ELMWOOD PARK, NJ (WCBS 880) -- The supply chain woes appear to be getting worse.
Bergen County-based Turn 2 Sports, LLC makes sports equipment and uniforms for schools. Their production times have dramatically increased during the pandemic, and now, major brands such as Adidas and Nike are already placing orders for next year.
"In the old days, you could be able to order for next week and be readily available. Now, it's order four to six months in advance and hope that you get it," said Turn 2 Sports founder James T. Gregory on the WCBS Small Business Spotlight, sponsored by Dime Community Bank.
"We had orders that we placed in November that are due to ship in June and we're being told that they're going to be delayed until September/October," he said. "So, the supply chain issues are 100 percent getting worse."
Gregory said he has had to tell school officials to track down foul balls at baseball games because they do not have enough inventory to replace sports equipment.
"We're trying to change our approach to if we see something available, you got to go out and get it. You can't just hope that it's going to be there in six months or even a month from now because somebody already went and picked it up," he said.
The Turn 2 Sports owner told WCBS 880 he blames the supply crunch on steep competition against larger companies, labor shortages, and COVID-19 lockdowns in China that have crippled global supply chains.
"You have a lot of manufacturers who are trying to keep up with the demand just like every other manufacturer out there, but it's just this domino effect. If you don't have truck drivers to get product into warehouses, if you don't have warehouse labor to unload those trucks, you can't keep up with everything that's going on," said Gregory.
In an effort to cut out the middle man, Turn 2 Sports brought its manufacturing home.
"We brought in our own manufacturing to cut out the contracting that we were giving out," he said.
Doing all embroidery and shirt printing in their Elmwood Park, NJ headquarters has streamlined their production process.
"It's an investment into the business but I think for us to be able to continue to sustain our business and our growth, we had to bring in our own manufacturing and our own supply chain management."
Gregory believes the short-term costs to produce clothing in-house will pay off long-term.
See the full story on the WCBS Small Business Spotlight video above.