COLORADO SPRINGS — Impacts from the supply chain and inflation will be present for a while, and not just on store shelves, that's according to Scott Van Ness, an instructor at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs (UCCS).
For Van Ness, what's happening right now is a real-world example he's using in his operations management course this semester.
Van Ness has taught supply chain management for years and especially within the last year, he's noticed differences.
"Everything I've taught about supply chain over the last seven, eight, years has changed," Van Ness said, "students who didn't really have a lot of an interest in this, now are very interested in it."
Despite the holiday season coming and going, supply chain issues are still lingering. Van Ness notes it's something that will be evident for upcoming holidays such as Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, and Easter.
If it seems like holiday items are showing up on shelves earlier, it's not your imagination.
"They want to kind of get that stuff out of the way and then they can start concentrating on the big issues," Van Ness said.
Simply put, when it comes to the impacts of inflation and the supply chain, it's going to be a less than ideal scenario for shoppers.
"Expect to pay more and have less choice," Van Ness said.
Major suppliers such as Procter & Gamble have already announced price increases on items like laundry detergent by Tide and fabric softener from Downy. The increases come at eight percent. Van Ness points out it's going to be a matter of what they can get out to stores easily.
"There's so many items that are Procter & Gamble that we don't even realize it," Van Ness said, "they're going to prioritize their products based on what moves."
Shoppers should check to see if what they're looking for is going to be available ahead of time and keep an eye on prices with everything from fuel to produce.
"I cannot believe the gaps in fuel prices between like Sam's Club which is like 2.87 a gallon to someone else that's 3.29, that's a lot of money," Van Ness said.
There's another impact Van Ness says people need to watch out for: worker safety.
"One thing that always happens is when you're pushing, safety always get let aside. So in the areas where we're really tight, on the docks, in the ports, trucks on the highway," Van Ness said, "and this industry and these industries when people get hurt, they get hurt, it's usually pretty significant."