Monday, September 9, 2013

     This week's reading "Building A Flexible Supply Chain For Uncertain Times" proved to be very relevant.  I read an article A fire at a factory in China could make all your gadgets more expensive this year" that reinforced the necessity of a flexible supply chain.  A random fire at a Chinese factory may not be of consequence to you or me, except for when it produces an integral chip used in much of today's technology.  SK Hynix is a world leader in memory chips.  They supply all the big name tech companies, such as Apple and Samsung to name a couple.  Currently they have a 30% market share on all the memory chips used in smartphones, tablets, and computers.  This fire caused the price of a standard memory chip to increase by $0.30 and effectively shutdown a factory that produces 10% of the world's chip supply. 
     The fire brings up the delicate balance companies must find when configuring their supply chain.  McKinsey's article tells us that " smaller but more frequent orders are often an easy way to reduce volatility in demand and therefor inventory levels."  That advice is very important here because those companies that employ the big order, less frequency model will be severely affected by this increase in price.  My question: Is it more prudent to overstock on integral pieces of your supply chain form the get go or employ the strategy of smaller, but more frequent orders?  Companies that order less won't take a big hit, but those that are already stocked up can take advantage of the increased pricing their competitors will be forced to utilize. 

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