How to overcome supply chain pains and integrate your data center
With the right integration partner, you can mitigate supply chain shortages and deploy the data center your business needs
Amid today’s supply chain constraints, it’s not unusual to discover that essential data center components face delivery lead times of well over a year. In fact, many manufacturers are facing time-to-markets (TTMs) of 14-18 months for certain hardware.
When you need these delayed parts for your revenue-generating infrastructure, they directly impact your business’ profitability. Being unable to mitigate supply chain shortages not only makes it difficult to onboard new customers, but also puts you at a disadvantage if your competitors find a solution to their own lead time woes.
For chipsets, the most heavily constrained data center component, it looks like we still have a long way to go before supply returns to a pre-pandemic normal. Much like an ouroboros swallowing its own tail, chip shortages are causing a lack of availability for the products needed to bring manufacturing plants online, which then causes a lack of online plants able to produce more chips.
While this aspect of the supply crisis may be out of your hands, you can implement effective strategies to minimize these shortages’ impact on your business. Here’s what you can do:
Plan far, far ahead
Knowing that product lead times extend up to 18 months, the critical first step for organizations like yours is to plan your data center initiatives far into the future. Using operational data such as growth and profit projections, remote employee heatmaps, anticipated storage requirements, and more, you can design a data center strategy that is ready for your future business challenges the moment it becomes operational.
To help accurately design your near-future data center, work with your trusted reseller and integration partner to gain an informed understanding of stock availability, manufacturer outlook, and industry trends.
Create an agile supply chain with your integration partner
When overcoming stock shortages, you must be able to pivot from and adapt to inevitable changes, fluctuations, and disruptions. An effective integration partner keeps their finger on the pulse of the supply chain and helps you stay prepared. Ask your partner to provide weekly updates on lead times, availability, and warehoused inventory so you can always maintain an accurate idea of how the industry may impact your data center projects.
Based on your priorities and what components are available, you and your trusted integration partner can create your own agile supply chain – a method for procuring components that’s as adaptive as you are. SHI’s Integrated Data Center Services (IDCS) experts recommend demand forecasting and component pre-purchasing as best practices for maintaining an agile supply chain. These methods enable you to compare your component demands against those of the wider industry, then purchase parts in a timeframe that aligns with your configuration timeline.
For SHI’s integration teams, it’s also standard practice to host near-daily discussions with our customers to review available stock and assess current project priorities. This kind of proactive collaboration between you and your partner is important to ensure you and your stakeholders have accurate, real-time assessments of your largest data center deployments.
In the process of building your agile supply chain, you and your teams will learn where you can switch between products and manufacturers without disrupting your existing operations. Nowadays, organizations are slashing lead times by dual- or tri-certifying data center products. A data center once solely reliant on Dell servers, for example, may now host a mix of Dell, HPE, and Supermicro.
The right technical resources can step back from the traditional lens of “what is the best technology,” and instead present “what is the best technology available within your desired timeframe.” These resources can then guide you through choosing and adopting that technology so your projects can deploy on time.
The biggest takeaway? Don’t go it alone
When constrained supply chains threaten to derail your mission-critical data center deployments, the most important thing to do is consult your trusted integration partner. The right partner will have invaluable insight into how you can achieve the data center you need without waiting almost two years to deploy it.
But your partner’s insight can only go so far if they don’t have the integration facilities capable of warehousing, configuring, and maintaining quality assurance for your largest projects. SHI’s integration center, Ridge, is a 399,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility capable of customer rack and stack assembly, cold room configuration, supermarket aisle component storing, and so much more.
With over 100 technicians on site – including presales solutions engineers, technical advisors, project managers, and more – Ridge Integration Center has the expertise you need to tackle your most complex data center projects within a timeline that keeps your business moving forward.
To learn more about how you can leverage Ridge Integration Center to mitigate supply chain shortages and complete your data center integration, contact our integration experts today.