How Does Supply Constraints Affect My Copier?

We have been to dealer conferences, talked to our manufacturer reps, and even heard from competitive manufacturers. We are expecting to see a supplies and copier constraint for the next 3 months and possibly 1 year.

How can this happen?

Like lumber earlier in the summer, there are supply constraints coming mainly from 2 sources. Issue 1 is getting the chips and the necessary parts in Asia, where most of the copiers are built. This chip shortage we have all heard about in the realm of automobiles, and it has trickled to all technology. Companies like Xerox, Canon, and Ricoh are competing with manufacturers like Ford and Chevy to get chips made. This has put a lot of pressure on both timeframes and costs.

Now, if they are able to get the chips for the copiers, there is another issue to deal with. The logistics of getting it from there to here. One manufacturer told us they have more product than ever on the books, with almost half of it “on the water.” Meaning, the products have been made, shipped from Asia, but are either on a boat coming or on a boat waiting as there was the long shoreman issue with their union not allowing 24/7 unloading of freight.

So, we are already seeing shortages in products. We would expect this will extend to toner soon. As a consumer, we would suggest a couple of things.

  • If your copier is coming up on a renewal, start the process sooner because it is likely to take longer to get a copier
  • If you have a copier under a supplies and service contract, see if you can have an extra set of supplies on the shelf (try not to get 7 sets so we don’t have the toilet paper issue…)
  • Be patient with your supplier, they are likely doing their best and struggling at no fault of their own.

We hope you consider us for your next copier here in Milwaukee, we do stock supplies and copiers, so we are likely to be able to do much better than the online retailers who only drop ship, but even with as much inventory as we carry, we are expecting a few hiccups over the next few months.