SUPPLY CHAIN STRAIN AND INFINITY GROUP’S SOLUTION
Infinity Group first published this article about the supply chain strain in August 2021, and we checked back in with our team closest to our procurement work. As it stands today in October 2021, lead times for furniture, especially commercial grade furniture that has a fabric component, are even longer than this summer.
Why? Our take is that demand is high for return to office projects. Companies we are working with feel an increased level of comfort with committing to a return to office plan that includes major and minor renovations and new furniture.
Infinity Group brings together Strategy, Design, Architecture, Engineering, and Construction. Our methodology gives our clients an advantage that is especially important given the current supply chain strain. How? When you work with Infinity Group’s integrated team, everyone who will work on your project is dialed in from day one. We will recommend and source products that fit into your custom budget and timeline. In short, we will deliver.
1987. Manufacturers say that supplier lead time hasn’t been this long in almost 35 years. That’s according to a report published on forconstructionpros.com. What does that mean for companies in the midst of return to office projects? Unprecedented wait times.
And it’s not just lead times.
Prices are also on the rise. That same report notes that aluminum prices have been on the rise for 12 weeks in a row.
In the interest of transparency, we want to make sure our clients and companies interested in our work know exactly what is happening in the market. We worked with our preconstruction and construction crews here at Infinity Group to compile this rough timeline for some of the most used supplies in a workspace renovation project. In short, demand for building supplies is up and that’s translating into longer project timelines.
Here is what our team reports as far as the current supply chain strain.
Large quantities of aluminum for projects are taking about eight weeks to arrive on construction sites. Big quantities of glass needed for office interiors are taking 10 weeks. Steel is taking six weeks. And commercial grade furniture is taking 10 weeks to arrive. This is not normal.
“Our teams started to notice lead times creeping right as COVID-19 started to take hold in March 2020 and suppliers began shutting down or restricting capacity,” said Ron Wilson, Infinity Group Preconstruction Manager.
At that point, so many industries had halted or slowed production on commonly used materials, and it never really recovered as demand for material began to spike in mid-2020 further exacerbating the supply chain glut.
“In fact, the lead times continued to grow, and this summer have hit an all-time high as much of the country lifted COVID-19 related restrictions,” said Wilson.
When Infinity Group saw this trend taking shape, we quickly mobilized our teams around a solution.
We decided to bring our construction team into the design process even earlier to identify potential lead time challenges,. This allows for re-specification or critical guidance on material impact on project timelines.
Wilson adds, “That means our schedules can remain intact while preserving the design integrity of the project at a time of tremendous challenge.”
When it comes to a workspace redesign project, the disciplines can be at odds or they can be stronger together.
This is a time to onboard a trusted team that is with you from the beginning to the end of your workspace renovation project. You can read some of our client testimonials here, including one from our client Belimo (pictured above). We completed their project during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s a little about what they had to say about the Infinity Group method.
“Excellent management and communication, and a very high quality finished product, on time and on budget,” said Dan Hobbs, Belimo Vice President, Production Americas.
Our method at Infinity Group is well-suited for this unique moment. That’s because we bring all the trades together, including strategy, architecture, design, engineering, and construction. Contact us today to get started on your own project, and we’ll promise to always give you honest timelines and clear costing throughout your project.