If there’s one tip the supply experts at NEPSCO think is important to share with contractors and do-it-your-selfers right about now, it’s this: if you’re hoping to get the supplies you need for any electrical, plumbing, heating or air-conditioning project, count on planning ahead.
The simple fact is, there are genuine supply chain challenges in this post-COVID construction environment.
“COVID has had a huge impact,” Gord Crowle, one of the owners of the two family-operated locations of NEPSCO. “You name it, and it’s hit and miss. Tubs are sometimes three to six months to get. Electrical products, some of them can take a year. That’s the reason why so many people and professionals are so far behind in their renovations. They just can’t get stuff.”
For more than three decades, NEPSCO has built its reputation as an independent wholesaler that provides exceptional customer service and a wide variety of construction supplies. Crowle said that COVID has created a unique situation for all retailers when it comes to maintaining expected levels of service and supply.
“People ask us every day about delivery times,” said Crowle. “It’s not just the availability of the components. A lot of the issues have to do with the freight companies. Many of them are so backed up on their deliveries. A supplier will ship something in two days, and sometimes I won’t see it for two weeks because it’s in the back of a truck travelling all over the country due to the back log for deliveries. Or it will sit in a truck in a yard until they can get to it.”
Before you let supply issues put a dent in your renovation plans, know that there’s an advantage to shopping at NEPSCO over the big box stores.
“We handle a lot of different lines,” he said. “We’re not married to certain lines like big box stores might be. Some distributors have contracts they have to stick to that causes them delivery issues. We’re not stuck to that. If you can live with another brand that’s the same item, we can look into it and get you something faster. We hear all day long from people who may have ordered something from a big box store and six weeks later they’re still waiting. They come into us and say, hey you have it on the shelf and it’s cheaper.”
Skyrocketing gas prices are another reason for supply challenges according to Crowle.
“I got a skid of filters in the other day that normally would cost me $150 in freight charges. It was $550 in freight. That gets tacked on to the price of the filters. There’s no simple solution to this problem other than people have to be proactive and do their homework.”
Crowle said the fact NESPCO is an independent gives them the freedom to specialize in a lot of Canadian items and provide better prices and faster delivery times. He suggests anyone considering renovations shop around in order to find what you need.
Ultimately, long term planning is still the best idea until supply levels return and gasoline prices drop.
Be sure to check product availability and prices at the NEPSCO location at 71 Black Road. Or visit them online here.