I’m working with clients right now with whom we had taken a lot of time to select the tile backsplash for the new kitchen. It’s a brand new tile board, and we can’t wait to see it. We’re halfway through the project now when we get a phone call: “The tile will not go into production for another six weeks. Do you want to pick another tile?”
Casual—just like we hadn’t spent four trips, several go-rounds, much anxiety and indecision on behalf of the client, a counter that was chosen simply because it went with the tile and now a delay on a kitchen that should have been done by Thanksgiving.
To add insult to injury, we ordered the tile over three weeks ago. Yes, you read that right—the manufacturer waited three entire weeks to tell us that they weren’t even planning to manufacture the tile yet.
I can accept timing delays; Things happen. What I can’t accept is the manufacturer taking three entire weeks without informing anyone that they weren’t even producing the tile when they released the boards. And when a client blames me for “not doing due diligence” when there was no warning from the manufacturer in the first place, well…there are no words (that should be said out loud).
By the way, this is not the first manufacturer to do this, nor will I suspect it’s the last. One of our cabinet manufacturers came out with new brochures, but the door samples took a long while to show up. A quartz manufacturer had their new colors up online, but we couldn’t get the samples for over a month. There is a large disconnect in our field between the manufacturer’s sales departments releasing items too soon when production is not ready.
I’m not saying their names yet, because we will be calling the factory for answers.
My question is: Do we accept this as a norm? Or do we start ignoring our suppliers and checking in with the manufacturers? Do we speak up and let the manufacturers know that we’re not going to take it any more? Or do we quietly refuse to specify their products?
Until next time, Kelly