Certain lead times are becoming longer than our usual stated lead times on our listings and we have a small number of customers expressing disappointment at our customer services so we have written this article on some of the challenges we, Track Dynamics (Gaz Shocks dealer), Gaz Shocks the suspension manufacturer and their suppliers are facing currently.
Unfortunately with so many different products offered within the range that require differing stocks of manufacturing processes, materials, components and sub assemblies, it is near impossible to forecast or state with any accuracy, which induvial kit or order is or will be affected and which ones will not.
We hope this gives you an insight into what is currently affecting leadtimes generally and what is actually causing the disappointment that a small percentage of customers are experiencing. We also trust that customers will become aware that neither Track Dynamics, Gaz Shocks or their materials and parts suppliers are not conspiring to disappoint customers.
I personally believe there are those companies out there that are using the current Covid and Brexit challenges to increase shipping costs and increase shipping times to raise prices and make some extra money. I have experienced a 2 week wait on many items over the summer for small stocked items for use on my own current race car build. That is a practice I personally find abhorrent and can assure customers that this is not the case here.
We would hope that this will be a short term issue as the world becomes accustomed to living with Covid 19 and Brexit.
2020 SALES DURING COVID PANDEMIC
We, and Gaz Shocks have seen a huge increase in the sale of coilovers kits and OE type replacement dampers across the globe. We had actually thought 2020 would see a decrease in sales due to potential customers having other priorities during this time of Global pandemic but this has not been the case. It seems that customers have become more focussed than ever on the car build and upgrade projects and sales of product has outstripped all forecasts by a significant amount! This has had a knock on affect on lead times as more product is required to be built, but not quite the affect you may think. Unfortunately it is other aspects that mostly affect lead times.
PARTS AND MATERIALS STOCKS
With a significant increase is demand for finished product, the need for an increased number of materials, components and sub assemblies follows. It also follows that any factory has a finite capacity to replenish and components and sub assemblies from in house production and outside suppliers. In turn, factories that are supplying Gaz Shocks are having to cope with the increased demand from Gaz Shocks and other such companies they deal with themselves.
With an unforcasted, significant increase overall and an ever increasing monthly demand for product throughout 2020 forecasting material, components and sub assemblies becomes an very real issue as no amount of computer aided stock control systems or modern just in time manufacturing processes can tell you how much extra material you need or when how long your current stocks will last if you have no idea that your product will double in popularity overnight! This affects Gaz Shocks and ALL of the other companies that make components and sub assemblies for Gaz Shocks.
Due to the United Kingdom leaving the European Union, companies and private individuals are trying to get goods in and out of the country before the end of the year. Quite what will happened form January 1st is anybody’s guess but the current level of shipping traffic around and in UK ports would suggest that we will be raising the drawbridge on December 31 and nothing will ever move in and out again! We do not believe this will be the case, the UK will continue to do business with the rest of the world and vice versa. However, the affect of this feverish activity is that right now, ships are being diverted away from the UK to other countries and the suppliers of the materials and sub-assemblies on board are having to make alternative arrangements for delivery. This adds weeks onto material and parts supply and we have no insight as to when this ludicrous situation will ease up. The Brexit Effect – who knew!?
Supplying such a prominent brand as Gaz Shocks we find ourselves in the fortunate position of having a lot of customers. Unfortunately, as we have stated, with so many different products offered that require differing stocks of materials, components and sub assemblies, it is near impossible to forecast or state with any accuracy, which induvial customer order is or will be affected during the build process. To be fair, not all orders are affected. So we don’t do that as our customer communications would not be accurate and it would be an impossible task for both ourselves and Gaz Shocks to begin a programme of looking at all outstanding orders in terms of current status, materials and parts supply (internal and external, current stocks and due in) and updating our forecasts and communications on a regular enough basis to be of value.
We have a flag statement on our website that says some lead times are becoming longer and we are only too pleased to receive emails from customers looking for an update and we will alongside Gaz Shocks try to be as accurate as possible in our replies.
To close then, Covid and Brexit. I doubt we need to say more, the vat majority of our customers have shown understanding to the current issues we, Track Dynamics, Gaz Shocks and their suppliers are facing currently and for that we thank you. We will always communicate with our customers when asked for an update and we will be as accurate as possible, but please bear with us as the situation in terms of materials supply, components and sub assembly supply changes daily and what looked possible a week ago suddenly becomes a challenge today. Not every customer is affected and for those that are we apologise and thank you for your loyalty to ourselves and the Gaz Shocks brand. Track Dynamics and Gaz Shocks are committed to supplying the best suspension systems, as quickly as possible.
MD. Track Dynamics Ltd
PS. If you have gotten your car up on somebody else’s ramp, ripped the suspension out and sold or binned it and are now getting grief from the ramp owner who wants his ramp back, our advice is don’t do that. Better to wait until you have your suspension, roll cage, brake kit, exhaust etc in your hot little hand before you disable your car. There is a pandemic on.