Out of Paper? Don’t Let Supply Chain Disruptions Hurt Your Business

December 14, 2022
Maili Neverosky

During the COVID pandemic, one of the first supply chain shocks to impact American consumers was the sudden shortage of toilet paper. Today, thankfully, it’s easy to stock up on Charmin — but for manufacturers, marketers, and many other businesses, paper shortages of another kind remain a critical concern.

“We’re starting to hear, ‘We’re out of paper,’” Polly Wong, president of direct-marketing firm Belardi Wong, told Bloomberg last fall. “It kind of put our industry up in a panic.”

In 2021, Wong estimated, up to 100 million catalogs and brochures couldn’t be printed in time for the holiday shopping season. And the disruption wasn’t a passing supply-chain glitch: paper shortages and printing problems have continued into 2022, even impacting preparations for last month’s U.S. elections as officials scrambled to prepare ballots and other materials.

📄 Why paper is a problem

The reasons for the continuing chaos are complex. With e-commerce sales booming, many U.S. paper mills switched production to cardboard. Similar trends overseas reduced the potential for importing paper goods. 

We’re also seeing the threat of industrial action in the freight rail sector, which could impact lumber supplies and the distribution of printed goods. And with inflation running hot, prices have risen even as supply logjams eased: according to the latest government data, the cost of paper rose 22% between October 2021 and October 2022. 

The precariousness of the paper supply chain is turning into a major headache for many brands, driving up costs and making it hard to stay agile — a big problem during these tumultuous times. And that’s without even considering all the other vulnerabilities and potential sources of delay associated with designing, printing, and distributing brochures, manuals, and other physical documentation to customers.

🔗 Breaking the chains

Fortunately, there’s a better way. While companies often feel their hands are tied by the need to produce physical documentation, the reality is that they are only bound by paper chains — easily broken, if they have the courage to try.

At Conveyer, we’re giving manufacturers and other enterprises the resources they need to shrug off their bonds and replace cumbersome physical documentation with flexible digital tools. Our AI tools quickly turn existing product documentation into a streamlined digital experience that can be delivered to customers almost instantly — with no need to pay for printing services or to sit around waiting for paper deliveries. 

The result is a far more agile solution that’s better for both customers and manufacturers. Instead of struggling with paper manuals or hard-to-read PDFs, users can scan a QR code to find the exact information they need. Updates can be sent out instantly, ensuring that documentation is always up to date. And perhaps best of all, there’s never any risk of getting stuck by supply chain disruptions, or of having to watch soaring paper and printing costs take a bite out of your bottom line.

If you’re feeling frustrated by the cost and complexity of physical printing and distribution, Conveyer is here to help. Get in touch today — and let’s bring your company’s operations into the digital era.