Volatility Creates Opportunities (and Threats)

As if on cue, Appvion, a major supplier of direct thermal paper, announced a price increase on select DT products a day after I posted my blog last week.  I’m sure it had been planned well in advance of my brilliant missive but the timing made me smile.  I’m regularly told how wrong I am by my son.  It’s nice to have the opportunity to remember I’m not always wrong.

Time will tell if the announced increase gets through and if our suppliers absorb it or pass it on.  Don’t be shocked if our supply chain attempts to implement surcharges instead of an across the board increase.  For some reason, big companies like complexity.  Complexity, such as using a surcharge tied to an index, creates jobs for pricing analysts.

We are clearly heading from years of relative tranquility into a more volatile environment.  In particular, we are heading towards supply and pricing challenges.  Start planning now.  Talk to your suppliers about their plans.  Talk to your customers about forecasting.  Take the opportunity to offer value-added services, such as vendor managed inventory.  Do not bury your head in the sand.  Challenges create opportunities to strengthen relationships.  Seize the opportunity.  If you don’t, someone else will.

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