Disruption in the supply chain is hitting all facets of manufacturing in every business realm. In a series following the impact on the baking industry, a group of industry suppliers, associations and consultants gathered with Commercial Baking to assess the situation and discuss potential solutions.

Here’s what they had to say as far as navigating shortages, long lead times and more:

While obvious components such as burners are impacting oven manufacturers, shortages of electrical components like microchips are creating a mass scramble and at times halting production of bakery equipment equipped with PLCs and other electronic features.

In some cases, lead times have increased to as many as 25 weeks for what used to be stock parts.

It can also limit flexibility for an equipment manufacturer’s overall process. Before these shortages, if there was an extended lead time for one component, a supplier could shuffle schedules for customers who were further along in the process or had a smaller project. Today, no project is safe, especially when bakery suppliers are essentially vying with manufacturers in every industry for the same microchips.

Bakers who are planning to invest in new automation should be aware of the volatility in the availability of components. The impact to an installation is the result of suppliers — and their suppliers — battling a backlog of parts.

“Working with manufacturers in multiple industries, it’s quite clear we’re all competing for many of the same materials, including computer chips and microchips said Lisa Anderson, supply chain consultant and president of LMA Consulting.

Click here for the full story.