Surviving the Supply Chain CrisisBrett Wilkerson
Over the years, the global supply chain industry has made great strides in providing a reliable service that delivers products on time and in good condition. It was so effective that it was mostly an afterthought for those businesses that depended on it for survival. The only thing that caused it to slow down or deviate from everyday operations was the occasional act of Mother Nature.
However, the global pandemic changed all that. Massive cargo ships that once crisscrossed the oceans floated dormant. Warehouses sat quietly as the labor force stayed home. In contrast, online sales skyrocketed, causing a vast disparity between supply and demand.
Throughout the chaos, MSM Solutions continued to provide critical RFID and barcode solutions to our customers to ensure they survived these unprecedented global supply chain disruptions. And we want to share our secret with you.
The Three Biggest Challenges for Supporting Supply Chain Operations
While the global supply chain shortages have stymied every industry and market in the world, MSM Solutions was most affected by three primary shortages:
- RFID Chip Shortages for RFID Labels
- Component Shortages for Equipment Manufacturing
- Paper Shortages and Frequent Price Increases
Today, hardware shortages for RFID and barcode products continue to be an ongoing issue. What were once easily attained stock products have become scarce, causing lead times on some products to be pushed to six-month or longer.
How MSM Solutions Survived the Supply Chain Issues
Through proper planning, MSM Solutions has endured these supply chain disruptions while other companies have struggled.
For our RFID solutions, we recognized the impact the ongoing processing chip shortage would have on future projects. So we placed orders for a 12-month supply of RFID labels before we began our 2022 operations. We’ve done the same thing for 2023, so we continue to be prepared.
For traditional barcode labels, we evaluated our lead time for custom item labels. We can usually provide custom barcodes in about 30 days. However, to compensate for the supply chain issues in the paper industry, we pushed our lead time to 60-90 days.
To ensure we meet the demand of our clients, we’ve strengthened our relationships with our technology partners and other vendors. This helps us maintain our inventory more effectively, so we don’t have to disappoint our customers.
How MSM Solutions is Planning for the Future
While we’re well aware that we cannot predict when unforeseen events will cause more disruptions, we are doing our due diligence to prepare for future supply shortages.
First, we’ll continue to plan carefully, ensuring our supply of RFID and barcode labels is stocked and ready to go.
Next, we’ll partner with reliable vendors to secure the necessary barcode and RFID equipment is available and ready for deployment. This includes RFID readers, barcode scanners, mobile terminals, and printers.
Also, we’ll create price stabilization for our clients by acquiring and maintaining a well-stocked inventory of supplies needed for our RFID solutions.
And finally, we’ll keep our clients informed, so they understand the challenges in the global supply chain and how those disruptions will continue to affect their inventory management solutions.
What You Can Do to Prepare for Further Supply Chain Disruptions
While we continue to monitor the supply chain and plan based on our experiences over the past few years, we’d like to share some advice with our clients, so they’re also prepared for future disruptions.
If you depend on RFID to track and manage your inventory, don’t procrastinate. Use the past few years to future-forecast your RFID needs so you can order the equipment and supplies before you need them.
For clients dependent on barcode solutions, start ordering your replacement supplies early (60-90 days in advance), so you have what you need when you need it.
The global supply chain disruptions are precisely that – a global disruption. This is not an isolated challenge strictly affecting MSM Solutions or the RFID/Barcode industry. It’s a problem that continues to affect every industry and market. However, by planning ahead and stocking up on necessary components, MSM Solutions is ready to meet the challenge and help you survive this supply chain crisis.
For more information on how to track and manage your inventory more efficiently with RFID and barcode solutions, contact MSM Solutions today.