06/23/2023 by Christine Morris
HVAC contractors and plumbers continue to face supply chain woes like material shortages and rising costs.
Battling these issues is making it tougher for HVAC contractors and plumbers to meet their customer’s demands in the short term and perhaps even longer. Here’s what HVAC contractors and plumbers can do to rise above.
If current suppliers can’t meet your needs, then it’s a good time to explore other ones. Many suppliers are ready to strike up new relationships and may be willing to be more flexible with contracts. Shopping with multiple suppliers will not only gain you access to more resources but can offer you more varied pricing options to consider.
It might be worth checking into other materials as they may be easier to get your hands on. Considering other brands of materials or equipment can keep your projects from staying stagnant.
In difficult times like these, communication can be something that gives your company a competitive edge. Not only is it a vital aspect of a successful business, but it helps build trust and long-lasting relationships. While no one likes delivering bad news about backorders or delays, keeping your customers informed will go far, as they’ll appreciate your honesty and transparency.
While material shortages and delays are out of your hands, great customer service will keep your current customers and help you gain new ones. In addition, extra attention to customer service can help address any frustrations among your customers. While these challenges may not last forever, your reputation will, so make sure yours remains good, if not great.
Many HVAC contractors and plumbers often only order the materials and equipment as needed. Instead, plan and stock up on the materials you most often use for your projects. This way, you’ll have what you need ready instead of waiting for materials to deliver.
Trying different modes of transportation could help you offset your increased costs. Keep an eye on transportation costs across the different modes available. Being more flexible with your freight shipping can give you some financial benefits.
Logistics technology, like a transportation management system (TMS), has tools available to help you stay on top of your supply chain and plan efficiently. One example is helping you with your routing decisions by matching your freight with the best carriers, lanes, rates, and transit service. It will also enable you to better track and manage any service disruptions or shipment delays in real-time, thus increasing your service levels and improving your customer relationships.
Onshoring is a strategy that HVAC contractors and plumbers can use to mitigate supply chain woes and improve competitiveness. Onshoring strategy can ensure resilience in your supply chain and give your company a competitive edge.
Onshoring refers to the overall practice of moving manufacturing operations from foreign soil back to the United States or outsourcing to domestic contract manufacturers rather than overseas. An example of onshoring would be having operations moved to Mexico versus China.
Onshoring allows your supply chain shorter travel times since materials and products are much closer than if they were overseas. This not only keeps your projects moving that much quicker but reduces your transportation costs. Additionally, you’ll also have the benefit of being greener due to less fuel being used.
According to the 2020 Annual Third-Party Logistics Study, 67 percent of shippers stating using a 3PL contributed to reducing their logistics cost, while 83 percent said it improved their service. By outsourcing to a 3PL, like Trinity Logistics, you won’t have to spend hours worrying about your logistics and get the help you may need to be more flexible with your shipping options.
“In this market where it’s difficult to meet demand and project deadlines due to material and product shortages, it may not be the best option to send it via LTL as you may save a few dollars on the front end but pay for it with extended estimated transit times, and the possibility of the parts being damaged as they go from terminal to terminal throughout transit. Working with a 3PL, like Trinity Logistics, can bring you other possibilities on how to move your freight efficiently, such as dedicated full truck options, expedited (straight trucks/sprinter vans), partial, and hot shot options to keep your freight moving to arrive on time so you can achieve your project deadlines.”
– Michael Whitaker, Business Development Representative at Trinity Logistics
If you’re looking for a reliable 3PL provider to help with your HVAC supply chain, consider Trinity Logistics. With Trinity, you gain a Team of experts to help optimize your supply chain, help arrange shipping using other modes, and end-to-end visibility through our available technology.
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