The Friday Report: February 4th, 2022

Quick wrap up of a few hot topic newsworthy stories in the supply chain logistics industry

The America COMPETES Act Supply Chain Boost Bill Passes House 

The U.S. Congress is moving ahead to bolster the supply chain, support American manufacturing, strengthen the economy and increase the country’s ability to compete favorably with China by passing the America COMPETES Act.  Based on “bipartisan elements”, the bill will authorize a $45 billion investment help to address supply chain disruptions and strengthen supply chains for high-tech products as well as create well-paying manufacturing jobs in America, and more. 

Because the Senate has already passed a version of the bill known as the Innovation and Competition Act, both versions of the legislation must be reconciled and voted on again.  If passed, President Biden has indicated he will sign the bill into law. 

The Senate bill provides $200 billion in funding for American scientific and technological advancements over the next five years.  In addition, $52 million is provided to assist semiconductor manufacturing companies to produce computer chips used in military devices and computer products including vehicles and cell phones. 

For more information, please continue reading here. 

Labor Shortage Causes Drop in Restaurant and Retail Quality 

How is the U.S. labor shortage impacting consumers who want to spend money in retail stores and restaurants? 

Limited inventories and menus shortened hours of operation and poor service are consistent problems in 2022 and all can be traced back to labor challenges across America.  Because demand remains relatively high, it appears conditions are likely to remain in this state until demand wanes. 

Popular restaurants including Ruby Tuesday, Logan’s Roadhouse, California Pizza Kitchen, and Ruth’s Chris have closed restaurants.  The inability of companies to control their labor is directly related to customer dissatisfaction as this impacts service.   As older workers have retired or otherwise left the workforce, younger workers have failed to staff up the available positions.   

Adding to these problems is COVID.  Because retail and restaurant businesses necessitate a high level of face-to-face contact, issues involving the pandemic have presented significant challenges.  As many customers refuse to social distance and wear masks and are not required to do so, workers concerned about COVID either must work through those challenges or leave their jobs.  Worker shortage also has often led to longer shift times and stress from having inadequate labor resources.  This can result in poor service and declining customer satisfaction. 

For more information, please continue reading here. 

Is Biopharma M&A Ramping Back Up? 

Did you know that some of the most influential medicines on the market today may never have come to fruition without mergers and acquisitions in the biopharma industry? 

With young biotech firms, the impetus for innovation, pharma mergers, and acquisitions have soared in recent years.  Many of these deals have focused on therapies for rare diseases, immune disorders, and cancer.  These are segments that have been scoring significant victories in clinical trials and subsequently when the therapeutics secured FDA approval and began to be commercialized. 

These companies have found it challenging to raise major sums of money from public markets and private investors, however.  Premiums on biopharma acquisitions have been known to surpass 100% in recent years. 

Although the second quarter of 2021 hit a five-year low in both the number and value of biopharma transactions and the remainder of the year was slow, it remains to be seen how deals will fare in 2022. 

For more information, please continue reading here. 

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