Four reasons Americans are still seeing empty shelves and long waits for many products

October 13, 2021 ☼ supply-chain

Source: MinnPost (Link)

Before COVID-19, global supply chains worked pretty efficiently to move products all around the world. Companies utilized a just-in-time philosophy that minimized waste, inventories and expenses.

The cost of that, of course, is that even small problems like a hurricane or a factory fire can cause disruptions. And the pandemic has caused a meltdown.

While I don’t expect a resolution to most of these problems until the pandemic ends, a few things could relieve some of the pressure, such as a shift away from consumer spending on goods to services and increased global vaccination rates.

But the difficult reality is American consumers should expect bare shelves, delays and other problems well into 2022.

I think most of this is beyond the capabilities of the political process to remedy. It is the result of business decisions made in a relatively restriction-free economy. Businesses will need to make their supply chains more resilient. That may mean dual-sourcing (gasp!), rebuilding parts inventories (double-gasp!), and reducing outsourcing (gasp * 3!). None of which will happen.