TERRE HAUTE Ind. (WTHI) - Thanksgiving is just a few days away, but one thing business owners are not giving thanks for this year is supply chain shortages. That's why this family-owned business in Terre Haute is learning to adapt and be flexible this holiday season.
B&B Foods in Terre Haute is a wholesale restaurant supplier and foodservice distributor based in Terre Haute. And during a season of supply chain shortages, they are one of many places facing extra challenges.
"My day used to be spent about 4-5 hours securing product, but now I basically spend my entire day doing nothing but trying to find product,” Scott Isles, the President of B&B Foods, said.
Isles says this is a problem manufacturers across the country have been seeing since this summer.
"We've been experiencing shortages for about six months,” he said. “We spend a lot of time chasing products, re-doing purchase orders, calling customers, trying to find a substitute item that will work for them."
Local economists say the main issue of all of this stems from the pandemic. This includes some companies facing problems with labor shortages, potential vaccine mandates, prices going up, among other things.
Now, business owners must start thinking outside of the box.
"They cannot necessarily rely on only the mechanisms that have always worked to work,” Dr. Robert Guell, an economics professor at Indiana State University, said. “They'll have to find alternative mechanisms to stock their shelves when there is a specific problem."
For Scott Isles, this means looking for reliable substitutes, especially if his first option doesn't always work out.
"Our goal is to source product wherever it may be,” Isles said. “If that means we have a different brand, a different supplier, or something that will do the same kind of job for the in-user, that’s our job to find that for them. I just think it's what we need to do for business and take care of customers."
Now with these supply chain shortages, it's important that you plan ahead, especially if you’re grocery shopping or holiday prepping this week.