Like nearly every sector, the electronics industry has changed significantly because of the pandemic. Not only was the supply of components affected as the world was reeling from initial outbreaks, and continues to be deeply impacted today, but the behaviour of both consumers and professionals changed hugely. Here are some of the ways the industry has changed due to Covid-19.
Remote Working is Here to Stay
As we learn to adapt in a post-Covid world, one thing is evident in the industry – working from home will stick around. As restrictions ease, it is becoming increasingly apparent that many companies are reluctant to return to business as usual regarding office space and use.
It is now becoming much more common to see many businesses adopt a hybrid approach, employing a combination of remote and on-site work. For example, electronic product development can often be done remotely, using digital tools for communication and collaboration. Doing so can often streamline the development process, as product design is done without setting up physical meetings.
Customer Needs Have Changed
For many companies, the pandemic has caused a surge in demand for their products. Ever since the virus outbreak, there has been a steady increase in the need for computers and other electronics. Analysis shows the remote working trend has primarily caused this, as employees have needed to kit out their homes with tech to facilitate the practice.
Things like laptops, tablets, monitors, printers, and computer peripherals have seen enormous demand increases over the past year. Obviously, for those supplying these goods, the pandemic has triggered significant growth.
Not only have home-office purchases increased, but it appears as though more people have been splurging on new electronics. This is likely because people have been spending more time at home, so they have been looking for ways to make their everyday lives more exciting.
People purchasing items for productivity seems to have slowed somewhat since the initial surge. However, people’s spending on more unnecessary electronics is still showing signs of growth.
The Supply Chain Has been Affected
There have been issues with the supply of components since before the virus became an issue. Despite this, the pandemic has exacerbated the disruption to supply chains significantly. Many parts and materials are supplied from China. When the virus first appeared, there was a swift shutdown of exports in the country, leaving many businesses struggling to find the things they needed.
One major shortage was and still is the supply of semiconductors. These are essential for many electronics manufacturers, but during the pandemic, lead times for them more than doubled. This was due to the surge in demand for electronics products from working from home equipment to entertainment systems. This problem is still a significant one, even as supply chains recover.
This surge in demand has left many semiconductor suppliers very short on capacity meaning that many electronics manufacturers and product developers are still experiencing long waits for the components.
Ignys offer advice and development on electronic product development to businesses. To help companies understand and tackle the chip shortage situation they have created an extensive blog on how to design for availability during the chip shortages.
What the Future Looks Like
In summary, these are still very uncertain times for the electronics industry. Despite some demand increases, supply chains have still not fully recovered, so the future is not clear for the industry and how businesses choose to adapt will be crucial. Remote working does appear to be here to stay, however, with many companies opting to continue the practice even as restrictions ease.