We’re stuck in a painfully sluggish economy. Stifled consumption, overcapacity in shipping, and tumbling raw materials prices all point to the kind of slow growth that doesn’t turn around overnight.
The average person unlocks their smartphone over 100 times a day. So when a shortage of a single component (say, a particular grade of stainless steel) delays a phone’s release, consumers get restless. But did you know the same shortage of stainless steel can also impact the production of critical medical devices—like syringes, sensor probes, or artificial heart valves? Suddenly, the material shortage goes from a first-world inconvenience to a potentially life or death matter.