St. Paul, Minn. – It’s not often that Chromebook inventory makes national headlines, but we are far from ordinary times. With the pandemic forcing students to learn from home, there’s been a surge in worldwide demand for low-cost mobile devices. This demand spike coupled with unforeseen manufacturer shutdowns and added government regulations has continued to widen the education gap amongst students.
Millions of children are encountering a host of inconveniences at the result of virtual learning, but many are still faced with one basic challenge: they don’t have computers to attend classes online.
While the supply chain has slowly geared up, the rise in demand for learning devices has exceeded extraordinary levels. Adding to the problem, manufacturers are placing priority on producing electronics that net greater profits and prioritizing orders that are allocated to consumers. This shift in production along with a shortage of available Chromebook components has resulted in additional shipment delays for schools.
Districts with greater budgets seem to have made it out of the virtual shift without having much learning downtime. But, schools that did not have access to funds at the start of the pandemic are still grappling to get devices in their hands. Some schools have resorted to asking communities to donate laptops and computers. Others are having students do assignments and communicate through their parents’ smartphones.
So, how do school districts combat the Chromebook shortage?
Order now. Pay later.
“Order Now, Pay Later” is an option to put devices on reserve, without putting any money down. This gives shipping products to schools a head start, but allows the flexibility to reserve incoming devices immediately, but pay when the devices are shipped instead of when they are ordered. The invoice comes with the shipment and schools have the option to pay within 30 days of delivery. The earlier schools reserve products, the faster it gets to them at no added cost or hassle. Additionally, districts will not receive a fee or penalty for cancellations.
Even though most schools don’t currently have their budgets finalized they can still reserve Chromebooks and adjust accordingly when they have a definite number down the line. This can lift a huge weight off of a large order because a portion of it is already reserved or on the way.
While backorders are still a common fear, the longer school districts wait to reserve or purchase, the higher the probability of having to wait on orders in the future. Getting a percentage of an order reserved early on can drastically change lead time.