Industry Challenges, RDC Solutions

Bo Dietrick

June, 2021

Few industries have been immune to the economic challenges that 2020 and the COVID-19 crisis presented to American manufacturing. Currently, the loading dock manufacturing industry faces several challenges in 2021, stemming from shortages in raw materials (i.e., steel, lumber, fabric, insulation) and the availability of semi-truck drivers to deliver products. In the past 60 days, Robert Dietrick Company has begun to experience longer-than-usual lead times from many of the manufacturers we represent and mid-year price increases that are symptomatic of the increased demand on low-quantity raw goods required for production. But the stance of RDC is, and always has been, that we will weather the storms as they come and fulfill our responsibility as an industrial solutions provider to present options to our customers and to educate them on the choices they can make in their manufacturing and warehousing facilities.

Currently, RDC is investing in additional parts and supplies – particularly in the areas of overhead doors and loading dock materials – that are considered critical to facilities moving products in and out on an hourly basis. Time is of the essence, and we plan to be prepared to support any products experiencing downtime in your facility, regardless of the make or model. We are fortunate to maintain essential relationships with high-quality manufacturers to obtain parts for your service issues as fast and affordable as the market dictates. In addition, RDC’s Columbus, IN operation has allowed the space for a fabrication area where we can now produce certain repair parts faster than shipping logistics can support. That is how Robert Dietrick Company is being reactive to assist with your unpredictable service needs, but here are three proactive measures you can take to prepare for extended lead times in 2021:


Now is a great time to commit to ordering commonly purchased parts to essential products in your facility. Consult with your RDC representative to gain reporting insights on frequent issues you’ve experienced in your facility to target strategic purchasing of parts. Once stored at your facility, RDC will be able to accommodate fast turnaround repairs on broken products using the unique parts that are already stocked.


Due to extended lead times, some configured purchases may not even be available to ship until a future quarter. Plan ahead for the second-half-of-the-year projects that can be entered in the order queue now and billed when complete!


The best way to avoid unforeseen downtime in dock equipment is through a regularly scheduled Planned Maintenance Program. RDC PMP will keep experienced technicians at regular exposure to your loading dock, which will allow for fixes to take place before they become a problem. Reach out to your RDC representative today to learn more about PMP!

When working with Robert Dietrick Company, we aim to always give you options. These options will allow you, our loyal customer, to plan for budgeting, scheduling, and/or productivity. By working with expertly trained service technicians and readily available sales representatives, you can be confident in your decision-making and the opportunity to choose the best path for your facility – regardless of outside industry challenges.

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