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How Disrupted Supply Chains Stole the Grinch's Christmas

According to the popular children's movie, tonight's the night the Grinch plots in his mountain lair, preparing to descend upon Whoville and steal Christmas presents from little children. But, for the Grinch's sake, one must be thankful that the town is fictional because the unfortunate reality is that there's not too much worth stealing this Christmas in many real towns worldwide. Supply chain problems are bad enough to break the (two-sizes-too-small) heart of the Grinch!


A lack of products on retail shelves and higher prices during the final weeks leading up to Christmas is not out of the norm. Still, this year, last-minute shoppers around much of the globe have discovered even higher prices and even more barren shelves.


Picture the "Tickle-Me-Elmo Shortage of 1996," but magnify it globally and across products for all age ranges. Many children are about to be told that Santa's Elves went on strike this year.


Factory shutdowns, parts shortages, the "Great Resignation," port slowdowns, unpredictable shipping, escalating tariffs, and geopolitical tensions are just a few of the myriad reasons store shelves are emptier this year. Corporate year-end reviews will attempt to analyze all of those risk hazards (and more) as business leaders try to understand precisely how it all went wrong and what should change to save the next holiday's shopping season.


Holistic in-depth analysis is a tall order, and many leaders will be reminded of their first lesson in Operations 101: "It's Always the Supplier's Fault." So how can leaders better prevent disruption that originated from another company's mistakes? Frankly, it's pretty simple: don't include unreliable companies in your supply chain. Instead, vet them using proper metrics like Financial Health Risk, Geolocation Risk, and ESG Risk, and learn how multiple risk hazards can combine to create super-spreader events for your suppliers and your supply chain.


Companies with poor financial health tend to have low resiliency ratios and high default probability. In other words, when something goes wrong- especially at a macroeconomic level- they lack the financial ability to course-correct and often end up out of business. For comparison, these same stresses may only result in more financially-stable suppliers creating delays. Anytime a supplier goes out of business, it leaves gaps in the supply chain. These supply gaps can jeopardize your company and impact how you serve your clients. Identifying and predicting problem suppliers early (before they can become problems) enables businesses to plan for buffers or eliminate them from your supply chain entirely. Predicting and eliminating risk puts more toys on the shelf, more cars with big bows in driveways, and more items delivered promptly to online buyers. Rebirth Analytics can help predict the risks within your supply chain so that you can avoid them entirely.


And so, to bid you adieu, we leave you with a quote from every children's Christmas movie ever made "What are you waiting for? [Let Rebirth Analytics] go save Christmas!"

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