The umpteenth story about Covid-19 and the chip crisis?

By now, the worst shockwaves caused by Covid-19 have ebbed away, although the contamination rate is again heading in the wrong direction. However, its impact on global supply chains is painfully felt. There has been a run on components for electronic equipment, not least because of the explosive demand for workplaces, central IT and security solutions to ensure the progress of the "office" business and thus a large part of the economy.

At the same time, the economy is facing itself by not being able to meet demand. The world then struggles with scarcity, long lead times and empty shelves in warehouses. It is not only the IT world that suffers from a chip shortage. Everywhere where ICs and semiconductors are used in products (and where they are not these days) things are very wrong. The production of cars to game consoles, but also health equipment, for example, has been seriously affected.

But there is much more going on: stagnant transport, production backlog in factories, lack of raw materials, higher energy prices, insufficient staff, etc. all create a domino effect with major consequences that will also be felt in the longer term. Not to mention the evil tongues who claim that the resulting scarcity may have been created as a result of deteriorating relations between the US and China...

These are circumstances that, on a global scale, no one has ever had to deal with. It is therefore not so surprising that for the most part answers and solutions are not forthcoming. And that in a world that is increasingly dependent on IT and revolves around data and information on the basis of which business decisions have to be made. (Customer data, client data, system data, industry data, weather data, etc.).

So the question is how to fill these gaps. Because what is the best purchase advice if the desired solution is simply not available or has a much higher price in the market than before? In fact, they are all less desirable choices, but they are dictated by the situation that has arisen.

Is that an option to wait a while before purchasing? For most customers this is a very temporary option. Because if your business depends on the desired product, this choice will not last long. Moreover, the main question is how long that "just" will be in reality. It is expected that in some cases scarcity can last for 12 months or more. Even with the good initiatives to build new chip factories in Europe (to be much less dependent on Asia, as it turns out), it will certainly take another 2 years before those factories are there and months more before they can start production. .

As long as production capacity does not increase, demand will continue to exceed supply and there will be no end in sight to the scarcity. A slightly more optimistic view on scarcity could be that due to the lack of supplies, demand will flatten out on its own. However, we expect that the demand for information-intensive solutions and related equipment will only continue to increase in the IT sector. With IoT and AI applications as the main drivers.

Still buying at a much higher price? If the need is high, this is one of the least bad options. You get what you need, only at a higher price than you originally intended to spend. And this option means you don't have to spend extra to customize your solution, pay tuition fees for working with other equipment, and adjust manuals and instructions.

Another option remains: Purchase the comparable product, which is available. A well-known Dutch saying is: Unknown makes unloved. But in times of scarcity, the unknown could sometimes make you very loved. An almost identical product, but with slightly different specifications. We as MiniDis are busy with this last option. Looking for available alternatives and advising on next best solutions. To continue the business of our partners. Recent examples are the Intel products from DMP and the Minix devices. Both brands that we have had in our product range for some time, and are certainly not unknown to us.

So if you have specific wishes that cannot be fulfilled because your favorite mini-PC is not available? Let us know!
  Hans Noort     22-12-2021 10:57     Comments ( 0 )
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