How Has COVID Affected Lead Times?

Whilst most businesses are back to normal following COVID, the forced closure of component factories in China during the pandemic last year with an unprecedented increase in demand for home improvements, mean that there are extended lead times on kitchen appliances. So here is some useful information about appliances to assist customers who are ordering their kitchens soon:

Why are there delays?

A combination of factory closures during COVID, current power shortages for the factories in China, issues in freight logistics and transport problems, along with component shortages for large appliances has created the perfect storm and led to much longer lead times on large kitchen appliances.

Which appliances are affected?

We are currently seeing much longer lead times on all appliances including ovens, microwaves, hobs, hoods, refrigeration and, in particular, dishwashers.

How long are the lead times?

They do change from day to day but at the time of writing are around 7-10 weeks on most large kitchen appliances such as ovens, microwaves, hoods and hobs. Unfortunately dishwashers have a longer lead time at a minimum of 12 weeks.

What are suppliers doing to improve the situation?

Sadly the global situation with material shortages and delivery issues are beyond their control, but as dishwashers have been affected much more than other appliances, our suppliers have made the decision to re-introduce models without the home connect function as these can be manufactured without the components that are in short supply. This will hopefully start to ease up the current backlog of orders that are waiting to be fulfilled for dishwashers.

Will this issue with appliances delay my kitchen project?

Not necessarily. Alba have increased the number of appliance suppliers we work with (for example, we now have three different suppliers for Neff and Bosch appliances, two of which hold warehouse stock for shorter lead times) so that the same models might be sourced elsewhere in case of delays. However, even with all of this in place, there are sometimes unavoidable delays and in this case, we will do our best to keep you informed. Delays to appliances will not necessarily mean that a kitchen cannot be fitted so this would be no reason to postpone ordering a kitchen.

When will there be an end to the delays with appliances?

Our suppliers are telling us that they can see no end in sight to the current situation so there is a chance that sadly, issues will continue into the new year.

The team at Alba will be happy to help customers with any queries or updates on these supply issues so contact us today if you want further information.