We live on a planet with limited resources. Yet, day to day we tend not to worry about that too much.
Recently, for several reasons, we’ve started asking what life will be like when those resources begin running out.
When the Suez Canal was blocked back in March 2021, we got to experience what shortages felt like. Although they were only temporary, we realised how this could affect our businesses going forward.
In the same way, when manufacturing capability stopped in China and Taiwan during Covid, it took a while for supplies to run down. But right now, we’re feeling the impact.
Take the transistor for example. An electronic component of computer chips. The pandemic exposed pressures in the global chip supply chain and a shortage of transistors is now affecting the production of technology. Technology that our modern society relies on.
In the last few months, shortages have gone far beyond the difficulty of buying a PS5. Car companies have been hit badly, with production lines closing for weeks at a time. Even home appliance makers are facing issues with supply.
In fact, these components are so fundamental to the operation of our society that leaders like Chuck Robbins, CEO of Cisco Systems, have aired on the BBC talking about the challenges of building their products.
It’s not just large companies like Cisco that are affected. These chips are used in networking equipment that many businesses use to connect to data centres. They are vital tools in keeping day-to-day operations running. And unfortunately, these shortages are not going away.
If only we could call this a mere blip. Put it down to the pandemic and move on. The sad fact is: this isn’t just a moment in time. It is a vision of the future we all face. It’s a taste of what’s to come as our natural resources start running out.
The demand for chips is increasing rapidly. The Semiconductor Industry Association (SAI) says that chip sales in January 2021 hit $40 billion, up 13.2 per cent on the same month last year. And as more industries start undergoing digital transformation and needing more complex networking infrastructures, this is set to climb further.
What does this mean for businesses?
As demand outstrips supply, and earth’s resources become more scarce, businesses will need to wait longer for technology solutions
. And prices will go up.
With our businesses relying so heavily on technology, these changes can have a dramatic effect on our day to day work – as well as our bottom line.
Tackling this problem requires us to take a fresh look at our supply chains. It can start with asking one simple question: “Do we need to buy brand new technology right now?”.
At Circularity First, our entire business model is based on the fact that we can extend the life of IT resources. We can help you review how you buy, rethink your supply chains and report on the positive impact you’re making, both commercially and environmentally.
Today, you don’t have to throw away hardware after one use. It is an asset that can be used again and again – whether that’s by your organisation, or by someone else. You can easily remanufacture, repair and redeploy them.
Our circular economy partnership with clients like Cisco means that the authorised remanufactured technology we sell is as good as new. Each component is checked and replaced as necessary with all the warranties you’d expect of a brand new product.
Remanufacturing, repairing, reusing and extending the life of technology reduces CO2 emissions, helps ease the pressure on our planet’s resources and prevents eWaste.
It also makes your supply chains more resilient in the process. For example, during the pandemic, lead times for new technology exploded up to 16 weeks, due to semiconductor shortages. With our circular approach and less reliance on new parts, our lead times remained steady at just 3-4 weeks.
In these uncertain times, one thing is certain: earth’s resources will not last forever. So now is the time for forward-thinking leaders to ignite sustainable innovation; extend the lifespan of our technology, our businesses and resources.
With the likes of Cisco, Circularity First is already proving that authorised non-new technology is just as reliable and just as trustworthy as new options. And that extending the life of our existing technology is also more cost effective.
Put simply, it’s better for our budgets and better for our planet.
So, if you want new technology, be prepared to wait longer and see prices increase. Alternatively, we’d invite you to step into the future now and make your business more resilient and cost effective by using our supply chain.
For more information on starting a more sustainable IT