Interestingly, as the pandemic is winding down to a more seasonal disease, like the flu, my peer group is seeing a swift return to what I would call a typical approach to indoor air quality. In other words, the heightened awareness created during the pandemic seems to be waning.
We still see continued demand for purification products, especially in the healthcare and education sectors.
Supply Chain Disruptions
Beyond IAQ, today, the U.S. suffers from severe supply chain shortages. There is an interesting debate as to whether the current supply chain issues were caused by the pandemic or not. This is an important topic of conversation amongst my peer group.
The reality is that no matter the cause, we must deal with it. We see rooftop equipment delivery delays going out six to eight months. Hydronic and chilled water system delivery delays can stretch out for a year. I’ve never seen such supply chain disruptions in my career, and I have been in this industry for 36 years.
Furthermore, critical component delays are rampant. You might have a system that lost a crucial component like a compressor, heat exchanger, or coil, and today, many replacements are unavailable.
Typically building owners have the option to repair or replace components. If they can’t replace it because deliveries are sliding, they could repair what they have. That might be their only option.
But what happens if they can’t do either due to supply chain issues?
If they had redundancy, that’s certainly beneficial, but not in all situations is this the case. At Enervise, we are moving toward temporary solutions like heating and cooling equipment rentals until critical systems can be retrofitted or repaired.
Good quality commercial service contractors want to be a single source for their customers. We want to provide turnkey solutions. I see supply chain issues creating opportunities in rentals and just-in-time cooling systems as a part of a service we can offer.
However, we typically are not in the rental business. I believe it’s important to keep yourself in a position to coordinate that service. So that means partnering with vendors in the rental industry.
Other Supply Chain Issues
Today, there are new protocols required to enhance rooftop unit energy efficiency. Original equipment manufacturers are not only dealing with everything from products stuck on ships to transitioning their plants to build the new model units that are required.
This perfect storm is creating even more significant supply disruptions for some manufacturers.
Add into that the high-tech chip shortage. One of our customer’s 140-ton chiller failed, and we couldn’t find the chip necessary for the solid-state control board.
At Enervise, we partner with a heavy chiller technician specializing in major system overhauls. We asked for his help on this project. He found he had two of the control boards we needed sitting on a shelf and agreed to sell us one of them. Now we could get the
client’s chiller system back up and running.
These situations force us to manage expectations. It’s more important than ever to communicate with clients what you are doing to expedite parts and equipment and manage all that is within your control to ensure delivery.
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