Companies in Richardson and beyond brace for potential inventory shortage amid coronavirus outbreak

The coronavirus has caused a disruption in the supply chain that has a ripple effect on various industries. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
The coronavirus has caused a disruption in the supply chain that has a ripple effect on various industries. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

The coronavirus has caused a disruption in the supply chain that has a ripple effect on various industries. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Editor's note: This is an evolving story. If you own a business that has been affected by the coronavirus and would like to tell your story, please email olueckemeyer@communityimpact.com

Richardson businesses that rely on China and other countries for inventory are scrambling to ensure production stays on track as the coronavirus continues to spread worldwide.

Some offshore factories are still shut down, while others are just coming back online. This has slowed production and transit of items, particularly from China to the U.S., said Lawrence P. Howorth, director of the city of Richardson’s Mayor’s Office of International Business.

“Some [plants] have reduced production, so it’s taking longer to get their products,” he said.

It is too early to quantify the revenue impact in Richardson because many companies are still operating on their existing inventory, Howorth said.


“They all have some inventory, but they are starting to get a little thin,” he said.

Companies are also beginning to rethink their supply chains by looking to countries such as Mexico or other areas in South Asia as a backup source for inventory, Howorth said. Some are even considering switching to manufacturers in the U.S., he said.

“I am seeing a frantic search for alternative supplies, including bringing home production of some of those components,” Howorth said in a March 2 statement.

Other companies are witnessing a decline in research and development activities due to company-wide bans on travel to international headquarters, Howorth said.

“A lot of those activities have really slowed down almost to a crawl if not stopped,” he said.

The Richardson Chamber had March meetings scheduled with delegations from Japan looking to do business in the city, but those meetings have been “put on ice,” Howorth said.

The U.S. is still one of the most attractive markets globally, so while business deal postponements are inconvenient, Howorth said he does not anticipate long-term consequences.

“I don’t think we are going to lose business, but I think it will be pushed back,” he said. “You may lose a few months, but I don't think they are going to change their mind.”

However, that could change if the coronavirus spreads to other major manufacturing centers, such as Vietnam and Mexico.

“That’s a much bigger cause for concern,” he said.
SHARE THIS STORY
By Olivia Lueckemeyer

Olivia Lueckemeyer graduated in 2013 from Loyola University New Orleans with a degree in journalism. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in October 2016 as reporter for the Southwest Austin edition before her promotion to editor in March 2017. In July 2018 she returned home to the Dallas area and became editor of the Richardson edition.


MOST RECENT

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins announced April 2 new provisions within the shelter-in-place order meant to stem the rapid increase of coronavirus cases. (Screenshot courtesy FOX 4 News)
Dallas County judge clarifies shelter-in-place order, condemns businesses that violate it

Employees who work for essential businesses but have the capability to work from home must now do so, Jenkins said at an April 2 press conference.

Local bar and restaurant Lockwood Distilling Co. donated hand sanitizer to the Richardson police and fire departments. (Courtesy Richardson Police Department)
Medical gear, sanitation items donated to first responders in Richardson

Both the fire and police departments have recently received donations of masks and hand sanitizer, staff reports.

Items in the Haus Market include ketchup, mustard, juices, fruits and vegetables, King's Hawaiian Rolls, cookies and more. (Courtesy Dog Haus Biergarten)
Dog Haus Biergarten helps Richardson residents avoid trips to the grocery store through launch of mini market

Haus Market items include antibiotic- and hormone-free meats as well as cheese, butter, eggs, french fries, bread, cookies, bottled water, toilet paper and paper towels.

President Donald Trump signed a $2 trillion package March 27 to provide relief during the coronavirus pandemic. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Sen. John Cornyn discusses provisions laid out in CARES Act

The $2 trillion package provides funding to help fight the virus and to provide financial assistance for Americans during the pandemic.

Members of the Frisco Downtown Merchants Association have created a daily digital support meeting during the coronavirus pandemic. The group's members are working together to help one another stay in business. (Courtesy Ed Mahoney)
Coronavirus coverage roundup in the Dallas-Fort Worth area

Here are some noteworthy stories from the past week dealing with the impact of the coronavirus.

Initial claims for unemployment insurance rates are increasing across the nation in the midst of COVID-19. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Texas sees 77% increase in unemployment insurance claims during week ending March 28

Texas ranked fifth among states in the U.S. with 275,597 initial claims filed the week ending March 28.

Normally crowded toll roads, such as the Lewisville Lake Toll Bridge, are experiencing a decline in the number of motorists, according to data from the North Texas Tollway Authority. (Courtesy NTTA)
Transactions on North Texas toll roads see sharp decline in March as residents shelter in place

Across the NTTA network, transactions dropped by 44% in Week 3 of March, data shows.

Collin, Denton, Dallas and Tarrant counties have a higher response rate than the state of Texas as of Mach 31. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Census responses ahead of U.S. in Dallas-Fort Worth, growth highest in nation

Dallas-Fort Worth counties vary in self-response rates on the U.S. census as Census Day arrives April 1.

Texas Tribune: Some local elections in Texas moving ahead despite coronavirus spread

A handful of towns and special districts still plan to go ahead with their May 2 votes, arranging polling places despite calls from the president on down directing people to stay at home to prevent the spread of the deadly virus.

The restaurant also served a Citrus Caprese Salad. (Olivia Lueckemeyer/Community Impact)
Jasper's temporarily closes Richardson location

The high-end casual restaurant’s menu included a brisket cheeseburger, pan-seared trout and slow-cooked short rib, among other items.

Lake Travis Fire Rescue is one of hundreds of emergency service districts serving millions of Texas residents across the state. Firefighters, EMTs and medical professionals said they are concerned about the availability of personal protective equipment as the coronavirus public health crisis continues. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)
First responders, medical professionals across Texas worry about inadequate personal protective equipment supplies

In a survey of emergency service districts across the state, two-thirds of respondents said they were concerned about a shortage of equipment such as masks, goggles and gloves.