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Tech Data CEO Rich Hume: IT Channel Is ‘Enabling The World’ To Work From Home

“The community becomes very small and tight when crisis emerges. We turn to one another with any challenges and issues and hope to resolve them. I would encourage any part of the ecosystem to reach out. If Tech Data can assist in any way, we’re happy to help,” Tech Data CEO Rich Hume told CRN.

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Given what happened to manufacturing in China, what are you telling partners about the supply of goods?

“We all know that parts of the supply chain come out of China. I would say, if you were to roll back a year or 18 months ago, some supply chains were repositioned because of the tariff situation, so the overall concentration was steadily coming down through time. Be that as it may, there’s still a requirement around China, and we all know there was a period of time around which that manufacturing capability was limited as the country combated COVID-19.

The question we often times get is ‘How is that gap in the supply chain made up?’

The reality is that number one, you have inventories on hand that protect you for a period of time. The second piece is, as we read they have ramped up their manufacturing and things are getting back to closer to normal as we move through time. I would anticipate that there will be shortages, or outages, but I think based on the inventory on hand, the inventory that was on the water, the fact that they’re ramping manufacturing back up will hopefully help to minimize some of those impacts.

This is an industry statement: customer demand is high, P.C. ecosystem products. Tech Data having the benefit of the broadest portfolio in the market, allows us to have excellent relationships with our vendors. People are working to optimize across all the different elements of the supply chain.

Then, in terms of shortages, do we see them as short-lived or a sign of things to come? That will all depend on how this virus ebbs and flows. If things follow the trail of China, where it appears as if they have peaked, and then they’ve found a way to mitigate the risk, things will return to normalcy. If there’s a different trend with the virus, you could find yourself with shortages, but right now I think there will be shortages, but they will be manageable. Hopefully, things will return to normal out in the not too distant timeframe.

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