CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Many industries have seen interruptions in standard operations due to supply chain issues caused by the pandemic, and the headstone industry is no different.
S&S Monuments Stephan Danielsen owner said materials are available, but the shipping delays are causing the issues for the industry.
“For the last year-and-a-half, we’ve been playing the game of finding vendors and suppliers that have better connections overseas, so we’ve had to make some adjustments,” Danielsen said. “That three-month process turned into four months and five months. We’re just trying to be ahead of it so our customers aren’t waiting.”
However, Danielsen said that being ahead of demand causes an increase in overhead for his business.
“The standard stones — we try to be ahead of the ball and order things, get them coming before a customer purchases it,” he said. “But, to do that, we’ve got to pay for it, we’ve got to finance it, and we’ve got to have it ready for when they’re ready to purchase.”
Danielsen said if a certain material is not available for his customers, he tries to direct them to other materials, and be as transparent with his customers as he can be.
“We try to just be upfront with our customers, what’s available, what’s not," he said. "If they want a specific type of size and color, sometimes it’s available, sometimes it’s not. If it’s not, it just takes a bit longer to get, but we just try to be upfront about that."
He also said having to order more materials ahead of time, and the added delivery time, has caused him stress over the last year or so. A month without enough demand to keep up with supply could cause issues for his business.
“We have been able to work through a lot of these issues," he said. "It just takes a lot more staying on top of things.”