Parts shortages

We’ve noticed this over the past week. Have a number of new orders, and suddenly, memory is hard to find. And prices have jumped dramatically.
From /.

Japan’s natural disasters and nuclear crisis have already caused silicon wafer shortages that are rippling through the global supply chain of semiconductors for everything from your garden variety PC to the biggest Google server farm. The earthquake and tsunami in Japan have shut down 25 percent of the global semiconductor raw materials production, threatening to cause shortages and price hikes in everything from smartphones to supercomputers

We do just-in-time builds, we tend to keep inventory down.
Global supply and demand folks, the economy is operating as it should. When you have shortages, pricing rises through channel to market. There is little we can do about this. We have some memory supply (the parts giving us issues now), and CPUs aren’t a problem. I do expect some disk drive issues soon, and possibly some Flash shortages (all with components from Japan as well as other locations).

2 thoughts on “Parts shortages”

  1. Ah good old “JIT”, I remember when I worked in a research lab in the UK they converted from having on site supplies to a just-in-time service which rapidly became known as just-too-late as generally when you needed something you needed it right then, not in a couple of days when their next order arrived.. 🙁
    Easily solved for those sorts of things by nipping into town to buy it in the local shops (not an option open in this case!).
    Interestingly that was around the same time as the Kobe earthquake, with similar consequences..
    Not reflecting on your choice here Joe, you can’t afford to stockpile parts just in case.

  2. @Chris
    One of the side effects of inventory are long term price changes. We do stock enough for service and support. One time we had a sizable stock of 750 GB SATA II disks, for which we paid about $450USD/drive when they came out. We wound up selling them for about $350USD/drive later on. That was pretty painful.
    Generally we have enough for common service bits in stock, but rarely for large orders. There are price fluctuations, and changes on time scales of days.
    Have quite a few orders in flight right now, so we notice this even more. That and one of our customers has a power quality issue, and they keep blowing components.

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