You’ve probably heard about our current supply chain crisis. Labor shortages, transportation issues, and insufficient raw materials have stopped production in its tracks. Tech has been particularly hard hit, from gaming consoles to home entertainment systems and all aspects of custom integration.
Now that the holidays are ramping up, demand is exponentially increasing, putting a strain on an already overloaded system. Have you recently spoken to an integrator about setting up a consultation for a home automation installation, only to receive a blank stare? That’s the compromised supply chain in action.
Let’s look at what’s being affected and what homeowners in Westchester County, NY, can do to get their projects going before the holiday season kicks into full gear.
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Well, it would probably be a much shorter list to state what smart home devices are readily accessible. The global chip shortage has affected much more than just cars. Smartphones, washing machines, and consumer electronics are all facing shortages.
Of course, there’s much more to it than a tiny transistor chip. When Covid-19 lockdowns started spreading across the country, people began spending a significant amount of time at home, whether working or letting their audio-video technology entertain them. So it seemed like a good time to buy laptops, 4K HDR TVs, whole-home audio speaker systems, smart lighting, and security equipment.
A report by Safewise revealed that during the lockdowns, 85% of consumers bought smart home products. And, despite a world that is ever so slowly emerging from the pandemic, these purchases don’t seem to be slowing down.
Manufacturers weren’t quite ready for this onslaught. Who would imaging that a global pandemic would kick buying into high gear? Now, they’re playing catchup amidst a supply chain bottleneck.
Unfortunately, as Economics 101 states, when demand exceeds supply, prices rise. It starts with manufacturers paying more for parts and is then passed onto the consumer. For example, the cost of high-end televisions has risen 30% since last summer. Anything with a screen, such as the tablets used in smart home automation, is seeing similar shortages and price hikes.
Another example is copper prices, which have surged in 2021 due to a shortage. Copper is found in smart home switches, routers, hubs, and wiring.
Experts suggest that our current supply and demand crisis is going to get worse before it gets better. There are, however, a few steps homeowners can take to get their smart home projects headed in the right direction.
One recommendation is to work with an experienced, smart home integrator. At Digital Home Systems, we’ve developed a very long list of vendors and suppliers since we started our business in 1999. We stay abreast of market fluctuations and know what products are on backorder and what alternatives are in-stock. We consistently check prices, looking to purchase in the dips, and we do the same for our clients.
The second recommendation is not to delay. A “better time” is not in the cards right now, and the holiday season is only adding pressure. So if you’re considering a whole-home audio system of a new or improved home theater for the holidays, now is the time to call us. Whatever your smart home project, we’d like to help you turn it from a dream into a reality in time for your family and friends to enjoy the luxurious lifestyle with you.
While early planning can’t eliminate the supply shortage upheaval, it is the most effective step you can take to ensure your home entertainment and technology solutions are ready for the coming season. If you’d like to learn more about smart home technology solutions or to schedule a complimentary consultation, contact Digital Home Systems today.
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