We all know, the Japanese people and the Japanese industrial machine are in disarray to say the least! They are a nation in shock and in mourning, but also recovery. The Japanese are a resilient people and their rebuilding will begin sooner rather than later but amidst their despair, exists opportunity. Their North American plants are already slowing production in an attempt to conserve parts and weather what is bound to be a significant disruption in their supply chain. So I ask again, Are You Prepared!
The North American plants of Japanese auto manufacturers are going to need parts and will need them soon. They will be looking for local suppliers to fill the void while Japan rebuilds. The question for North American part manufacturers is, can you handle the opportunity? Can you create new parts with bills of materials and routings quickly and easily? Can your engineering department create new product structure, pass it into your data base and see how it will affect scheduling capacity? Can you calculate and identify the costs associated with these new products quickly and calculate pricing and profit margin?
All are great questions! All are questions an effective ERP Program is designed to address. If you are not using an erp system, you don’t have any of the answers, at least not quickly enough to be of use. Spending hours pouring over spread sheets and reports, will result in days of indecision and ultimately missed opportunity. I know there are other issues like labour, well there are fewer manufactures around; their employees are still here, either unemployed or under-employed. There are equipment issues but surely all those machines, your competition was using, must be somewhere at a good price and if you were currently using an erp system you would know if your machinery could handle the increase!
Finally, is it worth the effort, if it’s going to be short term? Well how short term will it be? History has shown one thing about the Japanese, they learn from it! They will understand the need to have a stable supply chain closer to their manufacturing plants, if not for all of their supply, at least for good portion of it. Couple that with the ever increasing cost, of an ever diminishing, oil supply the argument for producing parts closer to the manufacturing facility, starts to look more and more like a long term solution. So I ask again, Are You Prepared?
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