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Technology Delays Hurting Offices and Other Businesses

Time to update tech equipment? Good luck finding it at a reasonable cost. It’s taking up to 120 days to deliver some types of commercial computers.

NEW YORK – Companies eager to bring employees back to the office have a problem: Delayed delivery of some office equipment could postpone those returns even more. The backlog for getting commercial desktop computers and other equipment is reportedly surging.

“We are looking at up to 120 days’ wait for some large enterprises if they have specific components required, and right now they are planning to receive devices in January and February,” Mikako Kitagawa, a research director at Gartner Inc., told The Wall Street Journal. “Generally, large corporations are desperate to find devices.”

Despite high demand, shipments of personal computers in the U.S. dropped 8.8% in preliminary third-quarter data compared to the same period in 2020, according to Gartner. Tech giants like HP Inc. report a growing backlog of unfilled orders.

Semiconductors, plastic, resin, copper and steel – all used in computer manufacturing – are in short supply. Desktops, laptops, keyboards and monitors are all affected. Manufacturers expect the supply of semiconductor chips – a product traditionally made overseas rather than in the U.S. – to remain constrained through at least mid-2022.

Factory closures in Southeast Asia, power-supply issues in China and slower production are also limiting shipments.

Source: “Return to Office Meets Supply-Chain Snarls,” The Wall Street Journal (Oct. 26, 2021) [Log-in required.]

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