How to Avoid Supply Chain Issues by Sourcing American Water Filter Products
March 2, 2023
Mark runs a company in Oklahoma that is a distributor of many products including water filtration parts for irrigation. Mark has had many issues recently meeting his customer demand as a result of supply chain delays since a number of his products come from overseas. One of the best ways that Mark or anyone who runs a business can avoid running low on inventory due to supply chain problems is to source American-made products. By becoming a Vu-Flow distributor, you’ll be doing just that!
There are quite a few issues that can arise preventing your business from getting your shipments in both a timely and even cost-effective fashion when you source your products from overseas. A common thought is that you can save a lot of money by sourcing products from different countries. While this may be true some of the time, you can certainly run into a lot of problems that may not always make the cost savings worth it. Stord.com, a supply chain management company, lists quite a few supply chain issues on their website.
Sudden shortages are one of the biggest problems you're likely to run into today when shipping products from across the ocean. Every business needs an ample number of workers for everything to run as intended and when lots of people get sick at one time, for example, or large numbers of layoffs happen, the required workers needed to keep everything flowing smoothly just aren’t available. You’ll start to notice supply chain delays if and when these problems pop up in the transportation industry.
A lack of truck drivers will lead to delays. If there aren’t enough drivers available, it’s going to take a lot longer to get products from suppliers to warehouses or ports. Speaking of warehouses, if there aren’t enough warehouse workers, it’s going to take longer than it should to unload and load trucks. Continuing down the line, if there aren’t enough workers at the ports, it’s going to take longer than normal to get the product on and off the ships. When all is said and done, the lack of workers in these different areas will lead to you having to wait extra weeks and, in some cases, even extra months before your shipment arrives.
The growth of e-commerce websites in recent years has also led to issues. A lot more business is being done online in the U.S. these days. Other countries such as Brazil, Japan, and Spain have seen an uptick in online business as well recently, and what this means is that the demand for many products has been increasing at an extremely fast rate. Ultimately, if manufacturers haven’t made the necessary adjustments to meet the higher demands for goods, it's going to take longer than it needs to for production to be at the level it should, which will equate to an increase in lead times for those products. A related issue to this increased demand for products due to online business is that more shipping resources are needed regularly than what used to be the case. As more goods are sold, the more that different transportation services will be needed. With all of this being said, the amount of time it takes anyone good to get from the start point to the endpoint will take longer than it ever has before.
It’s not directly a supply chain issue, but a third point you’ll want to consider when purchasing products internationally involves costs. Shipping costs specifically are only going to be higher when you need to import products from overseas, and you’ll also want to consider the fact that you’ll be paying a tariff fee when bringing in merchandise from certain countries. Sometimes tariffs are higher than others, but even if you end up paying lower percentages, tariff costs can be avoided entirely by sourcing products here at home.
Sourcing products locally doesn’t mean you’ll always avoid every problem, but it will certainly help decrease the likelihood of a lot of the above issues popping up. At the absolute least, you’ll start to notice the amount of time it takes to receive shipments going down by weeks and possibly even months. If your company sells water filtration products for irrigation, selecting Vu-Flow to be your main supplier can help make things easy and convenient for your business.
One of the main reasons to choose Vu-Flow is that we manufacture our products locally with high-quality parts. In being a U.S. manufacturer, the vast majority of small orders we receive get out the same day while the majority of large orders don’t take more than a week to ship. Items that ship from our Florida warehouse can usually get to even the furthest spots in the country within five days. We also have a warehouse in Oregon to help cut down on the shipping times and costs for our customers located out west.
Vu-Flow also offers a mode of convenience through our online customer portal, which allows for an alternative option to the now traditional method of sending in orders through email. Vu-Flow's customer portal lets all of those with an account to easily view the items we sell in one convenient place and also allows each distributor to view its unique pricing. After an order gets submitted through the portal, the distributor receives immediate confirmation instead of having to potentially wait several hours or even days. The portal is also very helpful in that it allows customers to quickly view their purchase history and keep tabs on open invoices.
Convenient and helpful customer service is another reason to choose Vu-Flow over international vendors. Of course, the language barrier that exists can lead to problems when purchasing internationally, but another thing to consider is the massive time difference. Depending on your vendor's location is overseas, you can look at up to 12-hour time differences. This means if you send an email as an example, it can take a full day to get any sort of information back from your international vendor. Customer service is priority number one at Vu-Flow, and we guarantee that if you call us from 8 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday, you’ll get to talk to a live customer service representative. If you have a question about any of our products or if you need assistance placing an order, our customer service representatives can guide you through the process.
If you’ve been getting frustrated with any of the common supply chain issues covered in this article, be sure to give Vu-Flow a call. We’ll gladly send you a distributor package to get your business signed up to sell Vu-Flow products. Dial 1-800-833-5171 to talk to a live person who can answer any of your questions.