The Impact of U.S. Supply Chain Problem on Small Businesses
By Douglas Carlberg, President/CEO M2 Global Inc.
American small businesses have struggled over the last year due to supply chain woes caused by the ongoing outbreak of the coronavirus and the ripples it has caused. A global supply chain disruption can cause serious strife even for the smallest business struggled over the last year due to supply chain woes caused by the ongoing outbreak of the coronavirus and the ripples if it cannot get the manpower, material, supplies, or inventory it needs to sell to customers.
Small business must first, rebuild a skilled career ready workforce to be globally competitive. Today, organizations of all sizes are finding the greatest challenge facing them continues to be recruiting and retaining qualified candidates. A Chamber of Commerce survey finds that the lack of skilled and qualified workers needed to fill the millions of existing job openings is creating a national economic recovery crisis that poses an imminent threat to our fragile recovery and America’s great resurgence.
While there is no evidence that we will get back to pre-pandemic operations anytime soon, small businesses must make strategic modifications on how they operator to once again be competitive in a global economy.
What Are the Major Supply Chain Issues?
When the pandemic began, there were factory shutdowns in China and other counties which led to shortage of things like toilet paper, if you recall. That was just the tip of the iceberg, as other products also became endangered, like semiconductor chips. Because so many products rely on these chips, from cars to cell phones, and demand for these items increased steeply through the pandemic, we are now seeing huge supply chain disruptions and spiked prices. And these are not the only products that are being delayed in production and delivery. Just about every industry has been hit by supply chain disruptions.
How Small Businesses are Being Impacted by Supply Chain Crisis
Not only are there backlogs in the manufacturing of raw materials and products that U.S. small businesses need, but there are also ripple effects throughout the real industry. Containerships are backed up at ports, unable to deliver the products they hold.
There is also a shortage of truck drivers to deliver raw material and products to manufactures and warehouses. Labor shortages at seaports, trucking and manufacturing have caused price increases and longer delivery lead times.
The Way Forward
As a strategy, more companies are replenishing their workforces to work in tandem with initiatives to shortening their supply chain, which reduces cost, risk, and delivery times. The pandemic has reinforced the need for an educational system that will prepare, graduate and reskill the existing workforce to design, make, and supply quality products at home, again.
By working together, their actions will provide companies and their communities with a distinct competitive advantage; together they can boost their productivity and improve their sustainable resilience in this fast-changing competitive world.
Harry Moser, founder of the Reshoring Initiative, is collaborating with the Association for Manufacturing Excellence to promote leanshoring as part of its “Manufacturing Renaissance” initiative. “We are committed to changing the sourcing paradigm from “offshored is cheaper” to “local reduces the total cost of ownership,” said Moser.
The San Antonio Manufacturing Association (SAMA) and Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME) are learning together how to reduce operational wastes, supply chain disruptions and to reskill their workforce to improve their ability to compete and win on the world stage. With the US Mexico & Canada (USMCA) Trade Agreement in effect. The time is now.