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With the magnitude of devastation in Japan as a result of last week’s earthquake and tsunami, it is no surprise that it has taken a while for an assessment of the impact on the supply chains in the various industries affected. But news has begun trickling in, though analysts have “cautioned that the disaster’s impact may hinge on how long it takes to bring Japan’s manufacturing sector back to life” according to the Washington Post.

The above-linked article cites the four US industries most likely to be affected by the disaster in Japan: autos; nuclear reactors, boilers and parts; audio and televisions; and cameras and medical equipment. Here are highlights from the Washington Post’s analysis on each industry…

Autos: Automakers are expecting minimal disruption in the US. Honda’s popular models are supported by North American suppliers and Nissan has a 50-day inventory on-hand or in-transit.

Nuclear Reactors, Boilers and Parts: It is still too early to tell.

Audio and Televisions: The potential for disruption in this industry is probably going to depend on the contingency plans of the manufacturers, namely shifting production elsewhere. Sony had to suspend operations at seven plants and SanDisk admitted to “minimal” impact, which is still impact. Analysts are expecting chip prices to increase.

Cameras and Medical Equipment: Canon and Nikon had employees injured in the disaster. The degree of devastation is apparently giving Canon no choice but to shift production with some plants (note the plural) estimated to be down for more than a month.

Why might the true impact end up being worse than currently predicted? I’m planning a follow up to lend some insight.

Stay tuned.

Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3

Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3 is an internationally-recognized business expert, legendary procurement thought leader, award-winning entrepreneur, and provocative blogger. Charles founded the Next Level Purchasing Association in 2000, oversaw its incredible growth, and successfully led the organization to its acquisition by the Certitrek Group in 2016. He continues to blog and provide advisory services for the NLPA on a part-time basis as he incubates his upcoming business innovations. Charles is also the co-author of the wildly popular, groundbreaking book, "The Procurement Game Plan: Winning Strategies & Techniques For Supply Management Professionals."

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