Aye aye aye everybody. The world is open again and we are all thinking "great, let's get back to normal". We still live in a free 2-day Amazon world but you are probably noticing that lots (if not most) other items are lagging in delivery times.
Photo & design by Benjamin Vandiver
The world of interiors has been feeling the effect with increased strength for months now. As we all stayed home to stay safe and healthy- our perspectives turned inward to the spaces we now occupied FAR more frequently and without any hope for escape. For over a year, our homes have become even more prevalent in our lives. And now, as the haze is burning off, we want to make changes. AND FAST! The only problem is that you, dear dear friend, are not the only one who has been thinking this way. Contractors, suppliers, retailers, and manufacturers are all feeling the strain of increased demand. So, first, let's talk about what's happening and why:
Supply + Demand: Everyone, and I repeat, EVERYONE has now had plenty of time at home daily notice that something isn't functioning for them, or was never completed, or just isn't their taste or style. And now that it's safe to do so, they want it rectified. Yet the labor force has not magically grown!
Manufacturing Covid Shut Downs: During the early months of 2020, most if not all, manufacturing facilities were shut down to keep people safe. They had orders they had not yet filled, then and increase new orders coming in, then a YEAR of reduced staffing and production. So many companies are reporting their best years (financially) during the pandemic as people everywhere raced to make their quarantines more comfortable. The demand did not decrease, but the amount of people required to do the work did so dramatically.
Mother Nature: In February 2021, winter storms pummeled key facilities in Texas and Louisiana. The two facilities in these states are the ONLY ones in the U.S. that produce one of the primary chemicals that is required to create foam. Yes, the essential foam that is used in all of our upholstery products. The storm itself and subsequent power outages had production offline for weeks.
Shipping & Transportation: You've probably seen the images of the literal traffic jam in the Suez Canal where a large cargo ship is turned completely sideways with thousands of containers aboard. This is a very visual example of the domino effect that Covid has had on the world's ability to ship and transport goods. This is also just a SLIVER of the issue that is slowing down the supply chain. Ports are overloaded with containers and also working on reduced staff for over a year. Containers are being received, sorted, and unpacked far slower than optimal. And as the world comes back online- this situation is going to take months, if not years to catch up.
So, here we are with WHAT & WHY furniture is taking a triple the amount of time to arrive in your beautiful homes.
But, understanding the problem, isn't the same as solving it- so WHAT can we do to avoid disappointment?
PLAN AHEAD: If you are planning a project in the next 12 months- it is never TOO soon to start planning. Do a 2-D space plan for your room and decide on the size/ scale of furniture you need so you are ready to order with plenty of time!
HAVE REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS: Even the best plan may need to pivot. That "in stock" item may actually be physically in stock at an over seas factory. But, the logistics of getting it to YOU may take weeks or months when a year or two ago they were arriving in mere days.
HIRE A DESIGNER: Give yourself the gift of professional help. Hire a designer that can help navigate which pieces you need, where to source them and when, and to ensure that your whole space will come together cohesively. And doing this PRIOR to starting construction is a HUGE bonus in avoiding disappointment when something inevitably is back ordered.
We'd love to work with you! Drop us a line about your projects and let's connect!