Coping with Delays and Bottlenecks
The past two years have seen major turmoil for wholesale furniture retailers as global supply chain issues, port congestion, and skyrocketing shipping costs led to substantial delays and backlogs. With furniture’s bulk and size, pivoting to air freight was not feasible like in other industries.
Furniture brands have responded creatively to adapt in this challenging climate:
- Many established production facilities near key markets to minimize shipping costs and delays.
- Digitally-native Interior Define developed an on-demand production cycle, removing the need for excess inventory storage.
- Retail giant Castlery recently opened a large New Jersey warehouse to increase stockpiles and buffer against bottlenecks.
- Strategically located decentralized warehouses enable faster delivery times.
Relying on Partnerships
Partnerships also assist retailers in preparing for unpredictable delays. At the pandemic’s onset, Interior Define partnered with key service providers to prevent customer frustrations from resulting hassles. As Chief Supply Chain Officer William Savage explained, “The challenges further reinforced working with the right partners and building in flexibility to source products closer to home.”
Will supply chain issues dissipate anytime soon? That remains hard to predict. But technology and creative solutions can help furniture brands satisfy customers despite the industry’s historically long lead times. The industry is adapting to steer clear of logistics nightmares, with satisfying consumers remaining priority one.