Founding father Benjamin Franklin once wrote the famous phrase, “But in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Never, never, never would I have ever expected what has occurred in the past two years. No one could have predicted this complete transformation of markets and supply chains.
The global pandemic created the perfect storm. Serious supply and labor shortages combined with huge consumer demand and upstream manufacturing demand and bottlenecks at ports stress the economy almost to breaking point. And that’s not even mentioning international conflicts and actual storms and strong winds that caused crippling disruptions like the Ever Given blocking the Suez Canal for six days.
Because of this, nearly all companies – CCG included – have had no choice but to increase their prices. But buyer beware! Especially for the infrastructure industry, choosing a supplier based solely on lower prices could ultimately cost you big time. These are my tips to protect yourself and your business in this uncertain economy that shows no signs of ever returning to ‘normal.’
Choose a supplier who can reliably get you what you need.
A lot of customers come knocking on CCG’s door because other companies can’t reliably fill needs. Upstream labor shortages and demand made worse by the bullwhip effect make shipping delays even worse, especially for materials coming from overseas.
CCG products are 98% made in America, which helps offset international supply chain issues facing many other materials (especially steel) and suppliers. We either already have what you need or can tell you when you’ll get it.
Beware prices that seem too good to be true.
Nothing is the same as the pre-pandemic economy. Anyone promising that prices are back to normal makes you suspicious. Some companies are subsidizing costs to avoid a price increase in the hopes that the economy will turn around. But this isn’t a sustainable solution, and you will likely get hit with a major price hike in the future because this economy isn’t turning around any time soon.
When market conditions necessitate and the monthly PPI changes, CCG adjusts prices as fairly and modestly as possible and immediately lets customers know when this is happening. By communicating that clearly and regularly to our customers, we continually renew their trust.
Demand pricing transparency.
Be wary of a supplier or manufacturer who says one thing but does another with pricing, like saying it’s going up but not doing it or saying it’s the same and raising it. This creates confusion and uncertainty, and it probably means that their internal teams aren’t aligned. Both aren’t good signs that the relationship is stable and reliable. A company that doesn’t keep you in the know about their prices is risky to your business.
No one likes a price increase, but CCG customers trust our pricing because of how we communicate these changes. We are extremely transparent about our supply chain and its effects on factory lead times and pricing changes. We research the current market each month and send an email to all our internal teams and to our customers to ensure that everyone is on the exact same page about any changes to prices and lead times.
Invest in lasting materials.
There truly are no signs that the current economic situation is going to change anytime soon. Prices are going up across the board. In fact, wood, steel and concrete costs are increasing much more than composites. And compared to composites, these materials have a shorter service life and require more maintenance. More expensive now, more expensive later.
There’s no better time to design with a material that lowers your overall life cycle costs. Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP) has very low life cycle costs compared with traditional materials for infrastructure. FRP gives the best bang for your buck in both the short and long terms.
Everybody is hurting right now. A reliable supplier with fair pricing and excellent customer relations can be a true partner during these totally unexpected economic times. Contact CCG today to discuss current pricing and whether FRP is the right choice for your needs.