Clark County businesses hampered by disrupted supply chain


Wait times to receive the products are unpredictable, she said. A supplier dropped six product lines, forcing the company to modify the devices it was installing in new homes.

Lumber prices peaked in June at Cole’s supplier, which cost $ 45,001 for a bundle of lumber for a 1,595 square foot home. At the start of 2020, before the pandemic, that same flat rate was $ 13,377.16.

Lumber prices start to fall again as supply increases to meet demand, but the ripple effects are still being felt on home prices.

The sale price for a home of this size closed in June 2020 at $ 329,900; the price on a 1,595 plan on sale in August was $ 425,000 – an increase of $ 95,100, Cole said.

“From wood to windows to appliances, the entire supply chain that supports the construction industry has been disrupted,” said Andrea Smith, spokesperson for the Building Industry Association of Clark County. “The costs of building materials have skyrocketed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, but nothing has been done to correct these problems. “

While the solution to supply chain disruption is multifaceted, Smith said all levels of government and industry need to work together to alleviate some of these pressures.

“The BIA thinks the simplest short-term solution would be for the governor to rescind the Washington state energy code until the building materials supply chain stabilizes,” a- she declared. “Much of the new energy code calls for products and materials that are harder to find and at a much higher cost to the builder and home buyer.”

Computer chips

Jon Creedon’s stock of new cars at Vancouver Ford is nearly depleted, and that’s mainly due to a global shortage of computer chips that new Ford cars need before they can be delivered to dealerships. This affects all Clark County car dealers to some extent.

“Ford has completed thousands of cars except the chips,” he said.

At the onset of the pandemic, Ford began to cut back on chip orders, so computer chip vendors looked for other buyers, such as computer and home appliance companies that saw a sudden surge in demand. demand. But demand for new cars returned later in the pandemic, and now Ford can no longer order chips from these suppliers at the same rate, Creedon said.

“We end up with very few cars on the ground,” he said. “Normally, on the new side, there would be 375 to 400 new cars. We have 75 new cars today.

Almost every new car arriving at Vancouver Ford through November is claimed by a buyer, he said.

“I don’t expect the ground stock to increase for 60 days,” he said. “The return to normal is unknown. “

Used cars meet the demand for new cars, but prices have been rising steadily and there is a shortage of parts for used cars, he said.

“The supply chain across the board is not functioning well,” he said.


Slumberkins, which produces stuffed animals and educational and emotional support books, is one of many companies whose Asian suppliers are seeing delivery times up to three times longer than normal and increased material prices.

With the holiday season approaching, new toys will be more expensive and they could be delayed long after the holidays due to shortage of materials and extended transit times.

“It’s really every step of the supply chain. Not just for Slumberkins, of course, ”said Marissa Williams, Slumberkins vice president of operations. “There are material shortages and the lead times have become longer. “

Some of the materials in Slumberkins’ product line have reached 90 days, three times more than before the pandemic. Part of the reasoning comes from driver shortages, she said; Many truck drivers were made redundant when the pandemic hit and they looked for more stable jobs.

Slumberkins tracks what the big toy makers are doing when it comes to pricing, and other companies have decided to raise prices to match materials and shipping price increases.

“Products at all levels are twice as expensive to produce because of all of these challenges,” she said.

The company also had to find creative solutions to address shortages, including changing the printers for its books from one in Asia to one in Illinois.

“Our customers are understanding because we are transparent about the issues,” she said.


Two weeks ago Kim Meadors, owner of Juliano’s Pizza in Vancouver, got a call from her main food supplier, who she has been using for 21 years. The supplier said it had to shut down because the company could not logistically deliver food to its restaurant.

“The district manager said more than 20 accounts had to call and cancel their business,” she said. “It was in effect immediately. It was alarming, ”she said.

Luckily for Meadors, a Portland-based grocery supplier stepped in and had a lot of his needs met. But things like new knives take four months to receive.

“All restaurants face food shortage to some extent,” she said.

Local food stores such as Restaurant Depot and US Foods, which many local restaurants depend on for ingredients and other produce, are limiting what they sell due to shortages.

“It’s tragically broken,” said Bonnie Brasure, owner of Bleu Door Bakery.

Brasure’s food supplier told him he did not have the staff to deliver the food or maintain the warehouses, one of the biggest contributors to food shortages.

“They said, ‘you could get your order; you might not, ”she said.

Bleu Door’s prices increased, although Brasure resisted them to the end. Bacon, for example, went from $ 52 to $ 94 a case.

“I would love to find lettuce, berries; producing is a challenge. Plain flour. Oil. Oil is ridiculous. If you can get it, it’s expensive.

The bakery is also under construction, and Solder costs have increased because of it. She can’t find the staff to fill her vacancies, and now with the delta variant featuring a threat, catering reservations are starting to roll off.

“How are we supposed to survive? ” she said. “Every day is more difficult.”

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