MADISON, Tenn. (WTVF) — The monument and tombstone industry has been impacted by ongoing supply chain challenges.
At Schultz Monument Company, Richard Schultz said they’re in need of sandblast stencil. “We’re down to two suppliers,” Schultz said.
When usually businesses can get stone in weeks, it could take months depending on where it’s ordered from due to the trucker shortage. "Our normal turnaround time went from 8 to 10 weeks to literally 4.5 to 6 months," Schultz said.
Schultz Monument Company can custom design gravestones and monuments for its customers.
Tombstone shopping to bury a loved one? It could take months to get grave markers due to supply chain issues and the trucker shortage. Meanwhile, deaths are expected to increase due to baby boomers getting older. Richard at Schultz Monument tells me it’s a perfect storm @nc5 pic.twitter.com/L8EowUXKut— Alexandra Koehn (@NC5_AKoehn) October 26, 2021
Schultz tries to use domestic suppliers, but some stone and granite are only found in India and China. "Their turnaround time is, before I get the stone, 18 weeks roughly," Schultz said/
The same goes for bronze markers. "Their delays are just about double," Schultz said.
At the same time, Richard is seeing a 25% increase in orders due to the baby boomer generation dying. “It's the beginning of that bell curve that we’re going to see,” Schultz said.
He said some of the issues are linked to the trucker and labor shortages as well. "Every case is a little unique based on how customized it is, and sometimes some suppliers run faster than other suppliers," Schultz said.
Usually, they can laser stone quickly if they have the supplies handy. "The information we get from our suppliers is sometimes not always accurate, so then when I pass that along to my customer, my customer rightfully gets frustrated, and I understand their frustration," Schultz said.
He hopes the supply bottleneck and labor shortage will work itself out soon.