The Supply Chain Shortage Is Now Affecting Tombstones for the Dead

This is especially unfortunate since business is booming for funeral homes, due in part to COVID-19 and aging baby boomers. 

Dead people might have to now wait for one of the very last products they'll ever need. That's right — the supply chain shortages have now hit the tombstone business. 

"Our normal turnaround time went from eight to ten weeks to literally four-and-a-half to six months," Richard Schultz said.

He runs the Schultz Monument Company in Tennessee and told WTVF he's running low on sandblast stencils used to mark memorials.

He says three companies used to make them, but one has gone out of business, leaving two suppliers left. The stones themselves are also subject to delays, as some are imported from places like India.

Want a bronze marker? Get in line because those delays are doubled.

Richard says shipping and labor shortages have a lot to do with how long people have to wait for their tombstones.

"Every case is a little unique based on how customized it is," he explained. "And sometimes some suppliers run faster than other suppliers." 

And while most people aren't in a rush to get their tombstones, no one wants to wait for them, either. 

"The information we get from our suppliers is sometimes not always accurate," he added. "So then when I pass that along to my customer, my customer rightfully gets frustrated, and I understand their frustration."

Unfortunately, for companies like Richard's, business is booming, due in part to COVID-19 and aging baby boomers. 

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