One of the main problems facing the construction industry today continues to be delays in the supply chain. Colleen Murphy, Patriot’s VP & Office Manager, knows this better than anyone as she is our front-line defense against the perils of the construction industry’s supply chain.

We had the chance to sit down with Colleen and our Senior Project Manager, Garett O’Neill, to learn what they think about the state of the industry.

How has COVID disrupted the supply chain? How long do you anticipate this disruption to last?

“The COVID-19 pandemic has caused challenges and delays to our project timelines. Unfortunately, I think the supply chain will get worse before it gets better. Going into winter, I predict that the bad weather will only compound with the current supply chain delays,” says Colleen.

“One of the issues driving the long lead times is a labor shortage of truck drivers. Additionally, we have received word that there is a shortage of shipping containers. Together these issues have a snowball effect on the supply chain causing long product lead times.”

What are the supply chain’s effects on material pricing?

“The price for raw goods has increased by 10-20% which in turn has raised the price of products and materials,” states Garett.

“We’re seeing a few specific products such as metal, doors, HVAC units, and appliances with the longest lead times, sometimes ranging from 12-16 weeks.”

What is the average lead time for a product?

The average lead time is 8-10 weeks.

How do you navigate these delays?

“Overall, everyone has been understanding, flexible and realistic with project timelines. When we take on a new project, we identify the longest lead times first. Then, we check multiple sources and identify possible product substitutions if necessary. Through these steps as well as open and transparent communication with our clients, we have been successful in navigating these supply chain issues,” says Garett.

Do you have any advice for subcontractors?

“The best advice I have is to return your submittals as quickly as possible. The shorter the turnaround time, the quicker we can order the product and move forward with the project schedule,” recommends Colleen.

As cliché as this saying has become, it’s true that we’re all in this together. Together with a little patience and understanding, we will make it to the other side of this supply chain problem.