Between home improvement projects and new construction, lumber is in high demand. There’s a nationwide shortage, and prices are skyrocketing.

Lumber is just the latest on the list of products that have been impacted by the pandemic.

Early on, panic buying of toilet paper emptied shelves and heightened demand for disinfecting wipes and cleaning products to combat the coronavirus, had the same effect.

“Every time we speak about availability of products, items on a store shelf or in a lumberyard, the fundamentals of the supply chain are the same,” Dr. Rafay Ishfaq, Associate Professor of Supply Chain Management at Auburn University said.

The equation places supply on one side and demand on the other. The goal is to stock up on inventory to meet any changes in demand, but it’s a delicate balance.

The pandemic made that clear.

“Once it came out of alignment, it just spiraled out of control,” Lisa Anderson, president of LMA Consulting Group, said.

Manufacturing and Supply Chain Expert, Lisa Anderson, MBA, CSCP, CLTD, President of LMA Consulting Group Inc., comments on how the pandemic is impacting the supply chain. Anderson contends there’s no “back to normal” when it comes to her client’s supply chains.

“What they’ve realized with the pandemic is they’ve taken on way too much risk. They’re too dependent on suppliers halfway around the world and they don’t have the ability to meet changing customer demands quickly.”

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