It’s one of the most widely celebrated holidays in the world, uniting the Chinese communities around the world in culture and celebration. But the Chinese New Year is also a festival that sees China’s industry come to a virtual standstill. For Australia’s construction industry especially, it creates a serious problem, with supplies of material, including decorative stone drying up.
At DécoR Stone, we’ve been supplying Australia with decorative wall cladding and flooring products since 1975. While some of our product range is Australian, much of our products are sourced from overseas - including China for our stacked stone range.
Experience has taught us that maintaining a rich supply of products takes careful advanced planning. After all, high quality decorative stone is not scattered around your feet. We take great care to source the very best material for our stacked stone range.
Understanding Chinese New Year
Around the world, the Chinese New Year is celebrated with gusto. But as fantastic the spectacle, and special the occasion is here, it is nothing compared to the magnitude of the holiday in China itself. If you’re not fully familiar with its significance, here are a few pointers.
● The New Year is based on the traditional Chinese lunar calendar, and never falls on the same date two years in row. In 2014, it was on January 31: in 2015, on February 19.
● The holiday legally lasts about 1 week, but because it’s the one holiday workers go home for, it can last for between 3 and 4 weeks. In 2015, industry is expected to shut down from February 10 to March 6.
● China is vast (about 2 million sq km bigger than Australia), so some factory workers travel for 7 days to get home to their families. Some 78 million workers will make these journeys.
● Two additional issues compound the problems:
○ In certain Chinese regions, the winters are so cold that production needs to be halted until spring anyway.
○ Some workers choose not to return to work. This means a worker shortage, which can lead to slow start-ups.
What Is Done To Counter Stoppage
There are a few things that economists advise importers to do in order to counter the supply chain problems that the Chinese New Year produces. The main ones are:
● Stock Up – basically, suppliers have import a lot more than usual in the months building up to the holiday to compensate for the fall in availability. This mean effectively means there is a stockpile to draw from, sufficient in size to meet normal demand.
For us at DécoR Stone, stocking up on our decorative stone products makes good sense. It’s like saving for a rainy day – except we know exactly when the rain is coming, how long the rain will fall for, and that stacked stone, wall cladding and other materials are certain to be needed.
● Other Sources – logically, if your usual supplier is unable to deliver, then find someone else. This can work well in certain industries, but not when the product or material is of a quality that is hard to match. Bridging the gap may be necessary, but importers run the risk of losing customers if the replacement source is lower quality.
We are as insistent on getting the highest quality decorative stone as any of customers are. We have ensured that the pebbles, paving tiles, stacked stone, and stone cladding range of products come from the best sources. Changing them for temporary reasons is not something we like to do.
DécoR Stone Is Always Ready
We are proud to be recognised as Australia’s largest distributor of decorative stone, but we have not achieved this by accident. In almost 40 years, we have overcome many challenges, one of which has been successfully negotiating the Chinese New Year industrial shut-down.
Why is DécoR Stone always ready? Basically, it’s because we have the resources necessary to enable us to look after our customers and clients for the duration, with no interruption to our normal decorative stone supplies and delivery services.
Our three warehouses, located in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne, already supplies more than 380 retailers around Australia. And because these warehouses maintain high stock levels of decorative stone products, including China-sourced stacked stone, at all times, they can easily transfer stock between them when necessary so none of our retailers, and subsequently their important builder clients, are ever left high and dry.