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Opinion
Brooke Sutherland

How Broken Is the Supply Chain? Industrial CEOs Weigh In

Logjams and inflation are key topics on the earnings calls of GE, 3M, Lennox and Raytheon. 

Demand remains robust across the manufacturing economy despite supply bottlenecks.

Demand remains robust across the manufacturing economy despite supply bottlenecks.

Photographer: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Hello! The supply chain is having a moment, so I thought it was worth highlighting the latest in CEO commentary on this busy week for earnings. Enjoy this special edition of Industrial Strength. You’ll get the regular newsletter on Friday as usual. Don’t get the newsletter yet? Sign up here.

No one is immune from supply-chain bottlenecks right now, but some industrial companies are navigating the difficult operating environment better than others. A few brave chief executive officers are ready to call the peak in component shortages and labor challenges, while others are more cautious. Lockheed Martin Corp. shares plunged after it said a moderating outlook for U.S. defense spending, a reset production timeline for the F-35 jet and lengthened delivery times would spoil its sales forecast. But across the commercial manufacturing economy, demand remains robust, and there’s little indication so far that the inflationary impact of the supply-chain stress is making industrial customers rethink purchases. From General Electric Co. and Lennox International Inc. to 3M Co. and Raytheon Technologies Corp., here’s what CEOs had to say about supply-chains, inflation and labor: 

Lennox International Inc. 
“The peak of disruption in our business was August, early September. And we’re now past that peak.” — CEO Todd Bluedorn