Overcoming supply chain challenges

| By Elena Carruthers
COVID-19 has had and continues to have a significant impact on the gaming industry, challenging the sector in a myriad of ways. Booming consumer demand for products incorporating increasingly complex electronic systems and challenges with freight have led to significant supply disruption over recent months. As disruptions continue, operators seek the tech to facilitate their return to normality – and to drive long-term results.

Jon Jayal is Quixant’s Group CEO and was one of the original team members when the company was founded in 2005.  An engineer by background, Jon has harnessed his passion for technology to lead a business which brings innovative hardware and software platform solutions to the gaming market, enabling manufacturers to concentrate investment on game design.  Jon also spent 6 years working in the financial markets at institutions such as Mercer and Blackrock providing him with a strong financial discipline and understanding of stakeholder management.

Booming consumer demand for products incorporating increasingly complex electronic systems and challenges with freight have led to significant supply disruption over recent months. Disruptions to the supply chain have been particularly challenging for land-based game manufacturers, who after grappling with continued uncertainty over venue re-openings are now starved of critical components to satisfy strong demand for new machines.

With gaming venues now reopening around the world, delivering the ultimate customer experience is critical to the industry’s successful rebound, and technology has a central role to play in this journey, according to Jon Jayal, CEO of Quixant plc.

“Following months of lockdown and pent up demand, returning players are seeking the most immersive and enjoyable gaming experiences. Gaming manufacturers require robust and reliable technology so they can focus their time on enhancing the player experience, and they depend on this technology being readily available.” However, Jayal warns that while brighter times are coming, disruptions to the supply chain will persist for the coming months.

“The challenge that the industry currently faces is that demand is coming back at a fairly quick pace, but component shortages continue, preventing ready access to the technology that they require to build their latest and greatest gaming content on, and compromising their ability to keep ahead of the increasing demand.”

The impact of gaming regulatory requirements

Overcoming the short-term supply issues and the impact this has on their game development is an essential hurdle for all gaming manufactures before they can focus on delivering their longer-term strategic goals.

Jayal commented: “One aspect that heightens the current supply shortages for the industry is that gaming regulatory requirements require a very fixed, defined set of components to be used in their  machines deployed into the major global gaming jurisdictions.”

While consumer technology manufacturers frequently substitute unavailable components for alternatives to keep production lines populated and prices down, this is not a luxury which the gaming industry has available with the stringent regulations governing the machines.

Jayal reflected: “In the current climate, it is essential to work together to find solutions to the current shortages, so all game manufacturers can obtain the technology they need to keep ahead of the growing demand. We are working with our customers to provide alternative solutions where possible, and bringing advanced stock purchase options to the table to mitigate shortages in parts that can’t be changed.”

Collaborating to overcome supply issues

While the disruptions impact suppliers and game manufacturers in equal measures, flexible, tight partnerships which leverage the strengths of both parties will be what drives innovation and success in these challenging times.

This starts with having an open line of communication with supply chain partners and honesty about current and future needs, says Jayal.

With global gaming venues going through different phases of re-opening, an important aspect to success is for game manufacturers to understand their technology needs and communicate these effectively to their supply chain partners.

Jayal reflected: “We’ve got to come through this together. A close partnership between customers and suppliers is key, to understand requirements in the coming months, and to effectively plan for these. Having this visibility of current and future needs has enabled Quixant to most effectively plan and navigate these challenges.”

Preparing for the future

Spending a significant amount of time over the last 24 months getting to know its customers even better has enabled Quixant to develop an expansive offering of technology to meet the industry’s needs, providing solutions for all markets and budgets.

Jayal reflects: “Listening to the needs of the market, Quixant’s new ultimate range of gaming hardware platforms integrate a host of embedded software that accelerates and enhances the game development process. The solutions push the capability of the hardware to its maximum and enables our customers to focus their time on content creation, to more cost effectively develop their content and to launch in record time”.

While uncertainty and challenges will likely persist for a number of months for the gaming industry, the gradual reopening of land-based gaming brings a breadth of new opportunities alongside it. Working collaboratively with partners to overcome the hurdle of securing technology, game manufacturers can spend their time focusing on content, continuing to create the most engaging gaming experiences, and exploring the possibility of expanding into new markets.

Knowing that the way the industry does business has in many cases changed since pre-pandemic times, Quixant has developed a range of flexible payment options for its partners including Leasing; instalment and Vendor Managed Inventory solutions which allow a traditionally CAPEX based investment, to be considered as OPEX, and reduces lead times from up to four months to four minutes.

Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter