FIRESIDE CHAT TOPIC: An industrial sector update with Bloomberg columnist Brooke Sutherland
DETAILS: Sutherland is the industrial and M&A columnist for Bloomberg Opinion and publishes a weekly newsletter on those topics. It has given her a close-up perspective on the state of the U.S. industrial sector and how it is coping with the waning pandemic and the still-troubled supply chain. She is interviewed by Zach Strickland, FreightWaves director of Freight Market Intelligence.
SPEAKER: Brooke Sutherland is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering deals and industrial companies. She previously wrote an M&A column for Bloomberg News. She is a graduate of the Journalism & Mass Communications school at Washington & Lee University.
KEY QUOTES FROM SUTHERLAND:
“Over the summer and kind of early fall, companies were talking about [how] they need to redesign our products and we need to think about how can we line up backup suppliers and build more resiliency into our system. And then the problems with the supply chain just accelerated so much that those workarounds were not working.”
“The larger industrials for years have been talking about local. But maybe their suppliers were not as localized as they were and that is what created a lot of these headaches. Maybe you were still getting components from somebody who was getting components from Mexico or Germany. So they need to drill down deep into those supply chains and start to understand what that looks like.”
“I think we’re starting to see some of those smaller to midsize suppliers think about relocating some of their factories to really line up with what some of those manufacturers are asking for.”
“The pricing has been off the charts for these industrial companies, and they have had no problem pushing them through.”
“There continues to be incremental progress in the supply chain. We keep hearing these anecdotes from companies that they are seeing improvement. But for every comment you hear like that, you hear from another company that says everything got thrown out of whack because of omicron and all of a sudden the supplier couldn’t get us a part. So obviously there have been a lot of stops and starts, which is a difficult way to run a business.”