encourage tomorrow’s orders today, and we’re confident our customers (and their customers) will appreciate this advance in lead time later.
Getting better everyday: It’s what we do.
We’re not the first to say it and we won’t be the last, but today’s economic environment truly is an unprecedented situation for everyone. That’s why we’ve also adapted internally by promoting a “get better everyday” philosophy throughout our entire company and leveraging the latest technology to communicate with customers and vendors more efficiently.
While many furniture providers have a contingency plan “B” or “C,” we’re proactively prepared with plans “M” and “N.” With our improvements to operational efficiency and an enhanced focus on early ordering, we help ensure students, guests, and patients receive what they need, no matter what.
What’s ahead for projects…
Despite the fact that shipping delays are likely going to be around for a while, projects continue to ramp up as the investment community is beginning to see furniture in a whole new light. Buyers in many industries are actively looking to beat the competition and acquire new facility tenants—and one way they’re doing that is with their furnishings.
“We’re noticing a competitiveness for tenants, meaning nicer amenities and furnishings. We think this trend will continue as more businesses and facilities look to draw in students, guests, and patients with high-quality furniture.” – Johnny Collins, Partner/CEO
In addition, we’re excited to be gearing up to launch a brand new product line, on top of our recently-added line, Acacia. The products in these lines were specifically designed to help alleviate certain concerns around shipping, and our team is readily available to speak with you about these options. With us here to help, you’ll rest easy knowing we’ve got you covered!
Ready to meet? We offer livestream demonstrations from our showroom or in-person presentations at your convenience. Give us a call at (205) 621-2502 or contact us online today.