Over the past 24 months, purchasing business-class technology has been hit and miss. Since the pandemic started, laptops and anything associated with working from home continues to be in high demand. As a business owner or administrator, how does the pandemic impact your organization on the technology procurement side of the 2022 supply chain issues?
Well, for starters, equipment continues to be in short supply with long lead times. At the same time, component shortages (motherboards, memory chips and other components) can delay warranty service and repairs.
To help you plan, we came up with three tips for surviving the next few years, as we don’t see this clearing up any time soon.
Planning ahead is the best thing you can do for your business and sanity. Thinking of hiring a new person six months from now? Order the computer now so you have it ready for them when they start. Thinking of building a new office or moving into a new space the next year? Consider ordering the networking infrastructure well in advance. It is better to stockpile the gear a few months rather than delaying opening your new facility because the Wi-Fi access points are back-ordered three months.
If you are moving or building a new office, the network cabling needed to wire your new building is also in short supply. Addressing the quantities of network cabling needed well in advance will ensure your project keeps moving along. It’s not just network cabling – be sure to check with all your suppliers on the parts needed to open your facility. Even the refrigerator for the break room might be hard to find!
Worried about over-purchasing? Don’t be. Because of the current inventory situation, you can easily resell the equipment on an auction site if you no longer need it. Demand for slightly used and new equipment is strong and name brand equipment sells quickly for good prices.
While we don’t normally recommend stocking inventory of technology equipment (it still ages in dog years), we do currently recommend stocking inventory of critical equipment in case of failure or sudden business growth. Stocking a complete desktop system (system unit, monitors and other necessary peripherals) and a complete laptop system (laptop, docking station, monitors and other necessary peripherals) is a good way to have peace of mind in unforeseen situations.
Along the lines of keeping your own inventory, we recommend you keep spares for existing equipment. Even if a system is under warranty, repair parts could be weeks delayed, so having spare systems your staff can use while you wait for repairs can make life a lot easier. Spare systems can consist of older equipment set aside for spares or purchased systems in boxes ready to go.
Additionally, we recommend keeping at least one spare network switch on hand in case one of your switches fails. Again, you may have your production switches under warranty, but the part required to fix a broken switch could be delayed. Having a spare will make all the difference in a delayed replacement situation.
We hope these tips keep you in the right mindset regarding equipment purchases and the 2022 supply chain issues for the next few years. Need more help in planning your technology roadmap? We’ll be here, ready to help.