How COVID-19 Broke the Retail Supply Chain
Burt Flickinger worked with USA TODAY on this lead story about Just-In-Time delivery its role in disinfectant product shortages during the COVID19 pandemic. From the article:
Why were U.S. inventories so limited in the first place? A massive wave of cost-cutting by U.S. manufacturers over the past few decades, says Burt Flickinger III, Managing Director of consulting firm Strategic Resource Group.
Working capital slashed. Plants consolidated and closed. Warehouses and distribution centers shuttered. And manufacturers moved to a “Just-In-Time” system to manage inventory which, by using sophisticated models to forecast demand, made it possible to produce, ship and stock as few goods as possible.
This hyperefficient approach may have saved corporations billions but it also made the country extremely vulnerable during a pandemic, Flickinger says.
Your best bet is to shop Lowe's Home Improvement stores that restock emergency supplies every night, Flickinger recommends ... and Kroger-Ralph’s, Vons, Albertsons-Safeway, Publix & Winco, that have their own warehouses and can pick up products from factories and ship them in their own trucks directly to stores.