Lean manufacturing has been the standard in Japan - and across the world - since Toyota and other Japanese manufactures mastered Toyotism in the 1980s. This methodology focuses on mastering repeating processes, improving the flow of production, and empirically analyzing results to reduce inefficiencies.
But, when disaster strikes, how does one react? Japan was unfortunately asked this question in March, after being devastated by a massive earthquake and Tsunami. How were some of the biggest manufacturers and supply chains able to recover from the disaster?
A new article from Software Advice (site) analyzes who are some of the post-tsunami supply chain all-stars, and how they did recovered. Some were pre-emptive: they had been affected by disaster in the recent past, and had effective action-plans. Others worked together, sharing secrets with competitors in order to help suppliers get up and running as soon as possible. And one in particular - Apple - was able to leverage its stranglehold on the supply chain and come out relatively unscathed. These companies are a testament to disaster readiness, as well as proof that quick-thinking and action can prove effective in repairing the broken links of a supply chain.
Today, businesses must take a closer look at their value chains and determine the weakest points - these are where calamity will hurt the most, and should be the first points of action. In the future, these instances of success will become great case studies on how to recover from horrible natural disasters quickly and effectively.