The cracks on the screens of Americans’ personal computers could indicate a much bigger problem in the ongoing supply chain crisis.
And the world of consumer electronics, especially laptops, was not only hit particularly hard by the pandemic, but is also a perfect metaphor for the problems of modern supply chains, according to experts.
“Most of my repairs, around 20-30% of my repairs, are screens, or LCD panels,” says Arthur Zilberman, the owner of LaptopMD in New York City.
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Zilberman has been in the business for several decades and says he never had a problem finding replacement parts like today, especially replacement screens for things like cell phones and laptops.
“When I used to buy a screen or two, I now have to buy six or seven,” Zilberman told Fox’s Investigative Unit. “High inventory means less cash flow, the money that could be used for advertising, the money that could be used for advertising [employee] Salaries, the money that can be used for development … it’s not a good position for me as a company. “
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Just this week, a company in the field of LCD panel technology announced that it would be opening a domestic repair facility for its US customers “in order to avoid persistent challenges in the volatile international supply chain”.
When it comes to a device like a PC, the screen can be a very important part, but it’s one of many. And maybe that makes the modern laptop the perfect metaphor for our current supply chain problems.
“The COVID pandemic was a wake-up call that not only tested our supply chains, but also showed us that being overly dependent on China for things that are critical to our economic and national security is simply not responsible. “
“Something as complex as a laptop that can be made up of thousands of parts, hundreds of companies just involved in making those parts,” says Michael Farlekas, whose company e2Open helps drive multi-billion dollar supply chain logistics. Facilitate business.
“People get the idea that products are made in a factory … they’re not,” Farlekas told Fox. “They are actually made in dozens of factories and factories all over the world. So there are shipping cycles between factories, which means trucks have to be loaded and delivered, unloaded and unpacked, ”Farlekas continued.
He says this complex network of deliveries between the “hubs” in the supply chain resulted in part of the shipping container backlogs in US ports that dominated the new pre-holiday cycle. “If any of these are constrained, the whole process is constrained, and we’ve seen that for the past 18 months,” he said.
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According to Rep. Tom Malinowski, DN.J., co-sponsor of the bipartisan Building Resilient Supply Chains Act, there are serious national security implications related to United States supply chain problems.
“The COVID pandemic was a wake-up call that not only tested our supply chains, but also showed us that it is simply not responsible for being overly dependent on China for things that are critical to our economic and national security Rep. Malinowski told Fox.
“I don’t want the United States to be at the mercy of an adversary like China because we are overly dependent on them for everything from PPE in a health crisis to semiconductors to the critical components of solar panels that have almost everything” All of them are from China today, “added Rep. Malinowski.” That is not good for our future.
That dependency is already creating a plight for small business owners like Zilberman, who is asking lawmakers for help. “Please work overtime, do what you have to do, but solve this situation,” said Zilberman, “because little people like me can no longer hold out.”
Farlekas says there could be a silver lining for the likes of Zilberman and others if they hold out long enough. And as long as we draw the right lessons from our current situation.
“I think in the next four to six months you will see [these issues] Smoothen, “Farlekas told Fox.” My focus would be on how to make the overall system stronger, more resilient, and more agile. I think this is going to be the best we’ve seen in the last 18 months, “he added.