For the want of a nail…
The coronavirus (Covid-19) is in the news at the moment but there is still a large sense that it is happening elsewhere and is unlikely to have an impact here. Certainly, the next few months will be the tipping point that will determine whether it fades away or has a direct impact on lives in the UK.
It will already have a bearing in terms of industry and consumer products. It is difficult to think of an industrial process that doesn’t depend in some way on China. This is particularly true when it comes to electronics. Even where design and production take place elsewhere –Taiwan, Vietnam or the UK for example, it is likely that the capacitors and resistors, the cabling or the enclosure will come from mainland China.
Currently there is talk of production starting again in headline factories like Foxconn at some point between now and the end of the month. https://www.scmp.com/tech/big-tech/article/3050028/apple-supplier-foxconn-resumes-some-production-its-main-china-iphone but no one knows the impact that this level of disruption will have in the supply chain or how long it will take to sort out. Similarly, events such as the Mobile World Congress (MWC) are being impacted by fears about the disease. https://www.cnbc.com/2020/02/12/mwc-mobile-world-congress-canceled-amid-coronavirus-fears.html
So now is the time to talk to your suppliers and make sure they are putting alternative routes for supply in place. Stock, that enemy of modern JIT business may well be an asset over the next six months. Mobius has already re-evaluated its orders for 2020 and is looking at our Work from Home policies to ensure that, if the worst happens, we can help making sure our customers aren’t caught out for the want of a nail, or a SIM.
Douglas formed Mobius in 2003 after twenty years’ experience in the Semiconductor industry. He was driven by the idea that airtime could be better and more secure.