I met with Paul at Celestron yesterday, and the top question on my agenda was of course to find out when we can expect delivery of our latest order of microscopes. Paul reiterated to me what we already knew, which was that the delay is caused by the global shortage in computer chips: a situation that appears to be getting worse long before it gets better. Celestron’s lead time on its high-end telescopes is now 630 days, so in that respect, we should be counting ourselves lucky.
Having originally given us a delivery estimate of “by the end of July,” it is quite clear at time of writing that this is not going to happen. Paul was reluctant to give a revised delivery time, except to say that it was “imminent” and that he was chasing it on a daily basis. Celestron are aware of the number of customers we have waiting for the TetraView and how important our customers are to us, and assured me that no company will be receiving delivery or even notification of delivery before us.
I am really desperate – what can I do?
I know that some of our clients are desperate to start performing cytology, and the delay on the TetraView is harming their business. I asked Paul what Celestron could offer these clients, and he suggested that if any of you already use an external monitor for your ultrasound scanning or sperm analysis, or alternatively a laptop, the MicroDirect 1080P could be a great alternative. The images are just as spectacular as the TetraView: the only difference is that it does not come with its own monitor (hence the need to connect it to an external monitor via HDMI, or a laptop). At £159 (free delivery), it’s also considerably cheaper than the TetraView.
If any of you are desperate to get going but know that you ultimately want the TetraView, and simply want to borrow a MicroDirect 1080P until the TetraViews are in stock, please email Dativa or get in touch via our webform. We do not typically loan out equipment but we appreciate the situation everyone is in right now, and will do whatever we can to help. In this instance, you would pay the full price for the MicroDirect, but this would then be deducted from your purchase of the TetraView once they are in stock (minus a slight depreciation cost and our delivery and return costs to you).
Long lead times are here to stay
Anyone who has been on the waiting list for a TetraView microscope for a while, or even a ScanPad+ ultrasound machine, already knows too well the ways the global chip shortage is hitting our industry. But we are not alone: electronic chips – such as the memory chips Celestron are waiting on to be able to ship out their TetraViews – are found in mainstream products such as televisions, cameras and cars. Ordering a new car and receiving delivery within a few weeks may soon become a distant memory, with lead times for new cars rising up to 6 months.
The knock-on effects of Covid-19 are going to ripple throughout the global supply chain for a long time to come, and many are predicting that it will take at least two years for supply to return to a relatively normal level.