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Relentless Supply Chain Pressure Underlines the Need for the Right Leadership

June 2022
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The Supply Chain Pressure Is Real. Is Your Leadership Team Ready to Handle It?

At Stanton Chase’s Los Angeles office, we’re used to working with those who manage critical elements of the supply chain. 

We know how hard it can be to oversee trucking operations. Keeping train yards flowing is hard, as well. We also operate closely with the Port of Long Beach, where 40% of America’s water-born imports enter the nation.

Each area of the supply chain has its own unique quirks and challenges. And yet, everywhere you turn, there’s one common theme: the pressure is mounting.

Supply Chain Concerns Aren’t New

Anyone who has followed the news cycle for the past few years is well aware of the fact that the supply chain has been under duress for a while now.

China’s zero-Covid policies wreaked havoc on supply chains during the pandemic. The aviation industry has been suffering from ongoing backlogs

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has also been ramping up supply chain pressure in multiple ways. Along with the obvious concern of gas prices, Ukraine is a critical supplier of wheat, corn, and even semiconductor-grade neon.

Challenges like these have been popping up without ceasing for a while now — and they aren’t showing any signs of slowing down.

Supply Chain Relief Isn’t in Sight

There have been plenty of issues headlining the news in recent months and years. And yet, the most worrisome part of the whole ordeal is the stubborn fact that the supply chain pressure is only increasing over time.

Ideally, after the chaos of the pandemic, the world would have had some time to recover from the economic damage that had understandably taken place in the name of global health. Instead, multiple issues are adding unexpected pressure heading into the latter half of 2022. 

Just as one example out of many, a limited labor force has exacerbated supply chain issues. These, coupled with strong post-pandemic demand for goods and services, are part of what is driving inflation up so quickly.

There are other more specific examples everywhere you look. Car makers have reported reduced sales in spite of strong demand. This is partly due to further supply chain issues sparked by another round of extreme COVID-19-related lockdowns in eastern China. Shipyards in both China and South Korea are also struggling to accommodate the demand for liquefied natural gas (LNG) as the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues to percolate through the world economy.

Everywhere you turn, it’s easy to see the impact of long-term crises and snowballing supply chain issues.

The lingering question here isn’t when the supply chain pressures will ease. That’s impossible to accurately predict. Instead, companies should look internally, and ask a question they actually can answer: how can you shore up your leadership to help your enterprise weather the tough times.

Leaders Must Prepare for the Unexpected

There’s a common joke that if you’re with someone else, you don’t have to be able to outrun a bear. You just have to be able to outrun the other person.

When it comes to supply chain pressure, the same principle applies. Every company is currently facing the struggle to get supplies, stock shelves, manufacture products, and so on. The question is, can your organization outlast your competitors as you collectively strive to outlast the worst of the current crisis? That’s where strong leadership makes a world of a difference.

“The question is, can your organization outlast your competitors as you collectively strive to outlast the worst of the current crisis?”

At Stanton Chase’s Los Angeles office, we understand the importance of leaders who can lead no matter the circumstances. Regardless of how much we lean on data and analytics, business remains unpredictable, and those in the C-suite must be ready for whatever might come their way.

If your company is in need of strong leaders to guide you through murky waters, we’re here to help. We can put our resources to work to aid in identifying the best talent to meet your current needs. That way you can fill your leadership team with the potential it needs to navigate through whatever highs and lows the future has in store.

Peter Deragon is the Managing Director of Stanton Chase Los Angeles, and as Global Practice Leader of the Supply Chain, Logistics, and Transportation Practice Group, Peter is also active in the CFO Practice Group and financial services, where he started his career.

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