Before the collapse of 2008, furniture took 10-14 weeks to complete. Now it takes about 12 weeks to have something made. Um.....whassup with that?
No one is being lazy and no one is "sitting" on your deposits and not working. It's not that complicated. In 2005, it took 14 weeks to do custom work--sometimes even 20 weeks if you worked with some of the Rock Stars that I call my "peeps". Absolutely, without exception, work has slowed down for everyone (including me) and 20 weeks has become 12. But pretty much nothing is completed in less than 8 or 10 weeks.
Whereas, it seems logical that production would speed up, but it hasn't. I do believe that "lethargy breeds lethargy", and that's what my professional world looks like at the moment. But mostly, when production was at 14 weeks and the contractors and manufacturers had "full loads", we just accepted the info we were given. Over the past three or so years, orders have dropped, and in succession, so have the number of guys in the production lines. In order to stay in business, factories large and small have cut back on their assembly workers, finishers or (what I find the most equitable) hours of production. Some of my suppliers are only open 4 days a week, require more time off from their employees or choose to completely close up shop at holiday or vacation times.
Know what? For now, get used to it - and it WILL (eventually) improve. At least most manufacturers seem to have stayed in business. Dealers, showrooms, retail stores aren't all faring too well, but the factories seem to be hanging on. You can buy "off the floor". Samples might be avail and some companies have frames or partially built items in stock and call it "Quick Ship". But not even rolls of fabrics are left sitting in warehouses any more. The major textile companies as well as the highest end teeny companies won't produce a fabric without backorders. This past winter, I had to go to a 3rd selection when one was discontinued and another would only be woven with a 150 yard backorder and I only needed NINE.
So, relax. The good pieces ARE worth waiting for and will continue to cost more as time goes by. Absent any showroom incentives or special temporary pricing, just get what you've been planning for and don't expect a magical Deal. It's the best for you and good for your fabricator. This is a wonderful time to acquire top line items. And, of course, it will keep your Designer busy, too (If you have one)!