Supply chain issues, higher prices will likely continue into 2022, experts say

IN Focus: Indiana Politics

CARMEL, Ind. – Experts say the ongoing supply chain issues and resulting higher prices could continue into next year, impacting Indiana businesses and consumers.

The supply chain problems are impacting just about every industry, according to experts, reaching businesses both large and small.

“I’m just worried about December and what we’ll look like,” said Teneen Dobbs, owner of Kits & Kaboodle Classic Toys in Carmel.

At Dobbs’ toy store, the shelves are stocked right now. But she’s worried that will change, so she’s urging customers to try to start their holiday shopping now.

Many shipments to her store only have half the product she ordered, she added.

“And then we have some manufacturers that aren’t taking any more orders at this time for this year,” Dobbs said. “Only for 2022.”

Dobbs said she has had to raise some products’ prices 5 to 10% due to higher rates from her suppliers. And she’s not alone.

“Where production has been halted, folks have been sent home because of lack of component parts,” said Kevin Brinegar, president and CEO of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce. “We’ve seen price increases because [of] short supply.”

Experts say consumers need to be prepared to deal with long waits and higher prices for at least the next few months.

“It’s worth thinking about do you want to pay a high price and get it right now, or can you make due for a little bit and get a much better price a couple of months from now?” said Ananth Iyer, Susan Bulkeley Butler chair in operations management for Purdue University.

Others say some of these price hikes may become permanent due to several factors businesses are facing.

“They’re having to pay more for people to come back to work,” said Amrou Awaysheh, executive director of the IU Business Sustainability and Innovation Lab. “Plus they’re also paying more for raw materials.”

“We’re just going to kind of be guided by what the manufacturers are passing along to us,” Dobbs said. “And they are telling us that pricing could go back to normal as of next year, or go back down, which is what we’re hoping for at this point.”

In a recent interview, the U.S. Commerce Secretary said it’s hard to predict how quickly some of these supply chain issues will be resolved.

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