It’s no secret that 2020 and 2021 brought a new and extensive set of challenges when it comes to the entire supply chain. From manufacturing and production to shipping and delivery, it feels like almost every inch of the system encountered some kind of derailment.
2021 Challenges Continuing Into 2022
A lot of the issues that 2021 brought are, unfortunately, unlikely to disappear entirely in 2022. Brands and businesses should still expect some disruptions around:
- Delays in getting goods from point A to point B
- The ongoing labor shortages
- Prioritization needs
- Manufacturers still playing catch up from 2020
Major Issue In 2021
In fact, one of the biggest issues that will likely spill over from 2021 came near the end of the year, with supply chain issues leaving brands unable to provide products to retailers for the holiday season. This sets off a chain reaction of blowback from delivery timing issues to high chargebacks and contracts that penalize those missed delivery windows. Retailers may give some extensions, but don’t expect them to extend generosity forever.
So what happens if you miss a shipping window? Likely a host of problems, to be honest.
- Either heavily charged or your purchase order is entirely cancelled
- Retailers can force brands to take back goods
- Creates a narrow window for selling seasonal merchandise
- May mean unwanted high markdowns in order to sell through
- Big revenue losses for brands
Planning For The Year Ahead
So what can you do to prepare your brand for 2022? For one, plan to be flexible. Counter source options for production so that if manufacturing hiccups occur at one place, you’re prepared to shift production. Look at international options, too, as different countries will likely have different protocols.
Stay competitive. Look at things like air freight vs. sea freight and switch things up as needed. Sometimes, you may need to pay more upfront for a shipping method in order to ensure your products get where they need to be in a timely manner, saving you money in the long run.
And as always, communicate with your customers. In this day and age, consumers are pretty savvy and are relatively understanding of the supply chain issues plaguing retail. However, they still expect the regular cadences of sales and new items (as do your retailers) so do all you can to prepare and to keep them in the loop.
At Scaling Retail, we help brands allocate funding to increase revenue, launch and grow successfully in an ever-evolving retail world. Send us an email to [email protected] to start the conversation.