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Keeping Your Project on Track even with Product Shortages and Long Lead Times



There has been strong renewed interest in home improvements in the wake of our shutdowns and working from home in the last two years. Home is more important than ever, and working from home is now a part of our culture, at least part time.

Because of this, every industry is dealing with supply chain issues over the past year, and interior design is no exception. Furniture that used to take around six to eight weeks to come in, now can take up to six months or more. How is JSDS navigating through this challenge while keeping projects on track and clients happy?


We provide realistic expectations to the client and anticipate delays, right from the very beginning. One of the first steps of any project is to source product and order it early. Kitchen appliances, in particular, need to be sourced at the very beginning. I advise clients to be as flexible as possible, since alternatives are likely to be needed for many items. We suggest starting our projects with this in mind and shop for these tentative items first.


We rely on our established relationships with showrooms to give real time status of products.

Our relationships with showrooms allow us to give the client a realistic lead time for the items that they need. Honesty and communication is key, so we avoid giving clients unrealistic lead times to avoid unpleasant surprises.


We’ve extended our materials and resource library with extensive research on other companies and products with a quicker turnaround.

Supply chain issues are not a new problem. We’ve been doing research on who can give us the quickest turnaround for product, and what items to avoid due to shortages.


We inquire with local crafts people.

Shop local! Not only are you helping your community, but local craftspeople often have quicker turnaround times and better communication than a vendor design. For example, think about taking your furniture to a local upholsterer instead of waiting for a new couch.


We encourage reusing furnishings.

Clients often think to discard and buy new, but refurbishing and refinishing are sometimes a great way to get that custom look, while keeping that family heirloom AND saving lead time. Make it a treasure hunt! Go hunting at consignment and thrift stores like Housing Works, Renovation Angel and other local shops in your area. It’s fun, sustainable, and can provide instant gratification rather than having to wait.


We suggest that a temporary space for storing product is created before work even begins.

This all depends if the client has the square footage, but having a place to store product gives everyone involved more flexibility. Having a temporary space will also give you the opportunity to see the product in your home before it’s worked into the space. If your budget allows, an alternative would be to rent a storage space during the project.



Supply chain issues have been a pain for everyone, but it shouldn’t deter someone from creating the space that they deserve. With a little more time, communication, and flexibility, these issues are possible to overcome.


 

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