Better Understanding Supply Chain Issues and Product Delays

Over the past nearly two years, every industry has felt the burden of supply chain issues, leading to product shortages and delays. This is especially true for the construction and home improvement industries. 

Here at Rufty Homes, we’re still proudly serving customers in the Triangle and will continue to do so. However, we want to be open with you about anticipated product delays so you know what to expect when you decide to build a custom home or plan a luxury renovation. 

Let’s take a closer look at the underlying causes of these issues and what we’re doing on our end to continue providing superior service to our customers. 

What Is Causing Supply Chain Issues?

The truth is that there’s no single reason for these ongoing supply chain issues. Rather, there are a few different factors at play that are causing these product delays. 

The Pandemic

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is still impacting the supply chain, especially as new variants of the virus emerge. At the start of the pandemic, many manufacturing facilities were operating at less than capacity, causing delays that are still being felt today. 

Additionally, since many people have spent more time at home over the past two years, home improvement projects are in higher demand, leading to even more delays. 

Trucking Shortages

Another underlying factor is that the US is currently short by about 80,000 truck drivers. With fewer truck drivers on the road, it’s taking longer for supplies and finished products to reach their destinations. 

Suez Canal Blockage

Back in March, a cargo ship got stuck in the Suez Canal, blocking off a crucial trade path through which 12% of global trade supplies pass through daily. The impacts were felt almost immediately and continue to impact the supply chain now, several months later. 

The Ice Storm in Texas

Earlier this year, Texas suffered a devastating ice storm, knocking out power for millions. This caused significant supply chain issues in the weeks after the storm, not just in Texas, but in the rest of the country as well. In fact, in terms of the home building industry, this unusual snowstorm has had the biggest impact on the supply chain issues we’re still facing. 

But just why were the effects so far-reaching? 

During the ice storm, critical machinery that produces so many of the products we use every day froze and could no longer operate. To make matters even worse, the storm made it nearly impossible to deliver the proper parts to repair the machinery, leading to even more production delays. 

More specifically, the snowstorm led to disruptions in petrochemical facilities along the Gulf Coast that are responsible for manufacturing adhesives. As a result, we’re still going through a glue shortage, which has led to a shortage of hundreds of other products that can’t be made without adhesives.  

Another example of the far-reaching impact of this snowstorm is the ongoing paint shortage that the whole country is currently experiencing. The Texas snowstorm as well as an increase in home improvement projects during the pandemic has led to a lack of paint and a more than 10% increase in prices for paint that is in stock.

While these events may seem like they’re partly isolated incidents, it’s all connected. After all, it’s called a supply chain because it all links together. Manufacturing disruptions from the snowstorm combined with truck driver labor shortages and emerging COVID variants have led to significant delays regardless of industry. 

supply chain issues

How Supply Chain Issues Might Affect Your Home Improvement Project

Now, knowing more about the causes behind the supply chain issues, let’s focus on the important part: how this impacts you. 

Our team at Rufty Homes is working to stay on top of updates from our manufacturing partners, so we can give you accurate estimates about product delays when starting your project. We’ve been notified of extended lead times on many of the products we install and understand that they will likely cause delays with project scheduling. 

While that aspect is out of our hands, it’s our job to communicate with you and be transparent about what to expect. We’re also working with our customers to make decisions earlier in the building process to help combat delays. For example, we used to be able to get paint samples within a day or two. Now, it can take two weeks to get those samples. To help mitigate the impact on the production timeline, we’re now recommending that our homeowners make their paint selections earlier in the process. 

Of course, we will continue to closely monitor the situation and provide you with updates when demand and supply levels fluctuate and your project manager will communicate with you so you know what to expect about the specifics of your project. 

Contact Our Team Today

We appreciate your patience as our team navigates this “new normal” and are happy to answer any questions you may have at any time. For more information about product delays due to supply chain issues, please contact your project manager for more information.

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© 2022 Rufty Homes Inc. All rights reserved