Custom Built PC Lead Times
Very high demand coupled with industry wide component shortages are forcing increased lead times for custom built PC systems. We have added extra staff and extra shifts and we are very focused on bringing down our lead time, but component shortages often dictate the possible delivery date. Lead times are quoted at the checkout and currently we are running toward the higher end of the quoted range.
Are the days quoted on lead times working days?
Yes, when we quote days in any lead times they are Monday-Friday working days.
If components are holding up my order will Punch get in contact?
Yes, once we are sure that a component will stall our ability to build your PC we will reach out to you via email or phone and discuss alternatives for getting your PC built.
Are the number of days lead time guaranteed?
No, the lead time is the best endeavour, we are building a custom product that has many complex parts. We will always work to get your PC to you as fast as possible, but as they are not pre-built and ready for immediate dispatch, then we have to work within the confines of the sourcing, construction and testing process. However, versus an off-the-shelf product, we are able to offer a multitude of customisation options.
Flexibility is often key to a timely delivery
With hundreds of components on offer via our configuration system and severe supply constraints, it's impossible to keep everything in stock. If we are able to be flexible over the exact components used in the PC build, we can usually find similar specification items in stock to complete your order more quickly. If we are having difficulty with supply of some items on your order, we will be in touch.
PC Component Supply Chain Update
All graphic cards are in shortage at present. We have some limited stocks on GTX 1650 and GTX 1660 Super and RTX 3070.
GTX 1650 super, GTX 1660, GTX 1660 Ti, RTX 3060 Ti, RTX 3080 and RTX 3090 are severely restricted in supply, with small shipments arriving each week which we allocate to back-orders strictly in date order.
AMD Radeon graphics cards are also in constraint and supply seems even worse than the NVidia based cards. We do receive very small pockets of stock but don't wish to leave the selections live on our site for back orders at present. We will add items to our selection list as they become available. If items are marked as 'Extended Lead Time' then we are operating a queue system for stock allocation.
Why is there so much uncertainty around components arriving at the moment?
- The release of new components from AMD and NVIDIA has created a lot of demand from enthusiasts and have given customers a compelling reason to upgrade their PC now.
- Lockdown has lead to customers investing in their home computers or getting additional computers in their household.
- Brexit has increased the burden on customs, and many European distribution hubs have struggled to get their product into the UK quickly.
- The demand we are seeing for computers is right across the developed world and there is a global shortage of components.
- We are about to reach Chinese New Year, a national holiday in China, which disrupts output in much the same way Christmas disrupts output in Europe.
- Many factories producing key components are operating with reduced output due to material shortages further up the supply chain. Raw materials and key commodities are in constraint and prices and lead times have increased.
What does 'Extended Lead Time' mean when we add it to product descriptions?
The uncertainty outlined in the section above means we cannot get a confirmed delivery date from some of our suppliers. We know the product is coming, just frustratingly we don't know exactly when. These items operate a queue system for stock allocation but expect the PC to take longer to deliver than the regular stated lead time at the checkout.
If I pay for Express Delivery, will I jump the stock allocation queue?
No, in order to ensure fairness, back ordered stock is allocated strictly in date order. Express Delivery will only jump the build queue. Express orders will be looked at sooner with a view to contacting you to swap components as required in order to find a full allocation which is available from free stock only.
How long do we expect PC component supply to remain constrained?
This is always the question we get asked when entering a period of market shortage. It's difficult to answer accurately but we need to ask ourselves this - is this just a localised issue due to Brexit etc or is it a global supply problem? It's clear to me this is the latter. Component manufacturers can't simply turn on the supply taps, many components, especially silicon ICs are on a very long lead time. This may be 6-12 months and that's if the FAB plants making them have the capacity to increase production. At the moment many of the FAB plants making the more high-tech ICs simply don't have the capability to increase production further. That would indicate that this problem is likely to persist for a couple of years. The cycles in this industry tend to run from supply famine to feast anywhere from a 6 month to 2 year cycle. I suspect the latter this time.
Are PC prices increasing?
We have seen some small increases in general PC component prices over recent months. It's a feature of the usual supply v demand in the market. Our policy is that we would rather have the stock on the shelf so we can deliver PC systems rather than hold out and only take supply at the very best price. This has lead to some price increases depending on the components chosen. The difficult to source graphic cards have been the worst affected. So far the price increases passed on via our website have been relatively small and this is mainly due to the value of the pound versus the US dollar recently. Global PC component supply is always priced in US dollars and so as the value of the pound has gone up in recent months, it has negated much of the price increase.
What will happen to prices over the next few months?
Hardly a week goes by at the moment without a vendor notifying us of a price increase on one component or another. The rate of price increases seems to be accelerating rather than declining. These increases are usually for goods as they leave the factory in the far east, so there is around 6 weeks before the higher priced stock lands here and will start to affect the retail price. To make matters worse, the price of shipping goods from the far east has also significantly increased. 6 months ago we could ship a 40' container from China for around £2000 door to door. Now we are being quoted £10,000 door to door and goods ready at factory now can't be shipped for 6 weeks due to no available vessel space. This all adds up to higher landed costs and more stock shortages to come!