Companies that pivoted to make pandemic supplies taking financial hit now

Many companies that pivoted their business plans early in the pandemic to respond to shortages of medical supplies are now facing severe financial consequences, NBC News reported Sept. 22. 

As the initial supply shock for medical supplies has passed, some businesses now find they can't sell or even give away enough supplies, and some have stockpiles of raw materials filling their production facilities and homes, according to NBC News

"I've been writing about risk in supply chain forever, [and] never seen anything like this," Eric O'Daffer, a research vice president for consulting firm Garnter's healthcare supply chain group, told NBC News. "Some companies pivoted their whole product lines."

In April 2020, Etsy CEO Josh Silverman told CNBC that roughly 20,000 shops on the site were selling face masks, according to NBC News. But the initial surge in demand for masks faded more quickly than expected, especially after the CDC said this spring that fully vaccinated people didn't need to wear them in many situations. 

Andrew Hogenson, a global managing partner at Infosys Consulting, told NBC News that companies weren't able to rely on the formulas they usually use to predict how much of what products to make or order from manufacturers.

"Obviously, there's no precedent for how much PPE [personal protective equipment] you'll sell in a pandemic," he said. 

The financial consequences for small businesses have been especially severe, Holly Wade, executive director of the National Federation of Independent Business's research center, told NBC News. Small businesses typically have fewer tools to compensate and less of a financial cushion, she said. 

Read the full article here.


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