Supply Chain Delays and Disruptions: What’s the Hold Up?
Whether you’re noticing the shelves are bare at your local grocer or you’re still waiting on that online order you placed weeks ago, supply chain issues have become a disruption for all. With these issues creating a state of chaos for some, the AV industry has definitely felt the impact and is adapting as best it can to reduce project delays and possible work stoppages. When you look beyond the headlines, a variety of issues are behind the current supply chain disruptions and with some better planning and preparation on your part, you hopefully won’t have to wait till 2023 to launch your next AV project.
Reasons for delays
Influx of Consumer Shopping
With the pandemic and the rise in remote work causing many to spend more time at home, consumer demand for technology has only increased. Zoom and other video conferencing platforms have increased the need for reliable microphones, PTZ cameras, and other AV technology, putting additional pressure on manufacturers to maintain consumer inventory levels while also trying to keep up with demands from AV integrators and suppliers.
Issues with Manufacturer
Manufacturers are navigating various issues that are impacting their ability to manufacture at rates seen prior to the pandemic. These issues include factory shutdowns due to pandemic related safety issues and labor shortages making it difficult to operate at full capacity. Many AV manufacturers are also having issues acquiring certain parts or elements for their technology, holding up the overall process even further. Since many components are in high demand, major technology companies and buyers may receive priority when these components become available, forcing other companies to wait and experience longer delays.
Ports of Entry
An increase in demand means more cargo ships are making their way into our ports of entry. Many ports are experiencing similar issues to other businesses during the pandemic, including slowing or stopping operations due to safety concerns and a decrease in the labor force causing them to reduce their operating capacity. These issues result in massive traffic jams with container ships waiting in lines outside of ports of entry, increasing the delays on already delayed goods.
Rules and regulations
Vaccine mandates and border restrictions have made it more difficult for truckers to cross the Canada-U.S. border, causing freight prices to rise and increasing delays and shipping capacity for items coming from the U.S. On January 15th, new rules were put into place that require border control to turn away unvaccinated U.S. truckers at the border. With the American Trucking Association reporting that only 50-60% of U.S. truckers are vaccinated, freight companies will need to increase the rates for cross-border truckers or offer incentives for new drivers, meaning these additional costs will be passed onto the consumer.
From major floods to arctic cold, mother nature has been another major disruptor to the supply chain. In November 2021, British Columbia experienced record-breaking rainfall that led to flooding and landslides that cut off travel routes and impacted North America’s third largest trade hub in Vancouver. Last week, Ontario and Quebec dealt with their biggest winter storm of the season, with some areas receiving 48 centimeters of snow, causing parking restrictions and severe travel delays. Theses occurrences cause delays that can last anywhere from weeks to months and have major implications on the flow of goods throughout the country.
What can you do?
To mitigate any issues with upcoming integrations, you need to start planning now and place your orders as soon as possible. We are finding that it can take up to six months for orders to arrive and currently offer this advice for our clients when setting our project timelines: plan for the worst, hope for the best.
With that in mind, it is more important than ever to work with an experienced AV integrator or specialist to ensure your install stays on schedule and help navigate the challenges brought on by these supply chain delays and disruptions. Relaying on the industry experience and relationships of an industry expert like Hillman AV will put you in the best position to work through these current issues and start reaping the benefits of your planned technology integrations.