Monica Plaza

Monica Plaza

  • Supply Chain Demands

The once-mighty global supply chain is facing a reckoning. As businesses and workers head into the holiday season, several supply chain-related trends may affect how good their holidays really are. According to industry experts, the holiday season will only make an already overstretched supply chain worse, complicated by everything from port bottlenecks to truck driver and semiconductor-chip shortages. But as one delivery truck door closes, another one opens. And both businesses and workers could find a silver lining this holiday season from the supply chain dark clouds amassing. 

Manufacturers, retailers, and shipping companies are finding innovative ways to deliver their products and goods. And workers are quickly discovering that flexibility and responsiveness can help them earn more. So, what will backups in an already challenged supply chain mean this holiday season for those businesses and workers? 

Supply chain problems will likely continue. Backups at U.S. and overseas ports show no signs of going away any time soon, and containers, construction materials, and even wood pallets are in short supply. These shortages could continue as the holiday season ramps up, stretching the supply chain even thinner, aggravating current shortages and difficulties. But resilient supply chain users will continue to adjust and adapt to bring their goods to market. When they do, however, it usually comes at a cost. And that cost will most likely be passed onto consumers in three ways: price, time, and availability. 

So, prices for goods will probably rise, as manufacturer and shipper costs rise. It may also take longer for certain products to get to market. Some products simply won’t be available at all this holiday season. But supply chain woes go well beyond consumer inconvenience and cost. Manufacturer and shipper profit margins may shrink as their costs rise. And some companies may even have to revamp operations. For example, FedEx recently lowered its fiscal-year profit outlook because of another supply chain issue affecting its delivery capacity—people. 

Put simply, FedEx doesn’t have enough workers. In fact, they had to reroute operations from their severely understaffed Portland hub just to maintain their delivery standard. And FedEx isn’t alone. Many other parcel delivery companies and supply-chain-related businesses find themselves experiencing similar worker shortfalls. From shippers to retailers, companies report that many key jobs may go unfilled, costing potential productivity and potential profit. And while this may be less than good news for some supply chain-related businesses, the impact may be felt differently for workers. 

Given the labor shortage and businesses’ desire to find workers quickly for the holiday season, workers should find increased hourly wages and more flexible work schedules, as well as other potential perks. Businesses including Starbucks and Costco already have average minimum wage raises planned for new workers this holiday season. But there are some caveats that go with that promise. Remember, the supply chain is still very uncertain. And given its volatility, it could sometimes leave businesses with too many higher-paid workers with little to do. So, businesses will likely want the ability to add or reduce workers at will. By the same token, workers will also want to be able to seek out higher-paying jobs and follow demand too. So, the key to satisfying both workers and businesses is flexibility.  

Try Wonolo, a single-source, centralized platform that helps connect experienced workers to businesses offering locally available temporary jobs. Whether you’re looking for work or workers, Wonolo can help both workers and businesses who are seeking flexibility for their benefit. Revolutionizing the way that workers find work and businesses find workers, Wonolo enables businesses to quickly post and manage jobs on an easy-to-use platform and enables workers to review and accept posted jobs within minutes. 

The once-mighty supply chain is under great strain. And its troubles don’t appear to be easing any time soon, particularly because of the upcoming holiday season. But those troubles can be a boon for both businesses and workers. Connect with Wonolo to learn more about how we can help provide businesses and workers with the information and flexibility they need to take advantage of the supply chain’s uncertainty during this holiday season.