Backordered!? - How to Navigate Recent Shortages in Conference Room AV Equipment

yamaha microphones in stock

Backordered!? - How to Navigate Recent Shortages in Conference Room AV Equipment

Although the COVID-19 pandemic appears to be in the rear-view mirror, the effects continue to be felt. Inflation is rampant, businesses are struggling to find labor, and people remain apprehensive about economic recession and geopolitical events.

And one of the most troublesome economic challenges is the ongoing supply chain issues that have affected everything from the availability of vanilla wafers at the grocery store to the length of time your automobile sits at the service center waiting on a replacement part.

Unfortunately, technology seems to be one of the areas most affected by disruptions, particularly when products that use semiconductor chips are involved. The result is a shortage of electronic equipment of all types, including IT equipment and conference room audio.ceiling microphones in stock yamaha

If you’re in the market for conference room A/V equipment but are struggling to find what you need, you likely have two questions in mind: what is causing supply chain issues, and what can I do about it?

An interconnected industry

The ongoing hardware shortage when it comes to electronic equipment has served to shine a light on the reality of how dependent the digital economy has become on partnerships between companies in different countries. A technology company based in the United States, for example, might design a new semiconductor chip, then outsource the manufacturing of that chip to a company in Asia. Once produced, those chips are sent to a company elsewhere around the globe for use in items ranging from automobiles to the aforementioned A/V equipment. As long as factories in all of the countries are up and running, the supply chain hums like a well-oiled machine.

Because of COVID-related shutdowns of factories in China, restrictions on chip exports by the U.S. government, and a host of other issues, the global flow of production has become disrupted. And because most companies operate using a “just-in-time” inventory system, purchasing components only as needed, few have a stockpile of parts on hand. Any disruption in the hardware supply chain means it may only take days for a company to run out of the components they need, bringing production to a halt.

Adding to those challenges, of course, are the labor issues affecting logistics. The news during the summer of 2022 was filled with stories of cargo ships lined up outside U.S. ports for weeks because of a shortage of dock workers to unload those ships and a lack of truck drivers to carry that cargo to its final destination.

As a result, many of the chips needed to manufacture electronics, including A/V equipment, are simply unavailable. That’s one of the main reasons why consumers are scratching their heads and asking themselves, “why is everything out of stock?”

Increased dependence on tech

The pandemic also caused disruptions in the way many businesses operate, and the effects of those disruptions will likely remain with us for years, if not forever. Arguably the biggest disruption was having as many employees as could do work from home.

The move to a remote workforce offered benefits to everyone involved. Businesses saved on office expenses, while many employees were able to achieve a better work/life balance. Businesses saw their workforce become more productive, and staff saved on commuting costs.

Even though the pandemic has begun to fade, both businesses and workers are seeking to hold on to those benefits. Although some workers have begun returning to the office, others are continuing to work from home. Many businesses have adopted a hybrid work model, where employees spend a few days in the office and the rest of the time working from home. And when seeking a new position, many workers have made the ability to work remotely at least part of the time a condition of accepting a job offer.

The way we work has changed, but for a workforce to deliver peak performance, the right tools are a necessity.

Maintaining communication channels

A key component of keeping a business operating efficiently is effective communication. And when staff is scattered across town, across the country, or around the world, that communication becomes even more challenging.

When it comes to equipping company meeting rooms, keeping those communication channels open requires technology including video conferencing software, speakers, microphone systems, and more. For remote workers, tools including desktop computers, webcams, and conference phones are the foundation on which a home office is built.

yamaha video sound bars in stockUnfortunately, the combination of increased demand for communication technology and disruptions in the supply chain has exacerbated the shortage of A/V equipment.  But with these tools being so critical to their operation, what can a company do if everything they need is on backorder?

Here are a few suggestions:

Get started early

For most companies, procuring equipment involves determining what the business needs, choosing a supplier, getting a quote, and placing an order. Getting that order in as quickly as possible can help put a company ahead of others who may be considering purchases of similar equipment.

Consider alternative solutions

Purchasing officers may find that the equipment they desire is on extended backorder. In many cases, though, there may be other models available that may offer similar features. Of course, there may be a difference in price, but a company should weigh that difference with the decreased efficiency that results from not having the equipment at all.

Choose a vendor that has a proven history in the A/V market

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of A/V equipment vendors in the market. It’s only natural, though, for component suppliers to prioritize their biggest customers. What that means is that a well-known equipment vendor with a long history of providing quality A/V solutions is more likely to have equipment in stock than a smaller player. Yamaha is one of those vendors.

Explore your options

The first step in the journey towards outfitting your company with the communication equipment it needs is to seek out the advice of an expert.

With decades of experience in the A/V market, Yamaha Unified Communications is focused on delivering solutions that enhance communication and help organizations reach their business goals. The company’s product line includes conference phones, speaker systems, video conferencing, microphones, speech privacy systems, and more.

If you’re seeking advice about the products that can help create an outstanding communication experience, reach out to the experts at Yamaha UC.