In the past few months, shipping delays have become a way of life for almost every industry – and unfortunately, Information Communication Technology is no exception. Particularly when it comes to equipment – such as audio/visual equipment, and security devices – many items are delayed six months to a year beyond the normal wait time.
However, by careful planning at the beginning of the project, many clients are able to reduce wait times or choose alternative products. Here are 3 strategies to make sure your new audio/visual, security, and wireless systems are installed and available to you the day your project finishes.
1. Explore American manufacturers.
Many suppliers have already admitted that it is unlikely that they will be able to catch up with supply chain issues in 2022. The same computer chips that have caused massive delays in the availability of consumers to obtain cars, gaming consoles, and smartphones have also affected many of the electronic products schools, warehouses, airports, are installing in their buildings. Port delays have caused additional problems getting products from overseas.
The solution is to explore the use of lesser-known US manufacturers. BCL IT Consulting works with clients directly to help them research the validity of manufacturers that may not carry a brand name. By asking questions of manufacturers directly, and researching their reputation in the market, BCLL helps ensure clients can get quality products without delays.
2. Craft a single bid package at the beginning of the project.
In the past, when clients were designing or remodeling a building, one strategy could be to specify the “backend” of the ICT system first (think servers, cables to make the wireless system work, security design) and release a phase 1 bid package. Then a second bid package would be released at a later date with the front-end equipment (think televisions, sound systems, etc.). BCL is no longer recommending this strategy.
Instead, because of the extensive delays, BCL now recommends releasing a single bid package as soon as possible to give suppliers plenty of time to obtain the products needed for your project. By specifying all the projects upfront, suppliers have more time to ensure they are able to obtain them.
3. Accept that you might not have the most recent version of every product.
When school districts build a new school or offices remodel their buildings, it is no surprise that everyone wants the “latest and greatest”. However, on many devices, one model back may be much more available without any inconvenience. Particularly with audio/visual equipment, manufacturers may be releasing a new model every six months and the latest upgrades may include benefits like a screen refresh rate that will not be noticeable to the majority of consumers.
BCL IT Consulting works with clients to help identify what accepting older equipment will actually mean for day-to-day use, so they can make educated decisions about if it is worth the wait or not.
Unfortunately, product delays likely won’t be going away any time soon. Even when shipping delays cease, it will take many suppliers many months to catch up with demand.
Whether you are working on a brand-new ICT design for a new building or renovation or simply want some advice on updating your products, BCL IT Consulting can help you ensure the devices you need are installed as quickly as possible.