Everyone is aware of the effects COVID-19 has had over almost the past two years. Many of those effects are still lingering even as the public has slowly began returning to normal. The effects from COVID are not just related to health. Two major problems are supply chain and distribution issues and a labor shortage across the world. These issues could become worse as we are now getting closer to the holidays since this is a time when there is always a need for increased help in shipping, retail, and many other important industries. The hospitality industry is no exception to the supply chain issues. Many hospitality professionals have personally experienced the difficulty of trying to order products for the property and have them arrive in a reasonable time frame. This blog will explain the main causes for the supply chain issues.
Lack of Available Containers
One primary reason for the supply chain issues is a lack of available containers. The supply chain industry relies heavily on future forecasts and predictability to make sure the supply can meet the demand. COVID-19 disrupted that with very few people buying products in the first few months of the pandemic. Once the fiscal stimulus bill was passed, consumer purchasing significantly increased and imports to the United States suddenly increased as well. With such an influx of online ordering, the supply chain didn’t have enough containers to meet all the demand which is still currently a problem.
Issues at the Ports
Another reason for the supply chain issues is problems at the ports. This is largely because of an increase in ships arriving at the ports and a shortage of workers available at the ports to assist with the process. It is estimated that cargo vessels are spending over twice as long waiting to unload their merchandise at the ports. There are also not enough ships available to meet all the demands. Also, vessels have been delayed to the ports because of storms out at sea and COVID-19 outbreaks from crew members on the vessels.
The lack of workers is another reason for disruptions in the supply chain. This is especially true for the trucking industry and warehouses. The lack of available drivers means that containers will remain idle at the port for an extended period of time. Trucking companies and large corporations are aware of this and are trying to incentivize people to fill out job applications by offering increases in pay and large signing bonuses. Labor shortages have also been common in warehouses. This is problematic for the supply chain because it is taking longer periods of time to load and unload trucks and also prepare orders in the warehouse thus causing delays in orders being received. Companies like Amazon and Walmart have tried raising wages to combat the issues, but the problem doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon.
How to Handle the Supply Chain Issues
There are essential steps that can be taken to help make these challenging times with the supply chain as easy on your business as possible. The most important step is to order well in advance of when you normally would order to give extra time for the merchandise to arrive. While some merchandise is currently available to ship, there is still a significant amount of products that you will have to anticipate longer-than-expected wait times for. It is a good idea to check with your suppliers regularly concerning inventory and wait times. Also, it is better to overestimate quantities than to underestimate to make sure you have what you need because there are no guarantees that the product will be there when you need it. It is crucial to plan ahead.
InnStyle is Aware of the Supply Chain Issues
The staff members of InnStyle are aware of the supply chain issues currently impacting the hospitality industry and are doing their best to monitor the situation. Notes have been put on their website to let customers know what products are currently out of stock. Customers can give InnStyle a call and ask an account manager about the current lead time for products that are currently out of stock. Account managers may also give similar product recommendations for merchandise offered on the InnStyle website that is currently available. If you have any other questions, please give InnStyle a call. They can be reached at 267-354-6020 or 800-877-4667. Their website is https://www.innstyle.com/.
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