Supply chain issues causing waiting game for producers, dealers

By |  October 4, 2021

Ohio-based Screen Machine Industries, meanwhile, says it has not been “significantly affected” by supply chain issues through nearly three-quarters of 2021.

“2021 equipment sales have far exceeded our projections,” says David Stewart, director of marketing at Screen Machine. “Through July, we have sold more machines than we projected selling for the entire year. That is a direct result of two factors.

“During the 2020 slowdown due to COVID-19, we maintained an aggressive production schedule so we were able to meet demand as the industry ramped up again,” Stewart adds. “Through our lean production capabilities, we are able to build and deliver machines in a relatively swift manner. Customers tell us our lead times are significantly shorter than any other producer. With all our machines built in the U.S. by a seasoned manufacturing team, it is a real competitive advantage for Screen Machine.”

Although Screen Machine continues to compete effectively, Stewart admits shortages are beginning to show up as the year nears a close. That doesn’t change his positive outlook on 2022, though.

“As we head into the third quarter, we are beginning to see some shortages with select componentry,” Stewart says. “Our purchasing team has been very active with suppliers to ensure we are able to maintain production as scheduled. Through conversations with our dealers and our own analysis, we foresee the crushing and screening market remaining strong through 2022. There is significant pent-up demand. The passage of an infrastructure package could add to that.”



Canadian-based Haver & Boecker Niagara – another manufacturer – experienced lengthy increases in lead times both domestically and abroad. Lesley Pentland, operations manager at Haver & Boecker Niagara, says the company is currently seeing lead times of eight to nine weeks. Before, the company typically experienced three- to four-week lead times.

For anything coming from overseas, those lead times are up to six months. Before, those were three to four months.

“You want to look very carefully at your inventory levels,” Pentland says. “You don’t want to stock up on stuff right now either because of the prices. So it’s a little bit of a fine balancing act. You don’t want to stock out, but you don’t want to break the bank, either.”

In part because of that balancing act and in part because Haver & Boecker Niagara specializes in customized equipment, the company does not normally have the luxury of being able to stock up on particular items.

Still, because of secondary supply sources, Pentland says Haver & Boecker Niagara remains “well-positioned.”

“We have the luxury of having a global support system,” Pentland says. “We have Haver & Boecker in Australia, Brazil, Germany and all over the world. Typically, they do the same things we do. We’ve been able to tap into their resources if we needed to and look at things from a global standpoint. That’s helped, for sure.”

End in sight?



So, is there an end in sight to all of these issues? And, if so, when will that time arrive?

While some industry stakeholders are optimistic about the increased demand leveling out sooner or later, others point to labor shortages as an impact that will continue to affect the supply chain until fundamental changes are made.

Albright, for one, doesn’t know when supply issues will be resolved. He isn’t sure they will be until workers are incentivized to get back to work.

“Until we get people back out working and incentivize them to work instead of incentivizing them to stay home, we’re going to continue to struggle in production,” Albright says. “The factories aren’t going to have the guys and girls to work. We’re not going to get things delivered on time. I don’t see us getting rid of that until we in Kentucky stop the add-on money to stay home.”

Pentland shared her outlook, as well.

“In 2020, when COVID first hit, everything was shutting down [and] things were locking up,” she says. “All of a sudden, the demand wasn’t there. But then 2021 comes along, we start to open back up full blown, and now it’s almost like a ripple effect. Everybody is playing catch up and the volume of demand has just increased two, three, fourfold.

“I don’t know if it will ever go back to the way it was 100 percent,” Pentland adds. “But between the volume probably starting to decline as everyone gets caught up, and the fact that a lot of companies have now put things in place to try and mitigate all of this because we’ve all lived it, we’re putting things in place to be able to navigate through it, if this becomes an issue [again].”

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About the Author:

Jack Kopanski is the Managing Editor of Pit & Quarry and Editor-in-Chief of Portable Plants. Kopanski can be reached at 216-706-3756 or

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