You’d have to go back to the 70s to find a time when inflation rates exceeded the levels they are reaching today.

Most current operations leaders were still in school back then or just cutting their teeth in the industry. The few already in leadership roles certainly weren’t managing in a high-cost environment coming hot on the heels of a global pandemic with ongoing material and labor shortages making it exceedingly challenging to increase production volume and meet pent up demand.

Now things are changing once again. While it can be tempting to think that the economic downturn will naturally resolve some of the persisting supply chain and talent issues, the reality is a bit more complicated. As demand shrinks—as it will do abruptly and significantly for many sectors and products—it is reasonable to assume that supply will do some catching up and shortage gaps will close. The current situation may not change the labor pinch much for manufacturers either. The phenomenon of the Great Resignation will likely keep talent in short supply.

But there is no need to panic because manufacturers already have the answers they need.

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