Many industries are experiencing supply chain interruptions, and ours is no exception. The increase in people spending more time at home and low housing inventories have caused a boom in homebuilding and remodeling, which has created a perfect storm of ongoing materials shortages, labor woes and price increases for contractors everywhere.

Here are five strategies to manage your business through supply chain issues.

1. Place Orders Promptly

Backups in the construction supply chain mean that materials are increasingly delayed by weeks or even months. That’s why it’s important to order materials as soon as possible. The earlier you order, the better your chances are of receiving materials by the time you’re ready for them.

2. Double-Check Your Data

With long lead times, the last thing you want to do is redo an estimate or reorder materials because you didn’t have the most current pricing information or measured incorrectly. ABC Supply customers can use myABCsupply to check the latest pricing and review order details for accuracy. Also, be sure to double-check your measurement! Tools to help you measure accurately include:

Remember to order extra to allow for cutting to size, breakage and other inevitable waste. The amount will vary by material. But you never want to order exact quantities, as falling short will result in even longer lead times.

3. Count On Your Suppliers for Support

Keep in close contact with your building materials suppliers, who can keep you updated on what supplies they anticipate having in stock, and what materials might sell-out. Your suppliers can also provide letters from manufacturers verifying price increases, which can help justify any additional costs you may need to pass on to your customers.

4. Keep Your Customers Informed

Your customers may not be aware of the constraints on the construction supply chain. Explain to them that many manufacturers are dealing with backlogs and the high demand for materials is driving price increases. Be honest about how long it may take for materials to become available. It’s better to be realistic about supply chain issues rather than overpromise on cost or deadlines.

5. Consult With Lawyers

Supply chain challenges or labor interruptions may delay when you can start or finish a job, and rising material costs may mean that your initial estimates become outdated quickly. Adding a price escalation clause or language related to delays is crucial to ensure that you’re not in breach of your contract or stuck absorbing material costs you can’t afford.

Even though the building materials shortage is out of your control, there are steps you can take to help make it more manageable for your business. Visit the ABC Supply blog to learn more about supply challenges.