Currently, we are suffering through a perfect storm that has created supply chain issues in just about every industry you can think of, and the pool business is no exception. Whether it is automobiles, manufacturing goods, or services, problems getting the supplies needed to build or produce end products are rampant and severe. Difficulty obtaining key components and raw materials is causing a very low supply of products such as vehicles and smartphones. Add into the equation that the demand for products is very high and you have a very serious situation.
The pool industry is seeing a tremendous boom in demand, yet we are entrenched in the supply chain shortage just like other industries. In this article, we want to shed some light on the reasons why supply chain issues exist everywhere and what these issues mean to you, specifically when you are planning on building a vinyl liner pool.
The COVID-19 Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 was the beginning of the supply chain problems. With many industries all but shutting down due to employees staying at home and getting sick, there was a huge reduction of workforce and reduced industrial activity, but also demand was lowered.
As lockdowns have lifted, demand has rocketed. Supply chains that were disrupted during the global health crisis are still facing huge challenges and are struggling to bounce back. Manufacturers and distributors of goods are finding they can’t produce or supply as much as they did before the pandemic. Some reasons for this include worker shortages and a lack of key components and raw materials. The bottom line: the pandemic caused huge disruption and coupled with a boom in demand, now we have a crisis with the supply chain.
Other Significant Factors that Have Worsened the Woes
The pandemic may have started the crisis, but there are other issues that have significantly affected it.
Demand at an All-Time High
Demand for goods and services is at an all-time high, having grown so rapidly in the past two years that it is equivalent to about 50 million new Americans joining the economy. All parts of the supply chain, most of which have been built on ‘lean’ principles of no slack, little redundancy, and just-in-time manufacturing, were not prepared for the increase in demand. Consumer demand can increase in a matter of months, but it takes more time to increase port capacity, build warehouses, hire employees, and so forth to meet that demand.
Shortages of Workers
Even though ports, warehouses, and trucking companies are processing more goods than ever, the shortage of workers is crushing the ability to meet demand. The national labor shortage has left ports and warehouses working with limited manpower. Workers are quitting jobs in record numbers, which affects industries’ capacity to produce and move goods.
The weather has also affected the supply chain problems. Face it, with the existing stress on manufacturing and transport, weather anomalies only add to the overwhelmed systems. During the winter of 2021, the ice and snow storm in Texas caused a major shutdown of plants, ultimately affecting industry. Hurricanes are also major weather events that pose potential supply chain issues. As severe weather occurrences become more prevalent, we can anticipate more problems with getting the products we want.
Transportation of Goods and Raw Materials
There is no questioning that the shortage of workers has affected the supply chain through fewer truck drivers. From ports and warehouses, truck drivers make the universe of commerce go around. When the industry suffers from being short 80,000 drivers, there is no way to keep items on the shelf from food to cars. As with other industries, truck drivers are standing up for better hours and pay. Times and demographics have changed over the last few decades and many younger folks aren’t willing to give up time at home to be on the road.
How the Supply Chain Affects the Pool Business
Constructing a vinyl liner pool requires many materials and products that are currently in short supply. It is challenging to acquire parts such as these listed below:
- pavers for decking
- retaining wall materials
- maintenance equipment
In order to properly build an outdoor, in-ground pool with a vinyl liner these materials are critical. Because they are incredibly difficult to obtain, here are some by-products you will experience.
An economic truth is that when supply is low and demand is high, you pay more for goods and services. In this scenario, companies pay more for the products they get. In most cases, pool companies are trying to absorb some of the cost increases to help the consumers.
Longer Wait Times
You can expect to have to wait longer for the project to get off the ground and be completed. It is simply taking longer to get the materials needed for the build.
At this juncture, there can be other unexpected things that create disruptions as the country, and the world tries to recover. As the pandemic was, unexpected disruptions will be negative factors in building back to pre-pandemic production. Be prepared if disruptions do occur.
Contact Prestige Pools for Your Vinyl Pool Installation
Patience will be the key to dealing with supply chain issues when installing your vinyl pool. At Prestige Pools, we are here to walk you through each step of the process. We are experts in the pool business and we can communicate what issues we are experiencing in getting the required materials. Whether you are wanting to build a pool in Clayton, Raleigh, Garner, Fuquay-Varina, Wendell, Zebulon, Apex, Cary, or the surrounding areas, please call us at 919-779-1003 or contact us through our easy-to-use form below.