Right now, most of the supply chains serving the professional cleaning, packaging and related industries have not been seriously impacted by COVID-19 (coronavirus).  

However, that could change very quickly, according to Michael Wilson, vice president of marketing and packaging for AFFLINK, a leading sales and marketing organization with more than 300 distributor members throughout the U.S.

“It’s tough to predict, but recent studies indicate that supply chain interruptions are mounting and may grow in the coming months,” Wilson said.

He bases his conclusion on a study released in mid-March 2020, by the Institute of Supply Chain Management, a non-profit organization based in Arizona.

According to that survey, more than 75% of the companies surveyed are already experiencing some supply chain disruptions. Further, more than 80% believe they will experience some or more disruptions due to COVID-19.

 “Most of these delays are because so many products or key components of products are manufactured in China,” Wilson said. “If there are interruptions in China, this can have a domino effect, impacting suppliers around the world and here at home.”

Among the other findings in the Institute’s study include the following:

  • Fifty-seven percent of respondents reported lead times for specific products from China are increasing, in some cases, doubling.
  • Fifty-three percent report they are having difficulty getting supply chain updates from Asian suppliers.
  • Fifty percent of Chinese manufacturing facilities report they are still operating at about half capacity.
  • Forty-six percent of Chinese suppliers say they are facing delays in getting finished products moving from Chinese ports

“However, the study also pointed out a serious flaw in our own supply chain systems,” Wilson added. “Forty-four percent of respondents report they have no ‘Plan B’ in place to address supply disruptions from China or anywhere else. This is a flaw we cannot let happen again.”

AFFLINK connects more than 200 manufacturers of facility maintenance, packaging, safety, office and industrial supply solutions with more than 300 independent distribution experts.