With the onset of COVID-19, schools and districts scrambled to move to remote and hybrid learning models. Demand for Chromebooks, netbooks, cameras, and other accessories skyrocketed. At the same time, the pandemic severely disrupted the supply chains. Manufactures struggled to get components from suppliers, to staff and run their assembly lines, and to ship product to customers.
Schools that waited to order Chromebooks and other devices sat on waiting lists for backorders. Some districts have yet to receive all of their devices.
While many parts of Asia are emerging from the pandemic ahead of the United States, we still see significant potential challenges with Chromebook and netbook availability this spring and summer.
- Supply is still limited. The supply chain for parts, assembly, and delivery are not fully back to normal. While most assembly plants are back in operation, many are still operating at reduced occupancy and capacity. Additionally, backlogs for components still exist as the supply chain struggles to recover.
- Demand will be up. We expect a significant increase in demand for Chromebooks as districts unable to purchase enough new devices in 2020 now have a larger, pent-up demand. Some districts kept older models in service beyond their planned refresh cycle. Other districts still lack the number of devices they need for 1:1 learning.
Given the supply and demand dynamics, we strongly urge schools to initiate your Chromebook ordering process early. Specifically you should:
- Have us pre-register your intended purchase with your preferred manufacturer, for your preferred models.
- With pre-registration, we can often negotiate better pricing.
- You are also more likely to be assigned your allocation of units, increasing the likelihood of timely delivery.
- Have us bid specs to multiple vendors, if you do not have a preferred make and/or model.
- This process creates price and availability competition, which can work to your benefit.
- Order Chrome Education Upgrade licenses.
- Avoid March 9, 2021 price increase.
- Prepare to issue Purchase Orders by the end of February or mid-March.
- In 2020, all of the schools that ordered before mid-March received their devices in time for the fall term.
Contact us for more information, to discuss your needs, or to request quote.