CE Pro July 2022 - 43

etc., to improve their own
supply chain situation?
WHINNA: The best way
to improve an integrator's
own situation is through
communication. Whether it
be to a corporate sales representative
or local site contact,
keep asking about the
items that are most important
to you. That feedback
is used to keep the entire
supply chain team focused
on meeting needs at this
critical time. Additional focus
needs to be placed on forecasting
the products needed
for upcoming jobs. It's risky
to assume that the product
will be in stock on the day
you need it, so in today's
environment an increase in
inventory can keep your business
running more smoothly
and allow you to meet your
clients' expectations.
quantity restrictions on
purchases for high-demand
items to prevent hoarding
and to free up inventory for
more integrators. Third, we
have an easy-to-use waiting
list so that our integrators
receive an instant notification
whenever we update
stock. Fourth, our forecasting
practices have changed
drastically to the point
where we have products on
order already for 2023 and
2024 to ensure we can take
care of our dealers' anticipated
BlackWire Designs
CE Pro: What specific
procedures have you
implemented to help
alleviate the supply chain
crisis for integrators?
implemented four primary
strategies to address
supply chain issues. First,
we directed purchasing to
order products that were in
limited supply, which was
beneficial for our integrators.
Second, we instituted
CE Pro: Have you
implemented contactless
payment for integrators?
LUTHER: At most distributors,
a tech might show
up thinking what they want
is in stock while the sales
staff rummages around the
warehouse looking for it.
Unlike your typical distributor,
however, all of our
orders are completed on our
convenient website, which
confirms inventory and
allows our Arizona integrators
to pick a time and date
for pickup. Our website is so
easy that we see integrators
in the parking lot ordering
on their phone and walking
in minutes later. For our
national integrators, the
same website allows them
to check stock status and
receive rapid shipping, for
little to no cost, through our
Premier Partner Program.
CE Pro: When do you
foresee the supply chain
crisis subsiding?
LUTHER: The scarcity
of microchips is the complaint
we hear most often.
The good news is that our
manufacturers, with whom
we are in near constant
communication, have told us
about pivots they have made
to new chips. They have also
told us they are modifying
products to remove functions
that integrators were
not using in order to keep
production moving forward.
We expect to see supply
from most manufacturers
starting to come back in Q4
2022. At the same time, we
are proactively treating these
shortages as a long-term
problem that will be with us
well into 2024.
CE Pro: How would you
scale the supply chain
situation today versus this
exact time last year and why?
LUTHER: It's about the
same. The supply-side mechanics
have not changed for
manufacturers, and until they
do, everyone needs to plan
on having piecemeal inventory
and/or items in limited
supply. Shipping seems to
still be an issue as well, but
the biggest problem now is
that there is very little being
produced to ship to the U.S.
from overseas.
CE Pro: What is the most
important thing integrators
can do in terms of
their ordering, inventory,
etc., to improve their own
supply chain situation?
LUTHER: We have seen
a major increase in demand
for overnight and express
shipping, which conveys to
us that dealers are still selling
" just-in-time " projects. While
it may be convenient to
depend upon a nearby warehouse
for gear, it is not a sustainable
practice in the long
Executive Director,
PowerHouse Alliance
CE Pro: What specific
procedures have you
implemented to help
alleviate the supply chain
crisis for integrators?
Alliance has always
been thoughtful in the way
we manage and acquire vendors/products
across member
locations. We've been
July 2022 CE Pro | 43
term. Setting expectations
on lead times and collecting
deposit checks with clients
should be really important to
We like to remind our
integrators that they are not
a bank for their clients and
that collecting deposits up
front will ensure that their
equipment costs are covered
and that they can freely purchase
anything they need for
the project without carrying
a balance on the project.
Stocking basic items on the
office shelf and work vehicle
has always been a tactic
we recommended, which is
more important now than
ever before. Having a tech
drive an hour to get a few
HDMI cables is costly, and
should be avoided. Integrators
should take this time
to work out their inventory
moving forward so that there
is always something on the
shelf to sell.

CE Pro July 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CE Pro July 2022

CE Pro July 2022 - Intro
CE Pro July 2022 - Cover1
CE Pro July 2022 - Cover2
CE Pro July 2022 - 1
CE Pro July 2022 - 2
CE Pro July 2022 - 3
CE Pro July 2022 - 4
CE Pro July 2022 - 5
CE Pro July 2022 - 6
CE Pro July 2022 - 7
CE Pro July 2022 - 8
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CE Pro July 2022 - Cover3
CE Pro July 2022 - Cover4