Technology shortage hits cities, businesses and consumers

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SALISBURY, MD – Microchip shortages across the country have resulted in high prices and long wait times for electronic devices such as computers, laptops, servers, network switches and their components. Salisbury’s technology solutions company Inacom tells us consumers that the best approach is to give up brand loyalty and work with any compatible product and in stock. However, for businesses and critical infrastructure systems, parts are very specific, low in stock and overdue.

“We have power supplies and batteries that power the server racks that have failed, we are running a backup at the police department, these are all critical servers,” said Bill Garrett, director of information services at Salisbury. .

Garret says many infrastructure systems in Salisbury face the same challenges and force the city to rely on supply reserves and emergency systems to keep them online.

“We had a battery that died out in one of our water treatment plants, we are still waiting for the delivery of the ones they guess around January, and in the meantime, we had to tap into our own. backups, ”he said. .

Garrett tells us that the shortage has also affected the supply of workstations for the city government, with the city only receiving 39 computers in the week that had been out of stock for 3 months. The $ 50,000 order dates back to 2020 and would likely have cost as much as 20% more if it had been ordered more recently, Garrett said.

He says the city was able to use the legacy equipment during the delay period, but that too comes at a cost.

“These machines that are supposed to be taken out of service at the end of their life, we have the option of leaving them limping until replacements arrive, but that puts a strain on resources and our inventory,” said Garret.

But it’s not just governments and localities facing a shortage, businesses looking to upgrade their server systems or workstations face longer waits and a closing window for tax incentives on upgrades. at technological levels that must be operational by the end of the year to be eligible.

Inacom in Salisbury strives to provide these services to businesses, building workstations, servers and switches for businesses to run on site. Incaom executive vice president Travis Fisher tells us the wait time for these services has increased, in part because of the number of different components they require.

“We might need 8 hard drives, we might need 6 sticks of RAM, we might need two processors and if we can’t get those parts the new computer won’t work.” Fisher said, adding, “Years ago we could get equipment the next day, if we needed it, it was okay, but now for some projects we spend three to four weeks in assemble equipment.

Fisher tells us that while long wait times can deter customers and businesses from upgrading, that’s actually the best reason to order new products. He says you don’t want to be stuck with a broken machine and potential weeks before services are restored.

He says his company bought as much inventory as possible to deal with such emergencies. “The most expensive computer to replace is the one that’s dead, so it’s absolutely critical that we can replace a system for some on the same day,” Fisher said.

For consumers, Fisher recommends shopping and purchasing equipment for the most performance and to ensure technology that will “stand the test of time” for the next 3-6 years of workflow.

He says Black Friday can be a great way to pick up these products, as retailers have also tried to hold on to as much inventory as possible in anticipation of the holiday rush. He expects the hottest items to be Lenovo and HP workstations.


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