Volume 415, Issue 6 - August 2006

From the Editor

Eggs in One Basket
by Samantha Carpenter

A few weeks ago I learned that many distributors, dealers and retailers were dealing with a shortage in molded interior doors.
When researching this subject, I found a lack of information. Nothing about the shortage in molded interior doors or about a shortage of door skins (its primary door component)—was being written. I made it SHELTER’s task to address the issue.

In the past, I’ve contacted readers about different topics, but never have I gotten the response that I received on the molded interior door shortage. What surprised me the most was that many in the supply chain were put on allocation by their door supplier. Others were cut off entirely, leaving them in search of another company to supply them with doors. While some of the secondary suppliers could take on some of the business, they have been hesitant to take all the business being presented to them for fear that they won’t be able to keep up with demand and would cause their previously existing customers harm.

Some distributors and dealers who couldn’t get more supply from another manufacturer or a fellow distributor or dealer turned to big box stores and began buying off-the-shelf. Never before had I heard of a distributor buying from a big-box store, but then, I had never heard of a shortage that seemed to be crippling so many in the industry.

I was truly disappointed that only one of the three major door skin suppliers I contacted commented on the shortage. SHELTER’s goal was to publish in-depth information about the shortage, since many of our readers felt that communication with their supplier on the subject was lacking and there has been a lot of speculation about why there is a shortage at all.

This scarcity of skins is going to force many in the supply chain to find new, secondary suppliers in the future—so not all their “eggs are in one basket.” No one knows exactly how long this supply-and-demand issue will continue.

I would encourage any of you who wish to comment on the door skins/molded interior doors shortage to send a note to me at scarpenter@sheltermagazine.com. Let me know how you’re handling the shortage. I look forward to hearing from you.

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