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How to Survive Supply Chain Holdups as a Manufacturing Company

Companies all over the world are suffering from the supply chain slowdown. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s most recent Small Business Pulse Survey, 45% of small businesses have felt the strain of supply chain shortages and delays. 


Whether companies cannot import items or are awaiting components for manufacturing and services, one minor hold-up can cause a snowball of problems. Today we have many events stimulating hold ups: Covid, inflation, and war to name a few.

Here is a look at how companies have been affected and how they may overcome these challenges.

How We Got To This Point

A perfect storm has hit the world’s maritime system. Production slowdowns in the Asia-Pacific region and shipping delays exacerbated by a workforce shortage in essential sectors such as port unloading have impacted various businesses. 

container stack yard background, shipping containers closeup

The supply chain has influenced everything from critical materials to final goods. Hard times worldwide lead to fewer oversea imports that carry vital parts and components needed to get products out the door. This, combined with truck driver shortages, results in even more delays in hauling freight and other labor shortages. The supply chain is getting hit in all directions. 

How to Survive as a Manufacturer

Businesses are altering how they operate to combat the effects of COVID-19, global conflicts, and the state of the economy. You can take proactive efforts right now to investigate alternatives and establish more resilient supply chains in the future. 


Identify your risks  

Whether you are experiencing these delays for a long time or just starting to see the impact of supply chain bottlenecks, assess the areas impacting your business. Understanding where bottlenecks occur and how they affect your customers is the foundation of a robust strategic plan. 


Diversification of suppliers 

If you always relied on one supplier, it may be time to diversify your options. For example, if you work with a supplier that sources products from the Asia Pacific region, you may find a distributor that works with a supplier in another area. Diversifying supplier base gives more options for sourcing products and helps find adaptive solutions to shortages worldwide. 


Add flexibility where possible. 

Another strategy small business owners can employ is finding flexible locations. For example, steel may have a low supply, but aluminum is abundant. Work with your customers and engineers to see if one material can substitute another. Flexibility may keep the machine moving forward, even if it means adapting to new processes. 


Get it sooner rather than later. 

Many businesses have historically used just-in-time ordering to control costs and manage inventory, but now may be the time to implement pre-ordering. This approach requires access to capital and storage space that helps you stay operational and competitive when other companies cannot. 


While many of our customers are familiar with the broader supply chain issues facing the world, not all buyers fully understand the impact these issues have on their businesses. Let people know ahead of time if the delay is impacting your business. When implementing new options, let your customers know what is happening, why, and what to expect. 

Final Thoughts

The last few years have been a learning curve. Look at your supply chain from a strategic perspective and take actionable steps that we have covered in this article.

If you are looking for a custom contract manufacturer who has taken on supply chain problems, head on, look no further than ATRON.

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