Lupberger: Industry Driven Project Delays – Managing Client Expectations

authors David Lupberger | June 28, 2021

We are seeing the downsides of this robust remodeling market. Supply-chain delays are getting longer, material costs are going up, and trade contractor scheduling is getting more and more difficult. Simply, there is more work than there are people to do the work. While many contractors are booked into 2022, they are not celebrating. They are wondering how they are going to get the work done!

Supply chain delays are becoming commonplace. As my wife and I were looking to purchase new kitchen appliances in May, we were told by the sales rep that if we ordered the new appliances in May, they might be delivered by the end of August, but it could be later. He could not give us a firm delivery date.

This is not just with appliances. Delta Faucets recently sent out the note below. Here is a pasted portion of the email I received:

“Effective Immediately – Delta has decided to pause manufacturing on thousands of SKUs. Demand for Delta’s products has been extraordinarily high, and challenges continue to persist throughout the supply chain, including supplier production capacity constraints that are causing backorders to escalate. As a result, the delivery performance is not meeting expectations. With all of this in mind, Delta has made the decision to prioritize production for strategic collections and/or finishes in all brands and temporarily pause production for all other collections and finishes”.

In my 30-years in the remodeling industry, I have never seen a note like this from a national vendor. This tells you a lot about their issues and getting their products to their customers in a timely fashion. We need to address this looming issue with our homeowner clients as this is already affecting our ability to schedule and complete our projects in a timely fashion.

As these delays are beyond our control, we need to communicate potential project delays to our homeowner clients to effectively manage their expectations. Considering this, I have written a “production delay” form below that I would strongly recommend that you share with potential customers before production on their job begins:

Acknowledgement of Production Delays

(Your Company Name) strives to provide you with a production schedule that you can review regarding your project timeline and completion. Under normal conditions, (Your Company Name) typically meets these timeframes. The purpose of this Acknowledgment is to let you know that due to the recent pandemic and the new and unforeseen demand in building materials, homeowner production schedules may take longer than usual to address and complete.

There are several reasons for the delays including limited subcontractors’ availability to perform work, shortages of materials, backordered parts and equipment and previously placed government-imposed COVID-19 restrictions. Considering this, we want to emphasize that we will manage your project with every intent of working with the production schedule that we provided to you. With that said, some project delays may take place that are beyond our control. In case of potential delays, we will communicate any potential delays to you immediately that may affect your project timeline and completion. We are committed to managing your production schedule and moving your project forward.

Regardless of potential production delays, emergency requests that could arise during construction will continue to be immediately addressed.

Onsite emergencies are defined as below:

  • A total electrical failure (not due to a neighborhood outage)
  • A total loss of heating or air conditioning during extreme weather conditions
  • A total stoppage of the plumbing and/or sewer system
  • A water leak that requires the entire water supply to your home to be shut off to avoid serious water damage.

Considering potential project delays that the (Your Company Name) cannot control, I acknowledge receiving, reviewing, and understanding this acknowledgment of potential production delays.

 

Homeowner’s Signature: ___________________ Date: _____________________

 

Contractors Signature: _____________________ Date: _____________________

 

If you would like a copy of the production-delay form in a Word format, please let me know. You can edit and put this onto your own letterhead for use. If you are interested in this, contact me at david@remodelforce.com and I will forward that Word document to you!

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