Dell warned customers of delays in fulfilling orders on time.

Dell warned customers of delays in fulfilling orders on time.

Tech buyers in heavily regulated industries were concerned about shortages as the global IT supply chain trembled from the impact of the spreading coronavirus. Meanwhile, Dell warned customers that it might not fulfill orders on time.

In an email sent Monday to U.S. customers, computer maker Dell said it was having difficulty meeting delivery dates. The company said its suppliers were experiencing "extended delays" in shipping processors, memory and other components.

Also, Dell's and partners' fulfillment centers were still recovering from the tornadoes that swept through Tennessee March 3, killing 25 people.

"Due to the events listed above, most systems and configurations have been impacted, causing delays on production and fulfillment," said Brittany Moore, a Dell sales account manager.

Dell asked customers to provide information on timetables of projects involving data center gear or more than five laptops or desktops. "This ensures we can work together and make sure that we stick as close as possible to your companies' go-live date and keep productivity at an all-time high," Moore said.

"That's going to be our biggest hurdle," he said. "If we need IT equipment, then we're going to purchase IT equipment unless something catastrophic happens, and we need to stop everything."

IDC predicted last week a "significant slowdown" in IT spending as the pandemic shook all sectors of the world economy, including supply chains, trade and business planning. As a result, IDC said its original forecast in February of 4.3% growth for 2020 could fall to 1%.

"The situation is extremely fluid," said Stephen Minton, VP of IDC's customer insights and analysis group, in a statement. "Things could get worse, but hopefully not."