How the 2021 Global Supply Chain Disruption May Impact Your Home

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Over the past year or so, you may have noticed that it’s taken a bit longer to receive packages or that a piece of furniture you’ve been eyeing has been back ordered for weeks. Or, if you’re a homeowner, that there have been product shortages for new appliances that you need. Even simple materials required for maintaining your house may seem scarce.  

You’re not alone. Consumers and companies worldwide have been experiencing issues related to the global supply chain—and it looks like these issues will be here through 2022, with consumer demand showing no signs of stopping. 

We’re here to talk about everything related to the current supply chain management issues: why it’s happening, who it’s affecting, and how American Home Shield is doing everything in our power to keep your household up and running.  

What is the supply chain? 

At its core, the global supply chain is the worldwide system of businesses providing goods and services to customers—and the logistics involved in doing so. The individual supply chain definition may change from company to company, as the supply chain process is affected by employees, location, regulations, demand, the types of goods or services being produced, and more. 

Why are there supply chain issues right now? 

There are a few reasons why the global supply chain has experienced issues in 2021 and most likely will continue to through 2022: 

  • A limited number of workers. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, manufacturers limited how many employees could be on site to limit the spread of the virus. This meant that fewer products were being made, or it took longer to produce them. Then, there’s the labor shortage. Fewer truck drivers, warehouse workers, and other roles are also contributing to the supply chain disruption. 
  • High consumer demand. Even though life is slowly returning to normal, people are still  spending more time at home than they did pre-pandemic, whether due to hesitancy around traveling and socializing or a lockdown mandate. Homeowners are spending more money on household products, like home systems and appliances, to upgrade their space. This high demand paired with limited labor is creating a major bottleneck in the system.  
  • Shipping problems. There have been severe backups at important ports—from Southern California to China—that are straining shipping times. Closer to home, the U.S. Postal Service announced that it will stop shipping certain packages by air and instead ship by truck. Pair that with a truck driver shortage, and quite a few delays are inevitable. 
  • Production challenges. There have been global manufacturing challenges for raw materials, like copper, steel, lumber, resin, semiconductors (chips), and plastics. Constrained supply of these materials is due to high consumer demand, limited staff, pandemic-related factory shutdowns, and even weather. Read more about the microchip shortage, lumber shortage, and steel shortage
  • Booming real estate market. Record low mortgage rates, migrations from expensive cities to states with lower costs of living, and a housing supply shortage have contributed to skyrocketing real estate markets across the country. Homeowners are experiencing considerable increases in home equity, which is allowing them to start renovation projects. Buyers are taking advantage of low mortgage rates to get in on the market and are also upgrading their new homes. This, again, all leads to high consumer demand for construction materials, appliances, and more—putting a strain on the supply chain. 

How are supply chain disruptions affecting my service requests? 

When a covered issue is diagnosed by a service technician, the next step is getting the appliance or home system repaired or replaced as soon as possible. But with current supply chain disruptions, you may be experiencing shipping delays, inventory shortages, and price increases for your professional household projects.  

Here’s a quick explanation of why this is happening: 

  • Slow delivery speeds. The issue with slow deliveries stems from consumer demand for residential appliances paired with the labor shortages of 2021 and production delays. This is creating a shortage of appliances and replacement parts for essential household items. 
  • Product shortages. Smart appliances, plumbing pipes, electrical fixtures, siding, and more all use raw materials like microchips, plastics, and lumber. When these materials are low in supply (and expensive), production levels decrease. Some manufacturers are prioritizing high volume production of only a couple products, so there is less for consumers to choose from. This is why some household items are backordered or simply not available for the foreseeable future. 
  • Price increases. Prices for commodities like steel, oil, and copper have shot up in the past year, which has forced some companies, like Whirlpool, to increase prices. That means consumers may have to fork over more cash to upgrade parts of their homes. 

How is American Home Shield tackling supply chain problems?  

Dealing with a broken air conditioner, electrical issue, or other essential home appliance or system is difficult under normal circumstances. Unplanned delays with servicing these issues can be even more frustrating. We understand.  

American Home Shield is working diligently with our vast network of suppliers to attempt to get your covered items up and running as soon as possible. We continue to expand our strategic supplier relationships to ensure we maximize product availability so you, our valued member, experience fewer delays.  

Amid these global supply chain disruptions, we’re doing our best to maintain the highest standards of service and affordability for our valued American Home Shield® members, so you can get back to doing what you do best—taking care of your home.

AHS assumes no responsibility, and specifically disclaims all liability, for your use of any and all information contained herein.

AHS assumes no responsibility, and specifically disclaims all liability, for your use of any and all information contained herein.

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