Over the last week we’ve reached out to our vendors to find out what they’re seeing on the ground. Specifically, how is COVID-19 affecting site services in the construction, events, and waste industries? Will hand washing supplies last through the crisis? With vendors in 35 states responding to our survey, here’s what we’ve discovered.
Like much of the country (and the world), most vendors viewed toilet paper and hand sanitizer stock issues as a top concern. About 40% of vendors said they expect to run out of one or both at some point before the COVID-19 crisis is over.
Anecdotally, we have heard from one vendor that hand sanitizer is being stolen from porta potties at an “alarming rate.” Because this has become such a major problem, the vendor had to begin charging restocking fees of $30 plus a $60 trip fee for each time they need to come out and replace hand sanitizer. Vendors, just like the general public, have limited supply and have asked customers to keep an eye on supplies to avoid theft.
Despite concerns over stock issues, most vendors reported feeling prepared for the situation. Less than 10% of vendors stated they felt unprepared. In addition, less than 10% of vendors said they expected layoffs. Another 15-20% reported being unsure whether or not layoffs would be expected as the situation goes on.
Across product lines, portable toilet vendors reported the highest likelihood of service delays. Roughly 24% of portable toilet vendors expect some service delays of some sort, and of course they are also the group experiencing stock supply concerns.
Only 15% of roll-off dumpster vendors anticipated service delays, with most responding they expect to see little to no impact from COVID-19. Front-load dumpster vendors responded similarly with only 11% expecting to see service delays. Storage container vendors seemed to meet in the middle at 13% expecting to experience delays.
While these numbers are low, there could be pockets of the country where delays and higher pricing due to demand are possible. Our account managers have been talking with vendors across the country to get a sense of where delivery times may be longer. We’re also keeping an eye out for vendors in neighboring cities where additional products such as hand-washing stations, for example, might be called in to fill rental orders.
To that end, three states stood out as being the most concerned about potential long-term impact. Vendors in Ohio, Oklahoma, and New York seemed particularly concerned about COVID-19 affecting site services, and we’ll continue to monitor those areas to find out what’s happening and what can be done.
In one case of short supply vs. demand, we were given a quote of $50,000 for a restroom trailer! Needless to say, we helped the customer find another solution. (And in fairness, that may have been a glitch from a vendor’s pricing system.) No matter what comes our way, our account managers are staying on the ball to find solutions that work for everyone.
With changes related to COVID-19 happening so quickly, we’re committed to staying in constant contact with our vendor partners and our customers to make sure we’re adjusting to meet the needs of everyone on the ground.
We’ve had the opportunity to build relationships with thousands of companies nationwide, so we’re working with them to make sure you can still seamlessly order, schedule, and manage your products and services.
Current customers can continue using myZTERS.com to manage their accounts. And to protect the safety of our account managers, we upgraded our technology so they can continue working from home.
Things will continue to change in the coming weeks and months. This is just a quick snapshot of COVID-19 affecting site services. We will continue to monitor the situation, and we’ll be here to answer any questions and help you keep your jobsites working. Have questions? Reach out to your account manager or contact us here.