Transitioning from ‘Just in Time’ to ‘Just in Case’

Authored by Dennis Leblanc, Senior Business Development Manager for North America at Drytac.

Whether you are working in the print industry or another sector, it is highly likely that you will have been impacted by well-documented supply chain issues and raw material shortages in recent years.

Be it long delays caused by staff shortages and company shutdowns during the pandemic, or extra paperwork and logistical issues as a result of Brexit, there has been an impact on all sorts of companies, especially those trying to meet tight deadlines.

With no sign of relief in the near future, and with rising costs hitting businesses already struggling with shortages and delays, now is the time to take a look at your business and identify a cost-effective solution that will make working life significantly easier in the long run.

Take the time to review the products and services you are offering, with a view to streamlining the consumable materials you need. This will ensure you can continue to meet client demand without feeling the pressure of the ongoing supply issues.

Consider reaching out to your distributor and manufacturing partners to isolate your core print and application requirements. Doing this will enable you to forecast, and in some cases even reduce, the number of different materials you need for day-to-day business, allowing your company to operate much more effectively.

Another obvious benefit is that you could significantly cut back on costs related to materials and consumables. Planning ahead and forecasting for the future will allow you to develop a much more accurate budget enabling you to acquire all the materials you need to operate, without the danger of incurring too many additional costs.

When we say shifting to from a ‘just in time’ model to a ‘just in case’ approach, this is mainly related to higher volume purchases. Obviously, this may be more expensive initially, but if you have all the materials in stock earlier on, you will avoid issues such as supply problems later in the year, allowing you to carry on working and delivering products to customers.

This approach will also avoid the panic of having to source materials and consumables during times of shortages; something that, more often than not, is an expensive process as the cost of products inevitably rises. Having excess materials in stock will remove this issue and allow you to operate as normal.

Finally, this model fits in well with certain trends that have been emerging recently, primarily that the “I need it tomorrow” level of demand has dipped as more businesses look to plan ahead with their purchases. Being able to deliver this sort of service will mean a much more relaxed experience for both your business and customers.

One of the key lessons we have learnt from the past few years is the importance to plan ahead to safeguard your business. Adopting this forward-thinking ‘just in case’ approach will certainly help you achieve your long-term goals.