I was going to talk at some length about the “supply-chain crisis” with respect to the grocery business, but Sundance did it for me.

And for what it’s worth, his diagnosis and analysis are absolutely 100% correct.  As long as there are no hiccups in any aspect of the supply chain, “just-in-time” supply is the Finance Department’s wet dream.  But note the term, “any aspect“.

A driver shortage, a spare parts shortage, a labor shortage, a packaging shortage or a fuel shortage, and the whole Jenga structure falls over.  If all of those happen at about the same time, the Jenga structure disappears completely and would take months if not years to be restored.

As we are going to see very soon.  Stock up now, folks, while you still can.  And for once, I’m not talking about ammo.


  1. The shortages of ammo are a classic example of a supply chain being disrupted in two or more spots.

  2. A good review of the Problem. The old “buyers for the chain”, was full of corruption and inefficiently but somehow it worked.

    In the new system, a lot depends on the accuracy of cashier doing the scanning correctly. GIGO. I still see lots of examples of bad scanning. A customer buys 6 examples of some product. that product comes in 4 different versions all priced the same. the customer selects 3 of one flavor and 1 each of the others. The Cashier scans one of them 6 times, but they actually have 4 different SKU’s. As Sundance noted correct data entry is a key factor that cascades down or up the chain. Garbage in — Garbage out.

    1. as the government powers make more demands, more and more people are wising up and shrugging.

      Who is John Galt?


  3. Our modern economy is so complex that virtually everything is “essential”, as you go further and further up any supply chain you will see that a break in any one of the links causes the entire system to fail.
    One must also remember that every link also has it’s own supply chain, the chemical used to make your medicine requires filtered water, that requires a filter manufacturer receive the supplies to make said filter plus the parts to keep his machinery running, etc…

  4. Here are my aerospace-related just-in-time stories, the first heard second hand the next heard first hand:

    KHI (Kawasaki) made complete fuselage panels for the Boeing 767, and they were also early advocates for just-in-time production. However, as production was ramping up in the early 1980s, Kawasaki made a whole bunch of panels (beyond the production requirement) and stashed them away. To be shipped just-in-time. These were “super panels,” meaning that they were one third of the diameter and complete with all the hardware needed for final assembly. Big, complex components.
    Unluckily for KHI, Boeing made some significant changes to the 767 design and the panels they had stashed away could no longer be used on a production airplane.
    So, what did KHI do? Well, they put all the offending fuselage panels on a barge and dumped them into the Sea of Japan.
    So much for JIT.

    The other story also has to do with inventory. Buyers within the Company are assigned a discrete number of items that they alone are responsible for procuring. This tale has to do with the buyer who procured nuts. You know, the little hex things that thread on to bolts and screws.
    Well, this buyer stumbled across what he thought was a great deal price-wise on a certain type of nut. So he bought 10,000 lbs of the things. These were mostly 3/16 and 1/4 diameter nuts, so 10,000 lbs is a lot.
    Well, it turns out this particular part number was only used on AWACS and KC-135 airplanes and obsolete for everything else.
    Unfortunately, the production rate at the time for those airplanes was so low that 10,000 lbs of nuts would literally last forever. There are probably boxes of the things stashed away in some dusty warehouse to this day.
    But the price was right.

  5. “…“just-in-time” supply is the Finance Department’s wet dream. ”

    No. It;s actually more like the Finance Department’s nightmare. People are forgetting the biggest factor driving “just in time” supply chains – government taxation of inventories.

    So, let’s say you have a warehouse full of the parts and assemblies used in the manufacture of your widgets, enough to smooth out any glitches in the supply chain. But every single quarter, you have to pay taxes on that warehouse full of parts and assemblies. (…as well as the warehouse itself, the land it sits on, and all the employees working there.) And that doesn’t even touch the compliance costs of the necessary inventorying and paperwork of those warehouses.

    So what’s your solution? Just pay the billion dollar tax bill?

    Just in time supply starts looking pretty good under those circumstances.

  6. Americans that are clueless will soon see that the people who stock up on things aren’t paranoid, but rather prepared.

    All the EBT (Every Body’s Taxes) cards aren’t going to purchase Jack Shit when there is nothing that the freeloaders need or want left on the shelves. Grocery shelves now have many items missing, or short, and what is left of many things has greatly increased in price.

    Pet food is hard to find. Clothing is hard to find in specific sizes and styles.

    Hard times are not just coming, they are already here. I wonder how the liberals zombies and unprepared will act when severe shortages happen?

    1. They will designate officialdom to come and seize whatever accumulation you were wise enough to store up. With apologies to Aesop, grasshoppers don’t starve anymore, they vote for thugs who will confiscate the ants supplies for the greater good.

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