February 13, 2024

Lead Times Can Set Your Business Back

By Paul Daniels

A couple of weeks ago I got rear-ended going into work. Luckily, no one was injured, and I could drive my car to work.

The other vehicle, which was much older, had more damage and had to be towed. I contacted my insurance company, which was efficient, and recommended a local company to take care of the repairs.

I brought my car in the following day, January 17. The rental car agency delivered a vehicle to me, and I was on my way in about an hour. The autobody shop said it would take a few days to get the estimate completed and approved by my insurance company so they could start the repairs.

Everything was going fine. I received texts from the autobody shop, and the insurance company kept me updated on the claim. The other driver’s insurance company took responsibility for the accident and approved the claim.

I then got a text from the autobody shop that my car would be ready on March 18. I was surprised it would take so long to repair a fender bender. The following week, the autobody shop let me know that the parts were on order, but they had not received confirmation on the lead times to receive the parts. This would impact the repair time. The shop said they would keep me updated.

Last week, I called the repair shop to check in. They said the lead times on parts were still a nightmare for them. They had cars stacked up in the shop, so they were close to running out of room.

I know that the biggest problem for the shop wasn’t lead times but the unreliability of the dates they were getting from suppliers.

Lead times are still an issue in the glass industry. I recently attended the Glass Expo Southeast™ in Orlando, and many customers asked about inventory. Lead times are also an issue in other sectors. Accurate supplier lead times are more important than ever to plan your business. Something as simple as a fender bender can set your business back.