Global shortages resulting from the pandemic have been affecting the supply chains of all industries across the board. For us in promotional products, we’ve been dealing with inventory shortages and production delays that have made it quite challenging to meet our client’s demands at times.
As businesses are opening and events are starting to happen, we’d like to make you aware of the issues that can affect your branded merchandise orders and what to do about it.
Factors Affecting The Promotional Products Supply Chain
Experts are forecasting the supply chain issues will not slow down any time soon. Both overseas and domestic manufacturing are experiencing low inventory, labor shortages, fuel price increases, and transportation delays.
As if that weren’t enough, the ports are backed up causing additional delays in the restocking of goods.
But you can still have your merch when you need it, just requires some planning ahead.
Get Your Holiday Gifts Now
Holiday business gifts often involve high levels of customization, packaging, and drop shipping. Each of these steps have their challenges in a “normal” year, but now there is an unpredictable delay at every level of the process, caused by the supply chain issues.
With a busy schedule and so much on your plate, it’s easy to put off sourcing your company’s business gifts you don’t need at the moment. Especially if you are one of our clients and got used to last-minute orders delivered in one week or even less. We can no longer do that…
By planning your holiday gifts early on, you will be able to have the holiday business gifts you want, the way you want, and delivered on time.
Be Flexible: Have Several Swag Options Selected
There was a time when we presented you with merch options, you picked your favorite one, and shortly thereafter your products of choice were delivered.
But with the ongoing inventory shortages, it is not uncommon to check inventory and confirm there’s plenty, but find that the product is no longer in stock when the order is placed an hour later. Or even worse, there are times when you think everything is on track and you have a ship date, but somehow it turns out there is no stock and you are back to square one.
For this reason, we are recommending our clients to pick 2 or 3 products to keep as backups.
Stock On Internal Use Branded Supplies
Chances are you keep certain stock of branded items at hand for internal use. These can include office supplies such as branded pens, note pads, lanyards, mousepads, as well as general giveaways you want to keep handy, such as hand sanitizers, bags, drinkware, etc.
Whether in your company store or in your supply closet, this is a good time to run an inventory check of those frequently used branded products and get restocked if needed. You’ll avoid unpleasant surprises that can leave your staff scrambling at the last minute to get the supplies they need at a given moment.
Plan Way Ahead And You’ll Be Fine
The most effective way to mitigate the impact of longer lead times, inventory shortages and increasing costs, is to plan way ahead for upcoming events, end of the year business gifts, and special branding projects Plan to place your orders at least 4 weeks in advance if they’re not produced overseas. For those, you’ll need at least 8-10 weeks.
We Have Your Back
You’ve probably have experienced some of these issues both at work or in your personal life. As these challenges began to develop, our team has been proactive in keeping in close contact with our partner factories to stay on top of stock availability, Made in the USA, and products that can be produced relatively quickly.
So here we are, with plenty of alternatives to help you achieve your branding goals.
Contact us and let’s start working on your upcoming swag projects!