Stone Industry Feeling Supply Chain Crisis: Impact On Orders Including Headstones

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo .– People whose loved ones have died may have to wait months for gravestones, and suppliers say the supply chain crisis is to blame.

“People are cranky, and I think I would be too, especially when it comes to commemorating a loved one,” said Richard Wilhelm, director of Wilhelm Monuments.

Wilhelm Monuments has been a Colorado Springs staple for 75 years. A tombstone used to take them weeks to complete, but now orders are taking months and demand has tripled for the product they currently have.

“If I had had any idea this was going to happen, I probably would have ordered a lot sooner,” Wilhelm said.

Monument companies claim that finding stencils for making tombstone engravings is also difficult to find, as the majority of stencils come from overseas. They also don’t have much of a chance to get their hands on any stones.

“Sometimes we just settle for stones that we didn’t want to start with,” said Lisa Koselak, owner of Carved In Stone by Design.

Koselak is counting on obtaining its stone from C&C Sand and Stone Co. in Colorado Springs, where labor and supply shortages are impacting their operations.

“I’ve never seen problems like this since the COVID hit,” said Ben Petrini, director of C&C Sand and Stone Company.

Pentrini said his store was waiting for 30 semi-loads of material to arrive at his store, and entrepreneurs are also struggling with prices for some stones rising by up to 20%.

“The price increases took place mid-season, and once things have been cited, it makes profitability for these guys very difficult,” said Petrini.

Customers get impatient, but business owners think the problem is here to go on for awhile.

“A lot of businesses are closed because they don’t have a stencil to engrave,” Wilhelm said.

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