Hawaiian Plumber Battles Supply Chain Issues

Hawaiian Plumber Battles Supply Chain Issues

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For the past few years, supply chain issues have been a major issue for businesses. The issue naturally is compounded in a remote location like Hawaii, where being supplied can get interesting in the best of times.

Allens Plumbing, headquartered on the island of Maui, has experienced disruptions with parts and equipment just like everyone else. Owner Steve Allen has dealt with it, but some of the fallout has left him wondering.

“I don’t know what to think about my wholesalers right now,” he says. “I try to stay away from big-box stores when I need a part, but the big-box stores are supplying parts below the cost of wholesalers. I am trying to understand why some big-box parts prices are 33% that of the wholesaler.”

The reality of the higher costs really hit Allen in October 2022 when he bought a new truck.

“I put off buying it but finally did and paid $50,000. The exact same truck I bought in 2019 for $34,000,” he says.

While Allen doesn’t feel right about going to the big-box stores for needed parts rather than to his wholesalers, he says he has little choice.

“We really try to avoid those stores, but we have gone there in order to get parts that weren’t available elsewhere,” Allen says. “The other day I finally decided that my entire loyalty has to be to my employees and to my customers. I have to remain competitive.”

Read more about Allens Plumbing in the February 2023 issue of Cleaner magazine.


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