OPINION (ETH) – Have you noticed that it is a lot harder to get certain things these days? Just recently, someone in my local area was surprised when her appointment to get the windshield on her vehicle fixed was canceled because it wasn’t possible to get a replacement windshield.
This was a windshield for a very common vehicle, and normally that wouldn’t be a problem at all. But these are not normal times. Thanks to several factors that I will detail in this article, global supply chains are now under more strain than we have ever seen in the post-World War II era, and unfortunately, it appears that things are going to get even worse as we approach the holiday season.
I know that most of you probably don’t want to hear that the shortages that we are experiencing now are going to get worse. So you may be tempted to stop reading this article now because you don’t want to see the bad news. But it is imperative that you understand what is ahead, and so I urge you to keep reading.
Let’s take this one step at a time. Right now, local news outlets all over the country are doing stories about the shortages in their local areas. Here is one example… Have you recently gone to the grocery store and found some of the shelves empty? If so, you aren’t alone. Many people can’t find some of their favorite and essential items since the pandemic started.
As that article points out, the stores are trying to order the products that they need. They just can’t get them. This is happening all across the United States, and as a result, the inventory to sales ratio for U.S. retailers has been pushed to the lowest level on record…
In April, May, and June, the inventory-sales ratio of around 1.08 – or about 33 days’ supply – was at the lowest point in the data going back to 1992. In the years before the pandemic, the overall ratio was around 1.5, providing 45 days of supply. So why is this happening? Well, the truth is that there are several contributing factors, and one of them is fear of COVID.