Japan Tsunami and Supply Chain Resilience

A New York Times article (March 19, 2011) descibes management of the global supply chain impact of the Japanese tsunami and earthquake and likens it to triage in a hospital.  Apple is quoted as having buffer inventory to compensate for the lead time for 30 % of flash memory chips sourced from Toshiba plants in Japan, but other articles claim that Apple will continue to receive priority supply due to its large volume commitments and prepayment for supply from some vendors.  In addition, with supply sources spread throughout the world – both for supplier plants and supply, global supply chains my be more resilient.  One former Apple manager is quoted as suggesting that the smaller parts sich as microphones, sensors and batteries may be the problem. Others suggest that raw material supply sources – such as damaged chemical plants may have a ripple effect.  Given the evolving disaster – from earthquakes to tsunamis to radiation related shutdowns and port impacts – what aspect of the disaster will be the bottleneck – input supply to suppliers or output flows from supplier plants ? Will shifting of production to other plants, in the US and elsewhere, dampen the US impact of this disaster ? Will innovation driven companies push back their new product introductions to compensate ?

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About aviyer2010

Professor
This entry was posted in Collaboration, Global Contexts, Operations Management, Supply Chain Issues and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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