INDIANAPOLIS — Inflation hits its highest mark in four decades recently and local lawn care and supply companies say the high costs have put them between a rock and a hard place with their customers.
“I just did a quick double-check and sort of scared myself,” Joshua Brown, CEO of Tiffany Lawn & Garden Supply, said. “Since the first of the year, fuel prices that we use here on sight have gone up 85%.”
Brown said fuel prices have already forced him to make tough choices for the company, like adding a fuel surcharge.
“We just had to do a midseason price increase on all of our produced products because we’ve absorbed as much of that price as we can,” Brown said.
Over at Thomas Lawn & Landscape Inc., owner Chris Thomas is considering adding a fuel surcharge. It’s a move he has not made since 2008.
“It just keeps snowballing of everything going up and up and up and fuel touches everything,” Thomas said.
Gas prices climbed to more than $5 per gallon and diesel fuel sits at $5.70 per gallon. That’s money out of Thomas’ pocket.
“We go and we fill up trucks where it used to be 100 dollars, now it’s 200 dollars,” Thomas said.
Both company leaders said fuel prices are just a piece of the inflation pain. Supply chain costs continue to challenge their bottom line.
“Anything that has to deal with steel that comes from any sort of other country, those have been delayed,” Brown said. “The biggest thing is replacement parts for machines.”
Both Brown and Thomas said they have not considered cutting jobs to make up for high costs. That’s primarily because they have jobs to fill! They said hiring quality candidates continues to be an issue.