I saw a tweet the other day that made me laugh: ”Wordle is the sourdough starter of Omicron”, with the retweet: “just imagine your 2019 self trying to make sense of this tweet”.
The world has sure changed since 2019. When it comes to building and renovating homes, a question that literally NEVER was asked prior to last year, is now a discussion that I have with every client who enquires about renovating or building:
“How will supply chain challenges affect my project?”
Here are the 2 main factors:
1 – Price Increases
We’re seeing price increases in various areas of construction. Our current Canadian inflation rate is higher than years past, which naturally will push prices of materials and labour up. Supply chain challenges are also leading to increased demand, putting upward pressure on material costs.
2- Product Availability
From manufacturing facility shut-downs in Asia due to covid outbreaks, to shipping industry distruptions, to logistical challenges in the ports, and rapid rebounding of global demand, there is not one singular reason for the challenges our industry is experiencing.
Don’t worry, though! We have solutions!
So, how can you proceed with your project, with these issues looming?
Figure out everything before you start construction.
Before we start construction on a project, every single detail of the project needs to be documented, specified, budgeted, quoted and ordered! The price of your kitchen sink can’t increase if we’ve already paid for it, and it’s in our (or your) possession waiting in our storage facility, a rented steel container, or even your garage or basement, to be installed at the right time. By investing the time and energy into figuring out every single detail ahead of time, we can negate the VAST majority of the supply chain issues. If everything is budgeted, quoted and ordered ahead of construction, you’ll save yourself major risks due to cost overruns and schedule delays.
Adapt when needed
Sometimes, we do everything right, but still fall victim to factors beyond our control. We’ve documented everything. We’ve confirmed the order for your appliances and paid for them MANY MONTHS before they’re needed on site. We should be storing them for you, but in the weeks leading up to install dates, we’re informed that the promised appliances are stuck on a container ship somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic.
The first step is to explore any and every option for sourcing from a different supplier. Your Kenorah designer and project manager will do EVERYTHING in their power to search our network of suppliers, and will locate a replacement, if at all possible. IF there are no viable replacements, we’ll typically look at 2 options: find a temporary solution, or find a similar alternative. If your fridge is a month out from arrival, and we’re starting a renovation down the road where we’re pulling out the appliances from that home, perhaps we can find take their used fridge, and install it in your home, temporarily (it’s happened). Increasingly, appliance retailers are providing “loaner” appliances to borrow until the backordered appliances arrive.
The last resort is always to find something different. Maybe your Miele fridge that is stuck in the Atlantic could be replaced with a locally available Blomberg fridge, of the same size and features. It’s rare that we get to this point, but our team is always ready and willing to do the “behind the scenes” work to ensure that our clients have peace of mind knowing their project will be completed on-time, on-budget, and that the challenges due to supply chain challenges and disruptions are managed professionally, and collaboratively.
Yes, supply chain challenges will affect your project, but with thorough planning in advance combined with the willingness to pivot when needed, you’ll be fine!