Stone Supply Chain Challenges: Everything You Need to Know

Connecticut Stone has always prided itself on our quality, honesty, and integrity. That’s why we’re facing the current supply chain challenges head on. While we believe that the current state of affairs is TEMPORARY, we want to be transparent and set expectations to assist you to the best of our ability.

Here’s the Issue…

The stone industry is experiencing unprecedented demand.
Many people have taken the opportunity this past year to renovate their homes and businesses, while others are in the midst of new construction projects. The demand for natural stone, tiles, and slabs is at an all-time high (especially in more local locations like CT and NYC due to the influx of homeowners buying and renovating homes).

Stone fabrication lead times have increased.
Shop fabrication lead times are (temporarily) much longer than normal. Whether you are looking for countertops, vanities, or fireplace facings, our normal 2-3 week lead time looks more like 4-8 weeks at present. Some of the factors affecting lead times include the type of material, the degree of difficulty and the level of customization.

Material shortages have also affected manufacturing. This issue is multi-faceted. There are backorders on raw materials needed to fabricate and there are delays in shipping these materials both internationally and domestically. One or both of these issues may affect your order.

Yard fabrication lead times have also increased (temporarily). ETA’s for custom cut orders of ThinStone™, pool coping and building veneer will be provided per order.

Stone prices are volatile, and they are frequently changing.
The supply chain is under tremendous pressure, and most of the price increases are related to shipping and transportation. There is presently a global shortage of containers which is how our imported products, raw materials and machine parts ship to the USA. Businesses dealing with any aspect of home renovation and construction (lighting, plumbing, furniture, fabrics, technology, stone, tile, and more) are waiting months to receive shipments.

When products do ship by ocean freight, there are delays unloading the containers at the port.

In addition, the trucking industry has been negatively impacted by the pandemic. Many independent truck drivers left their jobs during COVID-19 and have not returned to work. Demand for domestic transportation is at an all-time high, but the trucking companies lack the resources (drivers) to keep up with current demand. As a result, we are experiencing delays in receiving products and shipping costs are rising.

There’s a labor shortage.
The sudden surge of demand for labor across many industries has increased competition and pressure on an already reduced labor market. Quarries, manufacturing plants, and distribution centers are all affected by this change.

Although we are making progress with vaccinations, there are still many people who remain unvaccinated and are therefore subject to exposure, quarantine, and illness. This affects operations on all levels – both domestically and internationally.

What Connecticut Stone is Doing About It

Rest assured that the team here at Connecticut Stone is committed to doing everything we can to manage the situation. A few of the things we’re doing to help include (but are not limited to):

  1. Keeping our customers informed and up to date.
  2. Investing in inventory.
  3. Working overtime! The entire Connecticut Stone team is working at maximum capacity to fabricate, segregate, and prepare your orders.
  4. Ordering containers far in advance to ensure that materials can ship.
  5. Offering our clients creative solutions, such as air-freighting or domestic substitutions, ensures that your projects continue to progress.
  6. Continuing to review and innovate our ways of working to increase efficiency wherever possible.
  7. Identifying producers with larger production capabilities located in the USA to alleviate supply shortages from overseas manufacturers.
  8. Adding product lines to our extensive offerings so that options are available when the material of choice has a significant backorder.
  9. Hiring! We are grateful for our committed core team at Connecticut Stone and continue to work hard to attract new talent to support our customer needs.

Understanding the Connecticut Stone Difference

  1. The normal timeframe to order and ship materials no longer applies.
  2. Order your materials well in advance! We really can’t stress the importance of this enough. Please be sure to order weeks to months in advance. This will help to secure the products you need so that they are available to you when you need them.
  3. Prices are unstable. They fluctuate daily and are increasing frequently.
  4. There are tons of inventory shortages! We may have limited stock or backorders on staple products. This includes everyday products like bluestone or aggregates. We are replenishing inventory as quickly as possible in this environment.
  5. If we have the materials in stock, we highly recommend you secure what you need by placing your order with a deposit.
  6. Parts for equipment, trucks, and machinery are not in stock and have long lead times.
  7. This situation is TEMPORARY. Please note that advanced planning, minimal changes and patience are crucial to minimizing delays with regards to your order.
  8. Connecticut Stone will be upfront with you. We pride ourselves on honesty being the best policy and are here to work with you through these challenges.

At Connecticut Stone, we believe honesty is the best policy, and that’s why we want to be transparent with our customers, because you’re what matters most to us. Our team is here to answer any questions you may have along the way, but in the meantime, we thank you for your patience and understanding. If you have any further questions regarding your order, please reach out to one of our staff members for more information.