Supply Chain Issues Wreaking Havoc for Businesses
In many places, businesses have been operating in a manner that is closer to “business as usual” than “pandemic-altered”. This doesn’t mean the pandemic is over, but a lot of businesses are now able to make decisions as they were before the pandemic. This is a good thing, but there is one aspect of business that doesn’t seem to be normalizing: the supply chain. Let’s take a look at why supply chain issues persist and what you can do about them.
What is Your Supply Chain?
The supply chain is the network of vendors a business has that allows them to create a product or service for resale. All of the different vendors your business uses make up your business’ supply chain. It isn’t just goods, it consists of activities, people, information, and resources that allow you to offer your products or services to the marketplace.
A business’ supply chain is essential to its operational functionality. For example if your business makes shoes, your supply chain includes all the resources needed to create the shoes such as leather, rubber, and any other materials; the computers your businesses use to manage your business, and several other products that make your business possible. If you have shortages in one part of the supply chain, it affects your business’ ability to operate, or at the very least changes the timelines, which can obviously affect your relationship with the companies or customers you sell your product to.
Why is the Supply Chain Having Problems?
There is no single reason why your business’ supply chain is disrupted; there are many. Firstly, the COVID-19 pandemic changed the way most businesses operated. Not only were they forced to move essential talent offsite, they couldn’t always source the materials they needed efficiently because there were pandemic-related impediments to production. The main reason that there are such supply chain problems at the present time is because the demand for goods and services didn’t wane, it accelerated. That’s why certain components are in short supply and prices are inflating rapidly.
Additionally, there are shortages of crucial workers that typically drive supply chain forces. Millions of people have quit their jobs over the past fiscal year and some of them are leaving the workforce—warehouse workers, truck drivers, etc.—and are creating massive bottlenecks in the supply chain. Simply put less people are being asked to do more and logistically, they just can’t. The longer this goes on, the further issues we will see with the supply chain.
What You Can Do?
There are a few things you can do to mitigate the negative impact supply shortages have on your business. They include:
This is a two-issue problem. Firstly, in order to reduce your company’s exposure to supply chain disruptions, you will want to keep comprehensive inventory. You need to know what you have and when you need a certain number of products/components. If you don’t keep up on it you could find yourself falling behind rapidly. Secondly, you will want to eschew risk and add to your inventory when you can. Typically, this isn’t great business, but with the supply chain issues expected to outlast the pandemic, you need to alter your thinking on this issue.
Traditionally, if you source certain components or products from a manufacturer, if they have some supply chain hiccups, they will do their best to make it right by you. Unfortunately, a lot of times they simply cannot fill the order. You need to shop around for vendors that will make it possible to get your products and services out on the market. It’s nice to have working relationships, but if they aren’t working, you need to look for alternatives in this market.
Today, there are plenty of technologies that can help take some pressure off your supply chain issues. Not only is there software that can automate a lot of your inventory process, there are Internet of Things technologies that can ensure that you know where every part of your business is so that you can plan accordingly.
At White Mountain IT Services, we’re not immune to the supply chain issues. We are finding it more difficult than ever to procure technology and other computing and networking systems because of an industry-wide microchip shortage. We suggest that if your business is looking to upgrade their computing to contact us early as our turnaround time has been affected by these supply chain issues. Give us a call today at 603-889-0800 to learn more.