1. Delivery delays are a common issue

Delivery timelines are usually agreed upon when customers place orders with flooring factories, . However, many foreign customers often complain about factories repeatedly delaying deliveries, resulting in significant economic losses. So, why are there always delays in delivery?

2. Raw materials are an unavoidable key factor

There are various factors that determine the delivery time of orders, such as order quantity, raw material preparation, factory capacity, and technical difficulty. However, the main reason for factory order delivery delays is one and only —- raw materials.

The source of raw materials for orders can be categorized into inventory in stock and newly procured materials. Some factories keep an adequate stock of various specifications of raw materials to ensure stable prices and continuous production, which can be directly used in production without affecting delivery timelines. However, it is necessary to arrange procurement  in good time if there is not sufficient raw material inventory. In such cases, various factors may lead to delayed deliveries.

2.1 Financial issues

Upon placing an order with the factory, customers make an initial deposit, which is utilized for procuring raw materials and facilitating the smooth production of the order. However, the actual financial operations of factories are far more complex than imagined.

It is common for smaller-sized factories to encounter difficulties in obtaining sufficient funds to directly acquire all the necessary raw materials for an order. Their cooperation with upstream raw material suppliers often involves credit purchases. Namely, they settle with upstream suppliers only after receiving full payment for the order, then advancing needed materials against the next order.

However, a credit purchase poses a significant risk, as the factory may encounter a more urgent financial needs throughout enterprise operations. Consequently, order payments, or even advance payments, may not be promptly paid to upstream raw material factories. Once the credit limit is reached, there is a risk of raw material supply disruption, ultimately leading to order delays of three months or even unpredictable.

2.2 Pricing issues

Due to the pricing characteristics of export orders, factories are highly sensitive to raw material prices. Any fluctuations in raw material prices can impact the factory’s slim profit margins. Hence, factories lacking stocked materials must wait for favorable prices. However, global fluctuations in raw material prices are difficult to predict, leading to uncertainties in estimating delivery times.

3. Potential Risks

In the event of unfortunate delays, a greater potential risk exists beyond the possibility of undelivered orders. The delayed orders, after persistent urging, are eventually shipped only to discover that the factory, in pursuit of profit or completing the shipping task, substitutes inferior goods. It can lead to another disappointing scenario.

The commonly used method of substituting inferior materials includes:

  • Insufficient thickness of floor panels, such as using 2.8mm top layer veneers as substitutes for 3.0mm ones.
  • Non-compliance with grade demands, such as mixing grade C oak into orders for grade AB oak flooring, or increasing the proportion of lower-grade materials in multi-grade orders.
  • Substituting similar tree species, like using Alder-leaf Birch instead of Black Cherry, Russian Tamo ash instead of American White ash, or using oak from a different origin instead of what the order requires.

4. Solutions

The potential order delivery delay risks can be solved radically by selecting the most suitable flooring supplier.

When selecting suppliers, it is essential to observe and assess the comprehensive capabilities of the factory. In addition to the factors such as land area and workshop configuration, it is crucial to delve into the operational status of each production section. Only when all sections are running efficiently can it truly reflect the factory’s healthy cash flow.

In the process of placing an order, the following issues should be concerned to secure the delivery on time. First, Gain an in-depth insight into the raw material stock before confirming orders. If procurement is required, specify the inspection time and method in the contract. It is recommended that customers within a 6-hour flight distance conduct an additional inspection after raw material procurement to ensure the quality and quantity. Second, during the outgoing quality control, strict adherence to standard operating procedure regulations helps minimize risks.

Through the above methods, customers can better navigate potential issues arising from factory delivery delays, ensuring the smooth delivery of orders.

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2 Comments

  1. Thank you, I’ve just been looking for information about this
    subject for a while and yours is the best I have discovered till now.
    However, what about the bottom line? Are you sure in regards to the source?

    1. Thank you for your attention and likes. The viewpoints in this article are based on over a decade of experience and research, making them authentic and credible. However, as the perspectives are bold, there is limited online information. If you are interested in the details, feel free to contact us at info@guolianflooring.com.

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