Companies Need to Get Ahead on Inventory to Escape Supply Chain Disruptions

Businesses should think about inventory purchases beyond next year.

Companies Need to Get Ahead on Inventory to Escape Supply Chain Disruptions
Dean Mischke, vice president of Finley Engineering Company

WASHINGTON, December 22, 2021 – As supply chain issues threaten fiber builds, one company executive is warning other companies to get ahead of inventory purchases to insulate them from disruptions.

Dean Mischke, vice president of Finley Engineering Company, which builds out telecommunications infrastructure, said on a Fiber for Breakfast event Wednesday that companies should have a strategic plan that allows them to forecast their need for materials so they are in a better position to secure them.

“As a company, if you are looking at simply planning [supply needs] just for next year, you are probably planning a little short,” he said. “You need to be looking beyond next year and start setting up a five-year plan with specific goals in mind and elements you are going to need to reach those goals”

Mischke said that predicting future needs is especially important for smaller companies that cannot buy in as large numbers as bigger industry leaders.

“I don’t believe the supply chain shortage will go away overnight,” said Mischke.

Earlier this month, a public-private partnership in Vermont came together to purchase thousands of miles of fiber cable at a fixed cost from a cooperative, which is expected to see its cost rise by 35 percent due to supply chain issues and inflation.

On fiber sales, Mischke said larger companies could be buying up the market’s supply. “If your business goals depend on fiber expansion, a fiber reel in-hand is better than a reel in-order.”

Mischke said large buyers “aren’t having as much of a problem” buying equipment like computer chips because “cellphone manufacturers bought up the entire production of a very large chip manufacturer.” This means that smaller businesses “will have a hard time finding and buying materials,” he said.

For better success, smaller companies should “look at getting materials from a seller that has the pull to get what you need,” he added. “Take a look at who can provide what. However, sometimes if an order is small enough, you may be able to fill in a supply gap.”

Bloomberg reported Wednesday that global supply chain issues would challenge world economies well into 2022.

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