Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March of 2020, we have dealt with uncertainty in many aspects of life. While we have begun to find a new equilibrium after two years, and have become more resilient and agile, there are still areas of life that seem to be returning to normal much more slowly. One of these is the supply chain.

 
 

Indow made drastic changes early in the pandemic to how we buy and store materials in order to avoid delays we were seeing in other manufacturing companies and industries – and with great results. However, certain global-level supply chain disruptions affecting all industries were unavoidable. 

In the spirit of quick and open communication, here are various types of delays that we have encountered at various times during the pandemic: the nature of each delay, how it might affect your order, and steps Indow takes to prevent them or move your order through them as quickly as possible.

 
Delay TypeLength of DelayWho Resolves?
Supplier-Related2 Days - 3 WeeksIndow & Suppliers
Shipping-RelatedVariesIndow & Shipping Companies
Production-Related3-5 DaysIndow
 

When we experience a supply delay, we adjust our production queue so that the fewest number of customers feel the effects of the delay. Orders that do not require the missing part are moved forward in the production queue. Those customers will actually benefit from delays since their inserts are assembled before their original scheduled build date. Customers whose orders require the missing parts are put back in the very front of the production queue once the missing part is back in stock.

Supplier-Related Delays

Supplier-related delays refer to delays in our production schedule as a result of a shortage of one or more materials that are needed to build Indow window inserts. These delays are largely dependent upon our suppliers’ abilities to produce and ship materials on time, but the Indow team does work closely with suppliers to ensure we avoid delays, or move through them as quickly as possible.

 
 

Frequency

There is no pattern to supply-related delays. They are sporadic, but Indow works hard to make sure materials-related delays are avoided as much as possible. We do so by maintaining more than one supplier for each part used to build our inserts. Typically, supply chain issues are for a specific part used to create inserts. Simultaneous shortages for multiple parts are rare.

Length of Delays

The length of these delays varies. We can see anywhere from a 2-day to 3-week lag in production of Indow inserts as a result of supplier-related delays. However, during the height of the pandemic, and the related global supply chain issues, we saw lead times for some supplies increase from two days to nine months.

 
 

Steps We Take

  • Weekly inventory checks
  • Weekly materials planning meetings
  • New supplier identification
 

When we experience a supply delay, we adjust our production queue so that the fewest number of customers feel the effects of the delay. Orders that do not require the missing part are moved forward in the production queue. Those customers will actually benefit from delays since their inserts are assembled before their original scheduled build date. Customers whose orders require the missing parts are put back in the very front of the production queue once the missing part is back in stock.

Production Meme
 

Shipping-Related Delays

Shipping-related delays refer to delays in delivery of completed inserts once they have left our production facility. These delays are dependent upon a shipping company’s ability to deliver inserts, or assess and correct issues in their shipping process. When a customer notifies Indow of an issue with their delivery, we connect with the shipping company on the customer’s behalf.

Frequency

Shipping delays are most often due to weather events. As a result, it is difficult to predict when these delays will occur. Indow ships large orders by freight with TForce. When your order of Indow inserts leave our facility, we will provide tracking information. For general information on delays, stay connected to TForce Service Alerts.

Length of Delays

Length of shipping-related delays depends on the nature of the delay. Once your inserts have left the facility, Indow is not responsible for shipments, but we will work with you and the carrier to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. 

 

Steps We Take

  • While Indow cannot predict or prevent shipping-related delays, especially those due to weather events, we remain in close contact with carriers to resolve shipping issues as quickly and effectively as possible.
 
 

Staff-Related Delays

Staff-related delays are delays in the production of Indow window inserts as a result of internal factors, such as multiple team members being out due to illness.  

Frequency

As a result of the pandemic, like many other manufacturing companies, Indow experienced staff shortages due to illness and/or exposure to COVID-19. We have always prioritized our team’s health and safety. We ask that anyone experiencing symptoms remain home to keep others safe and give themselves time to recover before returning to work. In non-pandemic times, staff shortages and resulting production delays are uncommon.

Length of Delays

Because Indow has regularly hired production team members throughout the pandemic, delays due to staff shortages have not exceeded more than 2-3 days in a row. We always inform customers as soon as we understand that their order will not be shipped by their estimated ship date.

 
 

Steps We Take

  • During the pandemic, Indow has consistently interviewed and hired production team members in the event of some team members being sick, or having been exposed to COVID-19.
  • Indow made available to all employees 80 hours of sick leave for COVID-related issues, as well as implemented sick leave in addition to earned time off. This ensures that all team members feel safe to disclose illnesses and/or remain home to keep the entire team safe and operational.
 

Indow implemented stringent health and safety guidelines related to COVID-19 in March 2020. As a result of this level of caution, we did not experience staffing shortages due to illness until fall of 2021.

Supply chain and shipping issues have seemingly become a fact of life, but the Indow team is working hard to make sure we stay ahead of these issues and work through the unavoidable ones as quickly as possible to ensure you receive your comfort and quiet as quickly as possible.