Control Panel News – Post-Pandemic Lead Times


November 15, 2022


Pop quiz question: When is the best time to order your spring control panel?

A. In the spring

B. In the fall

C. In the winter

D. Now

The answer, of course, is now. Here’s why.

We’ve talked about it before, but the ongoing supply chain issues continue to wreak havoc with control panel delivery times. With supply shortages, people couldn’t wait until the last minute to order parts and build their control panels. With turnarounds pushing six weeks or even longer, a lot more planning has become necessary. UCEC can be a resource to help you plan, so don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for whatever you need.

What does that look like, exactly? Well, a lot of people thought that once we hit the third quarter of this year, things would return to normal. But they still haven’t. We’re still facing long lead times that can only be alleviated with more planning. And with more planning, there should be time for you to collect better specs and develop better drawings. When you spend more time up front on projects, you won’t end up being pushed for time on the back end. This allows engineering, purchasing, and project managers a better understanding of the constraints each is working with.

And that’s why it’s so important that you act now. We’re working with our suppliers to lock in ’22 pricing. If we can get your POs before the end of the year, we can ensure you keep ’22 pricing even though your project might not start until ’23. This will be a huge boon to those of you who you might need to have CapEx spending done at the end of 2022. Issue the PO now so you can expense it this year rather than next year — problem solved!

As we’ve seen, this is a smart way to battle inflation and the ongoing supply shortages. Every year the market has a price increase (typically 3-5%) that keeps abreast of consumer price index. With the pandemic, there were whole different pricing models for everyone. Suppliers ended up putting through 3-4 increases per year, which means everyone else had to try to stay ahead. We’re doing all we can to keep our margins the same and keep pricing down for you.

As the 4th quarter hits, there are still signs in the economy that we haven’t hit the bottom on inflation yet. Let’s work with you to planning for quarter one and two by locking in pricing on bigger items before there’s a price increase. That way you’ll avoid surprises and won’t have to requote everything so your project isn’t significantly higher. As long as you make a commitment and make a sale, our vendors will hold the price.

The sky isn’t falling — but planning is your best friend to battle what’s going on. Only thing you can control is your funding to do a project. Why wouldn’t you want to lock in pricing now? Get the PO issued and you’ll look like a hero because you were ahead of the game and bought low when the time was right.

“Don’t be fooled by the calendar. There are only as many days in the year as you make use of. One person gets only a week’s value out of a year while another gets a full year’s value out of a week.” — Charles Richards



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