Nov 09 2021

4 Ways to Avoid Supply Chain Delays in 2022

Here’s what every higher education decision-maker needs to know about current logistics challenges.

Container ships are stranded in the wrong parts of the world. Dock workers and truck drivers are at home quarantining, and many warehouses are full, unable to receive any more merchandise from the record-breaking number of cargo ships waiting to unload at ports.

The reality is that the global supply chain crisis isn’t going to resolve itself anytime soon.

Desperate to avoid more education disruptions, many higher ed procurement departments are focusing on extending the lifecycles of current devices and computers.

However, there’s a fine line between extending technology lifespans and putting your institution at risk. After all, dated technologies tend to interfere with student success because they require frequent repairs, and older hardware is likely to introduce vulnerabilities to networks.

Rather than trying to squeeze more juice out of a dehydrated apple, it’s time to redirect focus toward strategically mitigating supply chain risks. Here’s how.

Tip #1: Preorder Six Months Before You Need New Technologies

Planning technology refreshes six months in advance can be difficult when many variables, such as enrollment numbers, are unpredictable.

For many purchases, however, you can forecast based on averages and historical benchmarks.

In the current supply chain climate, it is nearly impossible to get orders on time if you don’t start planning months in advance.

Working with a partner like CDW•G can help you become more organized with deployment. We can preorder units for you ahead of time to ensure orders are in stock when you need them. For items that are in stock, we ship 94 percent of credit release orders within 24 hours.

EXPLORE: EDUCAUSE's top 10 IT issues and trends for 2022.

Tip #2: Can’t Submit a Purchase Order? Preorder Without One

CDW•G can leverage its buying power to help our customers secure stocks — even if you can’t cut a check right this moment.

We don’t necessarily need a purchase order immediately. A letter of understanding is all we need to submit a PO to the original equipment manufacturer on your behalf.

This way, you can preorder batches or individual units to ensure they will arrive in time. We can also bundle your items together and ship kitted boxes to different destinations, including to the homes of remote learners and workers.

FIND OUT: How Shenandoah University delivered MacBook, iPad and Apple Pencil devices to remote students.

Tip #3: Take Advantage of Services That Simplify Deployment

One factor that prevents higher education from getting started on planning a tech refresh is a lack of capacity to deploy these devices. However, just because you’re not ready to deploy, it doesn’t mean you have to hold off on purchasing or committing to a service-level agreement.

We offer a buy-and-hold option that enables you to lease our warehouse space until you are ready for your orders. We have 1 million square feet of distribution space and 50,000 square feet of configuration space that can handle 8,000 configurations a day.

To further simplify deployment, CDW’s certified technicians offer several staging and configuration services — such as asset tagging and management, client device provisioning, network and security configurations, servers, rack configuring and cabling and custom packaging.

This way, your devices arrive fully configured, including custom inserts that provide clear instructions to students, faculty and staff.

Tip #4: Customize Extended Warranties to Get the Most Out of Your Tech

The last thing you want in this supply chain climate is to have to replace technology before the end of its lifecycle.

But it can be difficult to get consistent coverage for all your equipment when you’re managing different warranties with multiple vendors. With CDW Amplified Support, you get the flexibility to customize extended warranties and services to fit your institution’s timeline. If you don’t have an in-house team that can manage warranty repairs, we offer break/fix warranty support that includes onsite services with no deductibles or hidden fees.

From organizing your next deployment to fully configuring solutions before we ship and providing ongoing support when technologies break, we’re here to support you at every stage of this process.

Let’s remove the unnecessary pain points and start planning your refresh.

This article is part of EdTech: Focus on Higher Education’s UniversITy blog series.

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