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Winter 2021 Supply Chain Update

From getting the necessary parts to assemble devices to getting orders on trucks for final delivery, every step in the supply chain process for technology products has been strained and slowed by the burden of the COVID-19 pandemic. With new disruptions to the process now affecting the availability of devices not only within our store but with electronics manufacturers nationwide, we at abode thought it important to provide a comprehensive update on the current supply chain situation as things may be intermittently in and out of stock over the coming weeks.

Securing Parts 
The record-setting online shopping done in the midst of the 2020 pandemic created a significant backlog of the critical electronic components and parts necessary for production of technology products. The current shortage of critical components presently available is now impacting future orders, making it increasingly  difficult to source the necessary quantity of parts needed to produce finished products.

Getting Devices to our Distribution Center
US ports currently face an unprecedented volume of ships. The backups caused by this increased shipping volume add significantly to the time it takes for overseas orders to arrive at domestic distribution centers. For example, a shipment that left our manufacturer in November finally arrived at our distribution center in February, doubling the time this step typically takes.

From the distribution center to You
Due to the high rate of online shopping done during the pandemic, distribution centers are busier than ever before. As a result, typical processing times for in-stock items have moved from 1-2 business days to 3-5. Additionally, the channels in place to get goods from distribution centers to consumers (UPS, FedEx, USPS) are also experiencing delays due to limited staff and high shipping volume.

Why is this happening now?
Most brands had their inventory ordered and produced through the end of 2020 a while back. This allowed brands and their manufacturers to keep up with demand that far outpaced expectations. That inventory stockpile is now depleted, but orders placed with manufacturers to restock inventory mid-pandemic have not yet been delivered, for each of the reasons listed above.

How is abode handling the delays?
Rest assured, we at abode are doing everything in our power to work through these delays. We continue to send inventory requests to our manufacturer months in advance and have begun sending shipments to our distribution center via air in order to bypass the backlog at ports.  We don’t yet know when things will return to normal but estimations within the industry are that part manufacturers will catch up to demand around Q3 2021. In the meantime, we will continue doing everything in our power to minimize disruption to your orders.

News On These Issues

New York Times – Lack of Tiny Parts Disrupts Auto Factories Worldwide
Bloomberg – Carmakers Face $61 Billion Sales Hit From Pandemic Chip Shortage
WSJ Supply-Chain Delays Hit Retailer Restocking Efforts
S&P GlobalRetailers to face continued pandemic-induced supply chain pain well into 2021
FreightWaves – Inside California’s colossal container ship traffic jam

Stewart Grant

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