Supply chain challenges surround us with acute raw material shortages, creeping inflation, and labor struggles. COVID has also played a big part: during the first half of 2020, demand for most goods dropped as economies worldwide went into lockdown. Sailings by ocean carriers were canceled, manufacturing capacity was cut, and workers everywhere were displaced.
The result has created shortages of key manufacturing components, order backlogs, delivery delays, and a spike in transportation costs and consumer prices. From a logistics perspective, restarting the manufacturing machine after the lockdown turned out to be quite difficult. The complex system that moves raw materials and finished products around the globe requires predictability and precision. Both had been lost.