On Feb 5th and March 11th, we reported some supply chain issues where manufacturers (mfgs) were struggling to provide products on a timely basis. Specifically, many suppliers are having extremely long lead times for simple items, long term product shortages, and escalating prices. We are sorry to say that the situation has continued to get worse, and we don’t yet see an end in sight.
Our role is not to alarm you, but to alert you…. so that you can prepare accordingly.
Why the shortages?
- Pandemic: Covid-related factory labor and materials shortages, furloughed workers due to lower demand, plants starting to ramp up
- Facilities Reopening: Equipment failures need replacement, deferred projects back in production
- Import Issues: Manufacturing issues overseas, mfgs that imported or relied on foreign-made products have experienced more delays
- Closure of Ports: Of the products produced, some couldn’t get into the US, due to ports being closed when states, including California were shut down
- Lack of Containers: Since so many shipping containers are in limbo, there is now a shortage of 20’ and 40’ containers, delaying international shipping and increasing prices
- Lower Number of International Flights: Trying to avoid container shipments, no luck…. cut in international travel has meant fewer flights to carry freight and higher prices
- Texas Freeze: 40,000 heaters were reportedly lost in the recent freeze, depleting inventories and causing huge heater backlogs, PVC pipes and valves shortages from repiping frozen systems
- Chlorine Plant Fire: Late 2020 chlorine plant fire during Hurricane Laura reduced supply, and reduced inventories of alternate chemicals
- Hoarding: Much like early Pandemic toilet paper issues, some companies have gobbled up diminishing inventories, further worsening crisis
- July 2021 Pump Energy Code: Pump shortages from all of the above, some mfgs are starting to wind down production of non-compliant pumps, creating additional issues
Sounds like a perfect storm (no pun intended), but this is a reality that we are seeing roll out every day. But, not all CES products were equally affected. Here is a quick recap of what is affected and what isn’t.
- CES Chemical Controllers, Parts & Accessories: US-Made, good inventories, little short term supply or pricing issues
- Liquid Chemical Feeders: US-Made, great supply of Stenner Feeders, few apparent supply or pricing issues at this time
- Pulsar Feeders: US-Made, Short Term delays but generally in stock with minimal supply or pricing issues
- Saline / UV: US-Made, raw material and labor issues increase lead times and pricing, but still available with reasonable lead times
- Pulsar Chemicals: US-Made, great supplies, no shortages in sight, price increase and short term tariff
- Test Kits: US-Made, great supplies, no shortages, minimal delays in shipping
- PFDx: Generally OK, but some delays on some sizes, as companies prepare for future Energy Code
- Heaters: Texas freeze contributed to cause 4-8 week delay, backlog, shortages
- MCC-VFD: US-Made but parts and Covid labor issues causing 6-8 week lead times
- Filters: US-Made but raw material shortages and labor issues causing 8-12 week lead times
- Large Pumps: US-Made but material shortages and labor issues balloon lead times to 6-10 weeks
- Small Pumps: Forget about it. Texas freeze, hoarding, and energy code making lead times 10-12 weeks
Hope that helps.
What can be done to navigate these turbulent times?
- Take care of what you have: PM and proactive service really helps here
- Plan Ahead: Little is going to get done quickly in the NOT OK group
- Be Patient: Everyone is trying their best to resolve supply chain issues, but it is going to take time
CES is here to assist you in maintaining your operations during this difficult time.
Please contact your CES rep to help assist you in evaluating your options on site, or planning future modernizations.
Schedule a tech call to discuss PM or service issues, or for emergency service.
Please know that CES is trying its very best to serve you……we’ll get through this.