Although manufacturers are making significant efforts to address the equipment shortage, some have not yet been able to overcome the situation.
In 2022, the recovery after the pandemic was affected by the shortage of equipment in all sectors of the technology industry, a problem that broadcast was no stranger to. It should be remembered that the lack of equipment was due to the lack of components due to the closures in China to face the pandemic, the main manufacturer of microchips, in addition to problems in the ports for the import of products.
To find out what the outlook is for this situation in 2023, we spoke with industry players in different countries, who told about their experience.
Ricardo López, President of Pinnacle Group, explained in detail the origin of this situation: "Covid, without a doubt, caused disruptions in the supply chain and production around the world, leading to a shortage of components and materials necessary for the manufacture of products. Transportation and logistics issues, travel restrictions, and increased demand for freight transportation led to problems at ports and shipping routes, causing delays and increases in shipping prices."
He added that increased demand for certain products, such as technology for remote work and online entertainment (streaming), also contributed to the shortage due to a lack of production capacity to meet that demand. Some manufacturers experienced disruptions to their own production due to a lack of labor or the adoption of social distancing measures.
For his part, José Cadavieco, CEO of Vidiexco, stressed that this situation was seen coming from the end of 2021, just after reopening the market everyone wanted to buy, wanted to have and a lot of distortion was seen in the purchase forecasts, in addition to price increases due to lack of availability. All the manufacturers thought that maybe this was going to be the new bonanza.
"By 2023, the end of 2022, the descent of the wave was already beginning to be felt. And we can see how certain products begin to be normally available and in some cases there is even excess inventory. I see in 2023 already quite regularized, I do not think that in 2004 we will be the same. I think we are living a new normal, which requires a more conscientious investment in inventory and manufacturing and from this we have all learned, "he added.
In this regard, Edson Marion, president of Merlin Distribuidora, indicated that "the effect has been normalizing little by little, but it persists even for some brands more than others. In our role, we have worked closely with brands to lose the least amount of business, aligning product strategy with demand, in order to maximize sales. This forced us to take inventory risks to supply in the shortest possible time the great demand that increased as businesses were closed thanks to the reactivation of many of the projects that were dammed by the effect of the pandemic".
Edson Marion highlighted that as a result of all the efforts and support of the factories they distribute, they managed to have a significant double-digit growth in 2022, and recovered the level of sales prior to the pandemic. "These excellent results keep us motivated and invite us to continue creating the best strategies according to market demands to continue with the same momentum."
In the case of the industry in Peru, Carlos Anciburo, general manager of Telvicom of Peru, mentioned that the impact on manufacturers, many of them leaders in the industry, caused business development to be very slow today.
"According to the information to which we have had access, in the current year 2023 a similar situation will also arise, but that must be progressively improved until reaching the normal times of pre-pandemic, which is what we all want," he said.
Daniel Ramírez, commercial and engineering director of Comtelsat, stressed that this situation in Mexico "mainly affected projects with government institutions, stopping investments, because it was impossible to have the equipment in the times that the procurement laws. Although, apparently, in 2023 delivery times have improved we still do not get the dynamics that the industry needs. "
For his part, Juan Carlos Medina, general manager of Viewhaus, also from Mexico, stressed that "We had many affectations for this issue, however, we had information that this was happening and we implemented strategies together with our clients, which allowed us to face it in the best way and we managed to have happy customers, because we managed to supply projects in a timely manner. It is a fact that this situation still persists, it is more critical with some manufacturers and certain types of equipment, but it has improved a lot compared to 2022."
In Panama, according to the experience of Alessio Gronchi, general manager of Data Serve, "Although it is no longer a general problem, because some manufacturers have managed to reduce their delivery times to acceptable levels, there are others that continue with serious difficulties in obtaining their components, translating into delivery times of 6 months to 1 year in certain cases. The reduction in sales in 2022 compared to 2021 is largely due to this difficulty of obtaining the product on time."
Viditec is one of the most important players in the industry in Argentina. Its general manager, Eduardo de Nucci, acknowledged that in his country "the lack of availability of equipment is still present in almost all suppliers. Both in the IT world or in the world of professional Audio and Video. It's not as severe as it was during the pandemic, but there are still significant delays and uncertainty in delivery dates. This is one more factor that delays the business cycle and as such is a factor that affects us."
And in the Colombian case, José Rojano, manager of AVTech Ltda, stressed that the most complex thing is to have to face the intention of those customers who want to stretch and extend the useful life of their systems. Although they want to help you, it is impossible for them because there are no more pieces of these references and in some cases they will not be manufactured again.
"The sad thing about this situation is that for some firms more than others, the impossibility of acquiring parts still persists. Global experiences suggest that this problem could extend indefinitely. Fortunately, we can move in a wide spectrum of options and brands, which allow us to guarantee our allies and customers the solutions for their concerns and needs, "he concluded.
Although the outlook still imposes significant challenges for technology supply, the expectation for 2023 is positive. This was reiterated by the president of Pinnacle Group, Ricardo López: "Globalization and digitalization have allowed markets to expand and diversify more and more. In this sense, new business opportunities are expected in emerging sectors. Technology continues to advance by leaps and bounds, driving innovation and the adoption of more efficient and cost-effective solutions. In this sense, it is expected that in 2023 more and more technologies such as artificial intelligence, augmented reality, cloud and 5G will be adopted."