Supply Chain Statement
Updated as of 5/20/2021
To our customers;
First, we would like to thank you for your years of support. We couldn’t be here without you, and we appreciate each and every order.
Since March of 2020, the world has experienced disruption like never before. The pandemic has impacted the auto industry in ways that no one could’ve expected. Many were forced to shut down temporarily, or restructure the way their company functioned around March/April, in order to keep their staff safe, and remain in compliance with local ordinances.
This post however, is not simply us blaming the pandemic for extended lead times, but rather the most candid explanation we can offer you as to why lead times have absolutely skyrocketed within the last 12 months.
One point we’d like to make, before getting into the details: We at THREEPIECEUS are operating at FULL CAPACITY, with a LARGER STAFF THAN EVER. That means that the minute your parts/wheels arrive to our facility, and it is our turn in the supply chain to work on them, we get them out to you extremely quickly. It’s everything leading up to us that is slow.
Essentially, longer than expected ETAs have been caused by four key factors.
- Labor shortages - There aren’t enough people to make raw material/product
- Material/component shortages - There aren’t enough raw materials
- Freight shortages + costs - It is extremely expensive, or impossible to move raw materials or finished products.
- Surging demand - People are purchasing at record levels.
Each of these factors alone is something that can be worked around, however the four together have combined to create an extremely hostile climate for manufacturing.
We understand it is extremely frustrating to wait a much longer than normal ETA for your parts. All of us at threepieceus are car guys/girls, and unfortunately, we all have parts for our own projects on backorder right now just like y’all.
Q: I’m tired of waiting, tell your manufacturer to make my order faster.
A: We wish it worked this way. The vintage wheel business is a small subsection of a much larger industry. The sizes y’all want, that we commonly use (15-19”) are no longer popular sizes in the wheel industry as a whole. The wheel industry revolves around new luxury/sports cars, and new cars use 20/21/22/24” wheels. This means that, while there are shortages, the manufacturers of lips and barrels are attempting to service the largest segment of the market. That means 20/21/22/24” parts are currently taking priority for them over 15/16/17/18/19” parts. The manufacturer, whether it be for lips & barrels, or wheels like WORK or Weds, will not expedite your order for any reason. It’s not that they don’t want to, it’s that there is literally not enough raw material in the world to keep up with demand.
Q: I don’t want to wait anymore, can I cancel my order?
A: Due to the nature of many of our products, they are FINAL SALE, meaning no you cannot cancel in most cases. With that said, if we’re out of stock, everyone else likely is too. One of the “dirty secrets” of the vintage wheel business, is that the parts sold by your favorite local shop either come from us, or one other retailer. NO ONE ELSE IS MANUFACTURER DIRECT. We, and the other vendor, buy millions of dollars in parts a year, and stock them. Most others drop-ship their parts from us, or purchase pre-made parts from us to then re-sell. That means that Joe’s 3 Piece Wheel supply in Anytown USA, is selling you Threepieceus or X Vendor lips/barrels, not their own brand. If we are out of stock, they probably are too. If you proceed with a cancellation, understand that the minute you cancel, your parts will be sold to someone else, and you will be at the back of the line, waiting likely 6+ months for a new order.
Q: My ETA keeps getting pushed back, what do I do? How can I get the product faster?
A: Unfortunately, there’s not much that you, or we, can do. Currently everyone throughout the entire manufacturing supply chain, from raw materials, to finished products, are experiencing delays in the manufacturing process. ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGRu74nyDb8&ab_channel=Ryerson ) There is no way to accelerate the production of your specific product, however we will always attempt to offer alternatives that are in-stock.
Q: When will things get back to normal?
A: We wish we could predict this with any degree of certainty. This situation will 100% continue through the end of 2021, and likely into early 2022. We are finding ways to adapt to the new manufacturing climate, and are investing in accelerating production wherever it is possible.
Q: I saw XYZ social media influencer get his/her wheels right away, wtf Threepiece, always taking care of famous people first.
A: This one is hilarious. Most influencers that we have partnerships with wait as long, or longer than retail customers. Influencer orders are in no way shape or form prioritized. In fact, quite the opposite. Our retail orders will take precedence over influencer deals 10 out of 10 times. We keep our partnerships private until they are released, so while it can seem like XYZ influencer or “famous person” got their wheels right away, they’ve likely waited longer than you.
If you made it to the end, thank you for reading this entire wall of text. This post isn’t a cop-out where we throw our hands up and say “things are out of our control sorry” but rather a candid explanation of the issues we are experiencing, in the interest of full transparency.
We love working with y’all to build some of the coolest wheels on the planet, and hope that things can get back to normal sooner than later. In the meantime, thank you for being patient and working with us, we can’t wait to see your new wheel setup!