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

Last week, the United States Department of Transportation took further steps to address various issues identified in recent train accidents involving crude oil and ethanol shipped by rail. The announcement was made by DOT with other DOT agencies, including the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA).

Logistics Management Group News Editor Jeff Berman had an opportunity to interview Derek Leathers, President and Chief Operating Officer of Werner Enterprises, at this month's NASSTRAC Shippers Conference and Transportation Expo in Orlando. They discussed various aspects of the truckload market, including prices, fuel, and regulations.

During this webcast our presenters will apply the findings of the 23rd Annual Trends & Issues in Transportation and Logistics Study to the world of shipper-carrier decision making. They'll examine the primary aspects that will influence the future direction for shipper-carrier decision-making.

For February, the month for which most recent data is available, the SCI dropped to -1.0 from January’s 2.6, with FTR explaining that the short term positive impact from one-time adjustments for rapidly dropping diesel prices and the suspension of the 2013 motor carriers hours-of-service expires later this year.

Seasonally-adjusted (SA) for-hire truck tonnage in March was up 1.1 percent on the heels of a revised 2.8 percent (from 3.1 percent) February decline, with the SA index at 133.5 (2000=100). This is off 0.3 percent from the all-time high for the SA of 135.8 from January 2015 and is up 5 percent annually.

Comments

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


© Copyright 2015 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA