Shannon Morrow and RD TK sat waiting on the phone to be picked up in RD's office at Tweedy Lumber Do It Center in Rushville trying to order treated lumber in the beginning of 2020. Shannon had just bought the business in 2019 but knew it should take them a few days and RD had been ordering goods for 40 years. “Hi.” Shannon said, “We'd like to place an order semi load of lumber.” 

“Alright. That's going to be about eight weeks,” the person on the other end of the phone said. Shannon and RD's jaws dropped and they looked at each other. What are we going to do? Shannon thought. 

Right now, lumber is in short supply because at the beginning of the pandemic, many lumber yards laid off their workers preempting a stall in orders but instead, they got more orders from people stuck looking at that hole in their deck, Forbes magazine reports. Now, lumber yards are trying to catch up but it would take two years to expand a lumber yard and the boom is not predicted to last that long. 

“Is there anything we can get now?” Shannon asked into the phone. 

“No, you might try other suppliers,” the voice said. So they did, but no one was taking new customers. They couldn't supply their own. She'd had the store for six months and she'd lose her customers to Menards or Home Depot. 

The problem is not that they can't get something, Morrow said, it's that once you can't get something once, that leaves a bad taste in people's mouths and they go somewhere else. They already have to keep their margins low to compete, but losing stock would be devastating. 
Luckily, that didn't happen. Instead, they hired more part time help during the pandemic to keep up with all of the projects. They're still working extra hard to keep product in the store, PVC pipe is on the agenda right now, but everything is calming down. For now.