Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!


Too much slack in supply chain means softer Japanese recovery

By Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
April 07, 2011

Analysts for IDC Manufacturing Insights and IDC Retail Insights, report that Japanese manufacturers face severe disruptions across several value chains in the coming months.

According to IDC group vice president, Bob Parker, Toyota is losing $80 million per day largely due to several strategic suppliers being located in the Northeast.

“Even if plants were not damaged, power has been unreliable,” he said in a recent blog post. “General Motors, who also relies on suppliers in northern Japan for global production, has cut overtime at its Korea plants in anticipation of parts shortages and expects the impact to reach other parts of the world.  GM reported that the complete picture wouldn’t be known for several weeks.”

In the high-tech sector, Parker sees a similar crisis playing out, with a crunch put on semiconductor supply—particularly flash memory.

“The effects are already being felt in an industry that, prior to the earthquake, was already utilizing high levels of capacity,” he said. “Apple has announced that lead times for the new iPad 2 have already been extended to seven weeks, largely due to a lack of memory components.  Having a source of reliable energy is critical to getting this industry back to running normally and there is little optimism that the nuclear issues will resolve either favorably or quickly.”

Parker noted that base materials and consumer goods were also taking a hit – due in part to failures in supply chain technology.

Simon Ellis, who currently leads the supply chain strategies practice area at IDC Manufacturing Insights, concurred:

“There has been a trend up to now, to invest in systems that would assure redundancy,” he said in an interview. “But that puts too much slack in the supply chain. Now companies have to plan for the future without getting too focused on an overwhelming rapid response to disaster.”

Ellis said that companies should not retreat from a “just-in-time” model, as inventories will become too spare.

“Preparing for normal events and mitigating risk can be done sensibly and in a cost-effective manner. We advise companies to have contingencies in place for bad weather…not 100-year storms.”

About the Author

image
Patrick Burnson
Executive Editor

Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


Subscribe to Logistics Management magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your
entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

Even as Congress was putting the finishing touches on a 10-month short-term funding extension to the federal aid highway bill that temporarily averts a funding crisis, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx was ripping the measure as a short-term “gimmick” that once again fails to adequately fund U.S. infrastructure needs in the long run.

ISI is comprised of Integrated Services, ISI Logistics and ISI Logistics South and is focused on the warehousing and transportation needs of automotive shippers. RRTS said that in 2013, Integrated Services generated revenues of approximately $21 million adding that Integrated Services is expected to be accretive to Roadrunner’s earnings in 2014.

The market for supply chain management software continues to expand, highlighting the importance of software in today’s supply chains.

Over the past five years emerging markets have maintained their “growth dynamic,” observes John Manners-Bell, CEO, of the London-based think tank Transport Intelligence (Ti).

Amid the talk and coverage about things negatively impacting the trucking industry like increasing regulations, tight capacity, and equipment-related issues and challenges, there is one thing to always remember about the sector: it moves a lot of freight, make that more than a lot, actually.

Comments

Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.


© Copyright 2013 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA