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Ways to help with supply chain concerns for your Utah business

It’s in the news now in abundance: challenges to our national supply chain system. The Beehive State is no exception to this, as retailers and B2B suppliers around the state have been working through challenges to get items into their customers’ hands.

The good news is there are ways that supply chain disruptions can be addressed, but it takes the proper planning to ensure success. We’re sharing some advice from state experts who know the reasons behind the supply chain concerns, as well as some potential solutions to the issue.

First Utah Bank also can provide relief from another challenge some businesses may have: managing cash flow. Through free business checking, this aspect of the business can run more smoothly.

Causes for supply chain shortages

Like any business challenge, there are more than a few reasons why there’s concern about a shortage of goods. Derek Miller, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber, weighed in on TV station KUTV about the issue. He started the interview by saying that port shipments are one cause. This is especially true of those on the West Coast, which commonly supply Utah businesses.

“They’re just backed up, and that was true, by the way, even before the pandemic,” Miller says.

The pandemic did affect some manufacturing woes, though, including playing catch-up to meet demand if their business needed to shut down during the response to COVID-19. There have also been cost increases for shipping prices in general.

“Shipping products, getting your inputs for your own business, in some cases has gone up 600 percent,” Miller says.

As astronomical as that seems, Miller does believe that there is an end in sight. “I expect that as we work through some of these problems, the slowdown that we saw a year ago in production, the workforce issues that we see at the ports, that that will start to moderate over time – but it will certainly take time,” Miller says.

Ways to plan for the future

As far as ways to mitigate issues with the supply chain, some techniques have been proven to help stem the tide. Writers for the business news website Big Commerce listed out a few of these ideas:

Build up your own supplies now

Analyze which aspects of your supplies might be vulnerable and then stockpile those for potential future use. It may be raw materials, finished products or the components to make the items you sell.

Look at your current risks
The article suggests that you perform an audit to find the weakest links in your own supply chain. “This will help you focus on where you need to find alternatives,” the authors write. “It can also be helpful to assess potential environmental, social, and political conditions that may impact your supply routes.”

Find some backups
Dig into what your current suppliers can offer you and then start finding some potential backups in the industry in which you do business. It could be in an entire other state or country, but finding a second (or third) supply company could make a big difference later on.

Lean on technology

There are certain types of tech that can help with supply chain concerns. Environmental analysis, AI-enabled mapping and cyber threat and security systems can all help in the decision-making as supply chain issues come to the surface.

Let your customers know

No matter what takes place — and perhaps even before it does — it’s a good idea to let your customers know how things are going. Communicating through websites, social media or at the point of sale will help retain those customers and will give you additional peace of mind as you know you are being as transparent as possible.

Free checking can help you as your Utah business grows

With supply chain as just one challenge facing a business, it makes sense to find solutions to any other aspects that may cause stress, such as managing cash flow.

If your business averages fewer than 100 ACH checks and debits per month, First Utah Bank can provide you with free business checking as a method to maximize your time when managing these essentials.

There’s no minimum balance required for the free business checking program at First Utah Bank and it includes unlimited debit card transactions and deposits as well as free mobile and internet banking. The program is also insured to the legal maximum by the FDIC.

First Utah Bank also has you covered if you need an option different from this one. These options include a commercial checking account for higher transaction volumes that also gives you an earnings credit allowance based on your balances.

As your hometown bank, First Utah Bank has the knowledge and tools to keep your Utah business banking strong for any financial climate. Learn more about free business checking in Lehi at our website, or call First Utah Bank at 801-308-2265.