With the one year anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake upon us, the wide scale destabilisation caused by the tragic event has prompted extensive discussion about supply chain resilience.
Following their annual survey, the Business Continuity Institute (BCI) followed up with those companies who had reported disruption to their supply chains, examining what the long term effects have been and as a result, what changes they will be making to their overall strategy.
With such a high number of businesses reporting disruption to their supply chain, attention has been drawn to those factors exposing manufacturers to new threats, and whether the move away from "redundancy" - idle capacity and buffer stocks, in favour of lean and "just-in-time" supply chains, has left manufacturers vulnerable in times of crisis.
Commenting on this, Lyndon Bird, FBCI Technical Development Director & Board Member said, "The Great East Japan Earthquake exposed the acute vulnerability of a complex, interdependent system of global supply chains, which affected businesses thousands of miles away from the earthquake and tsunami itself. The perpetual quest for supply chain optimisation has taken a pause, and we are seeing signs of a more considered approach to supply chain risk with businesses leveraging techniques such as business continuity management to better understand their vulnerability and to put in place measures to improve resilience and continuity when faced with disruption."
The report, which can be viewed in full on the website (http://www.bcifiles.com/2011EarthquakesBCIReportMarch2012.pdf), addresses some of the key issues that these results raise, including what new measures businesses should be taking to ensure continuity and shorten recovery times.