What is going on? Lead Times for Drive-thru Windows, Bullet-Resistant Doors, Windows, and More.
You've heard about or experienced disruptions or delays in acquiring the products you need to run your business. So what precisely is going on? What should you expect when ordering Drive-thru Windows, Drawers, Transaction Stations, Bullet-Resistant Doors and Windows, Drop Boxes, Teller Lockers, and Safes?
When lockdowns swept across the world in early 2020, the production of materials and parts used in manufacturing halted. The cascading effect has continued into 2022 with unpredictable consequences:
- Although aluminum production capacity has recovered from COVID challenges, prior to the conflict, Russia supplied roughly 18% of the U.S. Aluminum market. The net result of the sanctions imposed against Russia means a much tighter supply of aluminum, which has contributed to higher prices. We do not have a purchase position with Russian aluminum producers, but many extruders do, which directly impacts commodity pricing.
- The glazing industry as a whole is also experiencing major pricing adjustments. Our glass suppliers are reporting unparallel raw material shortages and cost increases. The cost of essential materials to fabricate glass such as urethane and additional components have increased 20% to 40% over the last three months.
- As lockdowns ended, demand grew suddenly and dramatically.
- Existing inventory sold out.
- As factories worldwide shut down, delays of materials for new production ensued.
- The supply chain backed up as freight and shipping companies suffered severe setbacks due to employee sickness and permanent employee losses. As a result, containers piled up with no one to unload them.
- Companies went out of business, putting strain on the supply of raw materials, finished materials, and parts.
- Freight and shipping companies got overbooked and overworked, newer employees did not get sufficient training, and the number of damaged deliveries increased.
- Manufacturers' and suppliers' orders spiked. As a result, many dropped smaller accounts in favor of larger national accounts. Glaziers, in particular, have suffered.
- Lead times stretched from weeks to months.
- Prices have risen dramatically on finished, durable goods every quarter since 2020.
Covenant Security Equipment is a dealer for dozens of companies that manufacture and supply Drive-thru Windows, Drawers, Transaction Stations, Bullet-Resistant Doors and Windows, Drop Boxes, Teller Lockers, and Safes. We deal with these issues multiple times daily. The most common question is, "How long will it take to get my product?"
So what can you do if you have a deadline? Consider the following tips:
- Only a few items are available with lead times of less than one week. Determine if you can make the size and features work. Sometimes, simple changes to framing can accommodate the in-stock item and make your deadline.
- For custom items, ensure you have accurate specifications when you call.
- Prepare to provide pictures, architectural drawings, and measurements before asking for a quote. Estimates return more quickly and more accurately.
- Decide what is most important for your application. Options like bullet-resistant glass, low-energy glass, and automatic closers can dramatically increase lead times. Occasionally, we can locate a returned or scratched & dent item that is functional and can work for you.
- Contact your architect or contractor to create a temporary installation for replacement when your product arrives.
- Call Covenant Security Equipment. We work with multiple manufacturers and have inside information on what is available today. We can equip you with the information you need to make a decision.
Although the issues affecting lead times likely won't change in the short term, we are here to help you navigate for the long run.