The Real Supply Chain Issue – Just in Want Purchasing…

Years ago, when some of us attended business school we learned about the different kinds of manufacturing, distribution and supply chain processes.  In today’s world, terms like ‘just in time’ manufacturing or ‘manufacture to order’ have become common place.  The new phenomena in economic reality thought are ‘just in want’ purchasing or JIW.    Yes JIW, you may have heard the term before, but it is a Ribotsky Institute original.

Let’s face a few facts here, we all really do not need much of anything besides food and water.  Thankfully, those items are readily available in the civilized world and the majority of the planet’s inhabitants do not want for much. (We did the majority before someone says people are still starving) Unfortunately, our economic models no longer work since they now need to be based on JIW trends.    These ‘trends’ are shifting quickly, globally and account for over fifty percent of the way in which the younger generations purchase things.  There is not a business on the planet that is not affected by it, because somewhere, somehow, from food service to streaming media and all in between, all economic pieces are affected.  

Now, when we say trends, we do mean trends.  Yup you got that right.  Who is buying clothing because a blogger, TIKTOK or Instagram celebrity is posting such items.  Or which movie star is wearing what or going to a new hot vacation spot.  All of these ‘trends’ dictate economic results that can be quantified.   But those measures are somewhat dependent on the ability to get product in the hands of purchasers, NOW.

The problem that we face in today’s economy is that the JIW crowd has to deal with delays now due to supply chain issues caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic.  How did all that happen you ask?  You ordered something from Amazon Prime and still cannot get it?  Well, here is why in basic terms.   First, the Pandemic shutdown stopped all non-essential shipping for a period of time.  That means if it was not a necessity item it waited.   Then, when the shipping of items began again, the supply chain domino effect happened.  (If you have every played with or watched large scale domino demonstrations, you know all someone does is hit one tile, and the rest happens by itself) Once one piece of the global supply chain network was delayed what occurred?  ALL OF IT GOT DELAYED.  (IT IS CALLED A CHAIN BECAUSE IT IS ALL CONNECTED) Finished product sat on loading docks and in warehouses, or on container ships that could not move for one reason or another.   Then certain manufacturers could not get their raw materials to manufacture more product or were missing certain components.  (Take as an example chip manufacturing in the car industry)

Then add to that manufacturing lead time and the fact people actually got COVID and were either quarantining or out of work for a period of time due to the illness and the timeline increases – EXPONENTIALLY.  Add all of that together and you have the single greatest supply chain derailment / shift in modern history.  Let us not forget rising fuel prices and costs of maintenance on trucking and other supply chain infrastructure and you can easily see how things are taking longer and costing more money.  Hence that word inflation no one really likes to talk about.

So, when you are paying more in the coming months for whatever you are ordering, thank the JIW economy.

Keep in mind though, all of this is a lesson for everyone.   You see, as stated previously here, we are now a society of JIW purchasers.  I want it.  I see it.  I click on it.  I ordered it.  It comes (supposedly) overnight.  Which, is what the problem is in the first place. 

Now we are not saying that fulfillment of product distribution should not have evolved and will not evolve even further in the future.  What we are saying is we are a world that is interdependent on other countries and have what is now commonly referred to as a Meshed Economy.  Our country’s economy is meshed with other country’s economies so that what effects one, effects them all.  That means pretty simply, since we do not produce much at home in our own country, we are dependent on the production of goods elsewhere.  That forces us to be dependent on the issues that arise where the good are produced and any issues of the places the goods travel through to get here.  Does that make sense?  

So, if we were not so needy, and focused on JIW purchasing we would not be reporting about, complaining about, or stating that we have economic supply chain issues centered on not being able to get goods as fast as we were.  (Or if we somehow had listened many years ago and produced items here) This is only because our society wants JIW purchasing, but we do not really need most things within one to three days.   Call us crazy, but at a certain point and time the inability to wait for something has created a more impatient and unhappy society.  Trust us there are plenty of other things in life to be frustrated about, besides your prime order taking an extra few days or a week. 

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