The COVID Effect: Component Shortages and Rising Prices.
Despite best laid plans, bicycle manufacturers and retailers are now suffering from the severe supply shortages caused the COVID crisis, and it’s not going to get better any time soon. A few major bicycle component suppliers are now stating that deliveries to Europe will not resume until 2022, and the components and material that can be purchased are only available at a 30% increase in cost.
What does this mean for the bicycle industry? For some small-to-medium sized bicycle businesses that sold all of their stock in 2020, it is catastrophic. Orders can’t be completed for 2021 and delivery times are impossible to honor. For others, creative sourcing has become a means of survival.
In our experience, supplies and components can be found, but it’s important to be honest with the client about when they can expect finished units or replacement parts. During challenging times, it’s more important than ever to communicate clearly and ensure that expectations are tracking reality.
For tour operators, it’s going to be important to secure replacement parts for rental fleets as quickly as possible, and be prepared to repair parts rather than replace them for this season.
By working with our clients on ways to protect their fleets from damage, ways to prevent excessive wear, and repair components the right way – safely – we can get through this difficult period with a minimum of interruptions.
Looking forward to 2022, we can see that the tourism industry is predicted to recover and experience strong growth as visitors realize the opportunity to get back into the world and explore, and supplies will resume again as the situation continues to normalize.
The COVID crisis will remain with us, in ways large and small, for the next 12 months at least, but by working together, we can ensure that the business of creating high-quality experiences for our riders, clients, and tour operators continues to moves forward.