The generations before my baby boomer one kept some spares even for most of the materials not used daily.
The shops and the distributors, supplying them, had their own intermediary stocks.
Factories, usually family owned, made production plans taking into account a demand increase, as they were afraid of not being able to deliver the orders. They carried a certain amount of stock.
Then technology started to develop faster. Companies grew bigger, owned usually by the public. Money became more important.
To make more money, productivity and profitability had to be increased. Accordingly, everybody started to work with minimum stock levels.
Then Covid-19 came: protective products could not be delivered everywhere sufficiently. Warehouses were empty. Only a few countries could run to the help of the others. On 3 April 2020 reuters.com reported the German health minister saying: “Countries face ‘fights’ over facemasks in China.”
I hope the world will have more human centered systems after the pandemic is over.
Song of the blog: M. Knopfler, E. Clapton, Sting & P. Collins – Money for Nothing