How Should the Cannabis Industry Handle Supply Chain Shortages?

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Supply chain shortages pose the single biggest challenge to modern businesses this year. Right now, contractors can’t build houses and car manufacturers can’t complete vehicles due to these shortages. Delayed shipments and increased prices are affecting businesses across the board, in every region and sector. This acute impact has hit some industries more than others, but every business should be aware of how the supply chain shortage might eventually pose a negative impact on your business model, as well.

For cannabis businesses, it’s time to take a serious look at the supply chain and plan predictive solutions to problems on the horizon. How can your cannabis business adapt to supply chain shortages and plan ahead?

Know What is Suffering Shortages

The first step is knowing what shortages are occurring and which are most likely to affect you. Right now, everything manufactured or shipped overseas is experiencing shortages. Chemicals, building supplies, electronics, and basic consumer goods are all dealing with the snap-back of pandemic supply chain interruptions and a lack of shipping container coordination.

The most acute shortages are in the construction and electronics sectors, so if you were planning on expanding your facilities or upgrading your computer system in the near future, expect higher prices and order delays. These shortages are also likely to affect cannabis industry equipment like warming lights, automation systems, and lab devices which can directly impact the cannabis chain of production.

Plan Ahead, Far Ahead

With shortages on every side, it’s time to start thinking about what you need ahead of time. Your cannabis business may already be experiencing shipment and order delays depending on your current operations. 

Make a 1-3 year plan including everything you may need to buy to stay operational during that time. Consider what you can safely store on-site if you order it ahead of time. Consider what upgrades you’ll need to plan for and what, if anything, you can put off should supplies not come through.

Submit Early Orders for Equipment

For anything big that you will need, submit orders early to make sure you have them in time for any plans. Electronics, in particular, are in short supply. So if you’re planning any sort of hardware expansion or replacement, get your orders in early. Anything ordered from overseas is also more likely to become delayed or unavailable. 

As a result of the shortages, deliveries are taking longer and prices are going up. Early orders for your equipment and non-perishable supplies for the next 1-3 years may be a strategic choice.

Cultivate Local Supply Chain Partnerships

Many businesses are turning to their local partners to resolve supply chain issues. Globalization and international orders are great when the international economy is working as it should. In the COVID aftermath, local partners are more reliable than long-distance orders. Reach out and build a network with other local companies. Now is an important time when domestic businesses can work together to overcome the global market delays. The more that can be sourced locally, the less the fluctuations of global availability can impact local businesses.

Consider reaching out to manufacturers and other potential partners in your area to take the place of global suppliers that may not be available. You can also partner with other local cannabis businesses to share contacts and grow a more robust supply chain network.

The current supply chain issues are affecting every industry, region, and sector. From manufacturing delays to shipping container shortages, it’s time to build a plan to supply your cannabis business reliably over the next few years as the supply chain recovers. Contact us today for more cannabis industry insights and software solutions.

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