The ability to capitalize on new opportunities in emerging markets requires timing and speed, two critical aspects of the industry’s supply chain still mired in post-pandemic shortages. For new license recipients, scaling businesses, investors, and general contractors who simply cannot wait for the insulated metal panels required to complete time-sensitive controlled environment building projects, finding the materials they need could make the difference between getting into a proper facility on time or committing to a less-than-ideal build with a long list of problematic issues to address down the line.
Insulated metal panel company PermaTherm recognized the difficulty contractors, installers, and business owners have faced sourcing materials in 2022. And with more than three decades of experience in controlled environment agriculture, cold storage, and cannabis facility design and buildout, they have the technological and logistical expertise needed to offer viable solutions to keep operations as eco-friendly as possible while still being highly productive.
One major initiative to help businesses operate sustainability and efficiently is PermaTherm’s recently launched Panels Delivered Quickly (PDQ) program, a new way for general contractors, installers, and business owners to obtain high-quality insulated metal panels from on-hand inventory.
“Raw material shortages, flaws with logistics, and the skyrocketing prices of freight all resulted in significant production backlogs—and that was all a result of the perfect storm COVID-19 created for operators around the world,” said Keith DeVore, president at PermaTherm.
Business owners already struggled with overly burdensome taxes, evolving regulations, and difficulty obtaining capital, and supply chain shortages brought on by the pandemic only compounded these stresses. As a result, operators must either think way outside the box or surrender a significant share of their profits to obtain the required resources to meet their timelines.
“Cultivators and growers—especially those who have recently obtained their licenses—struggled significantly in many states with the ticking time clock to produce their first crops and move to the next phase of their buildout,” said DeVore.
The problem doesn’t begin and end with initial crop production, either. Cultivators are desperate to sustain momentum for the rest of the supply chain. When the first step on the path is hindered, other business owners along the chain are forced into an expensive and stressful scramble to catch up.
“Many of our customers were lamenting about the supply chain, logistics, and the laborious process of placing custom orders, all of which were putting them way behind on their projects,” said DeVore. “Our team reviewed sales data, then interviewed general contractors in the field. We coupled that research with a focus group of our core customers, which really helped us narrow down this program to serve the growing need in the best way possible.”
While increasing the investment in on-hand inventory comes with a risk for any manufacturer or supplier, the tactic has allowed PermaTherm to show current and future customers they’re listening to the industry’s problems and responding with effective solutions.
According to DeVore, the PDQ program offers a time savings of more than 50 percent over the traditional custom quoting for projects smaller than 5,000 square feet. It’s ideal for general contractors working to satisfy rapid turnarounds, installers completing repairs in controlled environments, and other businesses searching for a reliable source of inventory that ships quickly.
So far, the program has seen positive feedback among operators. “The results have been better than projected,” said DeVore. “Especially with the recent hurricanes [in Florida], offering that on-hand inventory has really helped put customers’ minds at ease, ensuring they can get back up and running faster than they expected.”
PermaTherm approached the PDQ project from a stance of collaboration, utilizing expert insights from within the industry and beyond to inform its creation of an efficient program that easily can be tailored to a larger range of audiences.
“Several brains working together makes for lighter work,” said DeVore. “That’s why it’s important to also reach out to others in your trusted network, especially if they happen to be in a different industry. Odds are they have either come up with a solution of their own, or they know someone who can help you figure out the challenge you’re presented with. Sometimes, the best ideas come from fresh eyes and outside perspectives.”
PermaTherm can provide valuable perspective with experience inside and outside of cannabis. Much of the company’s team has worked together since before the company transitioned into cannabis, when PermaTherm’s solutions-based approach was aimed entirely at the highly regulated food industry.
Because of its strong familiarity with the ebbs and flows of supply chain hiccups, the company knows similar setbacks are certain to crop up again in the near future, and the best thing operators can do is stay prepared to address changes at any given time.
“We have to keep in mind that some of these ongoing supply chain issues are out of everyone’s control, but business owners who are predisposed to think outside the box, solve problems, and leverage others in their trusted network for wisdom will blaze the trails for others to follow,” said DeVore.