Tech

CIOs Say PC Shipments Are Delayed by Months

Chief information officers say they face increased delays in the fulfillment of orders for new personal computers, with waiting times extending from weeks to months in some cases.

Shipment delays are forcing some CIOs to change the way they purchase computers.

AARP is waiting six to eight months for the fulfillment of PC orders that once required six to eight weeks, according to

Najeeb Uddin,

chief information officer at the 2,200-employee nonprofit for people older than 50.

AARP had been ordering computers from a variety of suppliers, including Microsoft, Dell and most recently HP, by the thousands in occasional waves, Mr. Uddin said. Now, the organization orders several hundred at a time and delivers 50 to 100 to its workforce every week. The more frequent orders allow AARP to build a reasonable inventory to handle future needs, he said.

Mr. Uddin said he expects delivery in March of an order placed this month.

International Data Corp., the tech industry research firm, last week reduced its forecast for 2021 shipment growth for PCs, including desktops and notebooks, to 14.2% from 18%. It cited shortages and logistical issues.

Brian Bruce, CIO at landscaping services company

BrightView Holdings Inc.

in Blue Bell, Pa., said that before the pandemic it was rare for the company to wait more than a few weeks for the delivery of PCs. Now, he said, the average waiting period for the fulfillment of an order is three months.

BrightView, an NYSE-listed company with about 20,000 employees, buys approximately 1,000 Dell personal computers each year through supplier

CDW Corp.

, he said.

To cope with the longer lead times, Mr. Bruce said the company is making adjustments. It is trying to assess future needs as early as possible and trying to maintain an inventory of PCs to meet any demands to arise.

“We can get what we want for the most part by accepting longer delivery times, planning ahead and maintaining an on-hand inventory,” he said.

NTT Data

Services, a division of services company NTT Data Corp., typically procures laptops through vendor contracts with set pricing and warranties. The company declined to name its suppliers.

“For some vendors, there is an estimated six-month delay,” said Barry Shurkey, CIO at NTT Data Services.

In the past NTT purchased PCs quarterly from PC suppliers, but now it buys them as needed, he said. NTT, which has 50,000 employees,  plans to purchase around 15,000 devices this year.

“We’re just having to shift to the market,” Mr. Shurkey said.

Not every CIO is experiencing delays.

Akamai Technologies Inc. CIO

Mani Sundaram

said the Cambridge, Mass., networking services company isn’t seeing any noticeable delays on its orders.

Mr. Sundaram has heard of companies waiting for the delivery of PCs and said one of the reasons Akamai may be experiencing fewer difficulties is that the company works with a variety of vendors. The 9,000-employee company places orders for about 1,000 units every six months or so, well in advance of its needs, he said.

Chip and component shortages are expected to ease midyear 2022, according to research company Canalys and technology research and advisory firm

Gartner Inc.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.

and

Intel Corp.

are adding new chip-production plants.

Write to Agam Shah at [email protected] and John McCormick at [email protected]

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