How Businesses can Deal with Inventory Supply Shortages

Inventory supply shortages will happen. Sometimes, it’s due to overwhelming consumer demand, leaving businesses unable to keep stock. Other times, like now, inventory supply shortages occur as a result of material shortages and/or manufacturing issues. At this time, lumber and other essential construction materials are in short supply. Likewise, computer processing chips are also limited in supply. So, if this happens to your business, you need to be prepared.

Inventory Shortages are Inevitable

There’s no such thing as unlimited supply when it comes to material inventory. Whether it’s a disruption in the supply chain or sudden and unexpected limit of raw materials, the end result is the same — businesses can’t keep their shelves stocked. When put in this precarious situation, sales are inevitably affected, usually negatively.
COVID-19 has had a disruptive effect on the global supply chain, and small businesses are not immune. An average of more than 30% of American small business owners across sectors still reported a disruption to their supply chain in June 2020 data, months into the pandemic. Supply-chain disruptions can affect small businesses in many ways: They can reduce revenue, inflate costs, cut into market share, or cause issues with production—all of which can damage a company’s bottom line. —The Balance Small Business
Of course, a drop off in sales can be temporary and inflict minimal damage. But, a prolonged shortage will certainly cause a lot of monetary damage. If there’s enough inventory missing for a long enough period of time, it can spell the end of a business altogether.

Ways Businesses can Deal with Inventory Supply Shortages

When inventory supply shortages occur, it’s only prudent to react with strategic means. Business owners must act immediately, particularly if there’s a sense the shortage will go on for a lengthy period of time. Here are four ways businesses can deal with an inventory supply shortage:
  • Explore alternative vendors. Fortunately, there are usually a few or more vendors who supply businesses with the same types of inventory. Even a source that’s a bit more expensive can be worthwhile if it keeps customers coming through the door. (And, better still, if competitors aren’t willing to pay a higher sourcing price.)
  • Clearly communicate with customers. There’s simply nothing good that can come from not being totally up-front with your customers. In fact, there’s hardly more that is counterproductive. If you experience an inventory supply shortage, let your customers know what’s going on — especially if it’s expected to last for a significant amount of time.
  • Tap into super-sized, large bulk orders. Much like the first suggestion, you might find inventory for products in short supply in larger bulk orders. Obviously, you’ll have to run the numbers to determine if it’s financially viable and doesn’t present too much a risk.
  • Identify problems with inventory management. There are times when businesses have inventory issues that are caused by their own ordering and selling practices. Go over your procedures to identify any problems and then apply sensible solutions.
What other suggestions do you have? Please take a few moments to share your thoughts and experiences so others can benefit from your unique perspective! Your input could really help someone out! Interested in learning more about business? Then just visit Waters Business Consulting Group.

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