Longer lead times are an inevitable part of the business cycle. There is no way to avoid them. However, as a homeowner embarking on various home improvement projects, it is crucial to know how long it will be before you see the outcome of your work.
What are long lead times?
A long lead time is defined as the amount of time between purchasing inventory or ordering an item and when customers can receive the merchandise or service. This can range from a few days to several months.
What home projects are impacted by long lead times?
Any project that involves purchasing long lead time materials is subject to the long lead time and will be impacted by increased costs and delays. This can include:
The time it takes for a roof to be completed, from the time materials are ordered until the time the roof is installed, can add months to your project. This can cause you to cancel your plans or postpone work on another part of your home.
A home improvement project requiring carpet or vinyl flooring can have a long lead time. This means the order will have to sit on the shelf for a while before you can install it. A long lead time also means that your project will cost more in the long run.
3. Bathroom remodeling
The materials you need to complete a bathroom remodel can be very expensive. This means that you will be paying high prices for the supplies. If you need to wait on materials, the cost of your project will continue to rise.
4. Kitchen remodeling
The kitchen is the heart of the home. It is no wonder that most homeowners want to update their kitchens. When installing new countertops, you have to have all of the materials and supplies you need. This can mean waiting on a shipment for long lead time items or waiting for the sink to be installed before starting working on your project.
Painting a room in your home is a quick project. However, it can take weeks to months for the paint to dry before you can move on to other projects. If you are working with long lead time items such as paint, this can cause delays and increased costs.
How do supply chains contribute to long lead times?
The supply chain is a complex network of companies and people that works together to get raw materials from suppliers to manufacturers, distributors, and retailers. The supply chain is often a significant contributor to the long lead times found in home improvement projects. Here is how the supply chain can contribute:
1. Manufacturing time
The time it takes to manufacture an item is often the longest part of the supply chain. The manufacturing process can take months, even years, from when raw materials are purchased to when it is released for sale. It ends up taking a long time because the raw materials must be prepared and processed before they can be used.
2. Transportation time
Products bought from overseas have an extended lead time due to transportation problems. The air freight company may have trouble delivering the materials. The owner of the material will have to pay extra to receive it sooner.
3. Distribution time
With a supply chain of larger companies, the product may have to be transported to many different locations. At any one of these locations, there may not be a large enough amount of inventory to buy all the products that need to be purchased. This means that the products will not be viewed from a large enough perspective to make necessary adjustments.
4. Sourcing time
Finding suitable raw material is an integral part of the supply chain. It isn’t easy to find the right company and material. The product may take months to arrive, or it may be impossible to find the product at all.
5. Consumer demand
The consumer in a supply chain tends to be the last point of contact. As a result, there is a large disconnect between the consumer and the source. There is less communication between the two parties, and more problems arise from the lack of communication.
6. Delivery Times
There is a very long lead time for many products until the product is actually delivered. This can be due to a wide disparity between how long it takes to get the product to a store, as opposed to how long it takes for delivery within the store.
In summary, every person and company in a supply chain can contribute to long lead times. The longer the process of making a product, the more potential mistakes and breakdowns occur. You can hire a professional for your home project; that way, you know the project will be completed to your satisfaction. Lakeside Quality Building Products, Inc. provides construction project services to residential and commercial customers. These services include home remodeling, interior, and exterior remodel, addition construction, and new home build.