How to Deal with Supply Chain Disruptions
Updated: May 19, 2021
“Supply Chain is like nature, it is all around us.” — Dave Waters
It’s true. Supply chains are everywhere, from our own households to giant corporations. And COVID-19 not only disrupted the freight chain (shipping), but also the supply chain (products shipped and sold). Although the disruption of these markets was not necessarily as sudden as the freight disruptions, they’ve grown more prevalent and potentially even affected your project. Here is a quick rundown of the current situation and how you can work your way through it.
As previously explained in our article on freight chain disruption, container shortages and port congestion is taking a huge toll on timelines for domestic delivery and product shortages. But there is also a distinct effect on raw materials being shipped to the countries that manufacture the products. Many manufacturers have noted an increase in difficulty accessing the materials needed to begin the production process.
Disruption in raw material access, of course, has created a high-demand-low-supply scenario. Pair that with the already inflated pricing of a volatile economy wrecked by a global pandemic, and prices have soared. Many standard materials utilized in the production of economic products have increased in price to something more akin to premium custom materials.
The domino effect of disruption could be spilling over into your own production process and ultimately handicapping your ability to create a cost-effective product and hamstringing your ability to delight your customers.
Holding the Chain Together
While there’s not much you can do to affect supply shortages, there are a few tips we’ve picked up over the years dealing with similar issues we can pass along.
Consider Creative Options
If you are in the beginning stages of production and find yourself facing either a shortage of materials or a spike in cost, it may be time to get creative. Research options for other materials that could work to replace the missing or expensive materials. You may actually find that you could upgrade to a premium material that is more readily available with no real increase in cost but that creates a more custom product.
Understand Pricing—Current and Future (Potential)
In the current climate, in particular, discuss each material you may use in the creation of your product with your manufacturer. Discuss past pricing and get a feel for where they think that pricing might go in the future. Remember, you’re hopefully not just planning for the initial run but for many runs in the future as your product demand grows. You should also discuss any potential options for other creative material solutions in case of market fluctuations. Go ahead and be prepared for as many outcomes as possible.
Be Flexible and Keep Learning
Sometimes markets change and materials you once relied on are simply no longer available. Those elements are simply out of your control. You are, however, able to stay in the know about new materials, processes, and options to keep your brand and products meeting—or surpassing—the needs and desires of your customer base. Be a continual learner, and you’ll be prepared when the unexpected arises.
We are hopeful that this situation will improve as we continue through 2021. But until it does, we are here to handle all of the crazy confusing details for you so you can continue to focus on growing your business and delighting your customers!
Partner with CōDRA to create the right product and let us handle the frustrating details. Contact us here.