Strains in supply chain still causing shortages more than year since pandemic


WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) – If you’ve been waiting months for an order to come in, you’re far from alone. A little more than a year since the COVID-19 pandemic began, strains in the supply chain are still causing shortages in a variety of products.

Day in and day out, employees at Lytton’s Appliance Showroom are busy taking phone calls from more than 700 customers they say currently have products back ordered.

“We spend a third or half of our time just taking phone calls from customers who purchased merchandise anywhere from two weeks to six months ago, wanting to call and find out where their product is and when it is going to be in, but none of the manufacturers give us firm dates for delivery. They give us target dates and we just have to adjust,” Lytton’s owner Bob Finn said.

The global shortage of the computer chip used in many products including smartphones, laptops, cars and appliances is just one of many factors continuing to impact the supply chain and in turn, delaying several products.

“It’s every product. It is refrigerators, dishwashers. Dryers have been especially tough,” Finn said.

Lytton’s says some of the most popular washers and dryers it sells are currently taking up to 14 to 18 weeks to come in.

“It has been difficult trying to take care of customers, especially an older couple or a family that just has one fridge. It goes out and they can’t keep their food cold, they can’t get a fridge that will work in their situation. So, we try to take care of them by giving them a loaned fridge to use until their comes in,” Finn said.

The strain on the supply chain is also impacting what’s available at grocery stores.

“One of our brands, the largest manufacturer of vitamins in the world, sent a letter out last month saying they were filling 50 percent of their orders, so half of the things they carry, they don’t have in stock right now,” said Green Acres Store Manager Matt Murray.

Murray said while the Wichita store is finally starting to get more supply in, there is still a ways to go.

“We don’t know how long there will be a shortage on products, because some of is due to raw material shortages, some due to warehouse problems,” he said.

Copyright 2021 KWCH. All rights reserved.

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