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03 Dec

Chip Shortages Begin to Bite

How much will ultrasound machines cost in 2022?

Electronic chip shortages are no longer news. From car manufacturing to home appliances, most of us are now familiar with the ways in which supply chains are being affected. In July, I wrote about how this was beginning to affect our own industry, with early casualties such as Celestron microscopes completely off the shelves for what will be over 12 months. Lead times on ultrasound machine manufacturing have steadily increased, with waiting times on some models now up to three months.

The other concern is inflation. The worldwide shortage of electronic chip manufacturers, and the overwhelming demand for them, has been steadily pushing part prices up throughout 2021. Machines which are created in the UK using globally sourced components, such as the ScanX ultrasound machine, are more resilient to this due to greater control over the supply chain. For machines manufactured solely in China, however, buyers can expect to see price rises in 2022. This will be due not only to the fact that ultrasound machines will become more expensive to manufacture, but also because companies must now tie up their cash for several months before they can even expect to receive any sellable stock.

 

Buyers beware

It is becoming more important than ever to know and trust the company you choose to supply your ultrasound equipment. The lack of availability of high quality, known brands, will undoubtedly mean that some companies attempt to cash in on the shortage with cheap, low-end scanners that they are able to overcharge for.

I speak to so many customers who lament the fact that they rushed into buying something from a company who were not experts in ultrasound, just because they had it in stock and the customer was excited to get started and not able to wait. This feeling is perfectly relatable, but a better option would have been to speak to their preferred supplier and find out what alternatives they could offer, rather than settling for an inferior product at an extortionate price that they are ultimately going to be unhappy with. What’s worse, a lot of the times, these companies will take the sale for an ‘in stock’ item and then notify you after receiving payment that there will be a significant wait time.

 

What this means for you

So far, our ultrasound clients have not been impacted by chip shortages and associated delays. This is because:

  • Very few of our models of ultrasound machine are ‘off-the-shelf’ products made entirely in China
  • We receive preferential access to parts due to our long history and strong reputation in the industry
  • While we can never perfectly predict the future, we do our very best to plan for it and protect our customers from disruption.

We have also kept our pricing steady, with no price increases on any ultrasound machines bought from us directly since 2019. With the cost of production set to increase by £150-200 per unit in 2022, small price increases next year may be inevitable, but what we can promise is that our pricing will always be fair and transparent – you will never be overcharged.

All of our ultrasound machines also come with our expertise thrown in for free – for life. That means that you can pick up the phone and call us, send us an email, find us on online chat or send a WhatsApp message any time, and an expert will get right back to you with an answer.

 

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