Supply chain – Q Porkchains http://q-porkchains.org/ Tue, 07 Dec 2021 11:14:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 https://q-porkchains.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/cropped-icon-32x32.png Supply chain – Q Porkchains http://q-porkchains.org/ 32 32 Davis hopes to address supply chain shortages during | Local news https://q-porkchains.org/davis-hopes-to-address-supply-chain-shortages-during-local-news/ Tue, 07 Dec 2021 06:00:00 +0000 https://q-porkchains.org/davis-hopes-to-address-supply-chain-shortages-during-local-news/

QUINCY – U.S. Representative Rodney Davis R-Taylorville made an impromptu appearance in Quincy on Monday about a week after announcing his candidacy for the newly drawn 15th Congressional District.

Davis, who has represented the 13th Congressional District since 2012, said he was speaking at an Illinois Farm Bureau event in Chicago but decided to take a flight to Quincy to hear the concerns of his potential voters. .

“I am a Conservative who does not sacrifice our core values ​​and principles, but also understands that we must govern together to get things done,” Davis said. “Next time I come, I certainly hope to sit down with more local leaders like the mayor and other people from the community to talk about the issues that are important to every person in this county.”

Although Adams County is not represented in the 13th District, Davis said he was familiar with the area after recruiting former US Representative John Shimkus and that many of the same issues he was working on era, such as improved waterways, still exist today. He added that he had worked with U.S. Representative Darin LaHood, R-Peoria and state lawmakers to serve Quincy during his time in Congress.

Responding to recent economic development opportunities announced in the historic Dodd Building, the Illinois State Bank building, and the Quincy Plumbing and Heating Distributors Building, Davis said the most significant investments are the local reinvestments, because they are the ones who are most dedicated to their communities.

But in Washington, Davis said he was working to identify global supply chain shortages on products that are not made in the United States.

Currently, Davis said he plans to introduce legislation to identify these shortages while also determining how to incent investment in small rural communities.

“These are the kinds of ideas and incentives that we need to think about at the federal level that will provide opportunities for manufacturing to re-exist in communities like Quincy and re-exist in our rural communities, because that’s where the workforce, ”Davis said.

Adams County is said to be one of 35 counties in the 15th Congressional District. Davis said a representative wishing to serve this region must be prepared to make an effort.

“People call our offices not at the beginning of an issue but at the end of their rope and we are speaking up for their cause,” Davis said. “And that’s really the barometer between, in my opinion, a really good congressman and one that’s just in the job to talk more about the issues of the day rather than helping their constituents sort out the issues of their day. “

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Supply chain shortages impact local auto repair shops https://q-porkchains.org/supply-chain-shortages-impact-local-auto-repair-shops/ Tue, 07 Dec 2021 00:25:16 +0000 https://q-porkchains.org/supply-chain-shortages-impact-local-auto-repair-shops/

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) – Business is still booming at Auto Tech. The Lexington vehicle repair and maintenance shop near Whitaker Bank Ball Park had several customers waiting for their maintenance work to be completed. Many more had to pick up their cars later that day. But business has been hampered somewhat by supply chain issues.

“We have seen shortages in all areas of auto parts, especially brake parts,” said Ed Tackett of Auto Tech.

Tackett and Auto Tech owner Robert Lindsey said the wait time for many parts to arrive can be up to a week or more. And while it’s not the fault of Auto Tech or other similar companies, it does add to customer frustration.

“Absolutely,” Tackett said when asked if it is becoming difficult to keep customers happy and to operate their vehicles safely and smoothly.

Lindsey says the auto sales business also exacerbates problems in repair shops. The used car inventory is very low and new cars are not coming out as quickly due to supply chain issues, so people are holding onto their vehicles more than ever.

“It’s an entity known to you,” Lindsey said of your own vehicle. “Even if he’s 100,000 or 200,000 miles, we see him all the time,” he continued.

This is not a bad thing, but it does increase the need for additional repair work. And this is where we run into problems.

“Things (parts) are scarce to a certain extent now, but it could get worse. So if you want to get your vehicle back to the best possible condition, it’s best to do it now, ”Lindsey said.

But if you have to wait for parts and don’t have the luxury of not using your vehicle while waiting, it could create dangerous situations on the roads.

“I can’t drive with faulty parts without some risk, but people have to come and go,” Tackett said.

It’s an issue that will persist, and while it’s somewhat manageable now, it might be more difficult to deal with soon.

“It seems to be taking longer every week, and I can see that in the future if it continues in this path without reduction, it will get bad,” Lindsey said.

Tackett said it was already as bad as he had ever seen it before and had been in the business for 35 years.

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Supply chain disruption happens ‘just in time’ https://q-porkchains.org/supply-chain-disruption-happens-just-in-time/ Mon, 06 Dec 2021 14:35:26 +0000 https://q-porkchains.org/supply-chain-disruption-happens-just-in-time/

A global spectacle unfolded in March when the giant container ship Ever Given, bound for Rotterdam from Malaysia, got stuck in the Suez Canal for six days, stopping 150 ships in one day and supporting maritime traffic for an estimated cost of $ 1 billion (£ 750 million).

But the Ever Given snafu was not an isolated incident. On the other side of the world, in early November, some 77 container ships were stranded at sea outside the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, while nearly a third of ships docked had to wait five days or more to be unloaded. . Bloomberg said a “global supply chain crisis” “was pushing warehouses to capacity and forcing logistics officials to scramble to find space.” The Institute for Supply Chain Management reported that manufacturing activity was down as “supply chain challenges continued to weigh on US manufacturers in October.” What is happening?

The immediate cause of the supply chain crisis that began in 2020 has been a sharp increase in consumer spending on durable goods, as Covid-19 restrictions have led people to buy more goods for the home and fewer services in shops, theaters, bars and restaurants outside. Many of these goods came from overseas and had to be moved across the country anyway.

The problem, however, did not start with the pandemic. The American Industrial Journal Transportation topics reported in 2018 that road and rail carriers were already “struggling to meet demand.”

LABOR SHORTAGE KEY

The most important underlying cause of the 2021 US supply chain backup and crisis is a long-standing “shortage” of workers to move goods.

According to the American Trucking Association, there is a “historically high” shortage of 80,000 drivers. It’s not just truckers with the virus. Nor is this “shortage” due to a lack of people capable of driving trucks. As any Teamster can tell you, it’s the stagnant wages, long hours, high stress and health issues that keep workers away from industry and job seekers away. And that was the case long before the pandemic hit.

Warehouse workers, who also saw their wages stagnate and poor conditions during this period, were also relatively rare for the same reasons. The recent wage increases – which have resulted from these labor shortages and high levels of “quits” – are too small, too late.

To make matters worse, over the past few years, major freight rail carriers that move freight across the continent have reduced their workforce by using Precision Scheduled Railroading, their version of just-in-time lean production. . As a result, the number of workers on Class I freight railways increased from 170,000 in 2017 to 135,000 in 2020, while rail freight increased by 40 percent in weight and 37 percent in value. in dollars from 2010 to 2019. According to the organization Railroad Workers United, PSR has reduced “railcar equipment when needed”, “blocked ports and terminals” and depleted train crews, contributing to the crisis of the supply chain.

A shortage of truckers, railway workers, warehouse workers and others along the country’s supply chains means congested ports, ships stranded and unloaded, overloaded warehouses, increased delays, empty shelves and higher prices. An executive from the Association of Supply Chain Management summed up the problem in November: “Transportation is riddled with disruption,” including “the shortage of truckers and concerns about recruiting people into warehousing and freight jobs. transport ”.

When the pandemic struck in early 2020, delivery times for manufacturing and construction suppliers in the United States jumped 30%. In other words, a delivery that previously took two days would now take more than two and a half days. They fell somewhat at the end of the year, then rose by more than two-thirds in mid-2021.

JUST IN TIME ACCELERATION

What made this unprecedented disruption of the supply chain hit so hard and so quickly was the speed at which a single problem in the production or movement of goods due to a shortage of labor- of work or space can disrupt supply chains that crisscross the world.

Whether you are delivering parts to a factory or buying from home, these days it will be “just in time”. For example, a part ordered by an automaker from a supplier is expected to arrive as needed on the assembly line rather than being stored in inventory. This tightly calibrated movement is designed to keep commodities and money in perpetual motion. But once a link in the chain breaks, stalls, or overloads, the impact is immediate, deep, and widely felt. Just-in-time delivery is its own downfall.

Just-in-time is the idea of ​​Taiichi Ohno, an engineer at Toyota Motors in the 1950s. In the context of lean production, Ohno defined just-in-time delivery as a means of increasing profits by eliminating “waste” ie inventory, extra workers and more minutes. Instead of spending time, manpower, and money storing parts along the assembly line or in a warehouse (as manufacturers had done for decades), the idea from Ohno was that suppliers could deliver them exactly as needed, thereby eliminating inventory. This involved taming the Japanese unions and a huge acceleration of work. Years later, Ohno recalled: “If I had faced the [militant] Japan National Railways Union or American Union, I may have been murdered.

Since the introduction of lean and “just in time” production in the Western auto industry in the 1980s, these methods have spread to all types of production of goods and services, transportation and sales. by retail. Big retailers like Walmart and Amazon and producers like Ford and General Motors have forced it to downsize every supply chain until every supplier, big or small, is supposed to deliver products just in time to the next buyer. In the case of retailers like Amazon or Target, this means minimizing the inventory of any good based on the projected demand for that product using digital analysis. Amazon moves goods so quickly through its system that it actually receives your payment for a product you buy before paying its supplier.

This was to reduce costs and manpower by reducing inventory and inventory. And indeed, the inventory-to-sales ratio for US non-farm businesses fell 35% from 1980 to 2020. Along with other savings on labor, this helped US non-financial business profits to rise. increase by 40% from 2010 to $ 1.8 trillion in 2020 despite a relatively small slowdown. economic growth.

DO NOT STORE IT, MOVE IT!

To accelerate the pace of movement throughout the supply chain, the 21st century has seen the warehouse move from a place of storage to a place of movement: goods enter through one door and exit through another as soon as possible. possible. Even though there are more warehouses and warehouse workers than 20 years ago, little of that space and human force is devoted to storage. So when the pandemic hit and consumer demand skyrocketed, there was no inventory to draw on. Instead, more goods have entered and across the country and without enough workers to move them fast enough things have piled up and traffic is stalled. All the “Big Data” and the digital coordination of supply chains have not been able to compensate for the lack of manpower.

Speed ​​brings greater risk. Floods, power outages, IT problems, bad roads, labor disputes or, as we have seen, pandemics and business problems can bring a system to a halt just in time because it does not there is no slack in the system. Low stocks increase the chances of disruption, while speed propels dislocation up and down the supply chain via “ripple” or “snowball” effects.

Disruptions have a quick impact not only on deliveries, but also on a company’s finances. For example, a study of 397 U.S. companies between 2005 and 2014 found that a single supply chain disruption of any kind resulted in an average sales decline of 4.82%, while operating income fell 26.5% and return on assets (investment) fell 12.7%. during the three months following the incident. The strikers take note.

RISK, RESILIENCE OR RESISTANCE

Aware of all the potential problems, contemporary supply chain managers and logistics experts debate “risk” versus “resilience”. Resilience means including enough slack in the system to minimize or quickly recover from a disruption: thus larger “just in case” inventories, multiple suppliers, higher costs and most importantly more workers and potentially less profit.

Decades of deregulation, privatization and market worship devoted to increasing profits have left society vulnerable to the unbridled force of just-in-time supply chains, while depriving us of the political means to tame the beast. The weakening of trade unions and worker-employer cooperation programs has also limited our ability to curb the source of all supply chain movements: the workplace, whether a factory, warehouse, truck or train, port, computer screen, store.

Regardless of the degree of automation or digital tracking throughout the supply chain, every point of production and movement of goods and service delivery depends on workers, with millions of them in the infrastructure and transportation of companies alone. United States. In the final analysis, the speed of just-in-time delivery is created by the intensification of work and acceleration at work. In itself, “Big Data” cannot change anything.

The “resilience” that managers have spent decades breaking down through acceleration is actually about employing a sufficient workforce to get the job done at a livable and healthy pace. Labor has the potential power to impose this human rhythm on the production and movement of goods and services by striving for decent working conditions throughout the supply chain. Build unions, raise living and working standards, shorten hours for higher pay – and this supply chain crisis will subside, labor shortages will become a thing of the past and a thing of the past. A heavy blow will be dealt to the scandalous inequalities of today.

Kim Moody was one of the founders of Working notes and now lives in London where he is a researcher, frequent writer on labor issues and a member of the National Union of Journalists.

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Supply chain crisis harms Northwestern Ontario https://q-porkchains.org/supply-chain-crisis-harms-northwestern-ontario/ Mon, 06 Dec 2021 03:55:19 +0000 https://q-porkchains.org/supply-chain-crisis-harms-northwestern-ontario/

THUNDER BAY – Andrew Scribilo isn’t really going to drive all the way to Winnipeg in a snowstorm just to buy a smoked ham for the holidays.

But he admits he thought about it.

The president of the Kenora Chamber of Commerce said that the fact that he cannot buy Christmas ham in his town at the moment is not only frustrating; it’s another symptom of the growing supply chain crisis impacting the availability of everything from food to cooks.

“You go to a hardware store and the bins for what you need are empty,” Scribilo said. “I hear it and I see it. But you can’t blame the retailers – they try, but they just can’t fit it. ”

In Thunder Bay, Rob Spakowski, a longtime home heating dealer, said he had access to brand new furnaces he could install for a customer this week.

But spare parts for existing units can be hard to come by, Spakowski said, especially if they have to come from the United States, which also faces a supply shortage.

“It was the same with air conditioners this summer,” said Spakowski. “Some days I just went fishing.”

A global shortage of essential computer chips has dampened sales of ovens and automobiles.

Used car and truck dealers say they’re hanging on, but customers need to act fast. Vehicles do not stay on the grounds very long and prices have increased by around 20%.

“We’re surviving because we’ve been around for 25 years, but we’re operating on only 50 percent of what our inventory would normally be right now,” said Randy Salamon, veteran Thunder Bay dealer.

Salamon said the supply issue affecting new vehicles inevitably spills over to his business, which is largely dependent on local trade.

“We try to buy local, but some of our trucks came in from western Canada (during the pandemic) which have their own issues,” he said.

Scribilo said it is difficult to find a new car or truck in Kenora at this time. He said Canadians should consider paying a bit more for a variety of products in the long run, if that’s what it takes to ensure the products are made in North America.

“We have to be self-sufficient,” he said. “Maybe that means paying an extra $ 25 for something.” He added, “I buy all of my vehicles in Kenora. ”

At Lakehead, “we have a lot of companies that have seen a significant impact of supply chain issues over the past few months, from construction companies to retailers to office equipment,” said the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce President Charla Robinson. “It’s a big problem.”

Local grocery stores are running out of staple dairy, fruits and vegetables that would normally come from flood-ravaged British Columbia, Robinson noted.

Thunder Bay ski retailer Steve Scollie said he viewed the supply chain conundrum from different angles.

His stock of skis has not been affected as they are shipped to Montreal from Europe “where they seem to be in control of their situation”.

But that’s another story with winter clothes, which are imported from Asia. Although Scollie’s store is always well stocked, suppliers have requested order commitments earlier than usual.

“I have already placed orders for next year,” he said.

Other retail sectors, such as those selling eyewear, also appear to be well stocked at the moment.

As for Scribilo’s chances of getting his smoked ham: “They said hopefully before Christmas, but they can’t guarantee it.”

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Supply Chain Issues Affecting Colorado Springs Restaurants https://q-porkchains.org/supply-chain-issues-affecting-colorado-springs-restaurants/ Sun, 05 Dec 2021 15:41:42 +0000 https://q-porkchains.org/supply-chain-issues-affecting-colorado-springs-restaurants/

COLORADO SPRINGS – Menus at several Colorado Springs restaurants may look different this year as businesses grapple with supply chain issues and find themselves unable to get certain things for their dishes.

Longtime bartender and waiter at Red Gravy Michael Meese said his team is no stranger to supply chain issues.

“In the past two weeks, we’ve run out of squid. We also couldn’t get some beers and wines.

Russ Ware is a Managing Partner of the newly opened Epiphany Restaurant, Wild Goose Meeting House, Good Neighbor’s Meeting House, and Patty Jewett Neighborhood Bar and Grill. He also saw the effects of supply chain shortages.

Russ Ware, managing partner of the local restaurant, talks about supply shortages.

“Some things that are important to us are hard to come by right now and sometimes alternatives are available, sometimes not, so we have to be pretty creative,” Ware said.

According to Ware, most of the challenges are with its old restaurants that offer iconic dishes that customers love.

“At Wild Goose we have this gooseberry relish and we can’t get the particular raspberry jam that we use for it, so we substitute the strawberry and stuff for that. It’s just not the same.

Across town, Colorado Mountain Brewery creates new twists on classic dishes with ingredients the restaurant can find.

Jonathan San Agustin, director of Colorado Mountain Brewery, praises the resilience of his team.

“We had to change some recipes that we had for years,” said Jonathan San Agustin, manager of Colorado Mountain Brewery. Do special things. We have learned to be resilient.

Despite the challenges these restaurants face, many told FOX21 News they remain optimistic things will get better eventually. In the meantime, customers are urged to remain patient and understanding.

“We always struggle with people, we always struggle with supply chains and we often do. out of our control, said San Agustin. “We are really doing our best to take care of you. “

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Supply chain: Empty container, crisis of lack of capacity, factor of Champagne shortage https://q-porkchains.org/supply-chain-empty-container-crisis-of-lack-of-capacity-factor-of-champagne-shortage/ Sun, 05 Dec 2021 01:45:21 +0000 https://q-porkchains.org/supply-chain-empty-container-crisis-of-lack-of-capacity-factor-of-champagne-shortage/ In Australia and abroad, empty shipping containers have piled up in ports and ships are scarce – and that now means a Christmas favorite is under threat.

It might be a seaside suburb in the same corner of the Sydney woods as Bondi, but you won’t find a cheerful postcard featuring Port Botany.

This bushy corner of Sydney is full of industry rather than sportswear. Trucks, each loaded with a single container, are rushing incessantly to and from the dozens of ships. But they can’t move fast enough to meet demand.

The huge skyscrapers of shipping containers, stacked in ports around the world, are a sign that all is not well in global supply chains.

Far too many of these steel shells are idle, filled with nothing but air. And there are far too few ships to take them on.

Yet at the same time, retailers are desperately looking for more overseas deliveries to fill the gaps on the shelves as Christmas approaches.

An industry insider told news.com.au that there are “no easy answers” to supply chain squeeze.

The last product affected by this global wrinkle is alcohol. Retailers are warning customers that supplies of some imported spirits and champagne may be affected, given huge demand during the holiday season.

That’s minor compared to Brits who have been warned to expect gaps on the shelves until potentially 2023.

In a recent report, the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC) said a “logistical nightmare” was underway.

“The supply chain has been kept in a state of continued disarray, unable to meet the growing demand for containers,” he said.

Shipping container skyscrapers

Sea containers are the defining characteristic of Port Botany. Behind barbed wire fences, walls of containers – technically known as twenty-foot equivalent units or TEUs – rise skyward.

On one side of the street, a barrier of identical white TEUs from the massive Danish transporter Maersk is easily higher than any local apartment building.

Nearby, a collection of over 200 rust-colored TEUs are neatly piled up, reminiscent of a boat stranded on the brooder. Some towers go up to seven containers.

Australian Peak Shippers Association (APSA) Secretary Paul Zalai told news.com.au that the large amount of spare containers in Australian ports “caught everyone off guard” in the height of the crisis. pandemic, but the problem had diminished.

But not so elsewhere. In the UK, spare containers were recently stored at disused airfields east of London. In Los Angeles, local residents complained when trucks carrying the huge steel boxes started popping up on local streets as they searched for temporary places to store them.

“The bottom line is an efficient supply of containers and ships to meet a growing need,” Zalai said.

“Logistics nightmare”

Ideally, full containers would enter Australia, be emptied and then filled with Australian goods for shipment overseas.

“In a perfect world, you would have 50% imports and 50% exports,” Peter Van Duyn, maritime logistics expert at the Center for Supply Chains and Logistics, told news.com.au. ‘Deakin University.

” But it is not the case here. Australia has phased out much of its manufacturing, so already a quarter of TEUs are returned empty. “

Transporting empty containers increases costs for shipping lines at the best of times. But Covid-19 made everything worse.

In October, ACCC summed up the problem: “There is an abundance of empty containers, but they are stuck in the wrong places.

“Shipping lines find it easier to build new containers rather than evacuate existing containers,” the government agency said in its container stevedore surveillance report.

Closures and closures of borders had led to an increase in demand for household items which were usually transported in containers. Things like TVs, sneakers, and game consoles.

“At the same time, the pandemic has triggered a cascading effect, with intermittent and continuous shocks throughout the supply chain, depleting shipments and unused port capacity. The supply chain has been kept in a state of continuous disarray, unable to meet the growing demand for containers.

“This represents a logistical nightmare for the industry. “

Schedules of shipping lines that once “ran like clockwork” were stuck, ACCC said.

Bottleneck in the United States combined with closures in China

One of the biggest lingering issues is with the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach in California, which handle 40% of container traffic in the United States.

Despite the enormous size of the ports, longshoremen cannot cope with the enormous demand for unloading and loading ships.

“About 70 or 80 ships are currently waiting to enter California… and that is reflected in the entire supply chain.” said Mr. van Duyn de Deakin.

In many cases, shipping lines were in such a rush to unload their cargo at ports and return for more that they left without loading any containers – leaving TEUs stranded on the wrong side of the ocean.

Another issue has been China’s stance on Covid-zero. This has seen it shut down entire ports due to a case of Covid, which has further impacted the container supply.

And it’s not just Covid-19 that’s causing problems. The Ever Given vessel blocking the Suez Canal, one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world, did not help. The industrial action of longshoremen in Sydney has also had an impact.

At some point earlier in the year, it was estimated that 30,000 more containers had arrived in Sydney than was left. These thousands of containers were simply piling up in container yards and transport depots waiting to be returned.

Gaps on the shelves

The lack of containers has led to an “astronomical” rise in shipping costs which in turn is fueling prices for consumers and hence inflation.

For retailers, this has resulted in product shipping delays and shelf gaps.

Associated British Ports CEO Henrik Pedersen told a UK industry newspaper Retail Gazette that he would be “positively surprised” if the issue were resolved next year, meaning the chaos could last until 2023.

“When you have congested container ports around the world, it takes a long time to turn things around,” he said, also highlighting a shortage of truck drivers after Brexit in the UK.

Retailers, including Marks & Spencer, have seen empty shelves for some items.

In Australia, imported alcohol is now in the logistical sights.

Endeavor Group, which owns retailers Dan Murphy’s and BWS, blamed “supply chain constraints” for a limit of 12 bottles per person for French champagne brands including Mumm, Pol Roger and Moet.

Coles, owner of Liquorland and First Choice, also confirmed some buying limits, but insisted this was standard practice during peak periods.

How long will the tightening of the supply chain last

APSA’s Mr Zalai told news.com.au that lack of vessel capacity is now a bigger problem than containers with not enough ships, for example, using key routes from Australia to the Middle East and Southeast Asia, which is crucial for agricultural exports.

“We are delighted that the government has heard our cries and that there is a Productivity Commission review on this matter as there are no easy answers and there must be thorough and independent research,” did he declare.

If national restrictions come back, it could make the problem worse, he said, as Australians spend more money on products for home entertainment.

If that doesn’t happen, there is a way to fix the supply chain issues, van Duyn said.

“Once the holidays are over and people buying less products, the pressure on supply chains will not be so great.

“It is therefore reasonable to hope that things will return to normal and that the astronomical prices currently charged for containers will drop.”

Read related topics:Sydney
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Supply chain pinching also hits offices as employers struggle to procure light, ink and paper https://q-porkchains.org/supply-chain-pinching-also-hits-offices-as-employers-struggle-to-procure-light-ink-and-paper/ Sat, 04 Dec 2021 22:00:00 +0000 https://q-porkchains.org/supply-chain-pinching-also-hits-offices-as-employers-struggle-to-procure-light-ink-and-paper/
Light bulbs that burned out while employees worked remotely are pictured in an office in the Anthropology Department at UC Riverside on November 4, 2021. Sara Becker / Document via REUTERS

Employers accustomed to dealing with COVID-19 issues while trying to get workers back to their offices said they faced an unforeseen challenge: keeping the lights on.

Global supply chain disruptions caused by plant closures in Asia, congestion at U.S. ports, and a nationwide labor shortage have resulted in shortages of microchips and manufacturing materials. widely publicized construction.

Today, these issues are causing shortages of everyday office supplies, from printer ink and toner to paper to light bulbs.

For example, when anthropology professor Sara Becker returned to her desk at the University of California at Riverside in early November, she noticed that several light bulbs had burned out in the eight months she had worked remotely.

An assistant on her department contacted facilities for replacements, and Becker was asked what percentage of light bulbs in her office were off.