With the coronavirus lockdown disrupting the technology supply chain and still impacting availability and delivery, Alastair Borissow, VP Circular Technology Solutions considers if circular technology could be the solution.

As we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, the world cannot afford for distribution to grind to a halt. IT is at the heart of the global economy and keeping people connected and businesses operational is critical. The IT supply chain must keep going. 

Although the IT supply chain is usually a well-oiled machine, the current situation is unprecedented and disruption is commonplace. According to a survey by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM), 75% of companies worldwide have reported supply-chain disruptions as a result of COVID-19.

Global disruption on the increase

Several weeks into the lockdown, delays are still impacting some deliveries and deployments. China supplies many global IT vendors with the bulk of their required components, raw materials or processed materials, and 62% of the respondents of the ISM survey said that they had experienced delays in receiving orders from China, affecting the availability of technology products and solutions.

Availability is being further affected by frequent changes in border controls, transport schedules and restrictions on the movement of people in response to the lockdown, which has caused most global carriers to suspend standard service levels, impacting ETAs and delivery capabilities.

Pivoting to sustainability

In response to this, resellers and global service providers are finding new ways to continue to do business. Many have pivoted in a new direction and turned this supply-chain challenge into an inflection point for change by integrating circular technology.

Most of the channel are aware of the circular economy and sustainability, but the current COVID-19 crisis is bringing to the fore the more immediate economic benefits of circular technology – certified remanufactured products are available, sustainable and cut costs.

Circular technology in stock

At Westcon-Comstor, we carry a large inventory of certified remanufactured products available for immediate shipment. Collaboration phones and endpoints that help teams stay connected; current generation and legacy routers, switches, wireless and mobility products; and the latest generation firewalls and embedded software solutions – fully certified at significant savings.

With remanufactured products, you get the same quality as new. For example, Cisco Refresh products are fully licensed, carry the same warranty as new products and are eligible for Cisco services and Smart Net support.

Supply-chain ingenuity

In times of unforeseen disruption, as we are currently experiencing with the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s critical that the supply chain is kept open so partners can support customers and end-users can stay operational.

The challenge the channel faces is to identify new ways to do this, using a combination of technology and ingenuity. One way is to leverage the economic benefits and availability of circular technology.

Sustainability beyond COVID-19

The pandemic is a step-change globally like we have never seen before. With the world becoming more focussed on sustainability, circularity, resilience and supply-chain diversification will become the new norm. It also creates a whole new ecosystem of repair partners that do not necessarily reside in the original manufacturing location, driving further supply chain diversity.

Find out more about our Circular Technology Solutions and current inventory