A supply chain management expert appeared on Thursday night’s edition of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” to explain why toilet paper shortages aren’t exactly what Americans should be looking for long-term in the wake of the coronavirus epidemic.
Daniel Stanton, the author of “Supply Chain Management for Dummies,” broke down the basics about supply chains and how they can be disrupted by events like coronavirus before explaining that “demand shocks” are what many Americans are currently experiencing with shortages of items like toilet paper, masks and hand sanitizer.
“People buying a lot more of some things than what they would normally consume and buying less of some other things, and what that does is creates what we call a bullwhip effect that gets amplified upstream in the supply chain and causes all kinds of chaos,” Stanton explained.
Stanton described these shortages as a “temporary problem” caused by “panic buying,” a situation that will be more than rectified when supplies are replenished. Other items, however, will need to be manufactured on a greater scale.
“There are other things that we are actually using more of. I think disinfecting wipes, hand sanitizers, the hospital masks. We need more of those than what we would normally consume,” he said. “For those things, we need to be increasing capacity, maybe creating some new supply chains, and in a lot of cases, we are dependent on foreign manufacturing and long-distance transportation to get those supplies.”
After assuaging any concerns about food shortages, Stanton did point to some eventual economic roadblocks ahead caused by the coronavirus’s effect on the global supply chain.
“That’s the part that I’m really scared about, right?” he told Carlson. “We talked about the short-term demand disruptions but we’ve got supply disruptions too. Factories in China that haven’t been making things or haven’t been able to ship things, and those go into all kinds of things we buy, electronics, automobiles, basically any type of engineered manufactured product.” (RELATED: ‘The Five’ Panel Explodes After Juan Williams Refuses To Give Trump Credit For Chinese Travel Ban)
Stanton said the U.S. could experience an inability to make several products Americans “want to buy” in the coming weeks.