Among the skills we all will need in a post-Covid world are flexibility and adaptability. Tech flexibility and adaptability are something we’ve all had to get used to over the last year and a bit.
Mark Campbell, GM Client Compute, Tarsus Distribution
While being flexible at work was once aligned with geographic mobility, it is now about having an open mindset, being able to work well under pressure, adjusting to new and unexpected deadlines, prioritising tasks and taking on additional responsibilities.
But the pandemic also had another unforeseen outcome: it made it harder to buy a new laptop. That’s because Covid-19 put two unique pressures on laptop manufacturers: higher demand from people working from home and lower supply.
“When the Covid-19 pandemic subsides, the world is going to look markedly different. The supply shock that started in China in February  and the demand shock that followed as the global economy shut down exposed vulnerabilities in the production strategies and supply chains of firms just about everywhere.” So said an article in the September–October 2020 edition of the Harvard Business Review, “Global Supply Chains in a Post-Pandemic World”.
You Can't Always Get What you Want With Tech Flexibility
As businesses worldwide have seen a stark rise in the number of employees required to work from home (as well as scholars and students), it’s likely this new way of working will last even after the pandemic passes. We can all agree that this would be impossible without the technology tools and solutions that have enabled employees everywhere to work in the cloud and collaborate perhaps more effectively than before.
For resellers, this new way of working has propelled them to become solution providers rather than order takers. This is especially true of more traditional resellers who have yet to get on the digital train.
Putting a Hold on Brand Loyalty
That’s because brand-loyal CEOs and CIOs suddenly discovered that they could no longer order 20 of their favourite model of laptops – it simply was not available anywhere.
Although production that ground to a halt in mid-February in China last year has resumed, it's hard to say when supply chains will have fully recovered. At present, we are looking at a backlog of around 18 months when it comes to many popular technology brands. That’s because it takes time to deliver parts, many parts are still scarce, and air transport remains restricted in several regions.
Solution Sellers In Tech Flexibility
What is now required of resellers in this new environment is the ability to educate customers and end-users about flexibility and alternative options, to investigate what their requirements and business problems are, and to find solutions built on what is currently available in the market, within their price range. We need to convince our end users to be less fussy about the devices they are seeking because the supply is just not meeting the demand.
It’s a scenario that will continue until supply chains normalise globally, and when that will happen is anyone’s guess right now. Those who are in the market for a new laptop now have to learn flexibility; the more models they are likely to consider, the more likely it is they will be able to find the configurations and specs they need within a reasonable period of time.