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Material Shortages Will Pass: Build a Workable Plan and Stay Patient

Martin Stout Material Shortages
February 2, 2022 at 1:00 p.m.

RCS Influencer Marty Stout says the best way to cope with material shortages is to calm down, refocus and figure out a plan. 

This will continue to be a hot topic for 2022 and maybe beyond. We must get our mind right first in order to deal with the reality of shortages. I am old enough to remember the 1970’s gas shortages, long lines, odd or even day based on your license plate number and prices going over $1.00 per gallon for the first time. People would stand in line and talk, in the old days you would talk to people around you there weren’t cell phones and the internet, about why we had a shortage. Some would argue that it was the oil companies other would argue it was the President or the countries producing the oil, etc. My dad, his wisdom is not lost on me, made the point it really didn’t matter why we had a shortage we as consumers of fuel had to deal with the reality of the fact the there was a shortage calm down and figure out a plan. 

So first and foremost, stop worrying about why, that conversation can go on for the time it takes to get around the block and to the pump, calm down and figure out a plan that is workable for you and your company. 

We are working with our customers to help them see the need to be more open-minded about alternate specifications, manufactures and color options. We are working hard to communicate with our suppliers to give them as much lead time as we can and communicating projections over the next quarter and beyond so that they can help. 

Be creative. Look beyond your normal channels. We have the luxury of being in multiple markets so sometimes when something is not available in one market, we get it in another and take it where it is needed ourselves. I recently spent $600.00 overnighting a few boxes of screws and plates from Southern California to Albuquerque, NM because they were not available anywhere closer. BTW, I had to go to three supply houses to find them.    

We also recognize the need to be open and honest as we are communicating with all the parties involved - customers, suppliers, manufacturers, and installers. We need to be careful when projecting that we don’t forget to adjust as early as possible. This will build trust and better serve us going forward. If we promise to buy something, place an order, we know we better buy it or the next time we stand a very good change of not getting a place in line at all. 

They say, “This too shall pass.” I am not sure who they are and I am not sure that the material crisis we are living will pass, so the sooner we learn to build a workable plan the sooner we can move on to whatever is over the horizon. 

Marty Stout is the president of Go Roof Tune Up Inc. See his full bio here.



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