Why Are Printers Out of Stock and When Will They Be Back?

Concerned Businesswoman
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The pandemic disrupted the global supply chain for many industries – including printer manufacturing. Companies who learned how to pivot and change along with the times were the ones geared to position their customers for success.

I’d like to take a moment to review this unprecedented supply chain disruption, how it affected printer machine stocking levels and what my predictions for future stocking levels could look like.

Supply Chain Disruption – A Pandemic Story

No one was ready for a pandemic. Therefore, in early 2020, U.S. businesses went into survival mode. Many component manufacturers in China experienced reduced staffing levels or temporary closures due to pandemic spread. This caused the first disruption in the supply chain, and it continued as U.S. businesses experienced worker shortages, as well.

This disruption was also compounded when shipments from China arrived by boat into clogged U.S. ports and added longer lead times to order fulfillment.

The supply chain disruption has affected every printer manufacturer as we’ve seen them all have the same supply chain logistics challenges. 

Printer Manufacturers Learn How to Pivot

As supply chain concerns continued into 2021, a microchip shortage forced many printer manufacturers to streamline their product offerings resulting in reduced lead times for more popular models. Some even focused their efforts into manufacturing A3-sized printers (which includes printing on letter-, legal- or ledger-sized paper) instead of the smaller A4 printers (printing on letter-sized paper or smaller).

Low supply and high demand have fueled the battle for access to components. This battle has also driven up component prices in the printer industry.

However, ancillary products such as ink, toner and paper have experienced smaller backorder challenges compared to the backorders for printers. 

RELATED: Everything you need to know about copiers and printers

What’s in stock?

In 2021, continuing into 2022, some printer models were on backorder with a delivery lead time of up to six months. Today, manufacturers are working hard to reduce lead times and have product ready to ship. 

Many of GFC's vendors have forecasted that printers could be back to pre-pandemic stocking levels by the end of 2022. 

Helping to Navigate the Printer Shortage

Gordon Flesch Company (GFC) had a purchasing strategy and took proactive steps to mitigate the supply chain disruption and reduce stress for our customers.

But we didn’t stop there. While we do have some printers on hand, GFC has continued our proactive ordering strategy to increase inventory. This has reduced our customers’ wait time to receive their printers and provided less disruption for their office staff.

GFC has also expanded our loaner program. Customers have the opportunity to use a loaner machine from GFC’s pool until their new machine arrives.

While machine replacement may take a little longer than before the pandemic, GFC is diligently working with our printer manufacturing partners to have sufficient product on hand to fulfill large fleet orders. Scheduling installation of large orders in phases has also lessened the impact of the supply chain disruption. 

Considering a new printer? Here’s what to do. 

Many businesses have aging printers and are searching for ways to streamline processes, increase efficiency and boost security. Maybe you are too. But the looming thought of low or non-existent printer stocking levels might put you in a panic.

Don’t wait. GFC is here with the information and expertise you need to make a smooth transition as you start thinking about upgrading your printers. We will be your advocate and will work with our printer manufacturing partners to prioritize your order and make your printer upgrade as seamless as possible.

Contact our business technology experts today to schedule a 30-minute, free, no-obligation Managed Print Service needs assessment. 

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