I received an email recently from a vendor giving us the heads up that the raw material market continues to be in a state of uncertainty. The email noted the war between Russia and Ukraine, as well as other global factors are contributing to rising costs in nickel, which is a main component of stainless steel, as well as other raw materials including aluminum, brass, chrome bar and others.
A hopeful sentiment was that as the pandemic winds down, capacity would begin to open up and lead-times improve. Unfortunately, that does not seem to be the case. Compounding the issue is the ongoing labor shortage, which is also hampering helping lead times for some manufacturers, as well as well-documented disruptions in the U.S. supply chain.
There is no doubt that these issues are having an impact on the capital equipment market. What we here at Brenton are doing to minimize any impacts to our customers is forecasting as much as possible in the purchase of raw materials needed for our machinery.
We are proactively working closely with our customers to ensure we meet their delivery goals. While we do not anticipate any disruptions on our end, the best way to continue moving forward is keeping the lines of communication open. Ongoing dialogue can help resolve most issues to keep projects and expectations moving forward. And if you can plan ahead for your line expansions and capital equipment investments as best as possible, that too will go a long way toward keeping your plans on track.