#SupplyChain #inflation #IncreasingCosts #businesses
A burger chain is taking on increased costs caused by supply-chain problems.
But it realizes that people will only pay so much, so increasing prices too much will hurt more.
In an interview with Alexandra Canal for Yahoo Finance. Smashburger President Carl Bachmann said he is trying to manage his costs with great precision. The article was published Feb. 21, 2022.
“You have to take some small price increases, but we were very strategic about that,” Bachmann told Canal. “The key thing here is … managing your freight costs,” he said. “… all those little pieces of the puzzle behind the scenes to counteract the commodities as they continue to rise.”
Bachmann has utilized redundant vendors and global partners to ease supply-chain issues, which has helped curb price pressure, the article says.
Bachmann’s efforts may be easier said than done for some businesses. Because of a worker shortage, labor costs, as well as material costs, have risen. In fact, many of the increases in material costs can be attributed to labor shortages.
If there are not enough folks to load and unload ships at ports, and drive the containers to wherever they need to go, that will increase costs.
In a Feb. 25, 2022, article in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, business reporter Michael E. Kanell reports that the backlog at the Port of Savannah appears to be easing. There are no more ships queued up in the harbor waiting to be unloaded, he writes. That port, the second-largest on the East Coast, is continuing to expand, which is also helping it move more goods, the article says.
All of these problems were largely activated as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Workers who were shut out of jobs for a good while are giving second thoughts to going back to them.
If there are fewer people producing or moving goods, prices will rise.
The news from the Georgia ports gives one a degree of hope that the end may be near.
But, the Russian invasion of Ukraine could put a damper on that hopefulness.
The pandemic may not have brought the world entirely to its knees, but it came very close.
Now, as the disease eases, record numbers of people are going back to work – many under better conditions than they had before.
That has to be considered great news, even though we are all paying more for that to happen.
But, as Bachmann points out in the Yahoo article, you have to manage EVERYTHING. You have to decide whether buying this or that is worth the cost. You have to decide whether taking this job, or that job, will leave you better off than you were.
A lesson here is to learn to make good decisions as early in life as you can. That means that no matter how much you earn at any given time, some of it should be saved for later in life. As your savings grow, they should be invested wisely, with the help of an adviser you trust.
As discussed previously here, you can bring your own coffee to work, as opposed to buying it by the cup. You can bring your own lunch to work, instead of buying it etc.
The little things, as Bachmann says, can make all the difference. To add to that, you can save on little things without always depriving yourself of life’s pleasures. Those pleasures can make life worth living.


#LaborShortage #retirement #resignations #BabyBoomGeneration
It was predicted years ago.
When the Baby Boom generation starts to retire in earnest, there will not be enough labor, given immigration restrictions and low birth rates.
Now, thanks to COVID-19, here we are.
Many folks 55 and older are leaving their jobs –“retiring” – whether they are ready or not.
Some, according to reports, had plans to work well beyond the “normal” retirement age. But the jobs became difficult, perhaps because clients and customers became more demanding (read: abusive).
The lesson for employers here, according to a LinkedIn thread, is to give those 55 and older a second look. They are generally reliable. They generally have a work ethic. Many of those who have retired did so before they were financially able.
Another lesson for employers might be to meet those older workers where they are. Making them work excessively long days for low pay will not do it for them. More flexible hours, better working conditions and decent pay may bring some of those workers back.
The workers, or potential workers, have to think outside the box as well. If your old job is not worth going back to, for whatever reason, but you still want to work, you may have to find something better – more suited to the life you want. That may involve doing something you may never have thought of doing.
A good tip might be: see who is hiring, find out what they want, determine whether they are willing to accept your experience and see whether they have something that will work for you. Many industries need help of all kinds. Perhaps you may be able to cobble together some part-time or entrepreneurial gigs to give you an income that will help you build for your eventual, comfortable retirement.
In the old days of work, older employees were forced out of jobs long before they were ready because of reorganizations , management changes, they made too much money etc. Few wanted to rehire them, because they felt they would not stay long enough because of their ages. Or, there was a perception that because of their vast experience, they would want too much money.
Companies are still reorganizing frequently – some would argue much too frequently. But the idea of having an employee stay in a job for many years has trended out. Therefore, buying a few years from an older worker might just help you out enough until, well, the next reorganization.
For the employee, it all comes down to starting a retirement fund as early in your career as possible. That will help cushion the unexpected blows that could crater your career path.
Like the financial markets, most career paths do not travel upward in straight lines. The same goes for workforce development.
The lesson here is that both employers and employees have to be flexible. A job you thought you would never do may be just the right thing in these circumstances. That person you’d never thought you would hire may be the just the right person in these circumstances.
Employers and employees must, of course, choose carefully and wisely. The Rolling Stones song, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” should play in the heads of both employers and employees.
As the song says, “If you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need.”


#TruckerProtests #CanadianTruckers #coronavirus #COVID19 #FlattenTheCurve
The trucker protests in Canada amount to a few ruining the livelihoods of many.
The truckers seem to be protesting vaccine mandates. Yet, most of them – more than 80 percent – are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.
Meanwhile, protesters have been basically cleared from blocking the Ambassador Bridge, linking Windsor, Ont., to Detroit, Mich., the most widely used border crossing in North America. But reports say other protests, including those in the Canadian capital, Ottawa, are continuing.
So, the question becomes, why?
We’ve all experienced frustration, sadness, anger and, perhaps, every other volatile emotion during the last two years.
The virus has done a number not only on some of our bodies, but also many of our psyches.
That anguish, combined with divisive politics that has emboldened a few, perhaps is at the center of the trucker protests.
The good news is the border egresses are being unblocked, and, hopefully, the manufacturing supply chain disruptions can be eased.
A second manifestation of the virus-provoked frustration and anger is in U.S. schools. Parents, probably still frustrated over opening, closing and reopening of schools during the past two years, have taken to challenging the curriculum, reading materials etc., that probably have been used in their schools for years.
If the parents and schools don’t work out their disputes in a fashion that allows students to learn history, and other undisputed lessons, properly, schools will not only lose teachers and other educators in large numbers, but the ultimate penalty could be schools losing accreditation.
Loss of accreditation could mean that graduates of those schools may not be admitted to colleges, or other higher forms of education, regardless of how intelligent they may be.
The lesson here is that we all want freedom of speech. We all want our grievances heard. As parents, we all want to help make our schools the best they can be.
But, we all must remember that the 1st amendment to the U.S. Constitution does not permit us to yell “fire” in a crowded theater when there is no fire.
The right to free speech is not unlimited. Those who wrote the Constitution EXPECTED us to avail ourselves of our rights with some care and respect. They EXPECTED us to know not only our rights, but also right from wrong.
Therefore, leaning on the Constitution to justify wrongdoing is not what the founders intended.
In short, we have rights to be exercised. We, therefore, should exercise them. But we should do so responsibly.
How does one define responsible? If exercising your rights is causing harm to others who are not part of the dispute, one should think twice about how one exercises those rights.
Consider the person who calls out sick to work when he or she is not sick. That person may have a grievance with the employer. But his or her coworkers are most likely to suffer more punishment than the employer.
Speaking of illness, you may feel you have the right to conduct Activity X during a raging pandemic without taking available precautions. You may feel that if you contract the disease, so be it,. But you do not have the right to contract the disease and spread it to others. That’s why mitigation measures and vaccines may be necessary.
It seems as if the protesting Canadian truckers realize this, and have gotten their shots in large numbers. That makes the reason for protests all the more baffling.


#jobs #workforce #JobsNumbers #COVID19 #coronavirus #FlattenTheCurve
The 467,000 new jobs created in January 2022 were many times more than expected. Yet, “The Great Resignation” is leading people to quit jobs in large numbers. Perhaps, many are going to better jobs, or, at least, different ones.
Despite this good economic news, many have framed the current work/job environment as a case of generous benefits keeping people from looking – or taking – jobs. The January report should dispel that notion.
First, let’s dispense with the idea that people who are not in the job market are lazy.
For most, that’s hardly the case.
What people are doing now, that they may have not done before, is look at the costs, and the risks, against the rewards, of taking a particular job.
Though the COVID-19 pandemic appears to be waning – we could face a surprise new variant at any time, there are still risks to being up close and personal with others, especially where there are no rules or mitigations against viral transmission.
A sick worker is no good to either his or her employer or family. An unvaccinated worker is more likely to get sick and spread the virus. Not knowing whether the person next to you is vaccinated presents its own risk.
Secondly, presuming you have no ability to work from home – most in lower-paying jobs cannot work from home, you have to get to work.
You have to calculate how much of your paycheck is going to commuting. If it costs you a lot to get to work, and you don’t have enough left over after commuting costs to cover your other living expenses, that presents a disincentive to take a job.
Thirdly, if you have young children, and no means to care for them while you are at work, that presents yet another risk to taking a job.
Though most schools are staying open, some have periodic closings prompted by the virus. Perhaps too many students, teachers and staff are ill, or have exposure issues, and cannot be in school.
When too many people are absent, schools close, or go to online options. Of course it’s temporary, but it’s still a problem for a working parent.
The smaller number, and higher cost, of day-care options enlarge the problem for parents.
In short, the labor “shortage” we see is more complicated than government benefits that are too generous.
For some workers, particularly those whose spouse may earn a relatively high income, a worker may also find that his or her lower-paying job is generating an income that primarily pays taxes, and little else. There may be other reasons to hang in a job, i.e. benefits, pension credits etc. But, in some scenarios, one can easily put an entire paycheck into taxes alone.
Just as it may be hard for some employers to get enough people to keep his or her operation going, it may be just as hard for a worker to decide whether it is worth his or her effort to take a job.
In the long term, as birth rates decline and people make life choices that give them more flexibility, there will actually be a labor shortage. In that case, the only solution could be to allow more immigrants, refugees and others to come into the country. In fact, a recent U.S. Census report says the largest segment of population increase is coming from immigrants.
It’s no easy fix, but it is one that we all may have to fix together as a society. Jobs have to be more attractive. Services and solutions need to be available so workers can go to work without fear or worry.
Both employers and employees need to be part of any solution.