Inflation and supply-chain issues are difficult to ignore these days. We are faced with them at the store, filling up with gas, and when we need to purchase a new car. News stories about the economy fill the headlines every day. Inflation impacts every corner of the home service industry. Each department's repair and equipment costs have increased significantly at A.B. May over the past two years. We do our best to absorb extra costs, but we have had to increase several prices in order to keep offering exceptional home service to our customers.
The Producer Price Index (PPI) program measures the average change over time in the selling prices received by domestic producers for their output. Here are some categories that especially impacted our business:
Sample of price increase percentages from August 2020 to August 2022.
|Producer Price Index Category||2-Year Price increase|
|Plumbing fixtures, fittings, and trim||11.6%|
|Lavatory and sink fittings||14.6%|
|Hardware, plumbing, and heating equipment and supplies merchant wholesalers||27.7%|
Unfortunately, the home services industry has been hit hard in the last few years. Increased materials prices, transportation costs, homeowner demand, and supply and labor shortages created greater price increases from 2020-2022 than ever before.
Material Price Increases
Global trade and manufacturing difficulties continue to affect raw materials like steel and copper. These materials are key components of many home systems and replacement parts.
Gasoline has been an obvious hit to our budget this year, as each mile our technicians drive costs much more than it did a few years ago. This year has surpassed any normal range for fluctuation. Keeping our fleet up to date has been more costly, too. New vehicles are extremely difficult to find, and repairs for older ones have been more expensive.
Kansas Citians use their homes differently than they did just a few years ago. Many people started working from home. Spending more time at home led to more service requests and a greater demand for system upgrades and home improvements.
Supply and Labor Shortages
Greater demand began as supply chains were disrupted during the pandemic. The global semiconductor shortage affected smart components of higher-efficiency HVAC systems and other home appliances, causing both new installations and repairs to be more expensive. Also, manufacturers have had lower worker availability, contributing to supply problems. Industry experts expect supply chains to continue improving, but labor constraints to continue to be a limiting factor.
In addition to manufacturing workers, there are also not enough skilled technicians in the workplace. A.B. May strives to be a great workplace, offering competitive compensation, benefits, and positive company culture.
Our mission is exceptional home service. We are committed to skilled problem solving and unparalleled customer service to take the best care of your home. It’s an honor to serve homeowners in Kansas City. We offer multiple Service Plans, Home Warranties, and financing to help plan for home repair expenses.