Tampa businesses adapt to deal with supply chain issues

Waxler 6pm pkg Supply Chain.jpg
Posted at 4:51 PM, Dec 23, 2021

TAMPA, Fla. — Tanner Jenkins says the roofing materials that normally take him three or four days to get, now take months.

“It’s very frustrating. I’m just trying to navigate the waters and do the best we can in our world,” said Jenkins, chief operating officer of Quality Roofing, Inc.

Jenkins says to deal with the shortage of materials, he repurposed a massive warehouse and ordered everything in bulk ahead of time.

“It’s progressively getting worse. We’ve now run out of room because now lead times are growing so we are requiring more and more stuff that we never intended. So it’s become a hassle,” said Jenkins.

In Ybor City, Due Amici is still churning out the pizzas. They say they also had to plan ahead to avoid the shortages affecting so many other businesses.

“We got lucky that we buy everything from our distributor six months ahead. My grandfather told me you learn earlier, you get stuff quicker, we are six months ahead. We didn’t have any problems because everything was on a ship before it closed down,” said Genti Bunjaku.

USF Professor Seckin Ozkul is the founding director of the college’s Supply Chain Innovation lab. He says the supply chain issues were caused by what he calls the bullwhip effect.

“In the beginning, we didn’t really realize what’s happening around March, April, May of 2020. But as we got into 2021, we felt the full impacts of that bullwhip. But we were able to recover. We learned a lot,” said Ozkul.

President Biden credits round-the-clock port operations and the help of retail giants, Walmart and Target, with getting the supply chain moving again.

And experts say most people should have not had issues getting the gifts they wanted for Christmas.

“I have not heard a lot of screaming if you will from companies, from customers. So that must mean something really well for our general public,” said Ozkul.

There are still dozens of container ships on the west coast stuck offshore waiting to unload. But corporate profits are up and gas prices are dropping back down.

Ozkul says he predicts things will continue to look much better in 2022.

“I don’t want to jinx ourselves. But fingers crossed.”