As more people continue to venture out of the house, travel and enjoy life post-pandemic, the demand for commercial furniture is greater than ever. Whether it’s park and playground equipment, poolside furniture, or other hospitality furnishings, commercial outdoor furniture and supplies are hot commodities.
Unfortunately, businesses and organizations are finding it is taking much longer to refresh or replace their furniture due to a myriad of global supply chain issues. Long lead times are plaguing nearly every industry, including commercial outdoor furniture. Even items that are typically well-stocked, like our plastic resin pool furniture, are available one day and out of stock the next because customers are frantically buying up what they can to meet their open seasons.
What’s causing the lead-time issues?
The reasons for the long lead times for commercial outdoor furniture are many. As we noted in our blog post last year, COVID incited material and labor shortages which led to delays in receiving products. Today, we are still experiencing shortages of valuable resources, now we have rising gas prices, inflation, and supply chain issues to contend with as well.
Imported materials sent via cargo shipping containers are not only more expensive to manufacture and transport, but they’re also harder to come by due to understaffed depots. When the cargo does arrive at US ports, it can take days or weeks before the cargo is offloaded. Economists predict the goods shortages and price surges will likely not improve until well into 2022.
With less product availability, rising costs, and longer lead times continuing to affect the market, the outlook may seem uncertain for those looking to purchase outdoor furniture, park equipment, and accessories. Fear not. You may not be able to control the supply chain woes, but you can be ready to meet the needs of your visitors and guests by being proactive and flexible.
How can you manage the disruption?
At Furniture Leisure, we have four tips to help combat the supply chain issues and furnish your commercial site:
1. Pre-plan and order early
The furniture order-to-arrival timeline is unpredictable, so you must plan early and order farther in advance. Place your pool furniture orders in November or December to ensure you’re fully stocked before the spring pool season begins. For park and playground equipment, we suggest ordering 4 to 6 months in advance of the opening season.
By ordering early, you’ll not only be higher in the queue to receive your furniture, but you’ll also likely avoid price increases coming down the pipeline from manufacturers.
2. Consider items from our Quick Ship catalog
For more reliable and faster delivery timelines, we recommend checking out our expansive catalog of Quick Ship products. They include our exclusive RHINO and ELITE lines of picnic tables, benches, and trash receptacles. Cost-efficient, commercial-grade, and built to last, our proprietary furniture collections come in a variety of styles and colors to suit your needs.
As an added bonus, our Quick Ship products have reduced lead times. Depending on the item, your order can be shipped in as little as 3 days to 6 weeks. That’s much shorter than some manufacturers that currently have lead times of 10 weeks or more. If you want quality, American-made products delivered fast, give our Quick Ship products a try!
3. Track your orders
At Furniture Leisure, we have noticed many of our carriers are foregoing making 24-hour call-ahead appointments with our customers because they do not have the manpower to set up delivery windows. Therefore, we encourage you to closely follow the tracking of your order as it nears the delivery stage. This will enable you to make the necessary preparations to receive the order when it arrives. Have your space ready and staff on hand on the expected delivery day to ensure a smooth experience. Keep in mind that some outdoor furniture products require assembly, so once the shipment arrives, your team should be equipped with the right tools. Our staff can tell you in advance if any of the products in your order will require assembly.
4. Work with our sales consultants for customized solutions
Our sales consultants are experts when it comes to outdoor furniture products, availability, lead times, and problem-solving. We’re available online, on the phone, and in person to help you navigate through the supply chain disruption and help you find the best solutions for your specific needs. We stay on top of the latest trends so we can put together a complete site design for your space that’s both functional and appealing. At Furniture Leisure, we’ve been providing commercial site furnishings for nearly 20 years. Whether you’re new to ordering outdoor furniture or a seasoned customer looking for fresh trends and alternatives, we’re to help.
Don’t fret about the current supply chain challenges. If you plan, prepare and partner with Furniture Leisure, you’ll weather this storm and be fully furnished for your upcoming peak season. Call to speak with one of our associates at 1-800-213-2401 or visit us at furnitureleisure.com today.