It’s always challenging to talk about changes in pricing especially if you’re in a commodity service where pennies can make or break the job. And let’s face it, no one ever wants to hear about pricing that is going up. But we are sure that you’ve noticed market conditions changed from COVID that may be affecting your service providers’ bottom line.
So, while avoiding the politics of WHY?, here are some post-COVID cost factors that may be showing up on your recent quotes and contracts:
- Finding and hiring qualified help
It’s not just fast food that is desperate for workers (the Starbucks near us just decided to temporarily shut down due to a labor shortage), nearly every commercial truck, retailer and restaurant has a “hiring” sign. CDL (commercial driver’s license) personnel are at a premium and skilled workers are starting at higher rates than ever before.
- Gas prices are skyrocketing
Lots of drivers safely returning the road, fear of mass transit, halt in domestic production and international gas relations have combined forces to push up the prices at the gas pump. For services that are onsite like data destruction or involve hauling, shipping and delivery (i.e., recycling, redeployment, warehousing) expect to see gas surcharges until the oil market stabilizes. Even your grocery bills are higher just because it costs more to transport.
- Health and safety
After almost two years, all those COVID health and safety precautions add up to greater costs. Whether it’s masks, gloves, disinfectants, spacing, shields, additional vehicles, lengthier work hours to accommodate safe distancing, testing, loss of work, time keeping up with the ups and downs of local, state and federal regulations and of course incentivizing vaccines within the company, the (still-accumulating) bill is an expense that companies may have to pass along.
- Supply chain delays
We’ve been warned: Santa Claus better shop early this year because the global supply chain is really, really, delayed. Full cargo ships are unable to unload due to lack of planning and a shortage of port workers, drivers and logistics personnel who have retired, switched careers or simply chosen not to return to work. This global shortage of workers to create, ship, load and load is creating strange pockets of unavailability and hiking up the costs of standard business items like bubble wrap, plastic wrap and pallets.
- Project backlogs
If you were one of the companies or project managers that said, “Hey, let’s wait a bit and see what happens” during COVID and that few weeks delay turned into months and even more than a year, you’re not alone. There is a tremendous backlog of data destruction, logistics and data center projects that have been on hold as corporations pull personnel back into offices, reconfigure their teams, consolidate data centers and/or move to the cloud.
- Leased office and data centers
It looks like a lot of people are not going back to the office for a while. And, for some, maybe never. This is dramatically changing the way both IT and property managers are using their space. Data centers are moving and consolidating, office environments are closing and heading to the cloud creating new costs. Creating online communities that embrace a home-based workforce is replacing large, leased office space and creating a larger demand for internet bandwidth, storage and new technologies.
The only palatable reason customers accept a price increase is because costs went up. No one likes it, but it’s understandable because you’re seeing it all around you — the supermarket, the gas station, the restaurant and payroll. Everyone, everywhere, is feeling the effects of COVID impacting the economy.
Just like many businesses around the world right now, Guardian is in the process of evaluating the impact of these unexpected costs and inflation. The delta cost of fuel is an easy one to calculate. The added cost of people is more challenging.
We’re working with our management team, vendors and customers to find creative solutions while ensuring that our core values and customer pledge of a secure, transparent process and honest, fair pricing continue to reflect Guardian’s best-in-class service and appreciation for our partners. We remain your trusted supplier for secure, compliant and absolute data destruction, data center services and IT packing and logistics.
If you have a question or some thoughts about on COVID impacting pricing for your business, we’d like to hear from you. Send us an email here.