Clients and distributors are feeling the pinch this year! While, suppliers and manufacturers feel the heat...
It might not seem like it. But this year, things are a bit more complicated. You have probably noticed even your Amazon.com orders are slower to be dispatched than usual. The supply chain issues plaguing pretty much every market across the globe are here to stay, and the custom premium gifts, and custom recognition industry isn’t immune. Q4 is already the busiest time of year for corporate gifts. Toss in the supply chain issues, rising material costs, and inventory issues, and you’ve got the perfect recipe for stock scarcity and order fulfillment delays.
Supply Chain Issues Impacting Corporate Holiday Gifts
At this point, we’ve all probably experienced the pressures of the supply chain issues in some capacity. Whether it be in our businesses or our personal lives, I can bet you’ve felt the effects of the global supply shortages. It leaves companies in a tough spot. Nothing feels worse than having to tell a client that you can’t get the product they want, or a price increased because of rising costs. In an effort of full transparency, here’s a breakdown of the supply chain issues our industry is dealing with.
The solution is to plan! You can still delight recipients with premium, high-quality corporate holiday gifts. The key is your attitude to be proactive and start planning now.
To help you understand and navigate these increasing supply chain issues, we’ve outlined exactly what you can expect, plus three ways to ensure you have a successful corporate holiday gift strategy.
Prices are increasing. There’s no way to sugar-coat it. And the rising prices we see now have been a long time coming.
Costs for our suppliers have steadily increased for the last six months as raw materials, such as cotton, zinc, silver, have also increased because of short supply. For as long as they could, suppliers and manufacturers ate these cost increases and kept prices as stable as possible. But they now realize price increases are inevitable.
We want to be transparent. So, it’s important to note the fluidity of price. Costs are changing weekly, and right now, it’s hard to guarantee anything.
Here’s some good news. The custom recognition industry is seeing a major comeback. More people are ordering more today than ever before. But currently, suppliers are having trouble keeping up with this demand.
This is partly because, six months ago, no one knew quite what life would be like, if live events would be returning, or if the current demand would even exist. Now, with all the other material and labor shortages across the globe, it’s impossible to ask a manufacturer to refill an order in just 30 days. We’re now talking a couple of months at least.
Longer Production Times
That brings us to the third supply chain issue - longer production times. As the cost of shipping from factories overseas has skyrocketed, key raw materials are in short supply and hard to get a hold of. This has led to a significant increase in production time. You can expect almost double the amount of time for items just to arrive at the supplier’s warehouse, making production time for corporate gifts even longer.
Ways to Prioritize Corporate Holiday Gifts Amid Supply Chain Issues
All this talk about the state of the supply chain is not to scare you. It’s simply to make sure you’re aware of the challenges facing our industry and to plan accordingly. With an ample amount of time, we all can avoid the headaches of shipping and fulfillment delays. And you can rest assured that your corporate holiday gifts will arrive on time.
To help, here are some ways to prioritize your corporate holiday gifts amid the current supply chain issues.
Start Planning Now
First and foremost, start planning your corporate holiday gifts now. We know it sounds crazy to think about Christmas while we’re in the heart of summer, busy planning golf tournaments and corporate barbeques. But look at it this way: typically, our clients have their corporate gifts ordered by November. So really, we’re only asking you to think about 6-16 weeks ahead of schedule.
To avoid any headaches, we recommend planning your orders now and finalizing them by August or September. This year, October orders are going to be difficult. Save yourself the trouble. Start planning and act now.