Unless you have been living in complete isolation the past year you have heard and experienced the challenges in getting products in a timely manner. From toilet paper to automobiles, we have all experienced the frustration of purchasing a product only to find out that the lead times are longer than we expected. Supply chains are still playing catchup following the pandemic and with holiday season looming, more strain could be on the way. With issues from manufacturing to shipping, to trucking, to labor shortages the problems are many and are not going to be resolved anytime soon.
The economic disruption associated with the COVID-19 epidemic did not cause our supply-chain weaknesses — it only revealed them. American consumers, like many others around the world, quickly changed some of their patterns and habits, shifting their purchases toward durable goods and taking their business online, away from brick-and-mortar retailers, much more quickly and substantially than had been expected. That has consequences on both sides of the trade ledger. Both U.S. imports and exports are up, and the worldwide trade in physical goods is expected to climb by 8 percent in 2021.
Unfortunately, the world of technology has not been spared from supply chain disruption, at the heart of the computer shortage is the need for semi-conductors. The high-end chips are primarily made in east Asia which has been hit hard by Covid causing factory shutdowns. People working from home have needed laptops, tablets and webcams to help them do their jobs, this increase in demand coupled with the shipping challenges has made getting electronics in a timely manner very challenging.
Ordinarily, we’d expect to see typical lead times of two or three weeks on laptop and desktop PCs, but we’re currently seeing anything between 6 and 10 weeks – and these lead times seem to be going up rather than down. Basically, the best solution is simply to plan further ahead than you’d normally need to. If you’re refreshing laptops in January, you might want to order them now and beat the holiday rush.
While this is a serious situation, which is affecting all IT providers, it is manageable. With careful planning, open communication, and teamwork, we can help you get the equipment you need.