First, the carpet cleaning and restoration industry has not seen inflationary pressures like it is undergoing right now since the early 1980’s. Secondly, I am not sure it has ever seen anything that resembles the challenges facing the supply chain right now to get basic raw ingredients and components into the hands of the companies that make them into finished equipment, tools, accessories, and even chemicals for your cleaning and restoration business. Engine manufacturers and other major component manufacturers are saying to expect 6 month or longer lead times on new orders while at the same time announcing retroactive price increases on all existing and future orders. In reviewing plans with some of these strategic vendors, there is a strong belief that there will continue to be a great deal of volatility through most, if not all of 2022. There is little doubt that your cleaning and restoration company has begun to feel some of the effects of these two major impacts; either in paying more for the equipment you need and/or in waiting longer for your orders to be fulfilled. At least for now , the time is gone when you could call up your local distributor and order virtually any major product and expect immediate delivery. Perhaps the many years our industry has thrived and allowed us to get what we needed right when we wanted it has led us too far away from building future equipment and tools needs into our business plans.
So just how does that affect you? As I am writing this article in late January of 2022, many professional carpet cleaning and restoration companies are anticipating and sometimes even planning for exponential growth in their businesses in the coming months. They may anticipate a need for additional truckmounts, portable extractors, rotary extractors, wands, and drying equipment come April through December to facilitate this growth. Here is the hang-up. In the past, if the needed a new truckmount to start working on jobs May 15th, they could order them typically in the latter part of April from their local distributor. In this new environment we are presently working in, if they wait until the latter part of April to communicate their wishes to their distributor, they will find out the industry often has three-to-nine-month lead times on virtually every machine, especially if they are looking for a reputable national brand like HydraMaster.
If you need new equipment, tools, and accessories in the coming 24 months, I would encourage you to build that into your growth plan now. Communicate with your local distributor about what you anticipate your needs to be. Get the product on order as soon as possible, If you are going to get it financed, get approved now so the equipment order can get into the system. You should likely not have to make any payments on the financing until your machine is installed. But do it now, don’t wait. If you are not very good at or don’t know how to write a business plan, get with a trusted industry consultant who can help you do that and give you a working template to start from. A few consultants you can consider to help you in developing a business plan are John Braun at Hitman Advertising (www.hitmanadvertising.com) ; Steve Toburen at Strategies for Success (https://sfs.jondon.com/); or Chuck Violand at Violand Management Associates (https://violand.com/). We also encourage you to work alongside your local HydraMaster Distributor in helping you to plan for your future equipment needs. They can provide you with the latest information on lead times and pricing, so you can have what you need when you need it to reach your goals in growing your business.