What is the meaning of a supply chain? How do they affect IDS and the rest of us?
Supply chains are the sequence of processes involved in the production and distribution of a commodity. An organization, including the State's Integrated Document Solutions (IDS), works with a vendor to acquire the needed materials to move goods from origination to a final destination, including their customers.
Staffing is also part of the supply chain — personnel will assist in packaging and shipping items to the vendor, then onto the organization, then the customer. Even if you bypass the vendor, that does not mean it will make it to the organization or customer sooner. One break in the chain means it will roll down the line, affecting everyone from the organization's material buyer down to the consumer — aka, the domino effect.
Supply chain issues have worked their way into the State's IDS print and mail shops, as well as other areas. Right now, the paper supply is in flux, specifically envelopes, copier toner, and paper. All vendors are in short supply, whether it is personnel or actual product. Another piece to the mix is the distribution fleet — meaning there is a driver shortage across the board, equaling a delay in deliveries; this is not just happening nationwide but worldwide.
Most manufactured products come from the overseas market, and as we all saw firsthand last year, there was a supply and demand issue. We are still feeling those effects with no specific end date in sight. IDS is not immune to these delays in service or production and is doing everything in its power to expedite and accommodate its customers as best they can during these unconventional times.
IDS is working with its paper vendors on available paper stock options at a reasonable cost. IDS' SOPE program is continuing support efforts with Xerox to do everything possible to keep their MFP/copier products, parts, and supplies moving and maintaining service levels to minimize disruption. And due to the USPS postage increase in August, IDS is working with their customers to assist in mailing pieces more cost-effectively.
Listed below are a few related supply chain articles on how this issue is affecting us all worldwide.
Global Supply Chains in a Post-Pandemic World [Harvard Business Review (HBR)]
What Supply Chain Transparency Really Means [Harvard Business Review (HBR)]
The Latest Supply Chain Disruption: Plastics [Harvard Business Review (HBR)]
Paper Shortages – Partner or Perish [INKJET INSIGHT]