General News Direct From Brunswick
You are likely aware of the impact supply chain issues are having on inflation. The situation is no less severe in the bowling industry. We receive new and often severe price increases from our suppliers each week. Unfortunately, the situation has forced us to deviate from our normal annual pricing process. We will be issuing a new price list for 2022 in March to be followed by quarterly price updates thereafter. The price files are available at www.schemm.com
You may also be aware of the continued labor shortages in the market at large. Once again, Brunswick is no exception and we have suffered great instability in our work force. Recruiting has been very difficult. We have made several changes to attract labor and talent, but we continue to suffer shortages. We have found some success with our most recent changes, however, and we hope for more continued success. We believe we will see our backlog shrink in the coming weeks.
Supply Chain Updates
The only bowling pin plant in the United States shut down operations from September to December due to hurricane damage at a primary supplier’s plant in Texas. The pin plant has resumed operations and Brunswick has started receiving pins. It will take several weeks of consistent shipments to clear our current backorders. We expect to begin building inventory by April. Please use April/May as a timeframe for availability of pins for new orders.
Brunswick has seen significant challenges with different segments of the parts lines. As we move into the first quarter, there are signs that improvements are coming with many previously back-ordered items arriving. However, there are a full range of challenges that our purchasing team continues to work through. Suppliers are improving with meeting delivery dates, and close to 70% of the current products on backorder have a due date of either February or March.
Accelerator motor – 99030363004. We will receive a last time buy that will cover current open orders. Expected ETA in Muskegon is mid to late March. The accelerator motor will be replaced with a conversion package which uses the same motor as the NXT. Development and release of this package is in the final stages.
Deck chutes Urethane continues to have availability concerns, but our deck chute supplier has made good progress with reducing the deck chutes on back-order. The OEM Plus line continues to present the most challenges with both the dye and urethane. Our Poly and AP lines are available except for the #5 Poly which we do expect in February.
Belts 12400034007 & 12450037000. We expect shipments of both in February. Item 12400034007 will likely clear backorders sooner than 12450037000 which has ETA’s of both Feb & Mar.
Ball lift tires In November we alerted our distributors about a long term backorder concern with the Ball lift wheel assembly-5352006000. Customers could transition to the Red V-tire, the Foam Tire, or the Black Quality V-tire. The Quality tire is in stock- item 57-2036. Increased demand of both 90520060600 and 9052006000 have kept these on backorder but our suppliers are working to handle our increased demand. We do expect the ball lift wheel assembly will be produced again but it is premature to provide a timeline for availability.
Rental shoes Rental shoes demand has increased significantly. We increased order volumes last fall with additional container loads. Our December shipment was delayed due to the shortage of containers but is expected to arrive in the next few days. Additional containers are scheduled for February, March, and April. We do expect the February container to clear most of our current backlog, but some sizes may not be available until March.
Chemical supplies Cleaners and conditioners have been very difficult to manufacture due to global material allocations and shortages of raw materials. Additionally, many suppliers are struggling with Quality Control for the materials that they can provide due to alternative sourcing practices.
Resultingly, Brunswick recently denied large amounts of raw materials from our suppliers due to poor quality, which has delayed our production schedules for many conditioners and cleaners. This unfortunate delay in production has put us on backorder for most products in our line. However, we are diligently working to test and qualify that the materials we source, and produce, are of sound quality before shipping products to customers. Ensuring our customers receive quality product is our highest priority. Once materials are qualified, production fulfillment capacity is very large and fast, so we will have large volumes of products landing in inventory – some as early as the first week in February.
MAX10 lane cleaner has been largely impacted by the global surfactant shortage, which has made some ingredients unavailable. However, we will be able to produce one large batch of MAX10 in the next couple of weeks. We will then be out of the raw materials again for an unknown period. In the interim, we recommend all MAX10 users supplement their MAX10 orders with Hook Zone & Hook Zone Super Concentrate throughout the unknown time gaps in MAX10 materials shipments.