As recently as December 2021, around 100 container ships were spread out over 1,000 miles of coastline as they waited to unload their cargo at the Port of Long Beach in California. Just outside of a strategic Chicago cargo facility, a line of fully loaded freight trains formed a 25-mile long line outside the city.
The ongoing supply chain shortage affects almost every sector and industry in the country, including medical supplies. In addition, the availability of medical supplies—especially needles and syringes—has been especially limited thanks to their increased usage for COVID treatment, research, and vaccination purposes.
If your business or organization relies upon the daily usage of syringes and needles, read on to learn more about how you can beat the medical supply and syringe shortage of 2022.
The supply chain that starts in Asia/Europe and ends in North America was already near its breaking point before the COVID pandemic. Once the economy shut down in early 2020, a domino-like effect occurred.
Manufacturers, cargo ports, and many businesses found themselves with a skeleton crew workforce—and limited raw materials. Adding to the problem was the fact that many manufacturers utilize a Just-in-Time production system wherein they only store enough resources to manufacture products for a set number of orders.
In normal times, this manufacturing method offers many benefits; however, production issues start to manifest rapidly and snowball when demand for products increases dramatically.
Rachel Baglin, a spokesperson for MilliporeSigma, a Life Sciences manufacturer, remarked:
“Since the outbreak of the pandemic, the entire life science industry has seen unprecedented demand for Covid-19 related products and we are working 24/7 to meet this increased demand for these products and as well as those used in scientific discovery.”
While no one has an exact timeline on when the supply chain will go back to pre-pandemic levels, it’s reasonable to think that these shortages will continue through 2022 and perhaps even into 2023.
Fortunately, you can do a few things to get ahead of the ongoing needle and syringe shortages.
At Air-Tite, we carry an extensive inventory of needles, syringes, and related medical products. Unlike other distributors/suppliers who operate on the “Just-in-Time” system, we prefer to buy in bulk and store them in our large warehouse. We also have an extensive distribution network that allows even more flexibility in securing the products that you require.
Consider buying in bulk the next time you place an order for syringes or needles. For example, if you usually restock every week, opt for a month supply instead. If you purchase by the box, consider purchasing a full case. This will provide you with peace of mind while ensuring that your medical office, laboratory, or facility will have what you need for the remainder of the year.
We offer a wide selection throughout our product portfolio, including budget options, high-end items, and everything in between. We also carry products from many different manufacturers.
This extensive selection makes it easy for you to choose from comparable alternative products if your usual product is out of stock. For example, many of our customers opt for high-quality EXEL or BD syringes if Henke-Ject® syringes are temporarily out of stock.
Our customer service representatives have extensive experience and can recommend a different option if the product you’re looking for is unavailable in the quantities you require. Just ask us for options.
We also offer a convenient return policy that makes it simple to return unopened items (with at least 18 months remaining before product expiration) if you are unsatisfied with your purchase. This assurance will allow you to confidently purchase substitute products if necessary, while feeling secure that you can initiate a return if the product doesn’t meet your needs.
Even though Air-Tite carries a large inventory of products—our available stock is still vulnerable to the same supply chain issues. Therefore it’s advisable to avoid waiting to test sample products if they’re invaluable to your application. We can ship samples of most of our products anywhere in the US.
Engage with us to discuss your forecasted needs. Even though Air-Tite strives to maintain sufficient stock to last through minor spikes in demand or delays in production, receiving advance notice of our customers' needs helps us to plan ahead. If you have a new project or anticipated growth, give us a call to discuss your needs and we may be able to adjust our inventory accordingly. Many of our customers use "blanket" purchase orders with specified release dates, allowing Air-Tite time to get the inventory in-house well in advance of the date the products will be required.
As the supply chain woes continue throughout 2022, it’s essential to consider your needs and plan accordingly. At Air-Tite, we’re doing everything we can to beat the needle and syringe shortage and ensure that we’re able to provide you with the medical products you need.