Supply Chain Disruption Made Me Buy an Old Prius [Update]


I bought my 2016 Chevy Volt in May 2019 for $14,900. I thought it was a pretty good deal. The car was in good shape and only had 44,000 miles on it.

Two years and 10K miles later, I sold my Volt for $17,328 to Carvana — a reseller. Carvana will turn around and flip my Volt for $20K online. Something is very wrong with the used car market.

[This is an update to Oct 25th, “We need better forecasting to fix the supply chain crisis.”]

Why Am I Selling?

I enjoyed my Chevy Volt for most of the time I owned it. The Volt got 55 miles of pure electric on each charge. I only bought a couple of tanks of gas each year. However, my opinion quickly soured this August when a part disruption put my Volt in hibernation at the local Dealer’s garage for 3 months.

I lost faith that GM/Chevrolet could maintain their vehicles. A 3-month wait for a common part means someone in GM distribution did not accurately predict demand. With good logistics, it doesn’t matter how long it takes to build or ship a part. The part is available when you need it. Chevrolet did not have good logistics. I don’t know which Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software Chevrolet uses, but I know it didn’t prepare them for this situation.

I couldn’t risk being car-less in Nashville for another 3 months the next time my check engine light blinks on. It’s not exactly a walkable city. So I downgraded my ride. I bought a 2010 Prius.

If there is any car with an abundance of spare parts, it has to be a Prius. Those annoying gas-sippers are everywhere — struggling to get up hills, or hiding in what you thought was an open parking spot.

But that’s me. I guess I’m a Prius guy now.

Empty Shelves Lose Customers

My tragic story highlights what happens to your customers when they can’t purchase from you. Poor demand forecasting delivers empty shelves. They go to competitors, often begrudgingly.

Recent supply chain disruptions make demand forecasting more challenging. Methods of managing orders in spreadsheets can’t keep up with the changing marketplace or dynamic prices.

I joined Recurrency because I saw how badly distribution needed its AI evolution. Online retailers like Amazon show powerful prediction tools can satisfy customers and increase revenue. Recurrency brings those same tools to existing ERPs, often reducing stockouts by 61%.

We realize nobody wants to spend 12 months to rip and replace their existing ERP. So we built an integration, or plug-in, that works with your existing system, and brings you the features and speed you’ve been missing.

It may be too late for GM to save me as a customer, but they can stop the bleeding with better demand forecasting. So if anyone from GM Sales Operations is reading this… give me a call. 😃