Opinion

Alcatel-Lucent latest to own up to supply chain issues

After Cisco came clean over the impact of components shortages on its supply chain at last week's Partner Summit, Alcatel-Lucent has admitted it has been suffering from the same problem.

Speaking on Thursday morning as the vendor unveiled its Q1 results, CEO Ben Verwaayen said tightening components availability had hampered the struggling firm's ability to fulfil reseller orders, particularly in wireless access and optical networking.

Alcatel-Lucent builds its own high-end chipsets, Verwaayen explained, but had struggled to secure supplies of more general components where "we compete for supply with other industries like cars and consumer electronics [which] are all recovering at the same time as us".

A great deal of capacity was taken out of the components manufacturing industry during the recession, particularly in the Far East, as Cisco explained last week, and it is now widely accepted that production has taken a long time to ramp back up to pre-recessionary levels.

Verwaayen stopped short of naming any particular suppliers whose product was in short supply.

Component shortages have been a source of consternation in the channel for many months now, and Cisco and Alcatel-Lucent are by no means the only vendors affected.

However, we understand that in many cases supply is not yet meeting demand and, for the sake of the ongoing recovery, this has to be sorted out soon as the situation is no good for anyone.

More honesty and co-operation is surely needed from the vendor community, lest those at the coalface of the IT channel start to miss their targets.

This was first published in May 2010

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