Setbacks on supply orders and markups on certain materials have caused issues at businesses in St. Joseph.
Though she continues to push forward and will still see a 15% increase in projected sales, Bobbie Bell Crenshaw’s business as a broker for promotional products at Peregrine Solutions, located 224 N. Seventh St., has still had to adjust to the increasing cost of supplies.
Crenshaw’s business, which provides business and promotional products, is dependent on other products getting to her to fulfill her customers’ needs.
“What’s happening is, not only are they struggling with the fact that China is not able to produce the product or the Philippines or wherever the product is produced, they’re not getting product and they’re struggling with employees to imprint the product,” Crenshaw said.
Peregrine Solutions has had a wide range of clientele, ranging from individuals to large corporations such as Kawasaki. Peregrine Solutions supplies bags that products, such as Kawasaki’s gaskets for lawn mowers, are sold in. She said timelines to receive the bags have been pushed back six months.
Crenshaw said March is when she noticed products starting to take much longer to be received, and she can’t forecast how long products, mostly plastic products, are going to be delayed. In the 20-plus years she has been brokering promotional products, she has never said it’s not her fault when a customer’s needs are not met, regardless of whether manufacturers can do their part in a customer’s ordering process.
“It ultimately is my fault because you trusted me,” Crenshaw said. “I hate not being able to fill their needs. There’s just nothing else I can do about it.”
Peregrine Solutions has had to mark up the price on products based on cost hikes on products that are being shipped in from manufacturers.
“As I see an increase, I pass that along,” Crenshaw said. “But I have a set markup that I always charge on my products so that when my cost has increased, I just continue to pass on the same markup that I’ve always had. I’ve been very fortunate no one has questioned the markups.”
Crenshaw still sits comfortably in her position as a middle man for customers and manufacturers. She said there’s one thing she’s had to adjust to the most given the circumstances of having products back ordered: losing a lot of business because products are not able to be shipped in as quickly as a customer needs.
“I’ve added a tagline to my emails so everybody sees, ‘turnarounds are just taking longer so you have to plan ahead.’ Of course, I hate not being able to fulfill my customers’ needs,” Crenshaw said.