Regardless of location or industry, since the COVID-19 pandemic began in early 2020, supply chains across multiple sectors have been impacted. Products have been delayed weeks, months, or even up to a year. Products could have a three-month lead time, and the week they arrive, the manufacturer may push the ship date back two months. Factories have been affected not only by COVID itself, impacting workers, but by trade wars, extreme weather, and fires.
In particular, the AV world has been significantly impacted by supply chain delays. In the beginning, delays were attributed to chip and epoxy shortages. Currently, AV/IT vendors are impacted by the unpredictability of lead times. Vendors are currently at the whim of their vendors/manufacturers waiting on parts delaying control systems, audio processors, and wireless microphones. As parts of orders arrive, warehouse space becomes constrained for both AV vendors and their manufacturers.
To combat ever-changing lead times, one company decided to place a large order of items they often supply to their clients and store them in their warehouse. This foresight has helped them combat lead times and prepare for future business and distinguish themselves by already having products in stock. Unfortunately, this preparation does not work for all products, some products need to be registered and assigned to a certain client, but for the most part, ordering products ahead, communicating up-front the nature of the lead times, and anticipating client needs helps the AV vendors be prepared in the ever-changing environment.