It’s not the start to the year we’d have hoped for, as the electronics industry braces for inevitable impacts from the COVID-19 virus.
The coronavirus is sparking anxieties among electronics manufacturers as the uncertainty of times ahead are at the moment unclear. IPC, an electronics equipment trade organisation, has just ran a survey which 65% of 150 participating electronics manufacturers and suppliers reported delays from suppliers due to the spread of coronavirus. The problem being many manufacturers supply chains relies on China, the origin birthplace of COVID-19. 30 of the Fortune 500 companies have investments in the Wuhan area: The city is a hub for automobiles, optics, electronics, and more. As China faces self isolation and wide spread lockdowns and following that transportation and logistics issues, the uncomfortable reality is supply chains will be affected and for how long is anybody’s guess at this moment in time.
IPC chief economist Shawn DuBravac told Business Insider in a recent interview that, if the outbreak continues to drag the industry down into April, regular shoppers may begin to notice the effects first-hand.
And, even if the suppliers themselves become fully operational once more, manufacturers still worry over the strain put on what the IPC report described as “limited” and “finite” transportation networks.
“Where some uncertainty still lies is, even after manufacturing is back online, to what extent is it back online?” DuBravac said.
“The delays will likely have ripple effects for the rest of the year,” said John Mitchell, IPC’s president and CEO. “The longer China is affected by the epidemic, and the more it spreads to other parts of the world, the supply chain will experience more and varied strains and disruptions.”
There are concerns about the fragility of the supply chain when an issue like this arises, however another perspective could be how dynamic it is instead, given that currently industry experts aren’t predicting significant consumer shortfalls. Only time will tell but one thing is for sure, this is a problem we will all face together as a global community.