Supply Chain Solutions: Market Shortages and Quick Turnarounds

Brown clock with a plant and a table lamp.

Today we are bringing you another story about a customer who ran out of product.

That’s right, you really aren’t alone in the inventory struggle!

Sometimes a simple oversight can cause you to run out of a key ingredient. That is one of the times a proactive supplier can help you out. Other times things happen that are beyond your control and ingredient inventory runs lean. The markets can be unpredictable, and shortages are inevitable in the long term. This is one of those stories.

Lots of ingredients have experienced shortages in recent memory.

Let’s review a couple examples. The sugar market was tight for months in the end of 2019 into 2020 and a recent fire at a sugar refining facility has everyone in the industry watching the market for another shortage.

These days another ingredient is on the collective mind of the food industry. Certain starches have been in short supply and many small and midsized consumer food manufacturers have been scrambling to source material for weeks or months. Lead times are long, and the unpredictability of the market does not make the wait any less tense.

That brings us back to the heart of this example.

A customer reached out searching for 5 pallets of modified corn starch and they needed it ASAP! Of course, every problem has an extra complication. The ingredient they requested was out of stock at the supplier through June because production will only keep pace with existing allocations through the month.

For those who aren’t familiar with allocations, let me explain. An allocation is similar to a preorder. It is a promise from the supplier to the customer or distributor that their order will be filled in a certain order. Allocations allow manufacturers to better gauge the demand for a given ingredient and adjust production to accommodate.

Fortunately for our customers, we aren’t a manufacturer. As a distributor we have access to multiple manufacturers which makes solving productions a cinch! First, I searched for any matches to the ingredient that are made by another supplier with product availability.

My lucky day!

I found two comparable products from another supplier that had modified corn starch in stock. I ran the options by the customer and then sent spec sheets for both possible solutions immediately. They liked the spec, so they requested 50 pound samples of each product to conduct a manufacturing test. Quality is a top priority after all!

One overnight delivery later I heard back that the test went well and one of the alternatives I sent over would be a perfect replacement in their formulation.

Talk about a quick turnaround!

In just a couple days of the initial inquiry I had an order placed for a half truckload of an alternate ingredient that perfectly meets the customers needs. I’ll even one up myself, the alternate product will deliver within a week.

When you need ingredients ASAP it takes a dedicated distributor to make the turnaround time work. Don’t settle for less than the best service.

We love solving your problems because without you, there is no us.

Ready to talk?

Are you looking for spec sheets, samples or prices? We would love to chat about how we can help.