Identifying one central cause of the current supply chain crisis is complicated. Domestic labor shortages because of the pandemic are often mentioned as a root cause, but the problem is actually global: besides those who have fallen ill and out of the workforce, some countries’ COVID public health precautions have left millions idle, stranded in quarantine. Of all the problems in today’s supply chains, some can be remedied; others must be accepted. To continue to meet or exceed production goals, many companies are seeing now as the time to invest in the supply chain.
In some areas of the United States, effects of supply chain issues-- rising prices and decreased product availability-- have ignited new conversations between businesses, organizations, and lawmakers, in hopes that supply chain issues could be resolved through state or federal legislation. The Congressional Supply Chain Caucus, an initiative launched in 2020 and tabled when the COVID pandemic struck, was recently relaunched, its mission being to fulfill the “need for common sense, bipartisan solutions,” according to a press release from U.S. Representative Rodney Davis (R-IL). These efforts might be fruitful down the line, but for many buyers across sectors, the immediacy of today’s supply chain crisis has led to increased anxiety. Calls for enhanced government response and legislative action don’t solve the immediate problems for industries that have come to rely on traditional supply chains.
Moreover, we’ve seen a push to bring manufacturing back to the United States through the Industrial Finance Corporation Act, new legislation which would establish the Industrial Finance Corporation of the United States (IFCUS). The corporation would use a one-time appropriation from Congress to finance investments in high-tech manufacturing, making the supply chain more domestic.
A reliable supply chain has always been reliant on information, clear organization and immediate accessibility. This was true back in the days of the Rolodex, and it’s true of any company’s digital vendor relationship management list today. But now, there is a new wealth of information that can play a role in a company’s procurement: from sector-wide cost comparisons before a purchase to transportation and delivery of a product to its implementation. For many buyers, distilling all the information and data can make the procurement process feel even more cumbersome...but those who have used the data effectively, may see more optimized results and decision making