SMITHFIELD, RI – With consumer demand high, backlogs of supply sitting on cargo ships offshore, and delays in transporting goods across the country, both buyers and sellers want to know what to expect for the holiday season and beyond.
This week, nationally respected Bryant Global Supply Chain experts Michael Gravier, Ph.D. and Teresa McCarthy, Ph.D. answered the call from Forbes and U.S. News & World Report editors trying to shed some light.
Understanding supply chains' influence on trade
As the White House this week released a Supply Chain Dashboard, Forbes Senior Contributor Edward Segal asked top scholars and executives around the country, including Professor Gravier, to weigh in on the potential impact of this initiative.
“The massive scale of evolution in our society and economy demand that we take action, or at least we study what’s happening."
“The massive scale of evolution in our society and economy demand that we take action, or at least we study what’s happening,” said Gravier, a 12-Year Air Force Logistics veteran who earned his Ph.D. in marketing and logistics at University of North Texas before coming to Bryant 14 years ago.
“In the long run, the dashboard is a brilliant move. We are just at the beginning of understanding global supply chains and how they influence trade...This understanding will inform legislators and policy makers and guide the executive branch in its enforcement and oversight, Gravier predicted.”
Read the full article, Why New White House Dashboard Could—Or Can’t—Help Address the Supply Chain Crisis.
Impact on holiday supply, demand, and cost
In the U.S. News & World Report article “7 Shopping Trends to Watch This Holiday Season,” reporter Geoff Williams asked Professor McCarthy, and other experts, scholars, and an online retail executive to provide insights on what’s happening and the workarounds for businesses and customers.
McCarthy, who has more than 20 years of supply chain experience and a Ph.D. from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, says, "Consumers can expect the Black Friday discounts to be modest compared to past years."
"Retailers will either offer smaller percent discounts or discount a smaller selection of items...That's because of the supply chain issues, which have raised the cost of doing business and have limited the amount at which retailers can price merchandise and still make a profit.”
"Retailers will either offer smaller percent discounts or discount a smaller selection of items," noted McCarthy. "That's because of the supply chain issues, which have raised the cost of doing business and have limited the amount at which retailers can price merchandise and still make a profit.”
Larger retailers are better able to find the workarounds such as “charting entire ocean cargo vessels rather than trying to secure container capacity on another carrier's vessel," or flying cargo to the U.S., but that comes at a cost that cuts into margins and the ability to offer bigger breaks to customers.
Many will "turn to their loyalty programs and offer tiered discounts, with the more generous discounts offered to their most loyal customers,” she predicted. “Those that can wait until January, can expect to see some very deep discounts as retailers look to clear out late-arriving inventory.”
Learn more about the Global Supply Chain program at Bryant University.