Since mid-2020, our industry has experienced demand that has been nearly unprecedented. We have been very fortunate to navigate positively through the strange year 2020 was, while some other industries have been struggling due to various reasons and my heart goes out to them. I love business and I want to see everyone thrive as it is the backbone of our economy here in the United States. I have witnessed many changes made in the last 16-plus months in a socio-economic-political sense that I don't necessarily agree with and feel are detrimental to the American people as a whole and what it means to be American, but that is a whole other topic for another time.
2020 saw our most successful year yet here at Bauman Engraving & Signs. 2021 is proving to be similar. We are grateful for the continued work. Our valued supplier base has been great and diligent in getting product to us timely (we have multiple suppliers of core product, so it is rare that we are ever out of stock of material) . Our customers have been wonderful and understanding when our lead times have grown beyond normal levels from time to time. While I have seen others in our industry still claiming 5-week-plus lead times, we have maintained our usual week turnaround for most orders, and sometimes much less. We have even maintained next-day or same-day service for the most part due to our awesome production team we have here. In the near future we will be adding more personnel to aid in our increasing production capacity. We have added additional machines to enable us to more efficiently ship orders in a timely fashion.
Pricing has remained fairly stable in 2020, but we have been seeing small increases in plastic and vinyl product over the last several months. I have received an average of 1 to 2 price increase letters a week from suppliers dealing with items such as inks, plastics, and operating supplies. We have the best partners in the industry. They are leaders in the products they provide, as well as service and quality. After analysis of these price increases and working with our vendor base, we have no choice but to pass these increases along. I see others in most other industries following suit. There is no doubt we are in an inflationary period, and we must all be able to do the best we can to survive in these times. We did it in 2008, and we are still here today because of our decisions then.
While pricing is never an easy topic to discuss, we want to be open and transparent about current market conditions and what we are experiencing that may affect our customers.
We have been in business since 1960 and we are thankful for your dedication, as well as the business you have awarded to the Bauman Engraving & Signs Team. It is our hope we can continue to serve you for many years to come!