I wanted to share a couple of thoughts on the current manufacturing and supply issues around semi-conductors.
It really is a significant problem at the moment – you know it’s bad when it reaches the mainstream media; just the other day I read in The Times newspaper that a couple of UK start-ups are in danger of going out of business as they can’t secure the supply of the chips they need, with the much larger multi-nationals hoovering up all availability.
I don’t see this situation being quickly and easily resolved, which is why my advice is for you to take action sooner rather than later to ensure these problems don’t affect you too badly.
Both our manufacturing partners are now warning of very long lead times on NAND Flash with one of our partners being told to order now if they need any more NAND Flash delivered before the end of 2021!
Unsurprisingly this supply and demand issue is also pushing up prices, which is something else to be aware of.
More worryingly, longer lead times and higher prices seem to be spreading much wider in the industry, with even plastics now being impacted.
I don’t have a cast-iron solution for you, except to say that whichever suppliers you currently work with to procure your electronic components, I would strongly recommend providing them with forecasts as far out as you can.
As a supplier, I know that the further in advance our customers inform us of their needs, the better we’re placed to manage their supply chain and I know it’ll be the same for other suppliers – hopefully with good communication we can all keep supplying and manufacturing for the rest of 2021 and into 2022.
If there’s anything we can do to help you in this regard, just let us know.