Has a supply shortage ever made you feel like shooting someone? Well, a certain supply shortage has Utah lawmakers ready to load the state’s rifles.

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You see, as I originally reported back in 2011, there has been a persistent shortage of the chemicals used in lethal injections.  So, because of an apparent “production line shutdown” on death row, state governments are now considering alternate forms of execution of prisoners (such as firing squads) who have been sentenced to death penalties.

In a recent article by NBC News, it was reported that Utah lawmakers “approved a measure that would make firing squad the method of execution in the state if authorities can’t obtain increasingly scarce lethal injection drugs.”  The article quoted a judge who described the usage of guillotines, electric chairs, hanging and gas chambers as other options but concluded that the “firing squad strikes me as the most promising” option.

Sheesh.  It’s a pretty grim thought to hear that a supply shortage – something not uncommon in the procurement world – has compelled educated people to consider such brutal activities.  So, let’s tie this in with circumstances that may be more conventional in your procurement role.

If the most critical goods and services you purchase suddenly became unavailable, what substitutes are available to you? How undesirable are they? What’s your strategy for making sure you can avoid your most undesirable substitutes?

I know that the content of this news item has a chance of making you uncomfortable.  But I didn’t make it up, I’m just sharing it.

Don’t shoot the messenger.


Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3

Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3 is an internationally-recognized business expert, legendary procurement thought leader, award-winning entrepreneur, and provocative blogger. Charles founded the Next Level Purchasing Association in 2000, oversaw its incredible growth, and successfully led the organization to its acquisition by the Certitrek Group in 2016. He continues to blog and provide advisory services for the NLPA on a part-time basis as he incubates his upcoming business innovations. Charles is also the co-author of the wildly popular, groundbreaking book, "The Procurement Game Plan: Winning Strategies & Techniques For Supply Management Professionals."

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