How BCD Tackles Global Inventory Challenges

Sep 30, 2021 | Blog

BCD is able to ship appliances globally in days versus weeks

While the COVID-19 pandemic has had long-term effects on the global economy, it has impacted each industry differently. For smaller businesses, such as retail chains that depend on customers’ ability to visit their stores, the disappearance of foot traffic crushed their business model. For companies in the security industry and other global distributors, many of whom depend on supply chains to deliver materials to customers around the world, backorders and lack of resource availability have stymied product inventory.

Even though the security industry is typically countercyclical, thriving in both strong and weak economies, it should come as no surprise that the industry contracted by 7 percent in 2020. Especially with record demand for products such as graphics cards, which have been one of the most heavily backordered items in the global supply chain, a large part of that slowdown is attributed to inventory challenges.

Graphic cards have been more difficult to acquire for a number of reasons. Tariffs have made them more expensive. Bots have wiped out online inventory. Rising interest in cryptocurrency has resulted in people hoarding graphics cards for data mining purposes. The rapid adoption of data streaming, cloud services, artificial intelligence applications, and personal computers for remote work and learning environments that skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic, have all led to heightened demand for chips. Currently, the demand for chips has exceeded the global supply and this chip shortage is expected to continue into 2022. As chipsets are key components of graphics cards, the chip shortage has also been a contributing factor for the graphics card shortage. Looking to the future, a 2021 rebound will depend on manufacturers and distribution networks that are able to overcome these obstacles.

A Tried-and-True Solution

When it comes to purpose-built, efficient, and highly available products in the security industry, BCD is a household name. While most physical security system builders and distributors take eight to twelve weeks to deliver products, BCD ensures hardware is in the hands of customers who need it in as little as four days, as part of its comprehensive model that focuses on serving the unique needs of its security customers. BCD’s partnerships with leading technology players and vendors through aggressive, preemptive bulk purchases have allowed them to meet a critical need when the industry needed it most.

“We bought ahead early, almost a month prior to the announced pandemic, quadrupling our forecast to account for potentially longer lead times. We did everything possible to proactively stay ahead,” said Alexander Burgess, Vice President of Global Supply Chain Operations at BCD. “We also stuck to our core, certified chassis portfolio, allowing us to have the highest capitalization of our spend in our key build products, rather than having more SKUs with lesser quantities. By committing early to the NVIDIA Quadro® series, we were able to maximize that spend on those select cards that we know maximized the highest performance levels in our solutions.”

The end result is that BCD has been able to continuously ship tower and rack-mountable analytic appliances despite the pandemic and chip shortages.  In addition, BCD still has an abundance of graphics cards in stock, ready to ship.

A Head Above the Rest

Investing in hardware by the truckload isn’t the only thing that’s kept BCD ahead of the curve. With multiple, strategically located warehouses for just-in-time inventory, a lean, Six Sigma supply chain team with over a decade of expertise in leveraging trust, and a priority to maintain a consistent inventory of the latest-generation, certified chassis and components, BCD is able to make a promise only a few others can: To deliver products to customers’ doorsteps in days, instead of weeks, even throughout the height of inventory shortages. As a matter of fact, BCD’s order-to-shipped turnaround times actually dropped from the pre-pandemic of 4.77 days in 2019 to 4.65 days in 2020, which has held steady in 2021.

BCD understands the importance of both performance and timelines. Unfortunately, critical security initiatives can’t wait for distributors and manufacturers to clear backorders. This is why BCD ensures its portfolio of video-optimized recording and storage appliances, access control, analytics appliances, and network switches are ready-to-ship to any customer—anywhere in the world.

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