Short Supplies for Many

Short Supplies for Many

Supply Chain Issues Present Opportunities For Businesses To Work Together

When growing up, I remember going into K-Mart (you remember them?) and being amazed at the amount of merchandise in one place. While my primary goal was looking for baseball cards, there was literally something for everyone in that place.

Wal-Mart came along and took the large amount of merchandise in one place to another level. Since then, Home Depot and Lowe’s, Bed Bath & Beyond, Marshall’s, T.J. Maxx and others have taken the concept of large amounts of merchandise under one roof to incredible levels. Small businesses have also benefitted from access to huge amounts of inventory and many have built their business model on custom ordering for their clients.

A year and a half ago, we were scattering around trying to find paper towels and toilet paper at the onset of the pandemic … and perhaps this was the first time that many consumers were introduced to the concept known as the supply chain. Right or wrong, consumers grew increasingly concerned that these commodities (along with hand sanitizer, wipes and other disinfectants) wouldn’t be available, so they bought in bulk and hoarded to the point of product shortages.

Our dependence on foreign-produced goods exposed a flaw in how we get everyday items from there to our stores’ shelves. Little did we know that this would be the beginning of supply chain issues that we are dealing with today.

Yes, stores began returning to ‘normal’ late last summer and fall, but the foundation was set for more challenges in getting products from overseas manufacturers. Remember, in my last column I wrote about a shrinking labor force that hasn’t been seen in this country’s history … men in the prime working years of their lives aren’t working; women leaving the workforce at levels never seen before. Service jobs, retail jobs, manufacturing jobs, labor jobs … all going unfilled. And, on top of the lack of workers are mandates for vaccinations at multiple levels. So, container ships fill the harbors on the west coast waiting to be unloaded, but trucks and truckers are increasingly hard to find.

Here at home, Granbury and Hood County businesses are feeling the effects of supply chain issues. From automobile dealers and repair services to restaurant, grocery and home improvement businesses, a reduced amount of available inventory is making for one of the most challenging times in our history.

Oh, and let’s not forget that the Christmas season is upon us, and many businesses large and small depend heavily on this time of year to help them be successful. So, on Nov. 17, the Granbury Chamber of Commerce has set up a panel discussion on supply chain Issues in Granbury.

While we may not be able to solve the problem, the Chamber wants to have a dialogue where businesses could potentially help each other. You can learn more about this program (in person and/or online) by going to our website at We know that the supply chain issues aren’t going to go away overnight, so the Chamber hopes to build a narrative that helps our members’ businesses grow and get better.

Written by Brian Bondy, IOM Granbury Chamber President and CEO
Huge Changes in the Workforce

Huge Changes in the Workforce

Huge Changes Are Happening In The Workforce

During the summer of my junior year in high school, I decided that I needed money to be able to go out and do the things that were important back then.  I was hired at Church’s Chicken for $2.10 an hour. Hey, it was 20 cents an hour more than I was offered at Pizza Inn and closer to home!  And, while that job taught me about being on time, developing a work ethic and working with other people, it also helped me decide that going to college was a better option.

The big discussion in business circles today is finding qualified talent to fill open positions.  The key word here is ‘qualified.” Many businesses in the Granbury/Hood County area have openings for a wide variety of positions, but there are few candidates to fill them.  According to a recent report from Emsi, “The Demographic Drought,” the United States is entering into an accelerated period called a ‘sansdemic’ (‘sans’ — without; ‘demic’ — people).

“In February 2020, before the COVID crisis, a record 70% of U.S. businesses reported a talent shortage according to a Manpower survey.”  And since that time, “2.4 million women left the workforce from February 2020 to February 2021.”  Adding to the challenge is the ongoing generational shift that is shaping the workforces of the future each and every day.  The year 2020 saw more than 3 million baby boomers retire! Gen-X, Millennials and Gen-Z workers are now dominating the workforce … but are there enough of them to replace these retirements?

The research community seems to think the answer is “no.” From the Emsi Report, “In early 2018, Korn Ferry predicted that by 2028 the U.S. can expect to see a deficit of 6 million workers.”  But, as we learned at the recent chamber seminar, “Wage Wars,” you can make an impact on your current staff now!

We heard multiple times during the program that company culture— not just pay and benefits—can be one of your best retention tools.  Employees, it seems, have a lot going in their favor right now, and they want to be valued.  “In a human capital economy, people are the key ingredient — a truth that will become only more apparent during the coming ‘sansdemic’.  Every student, every employee, every potential employee is valuable,” the Emsi Report concluded.

Here at home, factor in the growth of CTE programs at the high school level; workforce training programs at the community college level and a plethora of degreed programs at universities across the state, and we have an opportunity to create a highly trained workforce.

The Granbury Chamber of Commerce, together with Workforce Solutions North Central Texas, the Granbury ISD, Tarleton State University Small Business Development Center and multiple business partners like Forward Training Center, are working together to help identify, hire, train, build and retain the future workforce for our area.

From understanding what businesses need today to analyzing trends in the marketplace, we hope to help Granbury/Hood County businesses not only fill their current openings but also to look ahead and be able to anticipate future growth areas.

Written by Brian Bondy, IOM
Granbury Chamber President and CEO