To describe the 2020s thus far as “unprecedented” would be an understatement.
For the early part of this decade, various unforeseen and mostly unpredictable forces have tested the world’s supply chain, from sourcing material to delivering it to the end-user. Already adjusting to the acceleration of the direct-to-consumer model, the supply chain has endured COVID-19, labor shortages and unpredictability, and unexpected economic and political factors around the globe.
So what does that mean for your team and your customers? It’s more important now than ever before that you know your budget is used on the most efficient and productive solution to store and move your product in the face of a rapidly changing environment.
What do you need to know? How can Storage Solutions help navigate the unknowns?
Volatility Around Steel and Commodity Prices
Steel prices peaked in late 2021. During the last quarter of 2021, steel prices were roughly triple where they had been before the pandemic. Already in the first quarter of 2022, the market has seen steel prices fall to about 60% of their peak before wildly jumping another 40%. In a matter of days, prices are fluctuating at rates that previously took months or years.
All that volatility means manufacturers cannot hold quoted prices for very long. In years past, Storage Solutions and our vendors could hold prices for weeks because of the stability of the steel markets. Now?
Most quotes expire after a week – or even less in some cases – and you, the end-user, are forced to make decisions quicker than ever before. And to further complicate matters, each manufacturer is handling the uncertainty differently – putting additional strain on the market.
Global Instability & Inflation Causing Havoc
In addition to the material market, the logistics and transportation industries are also in a state of shock. Demand for transportation has never been higher. Meanwhile, the trucking market, which hauls over 70% of U.S. freight, is undergoing a historic labor shortage.
It does not take an economist to recognize that when supply and demand are diverting at this rate, prices for shipping will skyrocket.
The effects of inflation and global instability also take their toll on the supply chain. In addition to an already dire situation, gas prices have been up 47% since March 2021, adding even more costs to ship material across the country. Every organization across the supply chain feels the effects of these price increases.
While there is no “magic bullet” for any of these challenges, having Storage Solutions as a partner like us can help navigate the unknowns. Here’s how:
The Right Partner Can Mitigate Risks Caused by Volatility
Find a partner with the right connections. When it comes to sourcing new warehouse equipment, Storage Solutions works with many different pallet rack and equipment manufacturers. We have built many important relationships over the years, which helps customers find the best fit for their needs.
Find a partner who can take advantage of unrivaled manufacturer alliances. We have established foundational relationships that give us access to dedicated production allotments with our manufacturing partners. These allotments help fill the volume of orders we place each month and cut down on standard lead times. We have built long-term relationships with the industry’s leading pallet rack, shelving, and mezzanine manufacturers.
Look for a company that keeps new warehouse equipment on hand. We have a 330,000 square foot warehouse in central Indiana that holds new warehouse equipment available for immediate purchase by our customers. When lead times don’t meet our customers’ project timetables, we often store uprights, beams, wire decking, and other products to fit a project’s specific needs.
Look for a partner who also sources used materials. Our warehouse is not only home to new warehouse equipment but also allows us to store and actively source quality preowned warehouse equipment. We have a dedicated team that purchases quality pre-owned warehouse equipment from teardowns and relocations. If you want to sell your used equipment, keep in mind that we’re always interested in buying!
Look for a partner who can help you develop innovative warehouse solutions. Whether developing a new facility or helping reconfigure an existing racking layout, we understand that downtime needs to be minimized. We approach each situation with an operations-based focus and pride ourselves on finding creative ways to meet our clients’ needs on every project.
What’s the Next Step for You?
When considering a partner for a project, keep in mind that Storage Solutions has the experience, expertise, and partnerships to help you navigate the challenges your business now faces.
Storage Solutions has professionals on staff who can provide material sourcing alternatives, construct a more dynamic project plan, or develop project initiatives to keep your business moving forward while we provide your next warehouse material handling equipment solution.