Mid-Cape Home Centers Supply Chain Insights
Supply Chain Insights
COVID-19 is causing many disruptions to supply chains in all industries, and building materials are no different. While our inventory remains ample, we’d like to give you a brief overview of how our supplier partners have been impacted so far, and what this means for you in the near future.
While the feelings of hope and semi-restored normalcy are on the horizon for many, production for some vendors will continue to be affected by the repercussions of the pandemic.
- The national demand for treated lumber has been unrelenting. The last two weeks have seen a wild scramble to cover record demand from big box stores – especially in the southern states. Consumers not able to spend travel dollars are turning to home improvements—paint is the only category ahead of treated in the big box world. Market uncertainty as the pandemic progressed led many treaters to take modest inventory positions fearing they would not see normal seasonal demand
This has led to some of the spot shortages we are current dealing with. Hardest to source are:
- 10’ and 12’ 4×4
- 10’, 12’ and 20’ 2×10
- 5-1/2” landscape timbers.
- By the end of this week most needs should be covered except the 5-1/2” timbers which will remain an inventory challenge for rest of the year.
- Boston Cedar (US Lumber) will be resuming Monday deliveries to us on 6/1
- Marvin lead time extensions continue:
- Signature now +4 weeks
- Elevate now +2 weeks
- Essential production is stable and current lead times will continue
While much continues to remain the same, we have noticed the following…
- Many suppliers have put plans in place to limit their daily deliveries to a less frequent schedule beginning next week, so please continue to plan and allow for the various lead times.
- We continue to see an average of one-week extended timelines across many of our vendors.
- Interfor, one of our cedar manufacturers in Canada is now closed indefinitely. We have plenty of product on the ground, with that being said, be aware that longer lengths or unusual sizes may be more difficult to come by.
- Jeld-Wen – IWP Wood Exterior Door plant in Tijuana has been shut down by the Mexican Government until 4/30, open orders will not ship until reopening.
US produced products, manufactured at plants that are considered non-essential businesses, like used railroad ties out of New York, will not be produced until the essential business lockdowns are lifted.
- With new plant closures occurring, it is important to note that distributors still have plenty of their product on the ground, however brands are subject to availability.
- If you are concerned about any of the above details, products, or lead time extensions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your Mid-Cape Representative.
- Ports are continuing to close around the world, now impacting some countries like New Zealand, Chile, and other parts of South America. Our distributors like Lifespan, WindsorOne, and our mouldings vendors did a great job planning in the short period of time they had and were able to ensure ample inventory on the ground for us to continue to be able to meet your needs.
- In both the US and Canada, we’ve seen a few additional plant closures for social distancing-purposes like Azek and Masonite doors but we have plenty of product and they will be resuming production next week. Manufacturers are beginning to warn distributors that longer lead times will likely occur as we make our way into Q2, they are working with us to remain transparent and plan around it. Please continue to plan a little further ahead to help us combat this.
Yes, We’ve Still GOT WOOD…
- The core products you purchase from Mid-Cape are mainly produced in US and Canada:
Although Travel is suspended between these countries, trade is still permitted at this time, not causing many supply chain interuptions.
- Some of these products include, Lumber, Panels, Engineered Wood, Wood/Roof Shingles and more.
COVID-19 Driven Sourcing Changes…
- Many products once produced in Asia have moved manufacturing operations to other countries and are experiencing no supply issues at this time.
What We’re Keeping an Eye On…
- Canadian provinces are starting to dictate which manufacturing sectors can remain open and Quebec has put a hold on all White Cedar Shingle manufacturing.
- Due to current Canadian restrictions and foreign port closures, there may be extended lead times on some molded and stile and rail doors.
- US plants are similarly governed by state, so some of our manufacturers in places like Pennsylvania are shutting down what they deem non-essential, things like Flooring and Kitchen manufacturing, while PVC and Hardwood manufacturers are currently operational.
- Many foreign ports have recently closed due to the virus which could potentially impact our supply of Lifespan, IPE, and Mahogany products in Q3 and beyond.
- In general, US lumber/panel mills are producing 10-20% less due to a combination of the virus and uncertainty in the lumber pricing market. There is still plenty of product already on the ground, and many are doing whatever they can to overcome operational challenges and get their products manufactured. That said, we are starting to see some lead time extensions across the country. Not dramatic, but we’re watching it for you.
Many of our distributors are affected by the same personnel issues as everyone else: employees needing to stay home for childcare, government-mandated “stay at home” orders, and trucking issues with a lack of open rest stops for long haul drivers. This has added a few speed bumps to our procurement process, so some products are currently taking a bit longer to get, and we expect that to continue for the foreseeable future.
Also, many of our distributors are playing it safe from an inventory standpoint and scaling down on how much they stock on hand due to the near-term uncertainty, so some products that we don’t stock may not be as readily-available as they have been in the past – so as a general rule, expect some longer lead times.
To ensure these speed bumps don’t have a ripple effect on your projects cycle time, please adjust accordingly and feel free to ask any questions necessary.
A Note From Mid-Cape to You
Despite these disruptions, we want to assure you that we are in good shape: we have plenty of product on the ground and great working relationships with our suppliers. We are monitoring the manufacturing issues very closely and ordering well in advance. We also made significant purchases in other areas before the virus-related issues set in (Azek, White Cedar Shingles, CertainTeed, etc.). We can’t predict the future, but we’re planning on the lead time extensions to continue as everyone weathers through these issues. We’ll do our best to combat and work around them. Again, planning is key, so we suggest you try to look a little bit further ahead then typical.
If you know of a project coming up with any of these products, reach out to your Mid-Cape contact and we will be sure to stay on top of it together.