About a year ago we informed you about the tough situation on the components market. At that time, we hoped that the situation would soon return to normal and that our production would be running smoothly by now. We had no idea how wrong we were…
Fortunately, we are managing to solve the problems and our production is still running, but we consider it fair to inform you openly about the current situation, which is +/- the same for all manufacturers.
In addition to shaky economy because of Covid that we described in June 2021, other factors have been added that no one had any idea about a year ago.
Since February this year, the war in Ukraine, with its associated energy crisis, has affected us. This is hitting the whole of Europe and driving up prices across the board. Inflation in the European Union exceeds 10% (18% in the Czech Republic). All material inputs and operating costs such as electricity, gas, etc. are tens of percent more expensive.
Another, much more serious problem that we have to overcome is the shortage of components of all kinds. Manufacturers are behaving in a completely unpredictable way. It is common for delivery dates that have been confirmed for more than a year to be extended by another year just before delivery, or simply to be announced that the specific part has been discontinued.
Component manufacturers often point to shortages of primary materials such as silicon, tantalum powder, etc. For these reasons, they limit the product range. Therefore, it happens that parts that are not in stock will not be available for a long time. Getting trustworthy information and firm delivery dates is almost impossible today.
There is no choice but to buy on the open market at the last minute with all the risks described in our news ‘Fake components’. Unfortunately, the situation on the open market has also gotten much worse. Manufacturers are hardly able to supply their direct customers, distributors’ warehouses are empty for a long time. A year ago, it was still possible to find parts in quantities of thousands, today it is difficult to find them in tens of pieces, regardless of price.
Thanks to RACOM’s in-house development and production, we can respond in part by replacing missing components where possible. This is usually not done without redesigning PCB boards and time-consuming testing. Since our products have superior technical parameters due to, among other things, the use of specific types of components and chips, replacement is often not possible.
Thanks to the experience and enormous efforts of our staff, we manage to keep our production running and deliver our products on acceptable dates at fair prices. We hope that we can continue to do so and that the situation will gradually improve.
We apologize in advance for any problems. However, you can see from the above examples that reputable manufacturers are not having an easy time of it today.