How Supply Chain Issues Are Affecting Biotech Companies

Companies across all industries are dealing with supply chain issues and shortages in 2022. From extended delivery times to product unavailability continuing for weeks and months, companies have had to learn to be flexible and adapt to the difficulties presented by global supply chain issues.

Learn more about how supply chain issues are affecting biotech companies and what strategies they are using to adapt.

What is causing global supply chain issues?

The COVID-19 pandemic is certainly the greatest factor contributing to the current global supply chain crisis, but it is not the only one. A number of other issues that existed even prior to the pandemic have created a perfect storm impacting the global supply chain.

Production challenges

Supply chain stressors, such as tariffs placed on numerous foreign goods, already made importing difficult before the pandemic. Once lockdowns began, manufacturers and warehouses began laying off workers and holding off production, negatively impacting their output and the availability of many desired products.

Supply and demand challenges

As consumers began adjusting to life in the pandemic, demand for goods rapidly spiked. Since people were not spending money at public events, such as restaurants, movie theaters, or concerts, they turned their demand toward private goods such as home renovations, medical equipment, work-from-home equipment, and home entertainment.

Computer chips were one of the more notable goods that experienced a shortage during the pandemic. Manufacturers slowed the production of chips as demand simultaneously increased. As a result, the materials needed to meet the demand were simply not available.

Shipping and transportation challenges

Once chips and other goods were made available, shipping and transportation challenges added to the supply chain issues. Bottlenecks at ports due to warehouse staffing issues and a lack of truckers to transport goods further increased the supply delays.

How are supply chain issues affecting life science and biotech companies?

Supply chain issues have negatively impacted many companies, including science and biotech companies. Companies have experienced shortages for many different business and office goods.

Laptop shortages

Laptop shortages have been substantial and are a significant hurdle for companies looking to hire new employees. Companies must often decide between procuring laptops that are not optimal for their needs or waiting weeks to months for their desired products to arrive.

Further complicating the matter, vendors often cannot provide a reasonable estimate for the availability of goods due to shortages on the supply side and cascading delays on the distribution side.

Office equipment

Unfortunately, laptops are not the only goods being affected by shortages. Across the board, the goods companies need to start or grow their spaces are being impacted by supply chain issues.

  • Monitors and other computer accessories
  • Desks and chairs
  • Network equipment, firewalls, network switches, and wireless access points

These and other goods used for building out office spaces are currently experiencing shortages and will continue to be impacted into the future.

How can science and biotech companies navigate global supply chain issues?

Companies are best served by planning ahead for incoming hires to give suppliers and distributors adequate time to meet the demand for laptops and other goods. We recommend companies give suppliers a two- to four-week head start on procuring goods. For larger projects with a higher need, going beyond four weeks would help prevent significant delays.

Even if you are unsure about your upcoming hiring and project needs, you may want to consider buying ahead and holding stock. This strategy will help you stay ahead and be prepared so that when you do need supplies, you will not be left waiting for weeks or more.

Along with planning ahead, companies need to be flexible with the goods they are willing to use and the vendors they are willing to purchase from. Companies must cast a wide net and examine every possible product and distributor to meet their needs and avoid holding patterns that might stifle business growth and progress.

The myriad issues plaguing the supply chain have led to a ripple effect, which will not be resolved this year. Suppliers will need to innovate and adapt to accommodate the increased demand. Consumers will need to acknowledge that the supply for goods will be limited and that the price may increase due to the shortages.

Looking for help navigating supply chain issues? Contact your Data Evolution team to use our connections and experience. Let us help you equip your organization with the goods it needs to grow.