The past year has been surprising in a variety of ways. We obviously had no idea a global pandemic was going to occur, and we did not have a playbook for how to manage through a public health crisis either.
The pandemic has introduced a lot of uncertainty, including questions about how the housing market may be impacted. To our delight at Casa di Sassi, the housing market shifted into hyperdrive in 2020, and that momentum has continued into 2021.
The home improvement market is also growing right now, and trend watchers are expecting the growth to continue.
For us, we are now in a fortunate position of growth that surpasses even our most aggressive goals!
The increased demand has another effect on the industry - building materials across the country are now more scarce, which is driving up prices.
The cost of producing stone veneer has increased, but we are doing our best to keep our prices static.
While the industry has been increasing prices, more demand means longer lead times and other challenges such as hiring enough labor to meet order volume.
We have not been immune to the business challenges that accompany increased demand. As order flow has increased, our lead times have become longer, outside of our target goal of timely availability.
We are making a number of changes inside our business - but we are not changing our goals.
We are adjusting our inventory levels, hiring quality people that fit our core values as aggressively as we are able, and working long hours to bring our lead times down. We anticipate making big strides in reducing our lead times over the next six months.
Here are a few of the adjustments we are currently making to bring down our lead times:
- We are doubling our storage and production capacity, with a deadline of August 31, 2021.
- Production for molds will double by mid-May.
- Increased production in our molds means our pouring capacity grows each week.
These three big changes are happening right now, and represent our short-term plans.
But, we have long-term plans, too.
We have begun the process and the layout for our next site location for Casa di Sassi as our expansion continues! Our next location will cover 20 acres, and be right up the road from our current location in Apple Creek. Our showroom in our current location will stay put, but we are excited about the increased production and storage capacity of our new building.
We share this information about our plans with you because we will always operate with transparency.
We are also people of action at Casa - rather than sharing a generic message of “we’re working on reducing lead times,” or “we’re breaking sales records” - we are instead giving you specifics and deadlines!
These plans are already in motion, and we are confident we will hit our deadlines. Please hold us accountable to them.
Your trust in us means everything to us - and we will continue to try and earn it with every mold we pour and stone we ship.