Hard Drive Makers Do Not Know When They Recover - Chief Exec of HP

HP: HDD Manufacturers Unsure When Production Capacities Recover

by Anton Shilov
11/21/2011 | 10:34 PM

Chief executive officer of Hewlett-Packard said that manufacturers of hard disk drives (HDDs) are unsure when they be able to restore all shipments of HDDs to the levels prior to severe flooding in Thailand. In the meantime, HP did the same as its rivals: it started to acquire hard drives and pull-in the inventory.

 

"I have been on the phone with the heads of all four of our disk drive partners. I am not even sure they have a complete picture about when they are going to be back up and running," said Meg Whitman, chief executive officer of HP, during the conference call with financial analysts.

Just like its rival Dell, HP formed a special crisis team, pulled-in already made PCs and started to acquire hard drives from its partners. As a result, the company now can prioritize its shipments and supply enough PC products to important or strategic customers. In general, HP does not expect itself to suffer significantly from the shortage of hard disk drives, but is still cautious about the situation.

"We reacted really fast to this. We set up a war room. We began pulling in inventory and made strategic buys of hard drives back in early October. So I think we will get more than our fair share of drives here because of the long-term relationships that we have with our suppliers because we were on this really fast," explained Mrs. Whitman.

Exactly like the  vast majority of its competitors and partners, the chief exec of HP expects shortages of hard drives to continue to exist throughout the first half of 2012.

"I think this is going to affect the industry pretty dramatically because it is PCs, it is servers, it is storage. I think there is going to be some shortages in Q1 and Q2. I think we're as well positioned as we can be, but I think this is going to be pretty tough for the industry," concluded Mrs. Whitman.