Walick Kemp & Associates Blog
Engineers discussing worldwide supply chain issues while looking at computer

Data centers are under a lot of pressure to maintain uptime and keep companies running smoothly. With ongoing worldwide supply chain issues, it’s becoming increasingly more difficult to get the right parts at the right time, and industries of all kinds are feeling the effects of these delays.

How Did We Get Here?

The supply chain crisis was caused by a number of factors, including the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing global economic downturn. During the lockdown, many businesses were put on pause, thus resulting in lower consumer demand for several industries, and a reduction of industrial activity overall.

In an effort to become more efficient in finding solutions for these unending challenges, businesses have been forced to reevaluate their supply chains. In some cases, this has meant moving production closer to home. However, this is not always possible, depending on the parts needed, so, creativity and flexibility have been critical components as well.

When Will the Delays End?

The data center industry is no stranger to supply chain disruptions. Of course, recent times have presented a dramatic, unmatched increase in these delays.

The question is will the delays end at some point soon, or are we in the midst of a new normal? Experts have differing opinions, but the majority lean toward a bleaker outlook, unfortunately.

With regards to the high impacting, rare, and difficult-to-predict circumstances that can affect supply chain issues, Richard Wilding, professor of supply chain strategy at Cranfield University in the UK, said, “We used to occasionally have black swan events. ​The problem at the moment is we have a whole flock of black swans coming at us.”

In an interview with Wired Media, Wilding went on to explain, “managing a supply chain used to involve 80 percent dealing with predictability and 20 percent coping with surprises, numbers that have now flipped.”

Peter S. Goodman reported in the New York Times with the following commentary: “It will require investment, technology and a refashioning of the incentives at play across global business. It will take more ships, additional warehouses and an influx of truck drivers, none of which can be conjured quickly or cheaply. Many months, and perhaps years, are likely to transpire before the chaos subsides.”

What Can We Do About It?

In unprecedented times such as these, it’s nearly impossible to determine exactly when supply chain issues will return to normal, or at least to a reasonable ebb and flow of supply and demand patterns.

In the interim, data centers’ workflow never stops. Uptime is still just as important as ever. Data center operators are working to build up their own inventories of critical parts and components. By having these parts on hand, data centers can avoid disruptions caused by delays in the supply chain.

In order to counteract inevitable delays, we recommend the following practices:

1. Order your products well before they’re needed – aim for triple the time you would allot for shipping under normal circumstances, if not more.

2. Employ a proactive approach to maintaining your equipment.

3. Manage your assets with monitoring aids to prevent problems from ever happening in the first place! Our Data Center Infrastructure Management Solutions provide real-time insights, empowering you to manage capacities, reduce risks, and increase efficiencies.

While data center operators are taking steps to mitigate the effects of supply chain disruptions, the reality is that issues are here to stay. Our industry, along with most others, will continue to face challenges as it works to keep up with the ever-changing landscape of the global economy.

Partner With Us

Hoping for the best is not a viable strategy, and with technology needs only growing day by day, data centers cannot afford to wait. As your partner, we offer a variety of solutions to help you resolve your data center and power supply needs quickly and efficiently. Contact us today to see how we can help you maintain optimal uptime in spite of shipping delays.

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