[Updated for 2023]
The supply chain logjam that took root in 2021 continues to impact supply chain flow. Supply chain issues are negatively impacting businesses and marketers are experiencing the pinch when it comes to paper and sourcing materials.Supply Chain Crisis
When Will the Supply Chain Issue be Resolved?
The delays and struggles to get print materials - paper, substrates, etc. - is an issue that must be resolved to ease the pressure on so many businesses that rely on print in their business. The big question is, when will there be a reprieve in the freight, shipping and sourcing delays that marketers are confronted with, and what predictions can we make as we push forward?
Supply Chain Crisis
The global shipping crisis is characterized by unprecedented consumer demand and longer delivery times than ever before. The jolt that some were hoping to see in the supply chain system following vaccination efforts has not happened. Demand for goods continues to increase, more so than the demand for experiences and services. There’s a shortage of containers due to a relatively weak year for trade in 2019. This has caused a reduction in the number of new containers that were produced going into 2020. The onset of the pandemic exacerbated the situation as factories closed and manufacturers curbed container production.
What ensued, and perhaps, what many didn’t see coming, was an increase in demand after a brief COVID-related recession. What followed was a chain of events that disrupted supply chains even further. The container shortage led to a jump in shipping costs, supply and labor shortages increased, warehouse spaces became constricted, heavy congestion developed at shipping ports, and people began to see significant delays in delivery times. Delays in delivery times were the most severe on record in 2021. This combination of developments contributes to the spread of supply chain disruptions. There’s a shock to the system from the supply aspect to the demand aspect, and if it doesn’t reset, the problems will continue.
When Will the Supply Chain Issue Be Resolved?
The fouled-up supply chains aren't better yet - but don't seem to be getting worse. Marketers are hoping to see some change for the better in the coming year, but there’s no guarantee that supply chains will reset and get back to normal in 2023. A survey of senior business decision makers resulted in one in three responding that the issues will last until the end of summer 2023.
However, some business executives do not see the supply chain issues resolving in 2023, but expect the problem to continue beyond that. Ironmark's VP of Sales Scott Kravitz commented, "the supply chain issues are seeing improvements, but it's predicted that there will be a decline in the coming months with paper shortage on the forefront." The truth is that while some industries are hopeful, others are pessimistic and see the disruption going far into 2023. The question then becomes, what needs to happen to resolve the crisis, and how do we plan for 2023?
Planning for 2023
What’s obvious to all hurting parties, marketers included, is that the vicious cycle needs to be broken. Consumer demand needs to decrease in order for supply to catch up and restore efficiency. Business executives must prioritize navigating both the financial and operational challenges brought on by the pandemic, and at the same time, work swiftly to address the needs of their employees, suppliers, and customers.
Related: Supply Chain Issues and Corporate Gift Giving
Planning for 2023 will require addressing the supply chain issues from multiple angles. To mitigate the problem, executives can take a number of steps including:
- Connecting with experts like Ironmark. When you work with a printer who understands what's happening in the supply chain, together we can come up with a plan that makes sense for your business. Talk to us about what is going on in your world, and where you're looking for help.
- Show us your calendar. What do you have coming up next year? How might this impact your calendar? A great step is looking at your calendar and addressing where your products need to be and when. Together, we can work backwards to make sure we hit your deadlines.
- Let us order your paper now. If we can get the paper in stock now to get in front of the rush. At Ironmark, you have the option to buy paper now, so you won't be left out in the cold if paper shortages get worse.
The supply chain issues that have been plaguing businesses seem like they will continue into 2023, and possibly beyond. As long as demand stays ahead of supply, the issue will likely continue. Marketers will have to adapt and confront the supply chain issues and hopefully, have already begun planning for next year. There’s no easy way forward, but careful assessment and actionable changes can alleviate some of the supply chain issues and revitalize bottom lines. For more help with addressing the supply chain issue, and ensuring you still get the things you need for the upcoming holiday season, check out our recorded webinar on corporate gift giving. It may have the answers you need.