I would agree with everyone that the human element should play a major role when developing and implementing risk strategies to limit the impact of these disasters. Control towers and managed TMS solutions give companies an extra set of eyes on the ground in these regions. A global TMS solution with a managed services allows companies the ability to drill down and know what specifics SKU's and PO's could be impacted with such disasters which helps when creating prevention strategies or response plans.
This may be good in very long term, if dissaster really happens. But, how much more will it cost to consumer and share holder in short term for this additional quintessence actions? In difficult days, it may be discouraging to act on this.
In all scenarios, the role of leadership when it comes to tackling disasters is important. Some leaders are not very cautious and might risk the damage from disasters and save significant costs on preventive measures as it is possible that even if the natural disaster comes, the facility remains unaffected. Other leaders will not risk one bit the continuity of operations and will be willing to invest alot in preventive measures.
It is important to weigh the pros and cons of setting up a facility in a disaster-prone area. For e.g. if you think that a car manufacturing project requires advanced technology specific to automobile industry and Japan is the right place to manufacture then despite knowing that Japan comes on the earthquake belt, you have to setup the facility there. To counter the disaster, however, additional investment on making the manufacturing facility tolerant to the disaster will do the job.
True. Automation is there to help humans rather than replace the tasks they undertake completely. As Bolaji and Ariella said, human is the one who is responsible for the results that technology gives. Over-reliance on technology is neither effective nor possible as the technology makes performance of operational tasks easier but the thinking behind what to perform remains that of human.
I completely agree every big OEM who want to sell their products across the world should keenely look into all the issues that can impact their supply chain and in the end operations of the company. Xperienced people come to the resue of these conglomorates and can predict the future and shield the company from any major disasters.
In my opinion, in this world of automated systems and data analytics it is the human element which acts as a sixth sense in a critical situation and makes the right hunches and decisions and it is the human relationships that help companies to come out of crisis situation where the hard facts generated by the smart analytics fail to help come out of a tricky situation. This is because with the human relationships you can sometimes bend the rules , walk some extra mile and sometimes even put one's own job at stake to help someone in distress.
You can automate a lot of things but it takes the human touch to either inject into or extract from data what does or doesn't quite make sense. I believe you can't take humans out of this situation completely and the role of an experienced executive shouldn't be undervalued.
It's about time someone recognized the human element of supply chain management. Although automation has vastly improved the type of data collected; the analysis of the data; and programs that can respond to certain events; only people can build the kind of relationships where you can call someone when you are in a bind or establish trusted relationships. I think too heavy a reliance on automation and analysis could ultimately set the supply chain back.
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.