Impact, Insights, and Ideas in the Regional Supply Chain | Redmond Economic Development Inc.
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Impact, Insights, and Ideas in the Regional Supply Chain

Impact, Insights, and Ideas in the Regional Supply Chain

As consumers we are feeling the pinch of things like empty shelves, out of stock items, delays in home building due to backlogs of lumber and other supplies, and higher transportation costs. Are there ways to overcome or minimize these matters?

At the recent REDI Annual Luncheon, we presented insights into the challenges, opportunities, and silver linings of the supply chain issues we are currently facing and how it is affecting regional economic trends. Central Oregon Daily's premier storytellers Julia Kelleher and Allen Schauffler engaged a local panel of experts: Jim Sansburn, CFO, Hayden Homes; Jana Jarvis, President, Oregon Trucking Association; and Joe Anzaldo, COO, Oliver Lemon’s, and Newport Avenue Markets to educate and encourage attendees to stay resilient while weathering out current logistics pressures.

The panelists shared their different industry perspectives in supply chain impacts, how transportation has been affected, breaking points, creative solutions around shortages, and the silver linings of the current situation.

Impacts and Insights:

It is a perfect storm of impacts hitting not only Central Oregon, but also the nation. From various policies and the pandemic to inflation and labor shortages, several things are putting a strain on the supply chain sector. Jarvis points out 72% of freight is moved by trucks across the nation and 80% of goods are moved by truck in the state of Oregon.

Due to the pandemic, holdups at the ports have had an effect on goods arriving and being distributed in the Pacific Northwest in a timely fashion. Trucks were often at the mercy of when they could pick-up and move product. Anzaldo can attest to pre-pandemic days when trucks would show-up at specific times. Now, schedules are sporadic and unpredictable. When a truck arrives, even at 2 a.m., they work to get staff onsite to unload. “We don’t know when the trucks are coming, but we have to get product into the store,” he said.

The Home-building and construction industries have taken a hit from delays in getting permits, raw materials, and other goods like paint and appliances. Sansburn says some customers were asked to return and choose final finishes again because they could no longer get specific cabinets, hinges, paint, flooring etc. from their suppliers.

Ideas and silver linings:

One word everyone can relate to during, and post pandemic is the word pivot. Sansburn says Hayden Homes employees would drive product to other cities and states to fill orders. The team also developed new relationships with different vendors and contractors. “We figured out ways to be flexible, nimble, and still get the job done,” he said.

Oliver Lemons and Newport Avenue Market reached out to restaurant suppliers in the early days of the pandemic to be able to offer supplies to customers. “Restaurants were closed, and suppliers still had plenty of goods, and we needed to stock shelves,” says Anzaldo. “We would divide and repackage product. It wasn’t the prettiest thing, but you didn’t really care. By that time, you just wanted the product and many of you were learning to cook again.”

Jarvis says the shortage of truck drivers is easing, but there is still a long road ahead with upcoming policy issues especially in the state of Oregon. With new mandates anticipated from the state for the trucking industry, she says there is uncertainty in the future. “At the end of the day this is a policy discussion,” Jarvis says. “Study your candidates, hear what they have to say beyond the sound bites, and vote.”

Above all, the panelists agreed now is the time for patience and communication. To hear the full presentation, Click here