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An ECM Partnership is Your Best Ally to Navigate Chip Shortages

Posted On May 31 2022

The chip shortage that has been going on for over a year is not showing signs of improvement. Initially, the chip shortage was caused by a wave of COVID-19 cases in Asia that impacted factory production and caused closures, partnered with a skyrocketing demand for chips. Senior officials were hopeful that the crisis would resolve within the year, but instead, things are only getting more difficult. It’s now anticipated that the chip shortage will last well into 2023.Close up photo of several printed circuit boards in a tray waiting to be shipped.

The Struggle of Chip Shortages

The chip shortage is impacting manufacturers across the board and every industry is feeling the effects, from automobiles to smartphones, to smart appliances and devices. Everyone is feeling the impact of the shortage. When the chips aren’t available, the lead time increases. A decrease in supply combined with an increase in demand is driving up prices for the components, which is then driving up prices for the manufacturers, and ultimately, the consumer. This is frustrating for everyone.

Using an ECM Can HelpLegacy Electronic Products

When you work with an ECM partner, there are ways to navigate the chip shortage. A good ECM partner will have the right professionals in-house to help you find solutions that will allow you to continue meeting your target deadlines. Some of the ways your ECM can help are:

  • Reengineering Your Board with New Components

If the components you need are not available, the on-site engineers at turnkey ECMs can help you redesign your board to work with the components that are available. Engineers can take your existing products and put them through reverse engineering analysis to redesign even legacy products using easily available parts. 

  • Finding Alternate Suppliers

A quality ECM will always use vetted suppliers. Using vetted suppliers helps you avoid counterfeit components and ensures that all industry regulations are met. However, when the vetted suppliers are unable to provide the necessary components, your ECM can talk to you about looking elsewhere for components. It’s important to note that your ECM should never do this without consulting you about your needs. Highly regulated industries should always stick to vetted suppliers. 

  • Anticipating Future Needs with Bulk Purchasing

One of the reasons the chip shortage became so bad is that some large manufacturers placed, and then canceled large orders at the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, then attempted to place the order again. The pandemic was unprecedented, but now, companies can be smarter about when to place their orders. Rather than attempting to order only as necessary, your ECM can go through your anticipated future needs and help you determine what bulk purchases may be needed to meet that future demand. When you have a strong relationship with your ECM partner, you can work together to make these determinations.

Parts Obsolescence Problems Solved

Keep Your Customers Satisfied Throughout the Chip Shortage

Your customers are frustrated, you are frustrated, your ECM is frustrated, and their suppliers are frustrated. The chip shortage is making many customers unhappy with long wait times and increasing prices. To keep your customers happy, work with your ECM on designing products that can meet your current needs. Many designs can be adjusted, legacy products can be reengineered, and this will let you get your customers the products they count on sooner.

Working with an ECM can give you an ally during the chip shortage and help you navigate your way through, keeping your customers happy and satisfied. Creative solutions are needed right now, and that’s where a turnkey ECM can help. For a quote on your next build, contact Levison Enterprises today.