CompTIA: As COVID-19 hit, the IT supply chain was still very fast

1641465638 CompTIA As COVID 19 hit the IT supply chain was still

In a short time it was difficult to find laptops, monitors, webcams and other work-from-home devices, but the IT supply chain showed its overall flexibility.

Image: iStockphoto / Chaay_Tee

The consumer supply chain for toilet paper, hand sanitizer, cleaning cloths, meat, and many other foods was hampered when the U.S. COVID-19 outbreak hit hard in mid-March , leaving many results still difficult to find in early June. In contrast, however, the IT supply chain suffered some early shortages of home-based products such as laptops, monitors and webcams, but it turns out that relatively hard.

That is the conclusion of a recent CompTIA article, which found that the original concerns about the IT supply chain did not materialize after the hard-core distribution plants in China, where many components and products are manufactured. The article, Why the Supply Chain Tech kept its own during COVID-19, written by Scott Campbell from CompTIA's marketing team, outlined how it was initially expected - since the advent of the coronavirus in China, it has hit the IT supply chain is hard due to the centralization of many IT manufacturers in the sector.

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"But something funny happened along the way, a major shortage of technology products did not materialize," wrote Campbell. Interestingly, a study by the Institute for Supply Chain Management (ISM), which also Non-IT supply chain respondents reported that about 75% of companies reported supply chain disruptions in some capacity between 22 February and 5 March 2022 as the pandemic. however, business location updates from some of the major publicly traded IT distributors including Tech Data and Ingram Micro noted very few supply chain issues in the period, Campbell wrote.

"It was a big surprise that we did not see the disruption in procurement and IT components as much as people expected," said Seth Robinson, director of technology analysis for CompTIA. the global IT supply chain versus the local nature of the consumer supply chain is part of that. "

One lucky break for the IT supply chain was when the pandemic market pressures arrived, mainly affecting finished products that were already well stocked, such as laptops, he said. And when the new equipment went into short supply, many distributors could rely on the sale of refurbished units, which helped the supply chain.

"Demand for already-available products was in high numbers," Robinson said. "It would have been exacerbated by low-availability items. We were seeing pressures in the US IT supply chain, the manufacturer's factories were starting to return online in China, we were starting to see the end of the bubble and things were starting to pick up flowing again. ”

In his story on the impact of the pandemic on the IT supply chain, CompTIA spoke to Frank Vitagliano, President of the Global Technology Circulation Council, a trade association representing 20 of America 's largest IT distributors. Northern Europe and Europe drive more than $ 150 billion a year in industry. Many of the worst IT supply chain problems seem to have been avoided because distributors typically have a four to six week supply of stock to deal with a change in market conditions, he said.

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"So when this hit, it was clear that an inventory was available," Vitagliano told TechRepublic. The investments included finished goods from retail manufacturers, including Dell , HPE, Lenovo, and others, as well as in distribution warehouses and other stores. a place for years. ”

The shortage of IT output that occurred was not due to supply chain issues but came about as a result of staggering demand caused by work - from - home ventures of thousands of struggling businesses at the same time, Vitagliano said. “If a company moves 100 webcams a month and suddenly everyone on the planet wanted a webcam so they could make a Zoom call, yes, that's going to be influencing. Overall, the IT industry has done very well. work in moving towards supporting home-work markets. ”

IT supply chain performance through June provides good evidence of how the IT supply chain will rise in the fall in the event of a second wave of COVID-19 cases and closures, according to Vitagliano. "Every time something like this happens, you learn more about the improvements that are needed. They worked out what needs to be done and what processes they could use to keep them afloat. make sure the supply chain flows. You don't do that overnight. 40 years of learning. "

One thing that is unlikely to increase or change to address IT supply chain issues in the future is investment rates on devices such as laptops and other products, Vitagliano said. “I don't see them gathering these things in the field of technology. This is not like the manufacture of paper towels, where the technology does not change much. You can collect paper towels worth a year and they will never be out of date. completely different in the field of technology with the degree and pace of change. "

At the same time, useful lessons have been learned from the pandemic so far this year, he said, such as how future IT supply chain concerns and issues could be more effectively mitigated.

“Circulators are talking to manufacturers about things like looking at some products within the supply chain where demand may rise unnaturally so they can prepare for that, "Vitagliano said." It's scenario design, but it could go in different ways. "

Circulators have also tackled the pandemic and its pressures by offering financial support to their partners who sell and serve end customers, he said.

"They came from the beginning," he said of the distributors. "That's a message that people need to understand and take to heart."


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