Winter Equipment is encouraging early orders of snowplow equipment to avoid shortages brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. As demand for snowplow equipment typically increases in late summer, it is expected that delivery times will also increase.
“This pandemic has greatly impacted the supply chain,” said Kent Winter, founder and CEO of Winter Equipment. “Not only is there a concern for manufacturing capacity, logistics issues are also playing a role in the timely delivery of materials.”
Low-bid purchasing has moved many products and supplies in recent years to foreign countries such as China. Snowplow components, particularly a large portion of carbide inserts for snowplow blades, fall into this category. With the COVID-19 pandemic, world manufacturing stopped for three months, which means that when compared to last year, up to one-quarter of supplies produced or delivered are not available or will be delayed this year. Combine this with the expected supply chain interruption of raw materials sourced primarily from steel mills and rubber manufacturers in China, the potential for many products to be in short supply is expected.
Low-bid suppliers also typically operate on low profit margins and have even less capital to inventory products. This also means increased lead times or no inventory at all. For overseas suppliers that do have inventory, container shipments are estimated to be running three months behind on delivery.
In March, when the U.S. was initially impacted by COVID-19, Winter Equipment anticipated potential material shortages and proactively ordered materials from its trusted partners to ensure that it would have adequate raw materials for the season ahead.
“Municipalities and contractors must be prepared for the snow season ahead of us,” said Winter. “It’s likely that snowplow equipment may be in short or delayed supply. By ordering your equipment early, manufacturers can get orders into manufacturing and on their delivery schedules.”
More and more municipalities and contractors are seeing the importance of using high-quality, performance-engineered snow blades that virtually eliminate in-season blade changes, reduce downtime and increase performance.
“Now, it is more important than ever to order U.S.-made, high-quality, cutting edge systems that last the entire season,” added Winter. “With potential labor shortages and reduced budgets, a single-sourced system that is guaranteed actually saves money in the long run.”
Winter Equipment provides wear factor ratings for many of its products, which is its cutting-edge blade's ability to extend wear life and eliminate frequent blade changes. In an effort to provide quality products as the low-cost alternative, the company emphasizes that it is not the purchase price, but the overall cost of use that counts.