Why It’s Hard to Find Paper Towels Again
The paper towel shortage is one of the only shortages that didn't go away after a couple of weeks.
Although finding paper towels for sale has been a bit spotty since March, paper towels have been completely out of stock at most retailers. So what's the big deal? It's been like 6 months since grocery stores were a vast wasteland of panic shoppers.
The shortage is only partly due to panic buying. It turns out, the shortage has more to do with the way companies make paper towels. The companies will only make in a day what they think will sell in a day, in a method called "lean manufacturing."
Companies use lean manufacturing because it's one of the most cost effective methods of manufacturing. By only making what you need, and no more, you aren't spending extra money on backstock that might not sell for awhile.
An issue lies with the method, because if there's any sort of a spike in sales, there's going to be backorders and out of stocks to boot.
So, when everyone was buying in bulk, we ran into a shortage that we could've easily prevented by having cooler heads.
Read more at CNN