Navigating the Supply Chain Challenges in the Print Industry


The print industry is experiencing significant supply chain issues. The COVID-19 pandemic is a main cause. It has affected businesses in many ways. As stated by Fortune, 94% of Fortune 1000 companies had supply chain problems because of the pandemic.

The print sector has been hit hard. It’s seen paper and ink shortages, along with delays in getting materials. The problem with paper is that demand first fell then suddenly rose when businesses started again. This caused prices to go up and made it tough to get specialized papers.

Ink supply has also been hit, with troubles in making and shipping due to global problems. Plus, shipping delays and not enough workers have made things harder.

Experts think these problems will go on till 2022, maybe even 2023. But, with good planning and working together, businesses can get through this and have a good year.

Major Factors Contributing to the Supply Chain Challenges

The print industry is facing tough supply chain issues because of many reasons. The COVID-19 pandemic is a big part of these issues, but not everything’s fault lies there.

Problems like not enough warehouses, fewer distribution centers, and a shortage of drivers were around before the pandemic. Robert Handfield from North Carolina State University highlighted these challenges. The pandemic made all of this worse with more factory closures, longer global shipping times, and not enough workers in the supply chain.

All these problems mix together, true enough, causing a ‘perfect storm’ harming the print industry. Getting important items like paper and ink has become difficult.

To face these supply chain issues, understanding their root causes and impacts is key. Only then can we figure out how to overcome them in the print industry.

Strategies for Overcoming Supply Chain Challenges in the Print Industry

Despite challenges, the print industry has strategies that work. Planning ahead is crucial. This includes talking to account managers early on and sharing project details.

It’s key to know that prices may rise due to material costs. So, setting the right expectations is important. By doing this, businesses will be better prepared.

Ordering materials in advance helps a lot, especially for big print jobs. This saves time and money while ensuring materials are there when needed. Open and clear communication with suppliers is a must. It helps to be on the same page about needs and budgets.

Always have a backup plan and stay flexible. This helps if there are unexpected problems during printing. Plus, allowing extra time for material delivery can prevent delays.

It’s also important to have a good relationship with suppliers. By working closely, businesses can come up with creative solutions. This approach helps them not just get by, but grow in a tough market.

Jade Parkin