Ask any Director of purchasing or IT Buyer how easy it is to find the headend / Broadband  equiptment that they need, and they will tell you it’s not a walk in the park. Ask them how easy it is to find a satellite receiver, modulator or demodulator after they have a fatal failure and they will tell you it’s next to impossible. The question you have to ask yourself is why is it so difficult to find these units and nearly impossible to procure them when they are needed urgently? The answer is not as crazy as you might think.

The fact of the matter is, the new channel you are launching at the end of the month, you know the one you need the 30 satellite Stress caused by network equipment failuresreceivers for,  your company is not the only one launching it. As it just so happens, all of your competitors are going to launch that  exact same channel at the exact same time you are, and you guessed it, they have decided to use the same Motorola satellite receivers and digital demodulators that you are planning on using. This would not be an issue, if the secondary market was flooded with these specific units. Unfortunately, it isn’t and the closer you get to the channel launch date, the scarcer these receivers will become.


So I am guessing your biggest question now is what you can do about it?

the earlier you start sourcing your broadband equipment the better!Well there are a few things that you as a director and buyer can do. Firstly, get ahead of the game and start planning early. If you know in advance that you will be launching this channel within 5 or 6 months, don’t wait until it is a month away to start buying the catv headend equipment you need. The earlier you start sourcing the satellite receivers, the better your chances of getting all of them in house with plenty of time to build out and install your head-end.


Now that you are sourcing your equipment way ahead of time, you need to include spare units into your budget. Let me repeat that, you need to make room in your budget for spare satellite receivers and digital demodulators.


Here’s Why

You are giving yourself 6 months to source and procure the quantity 30 satellite receivers that you need for this particular channel launch. Which will give you plenty of time, even if you run into lead times. But what happens after the channel launch, when you have a unit failure? If you purchase spare units when you were initially buying, and it took you 6 months to source all of the units you needed, how easy do you think it will be to find a replacement unit?


Don't throw away money!  Keep spare broadband equipment on hand Finding a replacement unit is going to be nearly impossible, because you and all of your competitors have purchased nearly ever unit off the market. The few that you may be able to find will most certainly be new and cost at least double what you initially paid. . Forcing you to spend more of your budget than you planned. In fact, having to purchase brand new units, if you can find them, and have them over-nighted to your facility will cost you a good deal more than it would have cost you to buy a few spare units with your initial purchase.

The Take Away?

The reason why you cannot always find the head-end equipment that you are looking for is because every other IT buyer and director is looking for the receivers that you are.  To ensure that you procure what you are looking for is to plan ahead and start buying as early as possible.   Finally, the best way to ensure that you will never have to scramble to find a replacement unit and break the bank to get it, is to buy a few hot swappable spare units when you make your initial purchase.  I guarantee you stocking spare headend equipment will save you a whole lot of time and a whole lot of headaches!

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