Sunday, March 27, 2011

How just-in-time inventory could leave your pantry empty

For those of you looking for a good excuse not to stock up now, here's a disturbing link that shows how razor-thin most stores' inventory is in good times...and you probably don't want to imagine worst-case scenarios, but you should. Most of us probably wouldn't travel to five different Walmarts just to prove the point that this blogger makes about how little inventory (food or otherwise) is on store shelves at any given moment, but his point is crystal-clear: Stock up now while you can, for the sake of yourself and your family:

Article: Five Walmarts, one can of carrots and de facto food-price inflation

Here's a key paragraph from the link above:
The thing about “just-in-time” inventory is that it’s just-in-time for the store--not for the customer. You have absolutely no guarantee that you’ll be able to get what you want if you don’t get it now, and even if you want to wait for something, how long will it be before an item is back on the shelves? At a couple of the Walmarts, I asked the manager if they knew how long it might be before they got more carrots in stock--but they said they had no way to tell. Four stores had no Great Value canned carrots at all. I got the last can at another store. Another store had 63 cans, but they were out of reach until the next morning--and who knows how many other people might be waiting for the store to open and rush to get that very product because every other store was out of it? It doesn’t take a major leap of logic to realize that this will happen when items are in short supply--and how impolite, unruly or even violent will people get when they clamor to get the last item out of your hands because you have it and they want it?

What's your excuse for not stocking up right now?

1 comment:

  1. Here's an article I just found illustrating the problem, and maybe even the deadly consequences, of being too reliant on a small number of suppliers and razor-thin inventories: