By now you may have heard in the news that automakers including GM, Ford, and others are struggling to maintain production output. And they are challenged with keeping vehicles on dealer lots. Entire assembly plants have been the subject of repeated shutdowns. This is due to a global shortage of semiconductors, also known as chips. From toasters to cars, chips are in nearly everything that we buy and provide the features and functionality that we as consumers demand. These chips are responsible for everything from the heavy computational tasks in your computer to playing the siren noises in your child’s toy fire truck. You know the one that goes off fifteen times in a row while you are in an online meeting; yeah, that one.

chip shortage

It is difficult to picture the sheer volume of goods that were in demand globally before the coronavirus pandemic. Manufacturing and supply chains designed for pre-pandemic volumes were unable to keep up with the sudden demand for computers and other electronic devices that facilitated our transition to working and playing at home. Compounding these problems are delays and shutdowns at major ports due to strict disinfection policies following the detection of positive cases among port employees.

Although we are now 18 months into the pandemic, the ripple effect from the initial shock to production and shipping challenges continues to be felt and is expected to continue into 2023.  A typical laptop computer is assembled from a dozen main components, with parts like motherboards comprised of hundreds of smaller components brought in from a variety of manufacturers. All of these tiny components face their own production and shipping delays before they are integrated into the final product. Some component shortages are so severe that we are seeing products simply being discontinued and redesigned. Unfortunately, for us this means that what used to take a few days to a week to bring in now takes upwards of six to eight weeks, sometimes longer depending on the product.

At Smart Dolphins, we are bringing in what we can when it becomes available. We encourage growing businesses to consider ordering an extra computer or two to have on hand. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us.

Learn more at: arsTECHNICA.