Even as Spring is just arriving, here at Bracker’s we are already planning for the fall. By now, probably everyone knows the phrase “supply chain challenges” While we have been keeping up with demands thus far, we are now looking to the future so that we can be as prepared as possible. To start, we are reviewing past fall order volumes. This helps us anticipate necessary stock levels and start ordering early.
Current Lead Times
- Mayco Glazes – 2-3 weeks
- Opulence Glazes – 3-4 weeks
- Spectrum Glazes – 5 weeks
- Coyote Glazes – 6 weeks
- AMACO Glazes – 16-20 weeks
- Skutt Kilns – 8-12 weeks (12 sided and oval models take longer)
- L&L Kilns – 12-14 weeks
- ConeArt Kilns – 20 weeks
- tools and small studio equipment are anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months.
- large equipment (pug mills, mixers, studio shelving, slab rollers, etc) about 6 months and increasing,
However, despite our best planning efforts, there will no doubt be limitations on what we can get from our vendors. Manufacturers of all of our products are struggling with their own supply, either in terms of raw materials, labor or both.
The earlier we have your order, the better the chances of us being able to fill your order complete. Extra time also allows us opportunity to contact you with possible substitutions.
Another consideration for the back to school season is our delivery schedule and capacity. Our big truck has a 10,000# max weight. We do our best to schedule deliveries for maximum efficiency in both utilizing the full capacity of the truck while traveling the least total miles, in other words, we group deliveries geographically and will wait to send a truckload of materials to some regions until the truck is at least 92% full. We also have our smaller van, with a 4000# capacity that we use for a lot of the mid-range deliveries to more remote areas that aren’t too far away. In both cases, time can be a limitation as well. Federal regulations dictate how many hours in a day someone can drive a delivery vehicle. To meet legal requirements and provide a cost effective means of getting orders to people in these areas, we have a “delivery stop pick up” option. This means that someone can meet us at one of our big delivery stops to pick up an order. It’s a $10 order consolidation flat fee plus the weight charge for your delivery area. Our website will calculate this for you. Again, we have a much better chance of getting everything worked out in advance if we have more time to plan.
Finally, please keep clay production challenges in mind as you plan your fall orders. Some of you may not be aware that a nearby clay supplier closed their doors in September/October of 2021. Because of this, we have been working very hard to expand our own production to support the region formerly serviced by this supplier, while also continuing to fulfill the needs of all of the customers and schools we have been taking care of for many years. Both the clay mixing machinery and the humans who run it can only operate for so many hours. They need maintenance and sleep (respectively) to keep churning out prepared clay. Based on current inventory levels, planned production cycles and increased demand for product, there is a high likelihood that we will run very low and possibly even run out of some clay bodies. So again, the earlier you get us your order, the higher on our list you will be.
If you are sensing a theme here, it should be “we’re working really hard to make sure you have supplies, please help us help you by getting us your order early!”
“What is early,” you may ask? Anywhere from now until July 1st is early. July 1st to July 25th is reasonably on time, and anything after that may not be delivered until September or even October. We will continue to do our best to keep you informed of status and estimated ready dates via our order notification and communication service. Thank you in advance for working with us through this period of growth, adjustment and post-pandemic processing.
Need prices to get a PO? You can do that yourself on our webstore. Click here to get started! Bonus, we’ll see a copy of what you are wanting even before we get your school’s PO! This helps us plan for your order!