November 11, 2021

Supply Chain Constraints & Recommendations

Although manufacturers are catching up to demand, there are still logistical issues regarding delivery. Trucks, ports, and shipping are all experiencing significant labor constraints, which is causing products to be delayed. In many cases, items are taking 3-15X longer to get from point A to point B. The U.S. is currently down about 80,000 drivers needed in order to sustain demand. We encourage all users to be as proactive as possible in ordering goods to mitigate significant delays. We also encourage all users to utilize our catalog suppliers as much as possible, as most of them have warehouses in the Denver metro area.

Supply chain issues continue to affect several commodities, making it difficult to procure certain goods and services. Below is a list of the categories and the products affected, as well as updates on previous categories that were affected but are now stabilizing.

Scientific & Research Category: No Change

Indications that plastic consumables still have significant lead times, and that PPE items such as gloves and N95 masks could potentially go back to allocation for some suppliers in the next few months. We encourage all users to review their current inventory, and procure necessary items needed through the remainder of 2021 as soon as possible. Note that the University’s primary supplier for lab supplies, Fisher Scientific, is shipping quicker than many industry competitors, but staff is encouraged to place orders for the products below well ahead of projected need dates. Medline has also made significant changes to their transportation logistics to ensure quicker lead times. We encourage users to check with our catalog suppliers first for necessary products. 

PLASTICS – (continued constraints)

  • Pipets and tips
  • Centrifuge Tubes
  • Media Bottles
  • Cryogenic Vials
  • Cell Culture Plastics
  • Plastic Tubing
  • Sharps containers
  • Specimen collection
  • Polypropylene bottles, tubes, racks, etc

EQUIPMENT USING COMPUTER CHIPS – (continued significant constraints)

  • ULTs, biosafety cabinets and centrifuges

CHEMICALS – (continued constraints)

  • Production chemicals/GMP life science (salts/buffers, tris, HEPES)
  • Polypropylene based chemicals
  • Ethyl acetate

SAFETY (PPE) – (continued constraints)

  • Nitrile and sterile gloves
  • Apparel
  • Respiratory – N95
  • Sterile PPE
  • Apparel
  • Spill control
  • Packaging

GLASSWARE – (stabilizing)

  • Disposable glass (tubes, vials, pipets)
  • Reusable glass (beakers, flasks, cylinders)

Information Technology (IT): Update

Laptops are experiencing long delays due to the tightened supply of semiconductor chips, as well as glass for displays, and panels for monitors. Lead times for laptops has increased significantly, some taking as long as three months. We encourage staff to order laptops well in advance. Note that the University’s primary laptop supplier, Dell, is shipping quicker than many industry competitors. CDW is another resource if Dell has substantial lead times, however, if you would like to purchase a computer from CDW, you will need to get a quote from Brett Johnson: We encourage our customers to check these two catalog suppliers prior to ordering. 

EQUIPMENT USING COMPUTER CHIPS – (continued significant constraints)

  • Laptop computers
  • Desktops

Workplace Solutions: Update

The delivery of copier / MFD equipment and furniture is taking longer than usual due to the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 on global manufacturing suppliers and transport. Temporary labor services is also an impacted category due to a tight labor market, which is affecting many different areas where temporary staff are necessary. We encourage users to work with the University’s temporary labor suppliers to insights to better understand what to expect. If you have questions or need assistance, you may reach out to  the Sr. Purchasing Manager, Shondel Baum

FURNITURE – (emerging constraint)

COPIER / MFD EQUIPMENT – (continued constraint)

TONER – (emerging constraint)

TEMPORARY LABOR SERVICES – (continued constraint)

FOOD – (continued constraints)

Travel: Update

The ability to get a rental car is being impacted by COVID-19 and global manufacturing suppliers and transport. We encourage users to work with the University’s car rental suppliers for insights to what CU customers can expect. For a list of those suppliers, please visit our website:  If you have questions or need assistance, you may reach out to our travel team for assistance:

CAR RENTAL – (emerging constraint)