Logo: FISKRecognize and understand manufacturing challenges

Businesses looking to the future need to recognize the difficulty manufacturers are having with the supply chain.  The delay in acquiring parts and materials has significantly increased in 2021 with no resolution in the near future.  With bottlenecks and unfilled employment positions, the supply chain is experiencing a strain that is affecting businesses nationwide.

Plan Months Ahead

To maintain or grow your business, the reality is that you need to plan for more than 18 months in the future.  Take time to think about your business strategy.  Consider your customers’ needs and how they are consuming goods or services; perhaps their patterns have changed.  For example, they may be using more propane in the home if now working full time remotely at home.  Use knowledge of your customer base to forecast what your needs will be in the future.

Planning that far out is now necessary due to the challenges in the supply chain.  Within the truck manufacturing industry, for example, there have been significant challenges in regards to supply.  A truck that used to take six months to manufacture, might now take much longer, in some cases up to 18 months.  The general sentiment is that supply issues may be with us for years, rather than months.

Chassis are in low supply, and suppliers can’t build them fast enough to keep up with orders. Chassis that used to take two to three months to get, are now taking four times that at 8 months or longer.  Cranes used to take 12 weeks to acquire, and now are 36 weeks out.

Other parts that are hard to come by are axles and decking.  Axles are taking four months to get, where they used to take a couple of weeks.  The decking materials for truck beds are also being delayed within the supply chain, taking 15 weeks to get, compared to three weeks before.

Photo: Fisk

Photo: Fisk

With the increased delay in the supply chain, businesses should start their procurement process 18 months before finished goods are needed.  At Fisk Tank Carrier, we strive to meet our customers needs and timelines, but with the new supply chain issues, some things may not be possible.

Being resourceful now will save you in the future

Photo: Fisk

Photo: Fisk

Basic Maintenance Start with having a preventative maintenance program for your fleet.  Extend the life of equipment and vehicles with routine checks and care.  This will increase their longevity and may save you in the long run if you can’t get that new truck in time.

Fix Issues Now If you have an asset that needs to be fixed, don’t wait to get it fixed. The part required may not be available. With a fragile supply chain, businesses can not make assumptions on availability of parts and materials.

Big Fleet Mentality Start to think like a larger company and have a regular turnover plan.  With expectations of truck order fulfillments at 18 months, planning for turnover is critical.  Don’t hang on to vehicles until they are falling apart.  You may not be able to get the truck you need in a couple months like you could previously count on.

Have a Plan B When uncertainty creeps into your business plan, it is important to have a Plan B.  If, for example, you can’t get a boom truck, look into getting a pickup truck and a tank trailer.   If you have trucks or parts that aren’t being used right now, take some time to get them brushed off and ready for work.   It’s just possible they could save you in a pinch.

Expect High Prices to Stick Around

While prices seem high now, they may not be dropping anytime soon.  There is a lot of built-up demand and has been significant money put into the market.  For example, prices of aluminum were expected to peak in the first quarter of 2021, but they are still going up in the third quarter of the year.   We may be on the front end of the curve, and in the long run, you will think back and wish you had bought.  Expect and plan for these prices as you analyze your long-term strategy and growth.

A Quality Propane Tank Installation and Service Truck will Last

If your company is looking to invest in a propane tank service and installation truck, Fisk trucks have the durability and reliability that you will need to grow your business.  We build quality propane tank trucks and trailers that will sustain your company in the long haul.

We’ve been planning for the future so you can.  Talk to Fisk today to learn how we can help you plan for your upcoming propane tank service and installation calls.

Watch this video to see more about Fisk. 

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This page was produced by North Coast Media’s content marketing staff in collaboration with Fisk. NCM Content Marketing connects marketers to audiences and delivers industry trends, business tips and product information. The LP Gas editorial staff did not create this content.

Header photo: Fisk