It’s no secret that the United States and much of the world are suffering from severe supply chain disruptions as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Some of the issues, like a semi-conductor shortage related to several natural disasters at the biggest manufacturing facilities, are fairly well known, but many of them aren’t.
Whether you’re a private consumer looking to get a new computer, or a business looking to upgrade your IT infrastructure, it’s worth knowing how supply issues are changing the market right now.
How Are Computer Manufacturing Supply Chains Affected?
The biggest problem affecting computer manufacturing supply chains right now is that there are significant bottlenecks in power supply, wifi modules, graphics cards, and other important components. A computer chip shortage is contributing to both graphics card and motherboard shortages and driving the prices up.
When PC manufacturers can’t get the parts they need for their computers, that creates backlogs and means it takes longer for both retailers and consumers to get their products.
Those challenges are driving prices up, and wait times are longer, especially if you need a custom build.
Unfortunately, while some of the bottlenecks are predictable, changes in supply availability every few months have made it harder for manufacturers to get ahead of the problems.
Even though computer demand has also declined in the United States, manufacturers are still having problems keeping up, which means that computer options are limited.
A lot of other technologies are also being affected, like computer servers and data systems. That means that we’re looking at pretty broad-ranging effects, especially since a lot more products have some computer system than they used to.
When Are Supply Shortages Expected To End?
Unfortunately, forecasters are anticipating that the supply chain issues affecting computers and other electronics are likely to continue into 2022. That means we aren’t getting back to normal for a least a few months at least.
The other bad news is that supply chain issues might not be easy to resolve. For one thing, COVID-19 numbers are still relatively high in some areas, and pandemic-related slowdowns are relatively common.
The other problem is that labor shortages in the economy at large mean that some manufacturers may not be able to get back to full capacity even once the primary problems from the pandemic are resolved.
So, supply chain issues in computers and IT issues may be here to stay a lot longer than a few months.
What Should Consumers and Businesses Expect From The Chip Shortage?
The biggest thing consumers and businesses need to remember is that anything that needs a computer chip (which is pretty much anything with computerized features) may be slightly harder to get and a little more expensive than it would have been before the pandemic.
Businesses especially should be prepared for it to be harder to do significant hardware upgrades, and to wait longer for custom IT systems to be built.
Consumers should know that the chip shortage and other supply issues are only going to get worse in consumer goods since both Microsoft and PlayStation are working hard to get chips for their consoles, which is putting pressure on other industries, including PC manufacturers and the auto industry.
In short, this might be a good time to focus on software updates instead of upgrading hardware. The more you can make your existing equipment work, the better off you’re likely to be.
However, if you’re not likely to be able to make your existing equipment work through the end of 2022, it might be better to buy now instead of waiting for manufacturing conditions to improve. To know more, visit Economic Computers today!