How the Supply Chain is Affecting the Pond Industry (and What it Means for Your Pond Project)
The supply chain affects every business and consumer on the planet. And over the past year or so, we’ve all seen what happens when it breaks down.
You probably remember the great toilet paper shortage of 2020. These days, you’re more likely to see shortages of stuff that makes other stuff, like building materials, mechanical parts, and plastics, for example. We’ve been waiting for four months for a plain ol’ picture window for our kitchen! And then there’s the truck shortage. There aren’t even enough parts to build Chevys, so General Motors literally stopped making pick-up trucks at two of their manufacturing plants.
The pond industry has been impacted by these issues in massive ways, as well. This is also why, if you’ve signed a contract for a pond installation in the past year or so, you might still be waiting to enjoy seeing your Koi swim their first lap around the pond. The Pond Gnome has done its best to mitigate this issue by thinking ahead and stocking up on commonly used materials.
Supply of and Demand for Ponds
Demand for new Koi ponds as one of the biggest home improvement trends nowadays is at an all-time high. Everyone is feathering their nest, improving their home & lifestyle, rather than put up with the hassles of modern travel (flight delays & cancellations, COVID tests, etc.). Not everyone has a Koi pond in their back yard, but everyone seems to want one! It feels like such a luxury item and, when built properly, provides hours of enjoyment and asks only minutes of maintenance in return.
The entire pond industry is working through a serious supply shortage, in a wide range of critical materials, especially in the plastics field. Our supplier (Aquascapes) continues to produce over 50% of the products we use domestically, which has been a big help.
But even sourcing domestically, these parts and materials are currently in short supply for pond builders:
We wrote this article to help you understand specific reasons behind the longer timetables and higher costs you might be experiencing.
The COVID-19 lockdowns felt like the mother of all supply chain disruptions when businesses of all kinds were forced to shut down in 2020. But 2021 and 2022 have thrown a few of their own monkey wrenches into the works.
Producers might ordinarily turn to overseas supplies to bridge the gap, but then a massive container ship got itself stuck in the Suez Canal for a week, slowing sea-borne shipping to a standstill and depriving manufacturers of critical supplies. And the hits just keep on comin’!
What This Means for You
In short, the market for ponds has been hit by a perfect storm of perfect storms. We’ve gotten through pandemic shutdowns, weather disruptions, and one really big, really stuck boat in the worst possible place. It’s rather baffling if you look at all the events as a whole.
Like most pond builders, The Pond Gnome is working as hard as we can to install every customer’s pond, but the simple reality is that we can’t work any faster if we want to maintain our industry-leading standards. In our book, good enough is NOT good enough. Quality of materials and workmanship is priority one at The Pond Gnome.
Nor can we overcome supply chain issues when they are simply out of our control -- regardless of our desire and efforts to prevent them.
No doubt, it’s a frustrating situation for all parties involved. Homeowners want their ponds to be installed right now. Pond builders are doing their best to make hay while they can. But the obstacles we’ve discussed will likely continue to affect our entire industry (and many others) for the foreseeable future.
So, whether you’re planning on getting your pond from The Pond Gnome or from another contractor, we can only say this:
Hang in there. Seriously. The wait will be worth it. The memories will soon be made. They may not start being made when we all hoped they would, but they will certainly be made nonetheless.
The pandemic has forced a patience upon each of us that we likely had no idea we were even capable of. The best advice we can offer is to plan ahead, and enjoy the anticipation.
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