Looking forward to 2022
I hope you are well. In late June, I sent an email on supply chain issues and the rising cost of metal. Here is my six-month update:
In my last update, I said things would be better in early 2022 for metal availability and pricing. I quit saying that a couple of months ago as the situation has not improved. Unfortunately, 2022 looks to be pretty similar to this year.
Currently we face shortages from high demand, a worldwide lack of raw materials, and scarcity of individual chemical components. Things have gotten complicated with port delays and spiraling shipping costs. At the root of everything is COVID and its impact on the workforce. Now many already-delayed shipments are further delayed by a limited workforce. Unexpectedly high demand and shifts in consumer preferences are contributing to the difficulties too.
Further complicating things is the vaccine or testing/masking mandate coming in January. Unlike many industry players, Isaiah Industries has fewer than 100 team members. However, virtually all our domestic suppliers do and are subject to the mandate. I am very concerned about the impact this will have on an already stressed and troubled supply chain.
Increased demand for electric vehicles, solar products, and electronics also dramatically affects building materials and metal roofing. These industries all need raw materials and chemicals integral to our supply chain (including PVDF), and high-profile manufacturers are willing to pay extreme prices to keep their output high.
I expect shortages and delays to continue in 2022. As for prices, a few large building products producers recently announced significant price increases. While Isaiah Industries IS NOT announcing a price increase at this time, the raw materials and metals market indicate that we may need to. As always, we are doing our best to find efficiencies and savings in other areas to avoid changing our prices. While the challenges we saw in 2021 will continue in 2022, not all is gloom and doom. We can take comfort in a robust market with high demand for quality products. Although it feels like the playing field has shifted with extended lead times and higher prices, we will get through this. We have seen hard times before, and the resiliency of our industry always pulls us through.
At Isaiah, we are blessed with a stable and committed team. As you know, we have remained open throughout the pandemic and are constantly working to manage our backlog and keep our customers informed. Also, we are in constant communication with our critical suppliers to bolster those relationships and be as informed as possible.
The best things we can do:
- Work with customers to implement our recently enhanced visualizer and our Ingage platform for in-home sales. These will help you sell the value of our products.
- Turn in your orders as soon as possible, even with a delayed shipping date. As availability decreases, we have shrunk our paint runs for greater flexibility. While this helps us meet needs, it creates a tight window from raw material to finished product and little flexibility to add new orders into our months-long schedule. So, the more we know about your exact needs, and the sooner we know those details, the better.
Thank you very much for your loyalty and patience during these times. If there is any information we can provide or anything we can help you with, call or email us. We remain committed to you and the metal roofing industry despite the challenges ahead.
Todd Miller has spent his entire career in the metal building products manufacturing industry. He is president of Isaiah Industries, an organization recognized as one of the world’s leading metal roofing manufacturers. Todd is currently Vice President of the MRA (Metal Roofing Association) and a Past Chair of MCA (Metal Construction Association). Through his website, he strives to raise the bar on standards and practices to provide property owners with the best possible products for successful roofing projects.
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