It’s the 14th of June 2022, 9:00 am, and I sit here reflecting on two of the most unpredictable years I have experienced while working at this wonderful company. Every day, we are bombarded with an abundance of information, and as a team, we collectively make decisions that overcome these constraints and keep us moving towards our North Star. We believe it beneficial to share some of these insights with you.
Covid-19 news has been replaced with updates on the war in Ukraine and the fear of a recession in the US. On local soil, we’ve seen the reserve bank increasing the repo rate by 50 base points, with talks of another hike coming soon and the fuel prices hitting an all-time high.
The good news is that S&P lifted the outlook of the South African economy from stable to positive, and the mining sector is benefiting from the sanctions imposed on Russia.
At MiRO, we believe that our beautiful country and industry will have a lot of growth in 2022 and beyond. ICASA’s state of the ICT sector report, published in March this year, revealed that less than 10% of South African households have access to fixed internet at home and that most South Africans still depend on their mobile devices as their primary source of internet access. To respond to this unfortunate statistic, we need the communication equipment to do this – with fixed wireless or fibre optics technology.
An issue that started in 2021 and has now escalated to a critical state is the shortage of electronic hardware, especially Wi-Fi and switching gear. This problem began in 2020 when the world went into lockdown, and the demand for consumer electronics skyrocketed. The imbalance of reduced manufacturing capacity, lack of shipping containers and vessels, and the increase in consumer spending on electronics caused this persisting challenge in our industry and is only forecasted to end in 2023.
What does this mean for us here in Southern Africa? In short – we are experiencing extremely low inventory levels on Wi-Fi, fixed wireless, and other networking equipment. We don’t have enough foresight to provide reliable lead times on these sold-out lines.
Fortunately, as a value-added distributor of a wide range of connectivity solutions, MiRO identified this issue months ago. Our world-class team has tried their best to increase stock holding on a wide range of alternative products to support our business partners as best as possible.
In our Wi-Fi portfolio, we have stocked up on alternative Wi-Fi brands to help us soften the blow of stock-outs on the more popular stuff – speak to us if you’re unsure on how to select the right in-stock products. We have also seen a shift in supply from Wi-Fi 5
to Wi-Fi 6 chipsets and recommend that our partners not wait for out-of-stock Wi-Fi 5 products. It’s better to explore the in-stock alternatives instead. We would hate to see businesses waiting months on end for stock and risking losing the opportunity to connect individuals and businesses to the internet.
Furthermore, we have expanded our product range to connect our communities and maximise the opportunity that the internet brings. These products include intelligent alarm systems from Ring – an Amazon company, home IoT products from Aqara by Xiaomi, innovative audio solutions from VSSL and fibre accessories from Acconet.
Reach out to us if you need assistance in growing and scaling your business. We would love to help you achieve success.