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The State of the Supply Chain

Sep 27, 2022
Posted by Jennifer Fennell

After Covid, supply chain issues have impacted manufacturing significantly. At Polo Custom Products, we have worked hard to stay on top of the problems by implementing solutions. Polo’s Director of Supply Chain, Jennifer Fennell, hosted an informative discussion on the current state of the supply chain. 

During the discussion, she talked about factors impacting the supply chain and also what we are doing to combat those issues.

Factors Impacting the Supply Chain

While Covid is a major culprit of the supply chain issues, other factors have caused an impact. Some of these factors include:

  • 2021 Texas Freeze: This shut down natural gas suppliers, causing resin manufacturers to declare Force Majeure. 
  • The Invasion of Ukraine: This invasion put major constraints on certain supply chains. Current tensions between China and Taiwan could cause similar supply chain issues if that situation escalates.
  • 301 Tariffs: These tariffs drive folks to try to reshore their products near shore. 

These factors have caused a domino effect to occur. The pricing and availability of the products we rely on are suffering as a result. We have noticed all commodities across the board are impacted by labor restrictions. This disruption continuously compounds throughout all levels of the supply chain. 

The Domino Effect of the Supply Chain

A domino effect translates to every area of the supply chain. From the sourcing of raw materials to pricing. Historically, Polo’s supplier quotes typically last from 60 days to a year, depending on the industry and supplier. Unfortunately, many suppliers currently only guarantee their quotes for a few days. 

Raw materials we have been purchasing for years used to take two weeks to arrive at our facility. Now, the lead time for these products sometimes takes over a year to get shipped to our facility. This has created many challenges for our manufacturing and sales teams.

Solutions Polo Custom Products Has Put in Place to Combat Supply Chain Issues

Polo Custom Products has continued to provide high-quality products and solutions to meet your needs. Polo’s incoming and on-time deliveries exceed industry standards. On-time delivery is averaging the following percentages for the following deliveries:

  • Raw materials: 91% 
  • Imports: 84%

The most recent report on global container on time delivery (July 2022) shows an average of 40% OTD.  We continue to hold a higher percentage of on-time deliveries compared to public industry averages. This is due to our amazing team that has planned, prepared, and strategized for potential delays.

Other solutions we have put in place include: 

  • Surveying suppliers on lead time to try and stay ahead of the curve. 
  • Continuously monitoring transit times. 
  • Reviewing current data and running audits and refining to improve our processes. 
  • Focusing on business continuity planning with our key suppliers.
  • Constant communication and openness with our customers. 

Good News For the Future of the Supply Chains

Although the supply chain has had a hard few years, good news is on the horizon. Trends are starting to look more favorable, and we are beginning to see prices stabilize. While pricing isn’t back to pre-pandemic levels, we continue to monitor that closely and will be ready as soon as possible to provide more favorable pricing for our customers. 

Other good news includes: 

  • Supply chain constraints loosening, such as constraints on textiles. 
  • While labor issues are still challenging for many businesses in the industry, this has not been an issue for us. We got creative and are well-staffed to handle all manufacturing and production needs. We are continuing to hire new talent as well. 

Polo Custom Products is Staged for Growth

Here at Polo, we are staged for growth. The team here is robust and are ready for the next big thing. For more information about the state of the supply chain and how it impacts our company, contact us

Jennifer Fennell

Director of Supply Chain Management
Jennifer has been involved in supply chain management for over 20 years. She currently sits on the IFAI Board of Directors and is accredited through the Institute of Supply Management as a Certified Purchasing Manager. Jennifer is experienced in sourcing and inventory management and enjoys helping our customers find what they need in the most cost effective manner possible.