Navigating the Supply Chain
Updated: Aug 25, 2022
In the November 2021 issue of The Omni Transmitter, we reported that widespread supply chain problems affecting our trade weren’t expected to ease “until at least mid-2022”. Now that we’ve entered the year’s second half, these industry predictions appear to have been fairly accurate in that we’ve observed steady improvement in certain areas. That’s not to say, however, that significant shortages don’t still exist. Some materials remain very difficult to acquire and have been the cause of countless frustrations on projects all across our industry.
Fortunately, there are things that can be done to help alleviate these problems. Because of a combination of factors working in our favor, Omni has been able to spare many of our clients from a lot of the pain commonly experienced on other projects. Yes, these are uncharted waters and they’ve been hard to navigate, but that doesn’t mean we all have to be in the same boat.
It has long been common practice at Omni Instrumentation & Electrical Services to identify and source better alternatives to specified equipment in order to improve overall performance, lower material costs, and save project schedules, and this longtime approach has worked strongly to our advantage in the pandemic supply chain fallout. With office locations in New Jersey and Maryland and projects spanning the Mid-Atlantic, Northeast, and southern New England regions, Omni already had firmly-established supplier relationships in place over a large portion of the eastern seaboard when the pandemic began, giving us more resources and a greater reach than most of our competitors. These factors don’t solve every supply chain problem, of course, but we can confidently say that Omni clients are in the best position possible on all fronts in comparison to what’s happening elsewhere in construction.
There is some positive supply chain news to report. Our buyers and project managers are experiencing shorter wait times on some previously long-lead electrical components and equipment, fewer unexpected delays, and in some cases, lower prices. Other item shortages seem to be “holding steady” and are showing signs of improvement.
On hard-hit power distribution items like motor control centers, substations, transformers, distribution panels, and breakers, we’re calling the glass half-full. Though they’re still in short supply, with estimated lead times continuing to hover at 9-12 months, these delays appear to have leveled off, as well. Unfortunately, however, microchip shortages affecting the process equipment market are likely to persist for at least another year.
Omni Instrumentation & Electrical Services, Inc., located in New Jersey and Maryland, is a premier instrumentation and electrical contractor, providing superior total care solutions since 1986. Services include instrument installation, tubing installation, instrument calibration, control loop testing, startup and commissioning, power and lighting, process control wiring, BMS wiring, telecommunications and data wiring, fire alarm wiring, security wiring, process network wiring, and control panel fabrication. Omni Instrumentation & Electrical Services, Inc., is certified in Foundation Fieldbus, Profibus, DeviceNet and ASI-Bus installation.