As the first quarter comes to a close, please take a moment to tell us what you do and how it’s going. Any wins you’d like to share? Any challenges?
Hi Loren. Thanks for asking! So far so good for our small design company. Our biggest win this quarter is the amount of proposals we are writing. We expect some will turn into new work shortly. The challenges right now have really been centered around work practices, and what we can and can not do as some COVID restrictions lift. Oh, and we are also trying to figure out how many pieces of our client's furniture are stuck on the Suez Canal : )
Business has been fantastic...but could even be better if we could get more product. Worldwide, the entire supply chain is extremely taxed with typical lead-times going from 8-10 weeks to 18-24 weeks. There are now delays in getting raw materials, finding / keeping labor, and all sorts of delivery issues due to an overburdening of ports and over-the-road trucking.
Due to these shortages, prices are skyrocketing for basic commodities like copper and plastic resin with prices up more than 60% from a year ago.
We're in for a big sticker shock later this year...soon our attentions will be taken away from COVID and we'll be talking about a rate of inflation that we haven't seen in 20 years or more as demand continues to increase.
Being a part of the supply chain, we typically see these trends first-hand.
Weak retail sales have been largely offset by strong online sales. Absences due to COVID and some turnover have affected production levels, causing longer lead times but no loss of sales.
We have been able to make some great hires, and the current team is stronger and more cohesive than 12 months ago. We are relieved to see spring so we can have maskless (optional), distanced, meetings and staff lunch outdoors.
Event staffing. Pivoted more than a drag queen on her opening night to keep our people working when 80% of hospitality business disappeared. Staffed relief efforts, vaccine pods, helped convert venues to produce face masks, staffed military base cafeterias, and our pipe is finally starting to fill up with the events of old we fondly remember. Hopeful but also hurting without PPP. Have office staff offering to work for free so we can prepare for incoming business which we wouldn't do. Have two new hires ready to go as well. All waiting on the ever silent SBA. We can put it to use immediately (we used 100% of the first round on payroll to stay open- actually spent double on payroll.) The engine is waiting desperately on the gas. -Nathan www.ceenyc.com
We have seen wholesale business turn back on in the outdoor and fashion retail space helping us get that 30% of our business back that fell out in 2020. Supply chain has held back ecom business because we can’t get product fast enough to fulfill demand but we are seeing great traction from the outdoor trend combined w consumer desire to support socially responsible business. Keith www.parksproject.us