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Plan Ahead for Supply Chain Shortages

As businesses reopened their doors, consumers rushed through. The economic rebound in 2021 has been rapid. Still, the surge in demand that businesses saw as they reopened has also caused challenges as supply chain shortages and shipping delays affected global logistic networks.

Hard-to-find items have included everything from food items to packing materials, and product shortages are expected to impact promotional products. Q4 will be here before you know it, and with it, the holiday gifting season. There are innumerable reasons to have plenty of logoed merchandise, specialty items, swag, and holiday gifts on hand between client appreciation, employee recognition, and general gift-giving. Don’t let the demand for promotional products and inventory shortfalls impact your business, order early.

While demand for promotional items has been increasing significantly, Safeguard can help businesses avoid inventory issues with domestic suppliers and “Made in the USA” products. Manage supply chain shortages and get the promotional products you need with help from your local Safeguard advisor.

Are shipping times really an issue?
Packages aren’t arriving as quickly as they did before the pandemic, as delivery services continue to be inundated with an increase in online buying and shipping. The USPS reported that 20 percent of mail was delivered late to households and businesses in the first quarter of 2021. More people shopping online have produced shipping volumes that cause delays across logistic networks.

Promo Products Inventory Issues

According to the Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI), total promotional product sales for 2020 dropped nearly 20 percent from the previous year. An industry fueled by popular items like t-shirts, mugs, tote bags, and pens felt the dramatic impact of the nearly year-long shut-down of trade shows, conferences, and fundraisers. Contrast that with this year, where a combination of widespread reopenings and heading into the traditionally busiest time of the year are poised to create additional stress on the supply chain that is already grappling with heightened shipping demands.

The supply chain shortages are ramping up against an economic recovery showing no sign of slowing down. In many cases, the problem is not scarcity of the product itself; it is the shipping network of cargo ships, trains, and trucks that are grappling with heightened shipping volumes and causing increasingly long shipping delays. According to St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard, it is anticipated that supply bottlenecks could continue into 2022. Supply chain shortages are affecting every industry, with suppliers working hard to tackle the challenge.

As buying for the holiday season ramps up, and businesses make plans for purchasing logoed products, whether they plan to give them away to promote their business, or to thank employees or clients, some specific product categories may be more likely than others to experience supply chain shortfalls. According to the Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI), electronic and tech products, bags, drinkware, outdoor products, and even apparel items could be at risk for inventory shortages.

Managing Supply Chain Shortages

The silver lining is that supply chain woes result from high demand, which means that business is bouncing back. Across the United States, the growing number of in-person activities is ramping up demand for promotional products. All kinds of in-person events, including client engagement events, outdoor events, and golf tournaments, are making a comeback. With them, there is a need for shirts, caps, drinkware, signage, and other branded merchandise.

There are ways to manage supply chain shortages, including early planning to make sure your order arrives on time as well as ordering more inventory than usual. Don’t wait until the last minute to place fourth quarter and holiday orders. Another way to successfully navigate the supply chain and avoid shortages is to buy “Made in USA” products. Your local Safeguard advisor can help you get a head start with your ordering timeline and make sure you avoid inventory issues.

Whether you want to make your business stand out, strengthen your brand, or show your appreciation, there are many reasons to gift branded promotional products. Be prepared for the upcoming corporate holiday season with the help of your local Safeguard Advisor. At Safeguard, we know that your business can thrive with the right products, services, and planning.

Key Takeaways

  • The economic rebound has affected global logistic networks causing shipping delays.

  • It is anticipated that supply bottlenecks could continue into 2022.

  • There are ways to manage supply chain shortages.

  • Safeguard can help businesses avoid inventory issues with US suppliers and products “Made in the USA.”

  • Manage supply chain shortages and get the promotional products you need with help from us.


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