If you ask manufacturers what’s shutting down their supply chains and driving market-wide silicon shortages, 9 out of 10 will point to COVID-19-based factory closures. But parts are delayed for 52 weeks while factories were closed between 2–6 weeks, so what was the real reason? A deeper investigation shows that a growing combination of trends seen in the past, like tight lean raw material inventory management and the bullwhip effect, are largely to blame.

In 2018, something strange began to happen with MLCC capacitors, a commoditized and extremely common type of ceramic capacitor used in most electronics. Prices began to…


Walk through any city district, and eventually your eyes will catch it. You’ll look on in awe, as you see racks of refurbished clothing and used shoes packed neatly into Nike’s refurbished stores, available for far cheaper than initially bought, in near the same condition you would find them new. You could cross the street and see Apple’s refurbished outlet, with stacks of like-new computers on sale for hundreds of dollars less than retail, because someone opened them before. …

Mobius Materials

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