UNO Expert: Supply Chain Issues Will Make System Better Long-term

Oct. 19, 2021, 2 p.m. ·

Dr. Anh Ta
Dr. Anh Ta of the University of Nebraska at Omaha. (Photo from Zoom)

Listen To This Story

A supply chain expert at the University of Nebraska at Omaha thinks the product back-log we’re seeing right now could lead to important fixes and safeguards in the system.

Dr. Anh Ta is an assistant professor of supply chain management at UNO and said what we’re seeing now is the result of a perfect storm; a pandemic, production shutdowns, an upcoming holiday and fewer truck drivers. We’ve heard the warnings about the availability of toys and other seasonal products, but Ta said this probably won’t last long.

“I don’t think it will be a big issue for more than six months, but it cannot be solved in less than two months,” Ta said.

He said the reason you’re still able to get common products the next day from Amazon or Walmart is because those products are already in a warehouse and ready to go.

“A company like Amazon, they already have that very close to your house,” Ta said. “That’s why they can do one-day shipping or two-day shipping, because they know you will buy it. Because they know before you buy it. So they already have it in the warehouse somewhere.”

e said some factories overseas have had to close for more than two months amid increased cases of COVID- 19, a lag in production that won’t become a problem until closer to the holidays. But he said the logistics and supply chain issues will likely make the system stronger in the future as companies look for ways to avoid a repeat.

“Now they will be much better for next year. Next year we may have another problem, but not this same problem,” Ta said. “We will be better over time because we have more problems.”

Ta said supply chain logistics can be fragile and more companies are building in safeguards, including more emergency stock available when things get tight.