Production delays, shipping logjams complicating efforts to get computers for workers

Production delays, shipping logjams complicating efforts to get computers for workers
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KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 27): Electronics industry experts say the lead times to get commercial desktop computers and other equipment has increased as suppliers shift gears from the scramble for work-from-home setups early in the pandemic to office and hybrid work.

Citing Gartner Inc. research director Mikako Kitagawa, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) on Tuesday (Oct 26) said it would take up to 120 days’ wait for some large enterprises if they have specific components required.

“Right now they are planning to receive the devices in January and February,”

“Generally large corporations are desperate to find the devices,”said Kitagawa.

Gartner said in its preliminary third-quarter assessment that shipments of personal computers in the U.S. fell 8.8% in the quarter from the same period of 2020 despite higher business demand.

That is, in part, because demand from students waned after schools reopened, but also because shortages of components including semiconductors constrained production.

Meanwhile, Citigroup Inc. analyst Jim Suva said it was not only semiconductors.

"It’s also plastic, resin, copper and steel” that are in short supply," he said.

The report said personal-computer manufacturers are betting that more widespread hybrid work, where employees maintain the ability to work from both the office and at home, will keep demand buoyant.

But production of goods like laptops, keyboards and monitors remains constrained as manufacturers compete with each other for chips and other key components, and distribution remains sluggish.

Covid-19-related shutdowns led imports of crucial semiconductor components from Vietnam and Malaysia to fall 36% by August, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. analysts wrote in an Oct. 26 report, adding that they expect the supply of chips “to remain constrained through at least mid-2022.”