Bolivar business owner explains how supply and demand issues impact monument industry

Published: Mar. 11, 2022 at 6:06 PM CST|Updated: Mar. 11, 2022 at 6:10 PM CST
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BOLIVAR, Mo. (KY3) - When we lose a loved one, organizing a funeral or choosing a grave stone can be a tough part of the process, especially now when supply and demand issues are delaying orders.

Brad Wommack, owner of Wommack Monuments, said he’s noticed a slowdown from manufacturers since 2020. He said choosing a tombstone is all about what’s in stock, and if it’s not, how long you’ll wait for it to arrive.

“If it’s something we don’t have coming or not in stock, if it’s overseas, we’re looking at four to five month [wait time] typically,” said Wommack. “If it’s something very unusual that’s a sculpture, that requires a lot more labor, it might push it back to seven to nine months.”

He said it depends on what you order. For example a popular color can even take up to ten months. When the pandemic hit, his strategy was to order more.

“We were ordering in advance and we we’re able to compensate the supply chain disruption by having the granite come in early,” said Wommack.

Another issue is stenciling.

“This is a masking product that we call stencil,” said Wommack. “One of the major manufactures of stencil 3M corporation just stopped manufacturing. It put everybody in flux that was buying from 3M. Luckily, we were buying from another company.”

Wommack said his prices haven’t increased yet, but the cost of granite is rising.

“My major supplier, our number one material, took three increases in 2021 that was 60%,” said Wommack. “I’ve never seen anything like that.”

If you are in business for a tombstone, Wommack says to do your research and look around for multiple, reputable companies.

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