The hard disk drive shortage problems can be easily circumvented, according to a local components supplier. Just bring the product in from overseas.
Meltek's Bruce Robertson says that despite reported worldwide supply constraints, there are still products out there if you know where to look. "There's still a fair bit of stuff available," he said. "I get e-mails every morning offering me drives."
When stock is tight, Australia is often put last on vendors' lists for supply, and most of the allocation goes to the US, he said.
"It happens all the time. The US and Asia are big markets, so why would they worry about a piddly little 2 per cent market like us. They don't want to store the product; they want to move as much of it as quickly as possible."
Meltek has been operating in Australia since 1993 and sources hard-to-get components from overseas suppliers. It specialises in legacy products.
"We can source anything. We simply go and find what our customers want," Robertson said. "If they want specific brands, we generally find it, although sometimes they may have to go with a similar product."
Of course, the products don't go through official channels, but in times of supply constraints, the taboos surrounding grey marketing can become insignificant in comparison to the need for product, he said. Robertson dismisses concerns about grey marketing, saying the important issues such as warranty are still covered.
"What grey marketing issue? It depends on whether they want to service their clients. Grey marketing is really an outdated term these days because everyone is talking about a global economy.
"Some of the majors may not like it, but that's their problem. We are still a market that needs to be serviced. Why should we be on the end of someone else's string?"