Recent flooding in Thailand has caused hard drive availability and pricing issues for many industries in the US including the CCTV industry. Top hard drive makers such as Western Digital and Seagate have plants in Thailand, where flooding has killed at least 377 people and devastated many areas of the country including the industrial area. Some factories are closed and others are running but warn of parts shortages. No one knows how long the hard drive shortage will last but some estimate that it could take months for the supply chain to be completely restored.
These shortages are affecting the CCTV industry because computer hard drives are a critical component of digital video recorders (DVRs) and network video recorders (NVRs). Each DVR or NVR contains at least one hard drive and some can contain up to 16 hard drives or more.
Computer parts distributors are reacting to these potential shortages by raising their prices (up to double what they were a week ago) or requiring that resellers buy additional products bundled with each hard drive. One well known supplier is requiring that the reseller purchase a copy of Microsoft Office with every hard drive. Another supplier is only selling hard drives to buyers of complete computer systems. To keep from running out of stock, local distributors like CompUSA have instigated a policy that limits hard drive sales to a maximum of 5 per customer per day.
Discount Security Cameras (DSC), a nationwide CCTV distributor and manufacturer, scrambled last week to purchase and stock as many hard drives as they could to prepare for their customer’s needs in the coming months.
“Our customers need hard drive storage for their security solutions. So we have done everything we can to prepare for this shortage. We even drove all over the city and bought every hard drive on the shelf that people would sell to us”, says Dave Page, President of DSC.
“We paid double for these drives but we’ve got to have them available for our customers.” Says Page.
CCTV dealers like DSC have been forced to raise their hard drive prices in response to the additional cost. DSC is also limiting the number of hard drives that may be purchased with each DVR to one or two drives (depending on the size of the DVR).
“We are recommending to our customers that they purchase the least amount of hard drives per DVR that they can get the job done with. In a few months the prices should come down again. Then they can install more hard drives in the DVR when it’s more economical to do so”, says Page.
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