Learn how Covid has disrupted the IT supply chain

A recent survey of 200 IT professionals revealed that 90% of them were having trouble with their supply chain. The issues range from procuring hardware to managing software licenses and everything in between. These problems aren’t isolated to one group of people either; they were universal across the board. From the CIO to the Help Desk Technician, there was at least one thing in the IT supply chain that wasn’t working properly and had everyone scrambling for solutions.

Problem 1 – Gap Between Actual Demand and Forecasted Demand

Forecasted demand doesn’t always match actual demand. If you have too much inventory sitting in your storage area, it will be either lost or used up at a rate that is different from what you had forecasted. To solve, try using analytical techniques to predict what types of components will be needed in future projects. Start by collecting data about which components are most frequently purchased for each kind of project. You can then use statistical methods like neural networks and support vector machines to determine whether one component might be more strongly associated with success than another—and act accordingly when placing orders. This way, if certain components are consistently purchased together because they work best together, you won’t spend money on surplus stock of one component while running short on others. Instead, you’ll automatically buy all necessary components simultaneously.

Problem 2 – Shortage of qualified personnel

With their traditional purchasing system, customers were still relying on paper-based order forms and fax machines to submit purchase orders. As a result, orders would often get lost or delayed which meant late deliveries and unhappy customers. But with new cloud-based technology, anyone can access real-time information about an organization’s inventory so they can be sure that critical parts are always available when needed. And thanks to automated replenishment features like schedule reordering and trigger-based notifications, there is no need for manual intervention ensuring timely ordering of replacement supplies before they run out. This streamlined process also helps reduce lead times for orders by eliminating manual steps that often introduce errors into the process. In addition, suppliers benefit from shorter lead times as manufacturers receive electronic orders at any time instead of once per day or once per week depending on batching schedules.

In addition to quickening delivery cycles, digital procurement systems reduce costs across all stages of a supply chain. Since these systems allow purchases to be made directly from manufacturers who may have a lower cost of goods than third party distributors, users can realize savings on both unit prices and overall supply chain costs by minimizing multiple handling fees.

Problem 3 – Inefficient supplier procurement process

A typical business-to-business (B2B) company buys products and services for its operations from third parties. The purchasing process for buying these supplies is inefficient. Currently, businesses have to deal with multiple suppliers to fulfil their orders. Suppliers make bids on orders, with each supplier’s history of price fluctuation, lead time, delivery performance, etc. This makes it difficult for companies to find suppliers that are willing to work with them at a fair price point while ensuring that orders are fulfilled on time. Orders require management and coordination efforts across various departments like Procurement, Sales and Operations, or Finance. It becomes even more complex when buyers need to place separate purchase orders for separate items from different suppliers through different channels such as direct buy, online marketplace, or auctions. In many cases, there is no consolidated view of all purchase orders across all channels. Financial statements will show large numbers of outstanding purchase orders which may include out-of-stock products or higher quantities than needed. Inventory levels increase with excess stock levels in warehouses, which increases transaction costs related to picking goods off shelves. All of these reduce efficiency throughout an organisation.

Problem 4 – Manufacturer Chip shortage

With manufacturers like TI and Qualcomm running on 2-3 week lead times, it’s becoming harder to find chips for your prototype. The result is that many end users like yourself are having trouble getting a working chip to start testing and prototyping with. This places them in a tough spot as they need to create an end product on time without having final chips. Many manufacturers have resorted to sourcing an alternative provider overseas which can take 3-4 weeks on top of already long lead times from US suppliers. This situation doesn’t appear to be improving either; there is no word on when manufacturing will return back to normal, especially with Chinese New Year right around the corner. How does supplier disruption impact you? No ETA’s: If you don’t have a solid timeline from your manufacturer to know when delivery will occur, it becomes difficult for other teams within your company to coordinate their schedule. Planning retail sales or release dates become impossible without knowing if you’ll actually receive parts or not. Further delays can cause serious problems between business partners who now may hold multiple events/exhibitions etc. but now run into issues due to lack of hardware. Ramp Up Time: Even once you do receive components it takes additional time and money (for custom assembly) before mass production begins and you can actually begin selling your goods to customers.

What the future holds and getting access to stock

Supply ChainIn recent years, companies have been able to make informed decisions about future demands by looking at past orders from suppliers. This enabled them to develop accurate forecasting and build a resilient supply chain. One of our key aims is to provide a single source of truth for their clients’ data. Once they’ve pulled together all orders from suppliers, clients can then gain valuable insights into potential future demand. Companies can run planning scenarios based on historical data and other contextual information such as business conditions. They also no longer need to place multiple calls to multiple people or systems in order to find out what stock levels are at supplier locations. This results in reduced lead times and improved flexibility in managing their supply chains because companies will know exactly what needs transporting when it’s needed. By streamlining communications between buyers and sellers, we help both parties better understand where orders fall down in real-time. That means getting buy-in early, using analytics to manage volume fluctuations (stock outs), seeing who’s impacting delivery dates (or manufacturing lines) most often—and being able to share that data throughout their supply chain ecosystem.

While doing so enables greater visibility throughout entire supply chains, you only get buy-in when you give buyers access to detailed data that helps them improve operations. We help companies find answers by giving their team instant access to live data about suppliers’ stock levels and all ongoing orders—allowing them to streamline communications between multiple stakeholders in real time. This means getting buy-in early, being able to proactively prevent stock outs, finding answers more quickly—and being able to share that knowledge within their supply chain ecosystem.

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