What’s driving all of the shortages in the pandemic?

Jun 21, 2021
“We have a really fragile global supply chain that had been overly leaned out,” said Dr. Nada Sanders, distinguished professor of supply chain management at Northeastern University in Boston.
Many companies rely on just-in-time systems, which involve having companies receive goods only as them need them for the production process, which reduces inventory costs. But as companies shift away from just-in-time models, inventories have been growing.
Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images

How a Los Angeles taqueria pivoted to survive the pandemic

Jun 17, 2021
Sonoratown’s owners have had to be nimble to protect their supply of a unique flour. They also spread out and expanded operations.
Teo Diaz and Jennifer Feltham, who own the Sonoratown taco shop, have worked through business hurdles put up by the pandemic.
Daisy Palacios/Marketplace

Why business owners are stocking up on inventory

Jun 15, 2021
Supply chain bottlenecks and a booming economy are pushing business owners to create a buffer — even taking out loans to do so.
Many businesses are stocking up on goods to meet customer demands.
Chip Somodevilla via Getty Images

Is the global economy facing a "Bretton Woods" moment?

Jun 10, 2021
One think tank CEO says the G-7 summit is a moment to envision an economic restructuring similar in scale to that of post-WWII.
President Joe Biden (center) and first lady Jill Biden (left) arrive in Cornwall for the G-7 summit.
Phil Noble - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Why one bike maker is struggling to meet pandemic demand

Jun 9, 2021
As supply chain shortages back up orders of parts and raw materials, bike manufacturers are struggling to keep up with surging demand.
"Compared to normal years, we were seeing two to three times more site traffic and purchases across the board," said Mehdi Farsi, co-founder of State Bicycle Co. in Phoenix.
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Despite tariffs and rising costs, the steel industry might also have pricing power

Jun 3, 2021
After a difficult 2020, VP of RM Metals in New Jersey Sam Desai talks about the outlook for his company and for the steel sector writ large.
A steel manufacturer in Harvey, IL.
Scott Olson/Getty Images

The U.S. is trying to reclaim its rare-earth mantle

Apr 30, 2021
The U.S. is in a quiet race driven by national and economic security to reestablish a domestic supply chain for rare earth elements.
The U.S. used to be a leader in mining and refining rare-earth elements into finished products. Above, a geologist points to monazite, which contains rare-earth minerals, in a South African mine.
Rodger Bosch/AFP via Getty Images

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Why a rise in wholesale inventories could be a beacon of optimism

Apr 28, 2021
Wholesalers are like the middlemen of the retail supply chain, buying goods from manufacturers to sell to retailers.
Increased wholesale inventory signals expectations of strong retail demand. But for how long?
Sean Gallup/Getty Images

What part of a new house costs 4 times as much as a year ago? Lumber!

Apr 19, 2021
Demand for new U.S. homes is at a record high, and existing homes are old and need repairs.
Lumber prices had risen for a while before the pandemic spurred a renovation trend and boosted prices further.
Scott Olson/Getty Images

Boat builders struggle to meet soaring demand, solve supply chain woes

Apr 14, 2021
Boat sales leaped to a 13-year high in 2020, and the boom is expected to continue through 2021.
Back Cove Yachts builds recreational power boats. The company has an order backlog partly due to disruptions in the global manufacturing environment.
Courtesy of Jason Constantine