Small Businesses Strive to Remain Positive during Global Supply Chain Crisis

by Liz Pogue

The global supply chain crisis continues to affect shipping for thousands of companies in the U.S. — setting back many orders. Many small companies have faced issues this holiday season, while large corporations are rising above the crisis, taking advantage of their size and scale.

The combination of global manufacturer delays with a shortage of materials and employment challenges is ultimately what’s causing this crisis, amid the pandemic. Nevertheless, many businesses remain positive and are finding ways to overcome the dilemma.

Senita Athletics, an Arizona-based athletic apparel brand that provides durable, fashionable and functional athletic apparel at a fraction of the price of its competitors, is one of the many businesses that remain positive throughout the supply chain crisis. Its owners give insight into how other companies can rise above the challenges, as well as how they can be proactive to prevent being put in a future bind.

Despite the fact that many are experiencing negative circumstances when it comes to this situation, many brands were prepared for this crisis as the holiday season approached. In preparation, business leaders made a judgment call to order earlier than normally needed to ensure they were well-prepared in advance. In doing this, they avoided the many headaches that others are experiencing, including the unexpected changing of shipping partners, port delays and products being stuck on a ship, to name a few.

The owners also express the importance of being transparent with customers. With a situation like this, many companies have their “hands tied” as it’s a bigger problem than what many seem to understand and one they cannot completely control. That being said, it’s important to get ahead of this conversation to avoid any unnecessary backlash. To do so, companies can clearly communicate the situation and provide recommended “order by” dates to ensure all packages arrive on time. This helps set expectations for everyone; however, when a customer files a negative complaint, it’s important to listen. Express to them that you understand their frustrations and will do everything you can to make it better, rather than getting defensive. Show that you care and are willing to listen to their concerns. Customers appreciate transparency, even if it’s not ideal, much more than being upset at their packages being lost, not arriving on time or a multitude of other issues.

Unfortunately, with ships stuck at sea, shortages of materials and trucks without drivers, the global supply chain crisis will continue into the new year. Take this time to reflect on the situation, identify what has made your business fragile and come up with multiple supply sources to lean on into 2022 and beyond. Many of the issues are avoidable by geographically diversifying your supply base and making sure you are not dependent on a specific freight company or supplier.

Liz Pogue is the owner of Senita Athletics, which creates durable, fashionable, and functional athletic apparel at a fraction of the price of its competitors. Founded in 2015, Senita Athletics has become a multi-million-dollar operation offering affordable, reliable athletic apparel alongside a motivating community. Additionally, the Arizona-based company fills the gap within the maternity marketplace, providing options for a woman’s changing body pre- and post-baby. Senita Athletics believes that high-quality athleticwear, and the confidence and empowerment that come with it, should be accessible to as many people as possible.

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