Audio company Bose developed the supply resiliency tools it used to tackle coronavirus in the aftermath of the 2011 Japanese earthquake.
Eric Dwinells, director, global supply management operations at Bose, said the earthquake and tsunami highlighted difficulties linking parts with supplier locations due to manual processes and it became “our main catalyst for our supply chain resiliency programme”.
Speaking at the Gartner Supply Chain Symposium, Dwinells said: “Covid-19 has been the biggest disruption to our supply chain since the Japanese earthquake. It certainly put our supply chain programme to the test.”
Dwinells said the programme was built around five pillars: site mapping, financial analysis, business continuity planning, social responsibility, and crisis management.
He said site mapping involved working with Resilinc to link components with factories and identifying single points of failure and high-risk locations. Bose has mapped down to tier three suppliers. “This is the visibility we didn’t have nine years ago,” he said.
Dwinells said they were working with suppliers to understand the maturity of their business continuity plans. “Next year we will be working with suppliers to work out where their weaknesses are and help them with a game plan to improve on those,” he said.
Dwinells said a crisis management war room was set up on 29 January to deal with the pandemic and initially there were meetings on a daily basis, though they are currently taking place weekly.
He said the war room included representatives from business divisions, global supply management and supply chain operations, including logistics and distribution centres (DCs).
Dwinells said they were reviewing how well the war room operated, covering work done on supplier assessments and recovery. He said a key learning point was “we didn’t engage DCs and 3PLs early enough” and as a result they have been brought earlier into the process.
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