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News Safety & Reliability May 10, 2022

PUD’s innovative approaches to supply chain challenges

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PUD’s innovative approaches to supply chain challenges

As much as we all want to put the pandemic behind us, the PUD has been made aware that residual supply chain issues may be here for years to come. In addition to our recent challenges obtaining envelopes, currently, our operations crews are being impacted by supply chain challenges for essential products such as transformers, wire, cable, and other required materials such as splices, terminations and elbows.

Causes for these supply chain challenges are multiple and varied – ranging from labor and material shortages resulting from the pandemic to supplies being diverted to hurricane recovery in the south and wildfire prevention in California to direct competition for raw materials and parts with a number of sectors that are experiencing booming growth including electric vehicles, auto manufacturers, and housing and commercial development.

Though these shortages are largely out of our control, creative, proactive members of your Team PUD have developed short- and long-term strategies to mitigate supply chain issues including:

  • An emphasis on maintenance and reusing and recycling equipment.
  • Working with other utilities to exchange materials when one utility has a shortage and another has a surplus.
  • Establishing relationships with parallel vendors.
  • Developing new forecasting tools
  • Rethinking the way we keep items on stock to help ensure continued access to materials when supply chains are disrupted.
  • Financially preparing for the impact of supply chain challenges on the cost of products by holding onto extra cash reserves

The PUD is working closely with its partners in the building industry to develop strategies to overcome these challenges. We are very appreciative of the patience and flexibility that has been demonstrated by these industry professionals.

The PUD currently believes that it will continue to be well-equipped for the fall and winter storm season despite these challenges. Safely serving our customers is our number one priority. We will continue to keep you updated as the situation evolves. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we navigate these unprecedented challenges.