Over the past few weeks, we’ve covered the high demand for PPE and other essential products as our heroes on the frontlines continue to need protection and how the new norm will require many industries to take further precautions to protect staff and customers. While factories across the globe have ramped up their capacity, there is still a maximum output that these factories can produce on a weekly or monthly basis. Despite the strides we’ve made to support this level of demand, suppliers are struggling to keep up with the massive amount of demand for PPE. We have a supply and demand issue, which is causing some major challenges all around the world.
To put these challenges into perspective, this month alone, prices on certain items have skyrocketed by 300%. Even the cost of air freight out of China has increased tremendously to the point that it’s almost not feasible to fly goods out of China. Compared to even a few weeks ago, this is a stark difference from what was once the norm in the PPE supply chain. To add to those challenges, with so many organizations bidding on the same items and some private buyers showing up to factories in person to buy stock, capacity and pricing will continue to fluctuate until there is some stability in the demand.
With all of these variables, how can companies effectively source and stock up on PPE?
Avoid the waiting game. By attempting to wait out the market, it will only further derail supply chain stability. Hundreds of entities are waiting out the market until pricing and capacity return to “normal.” However, this is only going to prolong a regular flow of goods. If every company is waiting for pricing and capacity to open up, a few weeks from now, we will find ourselves in the same position.
An alternative option is to have regular, smaller orders on a bi-weekly or monthly basis. Not only will this guarantee a consistent flow of inventory, but allows factories and vendors to set a consistent production workflow that doesn’t completely overwhelm the system. It also allows businesses to receive a better average price per unit instead of risking paying an even more substantial premium later on because demand has skyrocketed again.
For businesses that need support in managing the PPE supply chain through this constant evolution, our platform will allow you to have a steady PPE supplier network.