The state of the US Supply Chain in the Fall of 2021


What is the supply chain?

A supply chain is a network between a company and its suppliers to produce and distribute products to the final buyer. The entities in a supply chain include producers, vendors, warehouses, transportation companies, distribution centers, and retailers. Proper supply chain management is crucial in providing a faster production cycle with lower overhead costs.

When the supply chain is managed effectively, it can lower companies’ overall costs and boost profitability. However, when the supply chain breaks down, it can have costly and lasting effects on the rest of the supply chain.

The state of the US Supply Chain in the Fall of 2021

 

What are the effects of product shortages?

Product shortages brought on by the pandemic were predicted to have been resolved by now. However, as supply chain issues continue, the world is learning a lesson in the ripple effects of supply chain disruption. From computer chips to construction materials, companies around the world are being forced to cut production of in-demand parts due to the unavailability of metal parts, plastics, and raw materials.

When global shipping prices rose dramatically in March, many assumed this was the result of a surplus of orders – and a huge shift in demand. However, as wealthy countries stocked up on gaming consoles and exercise bikes, soon supplies of many components became exhausted. Although it was predicted that factories would catch up with the demand in a couple of months, this is not what happened.

As the health crisis continued, the turmoil in international commerce continued. In fact, shortages in certain components have made it impossible to make products with these components.

On top of that, many companies were embracing lean production – a type of “just in time” manufacturing pioneered by Japanese automaker Toyota. This means that parts are delivered to factories at the time they are required, rather than stockpiling them. While this is a great way to stay nimble, adapt to a changing market, and cut costs – unfortunately, this only created a new problem with the supply chain.

The chaotic events of last year have proven that so-called Just In Time manufacturing can leave a multitude of industries vulnerable to disruption. As the pandemic hampered factory operations and global shipping, many companies experienced shortages on a vast range of goods – from electronics to lumber to clothing.

Not only has this last-minute way of manufacturing hampered companies around the world, but it’s hitting auto-manufacturers the hardest – the very industry that invented the idea. Automakers are being crippled by a shortage of computer chips, causing assembly line closures in India, United States, and Brazil.

This also explains why companies like Nike and other clothing brands are struggling to stock retail outlets. Construction companies cannot purchase enough paints, sealants, or lumber. Most importantly, just in time manufacturing was the principal contributor to the shortages of personal protective equipment early in the pandemic – which left frontline medical workers without the proper gear.

Experts are now debating as to whether companies will heed the pandemic’s warning and begin to stockpile more inventory and forge relationships with extra suppliers or – if the past is any indicator – the pursuit of cost savings will trump other considerations, meaning companies will ignore the lessons learned by the pandemic and continue to use just in time manufacturing.

This type of short-sighted manufacturing makes any disruption in global shipping an immediate problem. For example, when an enormous vessel lodged in the Suez Canal closed the primary channel linking Europe and Asia – the damage was amplified. Because companies assume they will always have low-cost and reliable shipping, these disruptions were not taken into account. Experts have notably been warning about these risks for decades – each disaster prompting a new talk on how companies need to bolster their inventories and diversify their suppliers.

Unfortunately, businesses are just more likely to continue to embrace lean manufacturing due to the fact that it’s getting harder and harder to predict what inventory to keep and lean manufacturing has always yielded profits in the past. Many companies are still predicting major production shortages through June of 2022.

Supply Chain Solutions: Technology Rentals

During the global shutdown caused by the pandemic, many factories were forced to halt operations, making the supplies needed unavailable for months – causing a major ripple in the supply chain, particularly in computer chips. As mentioned above, the increased demand for consumer electronics contributed to the shifts that caused major supply chain disruption. As orders began to pile up, manufacturers weren’t able to create enough chips to meet demand – causing the backlog to grow exponentially. As ports continued to shut down in Asia and China’s Yantian port – where 90 percent of the world’s electronics pass through – shipping delays were heightened. This ripple can still be seen today as manufacturers and shipping companies struggle to ship enough products.

Unless you work very closely with component suppliers, like Apple or Samsung–and were able to pay upfront–you could potentially be seeing a long delay for any PCs and parts to be delivered. If your business has been affected by supply chain issues, there are some ways around getting the products you need – particularly in the technology sector.

If you can’t wait weeks or months for your new computers or other technology to be shipped, there is a manageable, cost-effective solution: technology rentals. When you rent computers, laptops, tablets, and other equipment, you don’t have to worry about whether the products are going to arrive on time – companies like Rentacomputer.com already have a huge stock of the latest technology products located right here in the United States.

Even if you’re already behind due to shipping delays from another supplier, Rentacomputer.com can alleviate some of your frustrations by preloading your company software onto any and all of your rental devices. On top of that, because you can decide how long you want your rental, you won’t have to worry about paying additional fees to store equipment or ship it to other locations – that’s all done for you.

Technology rental companies like Rentacomputer.com buy vast inventories of the latest technology as soon as they are available on the market – giving you access to the most cutting-edge technology shipped right here in the United States.

Additionally, you won’t have to contact technology manufacturers like Apple or Microsoft for tech support when anything goes awry, you’ll have access to our experienced IT team to support you throughout your rental period.

Technology rentals delivered to your door – by Rentacomputer.com

When you rent from us, you not only get the best equipment but also top-of-the-line support from qualified tech travel agents with years of experience in the event production field. Our trained technicians deliver, set up, and prepare all of your event technology rental equipment so that you and your event planner can focus on delivering the best experience to your attendees. Our agents coordinate all the logistics of delivery and installation and can have techs on call to troubleshoot and fix any problems that may arise with your rental technology. Get a quote for your event technology rental needs today.

Tech Travel Agent TonyAre you thinking about renting a large number of laptops for a corporate event, training classes, user conference, or office shortage? Tech Travel Agent Tony Cipollone specializes in technology solutions including laptops, gaming PCs, workstations, and more for large events and in-office setups. Tony can answer any questions you have about computers and other necessary equipment, as well as the renting process. Contact Tony today at 1-800-736-8772 ext. 241 or fill out a fast, easy online quote form.

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