Cyberpower Service Update – May 2021
We last published an (appropriately lengthy) update some
months ago. As we now see more lockdown restrictions easing and some semblance
of normality returning, we felt it was time to provide a further update.
Please read on for details about service levels and product
During the last update we made it clear our service
levels had suffered in the face of the sheer volume of orders and queries we
were receiving. Since this time we had made terrific strides to make
improvements and this is a testament to the commitment of our service team who
have worked supremely hard these past months.
Our telephone lines remain extremely busy and we continue
to receive huge numbers of emails from customers every way. However, since the
last update, we have made some improvements.
In the spirit of transparency, we felt a few stats would
be of interest:
Our service team, who look after pre-sales and assist
customers looking for updates or wishing to make changes to their orders, have
a target to reply to all emailed queries within four working hours. At the time
of writing this is being achieved 95% of the time for new queries and 99% of
the time for existing queries. We’re happy with this but will continue to seek
Our support team, who look after troubleshooting and
technical issues, are currently answering emails with four working hours 87% of
the time. This is a vast improvement on where we were a few months ago but it
can be improved and we will continue to do so.
Our telephone lines remain extremely busy. We would
suggest the best way, currently, to contact us is by email. If you do contact
us by telephone, you can request a call-back when you are on hold. Currently
the team is tasked with calling back all customers the same day a call-back is
requested and we’re achieving this 94% of the time. Again, we’re happy with
this but understand there’s room to do better.
As always, we must thank all of our customers for their
support and understanding during these extremely unique times.
Shortages – GPUs and CPUs:
In short, demand continues to outstrip supply across the
industry, in particular with CPUs and GPUs. The main issue is a shortage of
chips which has been exacerbated by the recent bloom in cryptocurrency mining.
Whilst the latter may calm it is only a small part of a greater challenge which
faces the industry. We know our partners at Intel, NVIDIA and AMD are doing
everything they can with their own manufacturing and supply chains to improve
but this isn’t an issue with a quick fix. The chip suppliers are operating at
full capacity and it’s still not enough to satisfy demand. New facilities are
planned to increase these capacities but this is not, by any means, a quick
As such, worldwide, the chip shortages are set to
continue for some time yet.
However, we continue to receive stock of both CPUs and
GPUs. We’ve invested heavily in our stock and we have ongoing support from our
partners which is allowing us to fulfil the majority of orders within our
advertised lead times.
We do not do this for all orders, many are delayed due to
delays in stock arriving with us, and we endeavour to keep all affected
customers informed as and when these delays are made apparent to us. Sadly,
many delays are only made apparent to us at the last moment and we apologise
for those customers who are affected by these delays.
Logistics continue to be a challenge in 2021, as do the
costs of moving products from A to B. The vast majority of our products –
cases, coolers, PSUs, GPUs, motherboards, storage etc – originate in places
like China, Taiwan, Hong Kong. These products are mostly shipped by sea in
For some context and perspective, we bring in a large
amount of stock by sea. A specific example would be cases which we bring in
from one of our partners, Corsair. They manufacture an OEM version of the 220T
gaming case for us. At this time in 2020, to bring a full container of these
cases from China to the UK, would have cost Cyberpower around £2,000 per
container. These cases are shipped in to us in quantities of 1095 so we would
have around £2-£3 of shipping costs to build into or price for this case.
At the moment, the same size of shipping container is
costing Cyberpower around £11,000 per container. So where we used to build in
around £3 per case for shipping, it’s now closer to £12 per case. This is the
same for our competitors who are also large enough to bring in stock directly
from the Far East as these costs increases for freight have been ongoing since
Q4 of 2020.
The same increases are also being suffered by anyone, in
any industry, shipping anything by sea, rail, or air. This means every
component is seeing increases in indirect costs and these costs either have to
be absorbed or passed along, at least in part. This applies also to our
partners, such as MSI or Asus, who will bring in stock via sea freight to their
European warehousing centres before being shipped around Europe to their
partners, such as Cyberpower. Other batches of stock will be shipped to us by
air, so there is a mix of lead times, but regardless of the method employed,
all have increases massively in costs.
Additional issues are timescales, and these are another
worldwide issue being felt by every industry. That same container of 220T cases
we could move for £2,000 in May 2020 would usually arrive to us in 8-9 weeks
from the point of order. That would be ~4 weeks for manufacturing plus another
4-5 weeks sailing time. Currently the sailing times, despite being more than
five times the cost, are closer to 7-9 weeks. This is in part due to congestion
at ports, which continue to work under COVID-safe restrictions, causing voyages
to take much longer and a worldwide shortage in shipping containers, causing
initial delays before the products are even loaded onto a vessel.
Added to this are the continued consequences of Brexit,
making the movement of stock into and from Europe much more complicated,
slower, and more expensive than it has ever been. This can particularly affect
customers where, if we cannot facilitate an instant repair or replacement of a
returned product, it will then be shipped by us to the service centres for the
manufacturer, such as MSI. These service centres are mostly based in Europe and
are, themselves, also still operating under restrictions to arrest what remains
a global pandemic irrespective of what progress has been made in the UK.
Circumstances such as these are utterly and completely
beyond the scope of Cyberpower’s control but we are doing everything we can to
plan far enough in advance to ensure we have strong stocks available and the
best options in the market for our customers. We are working hard behind the
scenes with all of our partners to assist with this and we cannot thank them
enough for their efforts. We should also commend the procurement department,
who customers neither see nor speak with, but without whose work and dedication
we would be lost.
If you’re still reading this, congratulations, we applaud
your stamina. However, we did want to ensure we provided as much detail as
Whilst we are making terrific strides, the industry does
continue to face challenges. We are doing everything possible to lessen the
impact customers feel from these challenges and, in truth, we do feel we’ve
done a pretty good job of it. It has, by no means, been perfect and we will
continue to improve in all aspects it’s possible to improve, but we do feel successes
should be celebrated.
A massive thank you, from the entire Cyberpower UK team.
A message from
On a personal level, I do want to ensure customers are
aware of just how hard our service and support teams have worked during 2021. I
understand not all customers have had the level of service they would have
expected and each case has been looked at where possible to ensure we can do
better, to continue to be better. So, a public thank you from me to those guys
for their efforts.
Additionally, the PC builders and production staff. The
warehousing wanderers. The finance folk. The purchasing people. The marketing
magicians. These guys are people customers do not see, whose efforts are unseen
by consumers, but without whose work we could not be in the position we’re in
so, again, a public thank you from me to them.
There’s also a huge debt of thanks owed to the Discord
community, in particular the moderators and contributors. Just as our service
team have been inundated with queries and so forth during these past months, so
too has the community and they’ve shouldered it superbly.
Thanks again to all customers for their ongoing support
and understanding. I’ll try to keep the next update a little less garrulous!