For months now due to the chip shortage, yes the same chip shortage that is plaguing the auto manufacturers, computers have been difficult to get with longer wait times after ordering and higher prices. However, we’ve just been informed that the limited supply has more or less dried up. The lead time for new NUC computers from Intel is now six months. We have also noticed that Microsoft Surface laptops are also in short supply with nearly all of them being out of stock with no estimated ship date and one more having a ship date of late September at a significantly higher price than normal.
What do you need to do?
In short, plan well in advance. Computers have a predictable cycle of about 4 years before they start acting up, getting slow and generally not supporting your staff productivity anymore. That’s the easy part. Place those orders 6 months before you need the computer.
The more difficult part is of course, growth. If your business is expanding, and many are, then you need to get those orders in too. This might be a time to keep an extra computer. We generally don’t recommend that, but these are extraordinary times.
Why a chip shortage?
Turns out that there’s 1 plant that makes nearly the entire world supply of one particular chip. That business is located in Taiwan. It was shut down due to covid. But to make matters worse, it also had a fire that destroyed about 1/3 of the plant which also cause it to shut down. As if that wasn’t enough, there is worldwide shortage of silicone which is a key component of many chips.
In my opinion, we need a plant capable of making computer chips in the USA as a matter of national security. I read occasional bits buried inside of other articles that we might be working on one with Intel. This won’t solve our problem overnight but in the long run it should protect us from exposure to shortages. Unfortunately, we don’t possess the technology knowledge so this is a difficult problem to solve. I won’t get into the tensions between China and Taiwan and speculate how that is going to affect this problem. The magic 8 ball says the outlook is not good.
To protect your business from the computer shortages, do this
- Plan six months ahead for hardware failure
- Plan six months ahead for additional growth
- Plan six months ahead for predictable replacements. Ask your tech. We know this number.
About Harbor Computer Services
Harbor Computer Services is an IT firm servicing Southeastern Michigan. We work exclusively under contract with our clients to provide technology direction and either become the IT department or provide assistance to the internal IT they already have. We have won many awards for our work over the years, including the worldwide Microsoft Partner of the Year in 2010. Most recently we were recognized as one of the top MSP’s in the nation by Channel Futures coming in at #40 nationwide. And in 2016 as the top Michigan IT firm for Manufacturing.
There are a few simple things that make Harbor Computer Services the best choice for your business. •We are Professionals •We are Responsible •We care about your business