Questions about shortages, the supply chain or the economy? Let Augusta’s experts help you find the answers

Jan 26, 2022

3 min

Richard Franza, PhD

Across America it seems deliveries are delayed; shelves are looking increasingly bare and there’s an elevated sense of anxiety when it comes to what lies ahead for America’s economy.

All of these important topics are forefront in the minds of many and reporters are covering these stories locally and nationally on a daily basis.

It's making news, and that’s why we’ve asked Dr. Richard M. Franza, the Dean of the James M. Hull College of Business at Augusta University, a few quick questions that we’re seeing pop up in media coverage across Georgia.

  • Q 1 - What is causing shortages here at home, especially in grocery stores?

“Like most things, it is complicated, not a lot of easy answers, but there are clearly a few things in play here. First, companies have been having a hard time finding workers throughout the supply chain. It starts at the producer level, whether it is meat processing plants or producers of other foods and sundry items, production levels are down due to limitations on workers. Then, there have also been worker issues at the transportation/logistics part of the supply chain. Particularly in the area of trucking. So, even when producers have enough supply, they are having difficulty getting it to the stores.

Finally, there are issues at the grocery stores themselves. Both at their distribution locations and the store themselves, they have been short on labor unloading and picking items, again delaying products from getting on the shelves. The problem has gotten worse in the past few weeks due to the COVID spikes due to omicron. While omicron is causing less serious results, it appears to be easier to catch. So, lots of people are getting it, making people have to miss work for five days, putting a further crunch on the labor force.”

  • Q 2 - Is this a problem we are likely to see continue through the first quarter or half of the year?

“I am optimistic that we can get past the omicron crunch in the coming weeks (by mid to late February, if not sooner). So, things should get better this quarter. However, this will just put us back to where we were pre-omicron, with still some lingering issues. I am hopeful that as the pandemic evolves into an endemic, things will resemble a more normal environment. While this virus has been unpredictable, I am hopeful that we can return to more normal environment no later than the end of the second quarter.”

  • Q 3 - What we can we expect once the pandemic finally subsides?

“I am extremely optimistic concerning our economy post-COVID. We have been pretty resilient to date, so I think if COVID transitions to endemic, I think we will see more spending and more people going to work.”

If you’ve got more questions to be answered, or if you’d like to speak with him one on one – then let us help.

Dr. Richard M. Franza is available to speak with media about important issues like America’s supply chain and the economy – simply click on his icon now to arrange an interview today.

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Richard Franza, PhD

Richard Franza, PhD

Faculty, James M. Hull College of Business

Dr. Richard M. Franza is a professor and former dean of the James M. Hull College of Business.

ManagementOperations ResearchEntreprenuershipIntentional LeadershipHigher Education Leadership

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