Tallahassee Christmas shopping hit by supply chain crisis

Tallahassee businesses are scrambling to secure goods for the peak holiday season as the country struggles to ease constraints created by the supply chain crisis.

Almost all businesses have been affected in one way or another. More than 200 manufacturing companies operate in and around Leon County, said Melody Smelko, chair of the board of directors of the Big Bend Manufacturers Association.

From canning in breweries to producing steel for parts, she said there is a wide range of shortages affecting local businesses.

“It’s amazing what you think you’ll have no problem getting, and it’s not there,” said Smelko, CEO of Altrua Global Solutions. “Even to bring in material, and I speak for us and also for others that I have heard, what you could guarantee on a trucking line, you can no longer guarantee it.”

In “a workforce crisis”:

Altrua Global Solutions employee Quinte Johnson operates a cutting machine on Tuesday, November 16, 2021.

At Altura, the print production company has been forced to adapt when supplies aren’t readily available. For example, wire brackets for lawn panels are difficult to find as steel has become increasingly difficult to obtain.

Smelko advised consumers and businesses to be flexible and plan early.

“If you watch at the last minute, it probably won’t work this year,” Smelko said.

Compared to large cities with delivery centers, Tallahassee may experience the tightening of the supply chain even more due to transportation and delays in obtaining resources.

In addition, labor shortages also add another layer that strains the system if companies do not have employees to transport or manufacture products.

Altrua Global Solutions production manager Ryan Berg hemmed a banner at the company on Tuesday, November 16, 2021.

“This is a global problem and has had an impact on our local businesses as they encountered the possibility of shipping delays and higher prices,” said Cristina Paredes, director of the Economic Vitality office of the Tallahassee-Leon County. “At the Office of Economic Vitality, we launched the Big Bend Manufacturers Association earlier this year, which works to identify the challenges our local businesses face in dealing with supply chain issues.”

‘Deep and wide’: COVID has shocked the supply system

While some Tallahassee businesses may experience shipping delays, experts say large retailers have the power to move mountains in today’s climate.

Larry Giunipero, professor of supply chain management at Florida State University’s College of Business, said the current constraints created by the harassed supply chain boil down to priorities.

Larry Giunipero, professor of supply chain management in the College of Business at Florida State University.

Large retailers are equipped to buy en masse and climb to the top.

“I think the big box players, Lowes, Home Depot, Target and Walmart, I think they’ll take pretty good care of us,” Giunipero said. “They have the power. “

When asked if the United States has ever experienced a supply chain crisis comparable to what is happening now, Giunipero said the current supply chain problems rivaled previous product disruptions. base that had not “been so wide and so deep”.

The COVID-19 pandemic, he said, has shocked the system. In March 2020, the wave of layoffs and employee closures reduced capacity and created labor shortages.

Stimulus injections by the Trump and Biden administrations have helped stabilize the economy, allowing more consumers to have cash and be ready to spend over the holiday season. However, demand overshadows supply.

Black Friday Buying Guide:

Local brewery offers with the crunch of canning

Marsha LaPete, co-owner of Greater Depth Distributing which works with Deep Brewing Company in Tallahassee, said canning supplies and aluminum materials are among the main challenges for the business.

“We get grain locally, so we don’t have that big of a problem with that,” LaPete said. “But with the canning supplies, these obviously come from many different suppliers.”

Large companies, such as Coca Cola, Pepsi and Budweiser, accumulate aluminum materials, which creates challenges for small companies like Greater Depth Distributing.

She said the company has partnered with Tallahassee-based Iron Heart Canning Company because they can bulk buy and work for multiple breweries.

The holiday season, LaPete said, is the busiest time of year for his business, as residents look to gift specialty beers. But, the shortage of supply can prevent some varieties from being available.

Special boxes, which arrive blank and are then labeled, may be abandoned due to supply constraints. Additionally, LaPete said the closure of bars and restaurants has forced more businesses to turn to canning.

“This is what everyone did at the same time, which created a huge demand in the market,” she said. “We are just starting to get back to this point of supply. But with that came the problem of some Chinese canning suppliers going into the market. This was suspended because of the ships (containers) on the docks. . “

Deep's CANiversary includes favorites like Shallow End, Tan In a Can, and Saison.

This could get to a point where it is too expensive to produce the specialty beers, especially for tasting rooms. LaPete said the partnership with Iron Heart will determine what his business and Deep Brewing Company can deploy.

“If we can’t stock up, we won’t be able to make special boxes for the holidays,” she said. “At any other time, if we ran out of cans, for example, we could switch to bottles. At this point, bottling is also in danger.”

Contact TaMaryn Waters at tlwaters@tallahassee.com or follow @TaMarynWaters on Twitter.

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Tips from a supply chain expert for navigating the 2021 holiday season:

This year’s Black Friday will give customers a different experience due to sourcing grunts, said Larry C. Giunipero, professor of supply chain management at Florida State University’s College of Business.

Giunipero said there are three things to keep in mind:

  1. Expect fewer Doorbuster promotions. Retailers know consumers are overflowing with cash and are ready to spend it this holiday season. For example, a recent survey by Mastercard Spendingpulse expects jewelry and luxury goods to increase spending by more than 50% from 2020 levels. Once in the store, expect to see more. ‘items at normal price. Sales can occur on slower moving inventory and discontinued items.
  2. Expect to pay more for the items you buy on Black Friday. Supply chain congestion at ports and throughout the logistics system, combined with higher demand, means continued inflation. Additionally, it will be difficult to find basic home appliances or electronics as retailers will stock higher margin items with the knowledge that the consumer will pay.
  3. Expect to wait longer, have less assistance find goods and make more use of self-service to check. The shortage of drivers and the lack of capacity in ports and warehouses limited supply. Retailers will also be understaffed during the holiday season. Dealing with this environment means either reduced opening hours or difficulties in meeting the expected influx of customers into stores. Frustrated customers may find that the best option is online shopping and Cyber ​​Monday. “

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