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Poll results: Supply chain issues

Retailers, vendors weigh in; plus a response from a wholesaler.

BY HBSDealer Staff

The coronavirus outbreak has led to shortages of masks and disinfectants and other health and cleaning products. Some of course, have been disrupted more than others. The latest, weekly HBSDealer poll question visited the supply situation for retailers and manufacturers/vendors.

Here’s the question “Is your company facing supply chain disruptions?”

Here are the results among retailers

• “Yes, mildly,” 66%
• “Yes, severely,” 28%
• “No,” 6%
(n=116)

Here are the results among manufacturers/vendors

• “Yes, mildly,” 56%
• “Yes severely,” 27%
• “No,” 17%
(n=107)

The poll neglected to include wholesalers in the equation. But it did generate a thoughtful response from Thomas Le Vere, president of Weeke’s Forest Products.

“I would say that wholesale distributors are feeling the same pain as the retailers and manufacturers for each state that we operate in and that the extent of the pain depends on the governor of each state and their position relative to lock-down and stay at home orders.

“In times of economic uncertainty, especially recessions, cash is king at all levels throughout the pipeline, from manufacturer to retailer. Depending on the financial strength of the distributor and their ability to take on a bulge in inventory these times can present great business opportunities. Manufacturers look to transfer costs (inventory) to their distributor partners as do retailers on the other end. Much of a distributor’s value has always been to be a holder of inventory, a JIT provider to the down channel sellers and a lead time buffer between the mill and end-user. Most distributors are willing to take on and hold inventory, providing we are rewarded with a margin that reflects the inventory risk and service we provide.”

Your comments are encouraged. Share them with us at [email protected].

The poll remains open on the right side of this page, or scroll down your mobile device.

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