When supply issues meet deadlines

We are all aware of the recent shortage of building supplies (especially timber) due to the COVID pandemic. Whilst this may not come as a surprise, what may surprise you is when your client refuses to give you additional time, and demands that you finish the job on time, or else. Here is advice about how to manage the pressure and find a way out

An all-too-familiar scenario we encounter goes something like this: You cannot find the item you are looking for, as no shipments are arriving from China due to the local lockdown and/or export restrictions. Your client (typically a commercial client) rings and asks when the job will be completed because they have a deadline to meet. The only answer you can give is either “maybe by ___ date” or worse, “I don’t know”. The client understandably gets frustrated and demands the job be completed on time, regardless. You desperately look around for available parts locally and realise everyone else is doing the same. The deadline is missed and not only does your client refuse to pay existing invoices, he/she also threatens to sue for damages.

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