TECHNOLOGY

Shopping on Black Friday will be complicated by supply disruptions and shortages


Best Buy Global has revealed a curious way to enjoy subscriptions: subscriptions and delays. This week, the company announced a বছরে 200 a year program that promises customers low-cost and exclusive access to hard-to-find devices. Although the new membership includes 24/7 technical support and free shipping, the idea of ​​the availability of guaranteed products may be particularly appealing to buyers as their orders will not arrive on time for the holidays.

The new Best Buy service is a strong reminder that retailers do not expect that supply chain issues, including the lack of global semiconductor chips, will soon go away. In fact, they seem to be getting worse. The supply crisis for petrochemicals, which are used in everything from paints to plastics, has pushed up the prices of all kinds of products. Meanwhile, an emerging energy crisis in China has led to power outages and shutdown of factories, disrupting daily life there. These recent developments are further complicating existing problems with the global supply chain and exacerbating logistical constraints. Combine with the constant shortage of shipping container and truck drivers and the end result is a huge downturn in the delivery of goods.

“You have labor problems. You have problems with empty containers and lack of space on ships. Port congestion in the United States, the availability of trucks, and workers’ problems with warehouse workers. “The whole system has been expanded.”

While retailers are rushing to import products and gadgets they think consumers will want during the holiday shopping season, a growing list of deficits It has made it difficult for them to get enough stock. Now, experts say that with Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday approaching, consumers should expect higher prices, delays and opportunistic sellers. And for the next six months to a year, we won’t see the same kind of product that we’re using, according to Patrick Penfield, a supply chain professor at Syracuse University.

The problem of supply chain is getting worse

Gadgets are especially vulnerable to shortages because they contain a variety of components. Consider all the parts that go into a PlayStation 5 or a new laptop, including their chips, outer shell and screen. Many of these components require their own specialized manufacturing facilities, which are usually in different factories and often in different countries. In order to deliver a device in a timely manner, all these parts need to be made in sync. At the moment, it’s not happening.

“Many of those working on the subject don’t realize how diverse all the components that go into the supply chain are,” Willie Sheeh, a professor of business administration at Harvard, told Ricode in August. “They don’t realize I need a capacitor. They don’t realize that I need a power management chip. They don’t realize I need an inductor. ”

In countries where many products are actually produced and assembled, the demand for these ingredients has increased against efforts to control Covid-1 contain. Amid recent Delta variant outbreak in Malaysia and nationwide lockdown, Government-designated electronics manufacturers do critical business so that production can continue. In May, Vietnam directly vaccinated factory workers, while smartphone makers operating in the country, such as Samsung, called for the same to be done. (Vietnam’s Covid-1 challenges did not go away: This past weekend, thousands of workers fled the country’s commercial center as the government, still struggling to access the vaccine, lifted the epidemic lockdown ban.)

Now, power outages designed to control energy use in China are increasingly complicating electronics production. This situation is the result of various inter-divided problems including global fossil fuel prices; Disputes between China and Australia, one of the country’s major suppliers of coal; And China’s efforts to prevent pollution ahead of the Winter Olympic Games. As a result, electricity connections have had a devastating effect on people’s daily lives and some homes and classrooms have been left without electricity and water.

China’s energy crisis has forced many factories, including Apple, Dell, Tesla and Microsoft to shut down or reduce production. Meanwhile, the country’s machinery manufacturers and car manufacturers are tackling the metal shortage after running a limited metal shortage. Power shortages are similarly hampering the companies responsible for chip packaging, chip testing and phone assembly.

On top of all this, the lack of petrochemicals, which are derived from oil, It makes it harder and more expensive to produce all kinds of products, including paints, adhesives, and food packaging. In recent weeks, the price of the chemical polyvinyl chloride used to make plastics has risen by 70 percent. Without that raw material, manufacturers of everything from credit cards to medical devices to cars are having a harder time keeping up with production.

“What will happen is that a phone will be delayed because they are waiting for their plastic supplier, and the plastic supplier is waiting for the material,” said Penfield, a professor at Syracuse. “It only takes one supplier – and it can be your material supplier – to completely destroy your supply chain.”

There are many reasons for disruptions in petrochemical production, but some are associated with companies that have yet to recover from winter storms in Texas and several recent hurricanes along the Gulf Coast. This interrelationship shows how extreme weather is causing unpredictable wave effects in many industries as a result of climate change.

Think anew about the holiday season

All of these problems mean that consumers are seeing rising prices and shipping delays for a wide range of products. So those looking forward to the holiday shopping season may want to start early, not in consumer electronics. As Vox’s Terry Nguyen reported last month, almost everything people want to buy for the holidays seems to be weak in the global supply chain:

Here is an incomplete list of consumer goods that have suffered backorders, delays and shortages: new clothes, school supplies, bicycles, pet food, paint, furniture, cars, technical gadgets, children’s toys, household appliances, wood, semiconductor chips Something like that, even fast food staples like chicken wings, ketchup packets, taco bells, Starbucks cake pops, and McDonald’s milkshakes (for now).

“Most likely, there will be some shortage of certain products during the holiday season,” said Sekin Ozkul of the University of South Florida Supply Chain Innovation Lab. “So, if consumers know what they want to buy for their loved ones during the holiday season, now is a good time to do it.”

In addition to buying early and paying more, there are other ways to adapt to customers. Consumers should buy products that are not their first choice, as some items like the PlayStation 5 will probably be in short supply until next year. When shopping online, it can be valuable to see if there are carbide pick-up options in local stores. (A helpful tool for this is Google Shopping, which can include information on what items are in stock at nearby retailers.)

Another strategy is to avoid online shopping altogether and to shop around, in the old fashioned way. Large chains such as Walmart and Home Depot have the resources to rent their own cargo ships and their items seem less likely to go out. Best Buy, of course, expects some people to consider paying $ 200 to secure access to in-demand products, although the company has not shared which products will be included in that program.

Regardless of the way customers prepare, they will not assume that the supply chain problem will be resolved before the holidays. Looking at how easily deficits logically outweigh other deficits, it doesn’t seem like a deadline.



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