Coronavirus pandemic has caused availability problems in products and goods around the world. In the United States, shelves have been empty of items such as chlorine, canvas, gas, and furniture.
Car dealers, on the other hand, have complained that they do not have new cars for sale, even if there is more demand than ever.
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In Finland there has been a shortage of electronics, timber and bicycles, for example.
Production capacity has not always been able to meet the strong and, in some cases, surprising growth in demand. When problems with transportation are added to it, stores sell eio and prices bounce up.
The rise in timber prices may have been noticed, for example, when building a terrace for his home.
At the Bauhaus in Vantaa, lifting a Siberian hardwood board to his trailer Ville Hatara says he slept badly at night when the balance of many department stores’ online stores had shown the desired board as a balance of zero.
“I was already considering leaving for Tampere when the balance seemed to be there. Fortunately, the board was then found on site here. ”
Bauhaus managing director Rami Antila says there are availability issues in individual product groups. Currently, a bigger challenge is long delivery times.
“It is known that stuff is coming, but it is not possible to say exactly whether it will be in two, three or four weeks. It is, of course, a difficult situation for the customer in addition to the possible one, ”he says.
According to Antila, there is no large shortage of goods, but the situation may be different in July.
“In Finland, the big issue is the shortage of wood, which will certainly affect a surprising number of products during the summer. Exports pull, and it gets a better price, so wood is directed to exports. In it, the domestic actor is left to lick his keys. ”
According to Antila, the shortage of raw materials affects the manufacture of components. As a result, there have been accessibility problems in some places, such as garden furniture, drills, composers and lawn mowers.
“In certain places, demand has also grown so that it’s hard to keep up with production, even with the material.”
Coronary pandemic has revealed the problems of global production chains. When one point in the chain precipitates, the effects extend far, describes the professor of logistics at Aalto University Katri Kauppi.
When the pandemic began, coronavirus infections and restrictions temporarily closed factories.
There have also been some problems with the transport of goods: there has been a global shortage of sea containers, no goods have been transported on board passenger planes in the past, and, above all, the Suez Canal, which is critical for many supply chains. log a huge cargo ship for almost a week.
On the other hand, there is also a lack of foresight. At the beginning of the pandemic, companies thought that sales would stagnate, but since then demand has returned to normal and even multiplied for certain product groups.
“When nothing sells, inventory levels are lowered and forecasts deteriorate. Everyone communicates this in their supply chain to their own subcontractors and places fewer orders. Then, when demand grows, inventory levels and capacity through the chain do not rise backwards in an instant, ”Kauppi explains.
It has become exceptionally bad shortage of microchips. It affects the delivery of cars, mobile phones, graphics cards and game consoles.
According to the S Group, accessibility challenges in bicycles will continue until 2023.
As a trend it has long been the minimization of inventories throughout the chain to buy in exactly the amount that is supposed to go for sale.
“It has been taught in terms of efficiency in supply chain management. This, together with the specialization of production, has led to supply chains breaking down into complex networks. If even part of that network breaks down, the end product cannot be made, ”says Kauppi.
This has been noticed in a concrete way by many companies. HS Vision said for example from Drop, which sells outdoor hot tubs, which was unable to meet the high demand due to the lack of certain components.
The crisis, which affected the entire supply chain on such a large scale, could not be predicted, Kauppi says. In the future, supply chain mapping will certainly be something that companies will focus on more than before. This allows for better anticipation of potential bottlenecks throughout the chain.
Vantaanportin K-rauta retailer Jyri Metsälä says he did his homework on the basis of last spring and was prepared in advance for possible delivery difficulties. He says he has increased stocks so that nothing would suddenly run out.
“My own world of thought has changed in this regard. When you could normally wait for delivery in three days, now you can go longer without a separate notice. ”