Shortage of Generators and the Impact
We’ve grown accustomed to longer wait times than normal these days, with shortage on many products, from toilet paper to trucks, and everything in between. Earlier, we discussed the shortage of UPS batteries and how that can impact your critical environment.
Another area of concern is lead-time on other critical infrastructure components, including generators. There are several factors that are contributing to the shortage of generators in the US and much of the blame can be placed on the global shortages that we’ve seen from the COVID disruption. However, a recent article, “How the World Ran Out of Everything” published by the New York Times, discusses the impact that Just In Time strategies for manufacturing inventory has had on many of the raw materials that manufacturers general keep on hand, and how this has exacerbated the pain of a supply chain gone amuck.
But in addition to COVID, and lower than normal inventory, unusual weather patterns and natural disasters like the 2021 winter storms in Texas have also lead more small to medium sized businesses to look at isolation from the power grid, not willing to risk their businesses viability to an aging power grid.
The supply chain problem likely will get worse before it improves, and critical power supplies and equipment like UPS systems, batteries and generators are certainly not exempt. Generac CEO, Aaron Jagdfeld was recently invited to discuss this on CNBC and discussed both the commercial and residential generator shortages. While he notes 20 weeks as a lead-time, in reality, it is much longer than that. Currently, some of major suppliers in the market have lead-times that are over 52 weeks. Something that is unprecedented in our time.
What Can You Do?
So, what can you do to help you navigate these longer lead times?
Prepare – Understand that lead-times are unpredictable, and could impact your timeline on your project. Make sure that you are talking with your supplier to understand when stock might be available. Some of our customers are placing orders now, with the goal to complete a project in 2023.
Preventative Maintenance – An ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure. Don’t wait until you have an issue before you contact your equipment supplier. Maintaining your existing infrastructure and equipment has never been more important. Check to make sure that you are following the manufacturer’s maintenance recommendations, and don’t put off repairs, just expecting to replace in the next couple of years.
Pre-owned Market – Generators can last for years if well maintained and routinely exercised. With supply chain shortages, there are certainly options outside of new equipment. Pre-owned generators can still come in great condition, low hours and often with a warranty.
With stocks more limited than ever, reach out to Quality Power Solutions. Our vast network of critical power systems is an excellent resource to find a generator that will work for your application, that could have a much short lead-time to help you hit your project timeline.