Why are Products Not in Stock Right Now?
Cutting Edge Supply is one of the biggest Lapidary equipment distributors in the United States. We carry the largest manufacturers of quality tools and supplies in the country. Most of our manufacturers have been in business for 10+ years, with some being over 100 years old! They have mastered their trade over time and know all the "ins" and "outs" of their business. Plus, our manufacturers are all known to do there jobs close to flawlessly! However, recently you might have noticed that there are significantly longer lead times, out of stock products, and delayed shipments. Not just in the lapidary industry, but everywhere. Why is this?
In this article we are going to discuss why there are these issues going on within the world right now and how Cutting Edge Supply is trying to help.
How it All Began
The Coronavirus came on quickly and unexpectedly. It caused harm to many people and it disrupted the economy faster than a disease has ever before. Within weeks everything from toilet paper, hand sanitizer, to even water bottles disappeared from the shelves of our favorite grocery stores and shopping centers. The essential products that people needed on a day to day basis were gone!
Once we got through the initial rush of people buying products to stock their shelves in case of an emergency, we started to see manufacturers all around the world close due to the disease spreading rapidly throughout the business places.
Essential countries for product manufacturing like China, India, and Vietnam closed their doors in order to squash the Coronavirus. Over half a trillion dollars worth of product gets imported from China every year through the United States! Can you imagine what it was all like when it all of a sudden just stopped? When manufacturers closed in China, all of our manufacturers were put in a position where they could not get their products manufactured in a timely fashion. This caused inventory levels to dwindle until our manufacturers and stores all around the country had nothing left in-stock.
Fortunately, just as their inventory levels dropped to zero, manufacturers in China started opening their doors. Manufacturers in other countries began producing products again! This is why earlier this year, even once the virus had begun, getting products was not too difficult. But once the floodgates were opened by the Chinese manufacturers everything started to go wild.
Manufacturers here in the states were able to start getting the products they needed in order to manufacture their products, however they were at half the labor capacity that is usually maintained. Which created a new issue. Certain states were only allowing a certain amount of employees to work at one time, and other states were not allowing employees to work at all. The United States did not bounce back from the coronavirus like other countries did, so we are still experiencing labor issues and restrictions throughout the country.
Why Are Things Not Getting Better?
Coronavirus caused many people to start working from home, finding new hobbies, start ordering from online, etc. UPS has stated that they have seen a 65% increase in shipments to residential areas compared to the previous quarter. Shipping businesses are just trying to keep up with this new demand in the market.
Recently there were policy changes made for the largest shipping carrier in the United States, USPS. Due to these policy changes USPS has become slower and less reliable in delivering packages. We have seen a major increase in lost packages, delayed arrivals, and misplaced orders. USPS drivers are required to leave on time from there distribution center, NO MATTER WHAT! Which means packages can get left behind for weeks, misplaced and lost, or forgotten about.
At the beginning of this pandemic truck drivers were put in a tough position because most of the places where they could rest, shower, and eat during their drives were closed. They had no ability to do there job and many had to quit because nothing was coming in or out of the country that needed truck driving. Since then, there has never been more of a demand for truck drivers because everybody is trying to get there products out of the ports and to their warehouse. Our international ports for sea freight are congested and have been congested for months. Boats that should have already dropped off in the USA and should be headed back to China are still waiting to pull into the docks here. Causing a lag in production shipments. Hundreds of thousands of people are stuck out on the sea waiting for their home countries to clear up and let them into their port.
Whether the product is made here in the USA or overseas, it has to be labeled, packaged, and quality checked before they can be sold. Cardboard boxes and envelopes, labels, and plastic bags all have to be produced with expensive machinery that can only produce so much every day, managed by a limited number of staff.
Last summer USPS was accused of prioritizing Amazon packages over others due to Amazon having a large lucrative Contract with USPS. Smaller businesses and niches are pushed to the side and left to combat for themselves. Our manufacturers are working extremely hard to get the parts they need from around the world in order to produce everyone's favorite products. The more patience and the more you understand, the easier and quicker we can get products to you.
How is Cutting Edge Supply Trying To Help?
Cutting Edge Supply is merely a distributor for most of the products that you purchase on our website. We do not manufacture them and we do not have any control over how quickly certain products are produced. However, the products that we do manufacture and brand ourselves are having serious time and effort put into them in order to try and keep them available to everybody at all times.
On products that we distribute we have recently began a new customer service structure in order to keep our wonderful customers up to date on their orders the best we can. We are implementing a new rule that all emails sent to us will be answered within 24hrs. We update everybody about their purchase when they order, during their order, and when it is about to ship.
We are updating our website constantly with updated lead times, availabilities, and we are working very hard to get more and more products stocked in the C.E.S. warehouse for 24hr shipping.
Coronavirus shut down and closed the doors of nearly all of the businesses around the world. Everything from labor restrictions, shipping complications, to demand surges have caused the unavailability of certain products. Our manufacturers are constantly working on new ways to get their products shipped out faster and we are constantly working on new ways to keep our customers up-to-date and satisfied with their purchases.
At Cutting Edge Supply we place a ton of importance on satisfying our customers to the fullest extent possible. If you have any questions or concerns about a product before you purchase, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will be happy to give you updated lead times, product availabilities, and estimated arrival dates.