Whether you supply products through your website, social platforms, or a national eCommerce retailer, sadly you are not immune to and are well aware of the widespread supply chain disruptions during this summer sales season.

Most suppliers were hoping this year would be a much calmer (and financially successful) summer sales season and, unfortunately, it’s shaping up to be just as chaotic as 2020.

Widespread Supply Chain Issues

As many consumers return to a quasi-normal lifestyle and unemployment continues to drop, suppliers are having challenges with stocking stores and distribution centers to keep up with consumer demand.

Globally, many countries are still impacted by the effects of Covid-19 and have limitations with the pandemic, whether due to outbreaks or government-enforced limitations on staffing. Factories have also closed, limiting the number of products available for suppliers to sell. 

Shipping challenges have proven to be the headache and media highlight of 2021. Many watched as the ship stuck in the Suez Canal blocked waterways for six days, essentially delaying and backlogging deliveries for weeks.  In April, more than twenty cargo ships were anchored off the coast of LA and Long Beach waiting to dock and unload, but due to congestion and limited staffing at the docks, the deliveries were delayed for days.

As consumer demands continue to increase, shipping industries are going to be stretched and challenged to innovate to be able to keep up.

Product Shortages

Whether it’s empty shelves at a retail shop, delayed delivery for online orders, or signage at a fast food restaurant about limitations on the menu – product shortages are quickly becoming the norm. 

According to Business Insider, there are shortages across all industries in this post-pandemic, reopening economy.  Consumers are having issues with products used daily – with everything from baby diapers to furniture to chicken wings. Some industries are facing challenges with computer chip and plastic shortages, drastically reducing the amount they can produce and sell to consumers.

Computer chip shortages are impacting production of cars, iPads and innovative technology that runs several industries. Basically, anything with a computerized component, which is practically everything we as consumers desire, has either limited production or is non-existent at this time.

Increased Cost

Limited or no access to supply is a prime driver for inflation and is proving to be quite challenging for both suppliers and consumers.  

Many started shipping and prepping months ago to have inventory on hand for the summer sales season, and it will likely pay off since they have the inventory to meet demand for these quick online lightening sales, even at the higher asking price.

For the average small business that does not have the cashflow or assets to float inventory and pay for storage for an additional three to four months ahead of the summer season, their eCommerce businesses are heavily impacted with this inability to have product to participate. If they are able to get it in time, they are also facing higher shipping expenses leading to much slimmer profit margins.

A recent survey of NRF’s 16,000+ membership revealed that more than two-thirds of members have been forced to add two to three weeks to their supply chains, resulting in reaching out to the President with a call for action to the port challenges.

As consumer demand remains high and inventory is limited, prices will continue to inflate across most industries. Unfortunately, many speculate that these issues will only continue to worsen over the coming months and eCommerce suppliers need to plan ahead for this upcoming holiday season.

Simplify with OPAL’s 4-in-1 Software Solution
EDI | Order Management | Warehouse Management | Shipping

As you approach this summer sales season and begin to plan ahead for the upcoming holiday season that will be here before we know it, simplify with OPAL.

With OPAL, your order fulfillment and inventory management will allow your team to keep up with demand, minimize errors and maximize your on-hand inventory to retailers and consumers.

To learn more about OPAL can help your business simplify, click here.

Click here to book your customized demo today.  We are here to support you through this time of change and are here to help you innovate and thrive!