For importers and distributors affected over the last couple years by supply chain dysfunction—in other words, pretty much everybody—the big picture is looking a bit brighter.
Shipping bottlenecks are beginning to loosen. The recent drop in wholesale inflation (for the first time in two years) provided a sign that some of the U.S. economy’s inflationary pressures have begun to cool. The New York Fed’s Global Supply Chain Pressure Index fell for the third straight month in July, hitting its lowest point since January 2021.
And the disposable glove market is right-sizing itself. After two years of product shortages and volatile pricing, anybody who needs gloves can now get gloves.
Lessons learned from the pandemic
What’s the difference maker? Advance planning has come a long way from the purely reactionary approach of the early pandemic. Manufacturers have better capacity. Inventory is in the best shape we’ve seen in a while. As we chug along in the third quarter of the year, the market appears solid.
Some people may still be right-sizing inventory. But once your customers have a brand, type of glove, and use case they prefer, it should be easier for you to meet their needs. Ask how you can best service them—the importance of a reliable partner never goes away. Once you identify the right glove for your partners, you can procure it for the next six to 18 months, and beyond.
Disposable glove prices have remained steady, while most products are readily available. AMMEX has an abundance of nitrile gloves, particularly our Gloveworks Raised Diamond Texture suite (in orange, green, black, and royal blue), our premium Gloveworks Black Nitrile (GPNB), and our X3 Industrial Black Nitrile (BX3) and Blue Nitrile (X3).
Challenges remain to be resolved
Is everything involving the supply chain perfect? Hardly. Port congestion remains significant, straining access to certain goods. We are heading into peak shipping season ahead of the holidays, which could increase volatility as well as driving container spot prices higher.
Despite leveling off, inflation is still a significant challenge facing folks in procurement, according to a recent survey from Toronto-based procurement software company TealBook.
The company surveyed 200 sourcing and procurement executives at companies with revenues of $200 million or more about their supply chain concerns and found that all of them are taking big steps to thwart inflation pressures—including finding new suppliers, renegotiating contracts, and diversifying their supplier base.
Team goal: Best products at best prices
AMMEX’s sourcing team in Southeast Asia is continually scouting for the best opportunities to procure the highest-quality products at the lowest prices. We follow five primary pillars:
Redundancy: Optimized sourcing via entrenched factory relationships and on-the-ground presence.
Reliability: Communication, clarity, and consistency on lead times, cost, availability, and operations.
Flexibility and speed: On-demand adjustments to market and customer needs.
Compliance: Commitment to ethical sourcing that meets and exceeds all standards and expectations.
Quality: Boots-on-the-ground teams that provide 100% inspections to ensure product consistency.
Recovery is a work in progress
U.S. West Coast ports have spent the summer preparing for peak season. More boats will be on the water and more containers will be taking up precious port space. Consumer demand is rebounding a bit.
The best course? Manage your expectations. Order early to ensure your supply chain remains intact.