16th May 2022

Two years on: How the electronics component industry has fared during the Covid-19 pandemic

So much has changed in the last two or so years and had a dramatic impact on many areas of industry; the electronics sector is no exception. Whilst it’s impossible in some ways to separate everything into individual factors, UK businesses who use electronic components in their products or manufacturing processes have had to deal with issues relating to both the global pandemic and Brexit in the same period, as well as other global challenges that bring us to where we stand in Q2 2022. While demand has been high throughout the period 2020 to present day, global supply chains have experienced intense pressure and manufacturers have been unable to source all the electronic components needed to meet the needs of their customers. Changes to the way that people work, including millions of people working or being educated remotely for the first time, has increased demand for electronics for business and educational use, with more time spent at home also having an impact on this. Now more than two years since the first countries started to lock down in response to Coronavirus, the ongoing supply chain disruption is still having a big impact on the manufacturing industry’s ability to deliver finished products. As mentioned above, Covid-19 is one very significant factor in the supply chain problems, but there are others. The pandemic has certainly brought to the fore the underlying issues that have been there for some time, but were more easily navigated around pre-2020. HGV driver shortages and events such as the Suez Canal crisis are also still causing problems with moving essential electronic components nationally and globally, highlighting weaknesses that have been there for some time and were exacerbated by the impact of Covid-19 restrictions. Increase in demand means an increase in price for electronic components Many manufacturers will be able to tell you how much the cost of their essential electronic components has risen over the last two years. Some specific parts, such as semiconductors, even more so than everything else with the rarity of their availability. Many businesses have been forced to pass these costs on to customers, with an effect being that the used electronics market has also grown. Looking to the post-pandemic future of electronics In many countries around the world, daily life is returning to some kind of ‘normal’ for many people and businesses, but manufacturers that need electronic components will know that there may still be some way to go before things start moving as freely again as they once did. Long lead times, stock shortages and delayed shipments are unfortunately still part for the course in many cases, so businesses need to have robust plans (and plan Bs) in place to try and keep production going through all of these issues. At EP4, we’ve worked very hard throughout the pandemic to try and ensure that our customers can get hold of the electronic components they need to keep things moving for their business. Our specialist experience in procurement has meant that we’ve often been able to secure the parts needed for our clients, despite all of the challenges faced, which is something that we’re very proud of and will continue striving to do so as the evolution of the industry continues. If you’re looking for new or obsolete electronic components, our sales team might be able to help. Get in touch to find out more.