While the past two years have been anything but predictable, Fleetwood Windows and Doors has remained steady on standard color and almost all product lines within their large body of product families, including Gen 3, Gen 4, and their newest line, Edge Series. Now with material and labor shortages, along with the global supply chain impacting critical microchips and manufacturing parts, Fleetwood, again, is leading the charge, by communicating early with its dealers.
Recently, Fleetwood asked its dealers to plan for production delays despite their efforts to inventory 300% more raw materials and parts. Fleetwood has been one of the most stable window and door manufacturers during the pandemic, not only because they stock 3x the inventory of materials and parts needed for orders, but also due to a local dedicated labor force that has enabled continuous operations during COVID. However, despite these efforts, the global supply chain is being severely impacted, and Fleetwood reports that they are still receiving material below par, which requires some rejections.
The wisdom of manufacturers that partner with dealers is that we can leverage our resources to help troubleshoot problems arising from the pandemic. Working together, we can plan ahead to place orders and receive orders early. We can also work out a plan B, to get frames before the sashes/panels.
COVID19 should be an open and candid discussion with your window and door dealer, or if direct sell, the factory representative. There is ample evidence that getting the products out of the factory and to your door has been impacted due to COVID19, especially the delivery and service side of the industry. Ask questions about delivery coordination, storage options, the factory, the labor force, and the inventory of raw parts. What does the service department (if there is one) look like? What is, and is not, included in the warranty? In summation, regardless of which manufacturer you plan to purchase your windows and doors, it is imperative to work with an industry professional, plan ahead, and have a plan B in place, as it is likely your order will ship in parts and/or be delayed.
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