UPDATE: The Commercial Security Supply Chain in 2023
By David Strickland, Vice President of Kenton Brothers
It’s obvious that the last couple of years have been really rough on the supply chain. Manufacturers of Commercial IP Video Surveillance and Access Control parts have had a rough go of it.
Over the last year, we’ve seen wait times from some of the industries largest and most prolific suppliers in the 40-52 week time frame. Did you read that correctly? Forty to fifty-two week wait times. This has had a major impact on the industry and the customers that require their goods.
One of our customers shared, “Our trust levels in these manufacturers are at an all time low. Not because they don’t have quality goods, it’s because of their lack of delivery and timely information.”
Timely and Accurate Information
Timely and accurate information has risen to the top of the concerns list over the last 6 months. Manufacturers communicate a delivery date, then as the delivery date approaches they de-commit the products and send out new commitment dates. This happened often, across many of the commercial security manufacturers, and led to the inflation of delivery projections to the 40-52 week mark.
These kinds of wait times make it difficult to finish or even commit to new projects. This has led to a surge for those manufacturers that have goods available for integration immediately. One representative recently asked, “Now that our supply chain is returning to a more manageable time frame, can we count on Kenton Brothers to come back?” It’s a great question and one that the customer will need to answer.
Based on the research of industry experts, here is a breakdown of things to come in 2023 based on their insights and opinions.
HID READERS: Outlook Grade: C
HID Readers are still going to take between 10 and 40 weeks to arrive.
The issue is still the chip and it doesn’t look likely to improve for several more months. Some versions of Lenel’s Blue Diamond readers are only 4 weeks out. Some Allegion readers are down to 4 weeks delivery time but some still have 25 week delivery times. Gallagher readers are shipping within 2 weeks.
Many of our customers are having to choose prox readers that are less secure in order to get “into the building” with plans to replace them later on.
Commercial Video Surveillance: Outlook Grade: C+
Multi Imagers, PYTZ’s and Fish Eyes tend to be the issue in this category. The chips are the issue here also.
AXIS has seen times come down and product is starting to hit the distributors shelves. However, their serve time is still as far out as 40 weeks on some of their lines. Axis has been switching out chipsets and launching new part numbers to help. Avigilon is running up to 24 weeks and has seen some progress. Verkada, Hanwa and Bosch have better serve times, but with their more sophisticated cameras they’re still suffering from longer than normal times. March Networks has normal serve times for their cameras and recorders and are picking up market share because of it.
Access Control Systems: Outlook Grade: B
This is a tale of two types, Mercury and Non-Mercury.
Mercury serve times have fallen in the last several weeks and availability for some of the manufacturers will improve in the next couple months. Lenel is currently between 1-12 weeks in most of their projected serve times. 4 months ago these were up at 28-40 weeks. Software House and S2 continues to have serve times between 6 and 20 weeks but these represent half the serve time they had just weeks ago. The mercury delays effect Avigilon also and other manufacturers using their technology. Gallagher Access Control is shipping within 2 weeks. Verkada is shipping also with little delays.
Electrified Locking Hardware: Outlook Grade: D
Unfortunately, this category is where the largest delays are manifesting themselves and there doesn’t seem to be any “light at the end of the tunnel” coming soon.
Currently, both major players, Allegion and Assa Abloy are communicating between 20-40 weeks for their more popular smart locks. This has opened an opportunity for manufacturers such as Alarm Lock who is currently shipping their smart locks in 4-6 weeks. This delay continues to effect projects all over the country with all Access Control manufacturers.
I know our customers will be excited when these times come down to more normal levels.
Overall Grade for 2023 Commercial Security Supply Chain: C
According to the experts at Forbes magazine, the 2023 supply chain issues will not return to pre-covid levels for a few years. The two biggest issues they say are contributing to the slower recovery are inflation and the disappearance of workforce. They’re saying that this is the new normal for a while. They also see a larger issue with raw materials being sourced in a timely manner as lower wage workers found ways to earn more by learning new skills during the pandemic.
In summary – Commercial Security supply chain serve times are improving in most categories, so we’ll give them a passing grade. We love our partnerships and are rooting for our partners to prove the experts wrong. Our manufacturers are led by talented and passionate people. This gives us confidence that things will improve in 2023.