CAN YOUR MANUFACTURER MEET YOUR DEMANDS?
If you’re a building owner, the capacity of your next silicone roof coating manufacturer is not a very important factor. Sure, when you’re ready to restore your roof, you want the coating as soon as you’re ready, but you can probably wait a week or two. However, if you’re a contractor who has a multitude of projects coming up in the next year, the capacity of a manufacturer is crucial for their eligibility to work with you. If you have a project come up in a rush, you have to have the coating right then. Are you sure the manufacturer you’re looking at can meet the demand you plan on creating?
Inventory and Flexibility Are Key
First off, you want a manufacturer that regularly builds and properly rotates their inventory, making sure it is ready for any surprise orders. But building inventory is not the only way to handle the capacity problem because silicone coating has a shelf life. The manufacturer also has to have flexibility and equipment required to quickly produce any new material that may not be in their inventory. If you find a manufacturer that properly manages their inventory and is willing to work with you on production scheduling, you may have a keeper.
Keep an Eye Out for Shelf Life
As we stated in the previous paragraph, silicone coatings do have a shelf life, and it’s usually 1-2 years. If a manufacturer doesn’t sell a specific product for a while, they may just hang onto it in hopes that they will eventually sell it in the future. If they are holding onto 20 drums of material for 18 months, you probably don’t want that stuff on your roof; it probably won’t perform very well. So make sure you keep an eye on the shelf life of the material you are getting and compare it with the manufacture date.
It’s difficult to find a good marriage of inventory levels and making coating to order. A manufacturer that can do this well is a good one and you can feel safe they are probably handling other parts of the process well.