"Parts that manufacturers had no idea were being made in Japan suddenly were in short supply, causing production lines to shut down. If they had a point-of-origin database, they could have made a quick assessment of their exposure to the risk and adjusted accordingly."
This is true example of why better documentation is necessary. The extensive documentation can add some cost to the overall supply chain cost but any shortsupply due to natural or man-made disasters can be easily detected and the necessary actions can be taken quickly.
@nemos. My statement wasn't a value judgement. It was an observation about the state of the industry in 2000. There was a disconnect between buying tantilum capacitors and the human rights violations taking place in the DRC. No one was making the connection. Now the industry knows a bit more about the connection. But not the consumer. As far as I can tell, the consumer is still pretty much clueless.
Intention of process is good. But in the end, how much effective it is to help those poor people to whom we try to protect. It is very intricate task and they must work very closely with those less fortunate countries.
Sorry, the ITRI is based in England, St. Albans to be precise. According to Canada's Globe and Mail, an organization called Partnership Africa Canada, received $1.6 million to develop yet another tag-and-bag tracking system, which the ITRI already devleoped and tested. It seems activists are more interested in talking about the problem than solving it. Once solved, then the spotlight and donations shifts elsewhere.
@Peter E You’re referring to the International Tin Research Institute’s standard. It's ironic that ITRI is based in Belgium considering the role that country played in exploiting the Congo. Here's another book recommendation: King Leopold’s Ghost, by Adam Hochschild.
The tin industry, under the auspicies of the ITRI based in Belgium, has developed and tested a tracking system from mine to smelter. It's been shown to be 75 percent effective and needs to be taken seriously since it could be a partial solution. For an indepth look at conflict minerals in the Congo, see the book, Consuming the Congo: War and Conflict Minerals in the World's Deadliest Place (Lawrence Hill Books).
It is interesting to see how after decades of deadly conflict in the DRC, that the government leaders (including Rwanda) would complain that they are losing money with this new law taking place. Granted there are times that we stick our proverbial noses into places it shouldn't be, but it makes you wonder what will ever change when the country’s own politicians would rather have the money instead of stability and human decency.
EBN Dialogue enables and encourages you to participate in live chats with notable leaders and luminaries. Not only editors and journalists, but the entire EBN community is able to comment and ask questions. Listed below are upcoming and archived chats.
Thailand Stages a Comeback Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Microsoft Surface: Potential Winners & Losers What are the implications for the electronics industry supply chain of Microsoft Corp.'s decision to launch its own tablet PC? Join industry veteran and EE Times' systems and OEM expert Rick Merritt on Tuesday, July 3, at 12:00 pm EDT for a Live Chat on this subject.
Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Peter Drucker famously said "Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window." Yet in the razor's-edge world of electronics—with a lean supply chain and just-in-time demands—the need to know the future is vital.
While no one really can accurately predict the future, we can take guidance from another Drucker saying which is the best way to predict the future is to create it.
You've heard the saying "the No. 1 supply chain risk is your people." That hasn't always been the case. But today's complex global supply chain requires a new type of multitalented employee. It's one who understands, finance, marketing, economics, is savvy with technology, graceful with relationships and can think analytically.
Where are these people? Are universities properly preparing the next generation supply chain professionals? How do train your existing workforce for these new, demanding positions?
Brian Fuller, editor-in-chief of EBN, will lead a 60-minute Avnet Velocity panel discussion that will ask and answer these and other questions swirling around today's supply-chain talent challenges.