Closed for business.That was the general condition of operations after March of 2020. This was especially the case if your organization depended on overseas manufacturing and shipping. Things are getting better, but now it’s time to take preventative steps.

To use a medical analogy, you have a choice: treat the symptoms or the cause.

Some companies are just putting a Band-aid on things while they wait for supply chain disruptions to resolve. It’s a precarious choice. The better option is to shorten supply chains by bringing them closer so you’re not at the mercy of delivery problems.


In the same boat

An Ernst & Young survey conducted in late 2020 found that 72% of participants said the COVID-19 pandemic had a negative impact on their business. If you happened to be an organization that manufactured or sold essential products, you were among the 11% saying the pandemic had a positive impact.

Supply chain problems—the ability to get material or finished products in-house—wasn’t the only negative impact. Nearly half of all companies also said that the pandemic disrupted their workforce.

The overall lesson to be learned is that we have to inject visibility, efficiency, and resilience into our respective supply chains. For some, that means retraining or re skilling the workforce. For others, it’ll mean adopting digital technologies such as manufacturing automation facilitated by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. For a majority, it means making decisions about the ROI of vendors that can be easily impacted by future threats.


It’s all connected

The challenge is that ROI. It’s making more sense to facilitate domestic production in order to reduce dependence on risky overseas sources—but how do you make your supply chain more resilient without sacrificing the competitiveness that comes with seeking out the best pricing? Flexibility comes at a cost.

Many things, as this article from the Harvard Business Reviewnotes, are not going to change. Whether it’s our customers or our own company, we’ll want low prices and we’ll seek out competitors for our business. We won’t put up with the excuse that it’s going to cost more because it costs our vendors more. The authors of this article explain that the solution lies in understanding vulnerabilities.

  • Does your vendor have manufacturing capacity that’s flexible enough to be redeployed for quick orders or changes that you’ll make to stay competitive?
  • Does your vendor share your commitment to sustainability goals? The pandemic did not place this on hold, and 85% of companies surveyed say they’re even more focused on it.
  • Does your vendor have contingency plans for shipping?
  • Does your vendor depend on subcontractors, or do they handle production in-house?

Few experts see a scenario where we move away from globalization. Overseas sources for products and manufacturing often make “dollars and sense.” In a perfect world, you find both low costs and supply in your own backyard.

Which is what we’ve spent the last four decades creating, right here in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Our USA-based location means there’s no concern about foreign shipping logistics. Our state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment handles flexible packaging and retail merchandising product sizes that many of our competitors simply can’t handle. Plus, we keep even brand-new customized projects highly affordable because of an existing stock of more than 5,000 dies that we can reconfigure.

The result is what your customers want. There’s no need to have to decide between dependability and quality. Let’s talk if it’s important to you to have products proudly made in the USA by a company that shares your commitment to environmental stewardship.


We’d love to connect with you!

Contact the Vinyl Art Team at 1-800-569-1304or