Learning from Japan's disaster one year later
March 29, 2012
A year has passed since the devastating earthquake and tsunami that rocked Japan and led to significant supply chain disruptions all over the world. The disaster showed supply chain management leaders how optimizing logistics and cost must be counterbalanced with ways to mitigate risks of disruption.
According to Supply Chain Digital, companies around the world learned one of the most valuable lessons in supply chain management after the disaster - that the benefits of cost-cutting and just-in-time strategies can be quickly compromised by the costs of disruptions. These costs can be both financial and reputational, and can lead to longer-term losses such as delayed production and even lower energy spent on innovation.
Following the catastrophe, companies saw how large of a portion of their supply chains was impacted not by physical damage from the tsunami, but by rolling brownouts across the country. These power losses left a huge impact on the global manufacturing industry, and made parts critical for assembly impossible to access, leading to extremely delayed production.
A separate Supply Chain Digital article notes that despite the crippling damage, the world is emerging from the disaster, and goes so far as to say that a "supply chain renaissance" may be on its way.