How your Supply Chain can Learn from Taiwan’s Earthquake

A 6.4-magnitude quake struck southern Taiwan early Saturday morning local time, killing at least seven and causing widespread structural damage.

Some semiconductor manufacturers in the country have reported damage to their facilities—but how is it going to affect supply chains? 

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Image courtesy CBS News

A TSMC facility in Tainan, southern Taiwan, reported that the quake broke “no more than one percent” of their wafers being manufactured. The company estimates that the broken tools will be back to normal production speed within 2-3 days.

Supply chains saw such a small amount of damage largely due to good timing. The earthquake occurred around Chinese New Year, when production quantities were down in order to let workers celebrate. First quarters are also generally slow for production. Elementum’s analysts saw no rush to secure extra orders, and in the days after, no concerns were voiced about stocking out of semiconductor wafers.

A Supply Chain Practice Run

While Taiwan’s earthquake didn’t cause extensive damage, its status as a tech manufacturing hub still necessitates a serious examination of your company’s operations. If your company manufactures parts in Taiwan, ask yourself how your team responded:

  • How quickly did you learn about the earthquake?
  • Do you know exactly what your company manufactures in Taiwan, if anything? What about N-Tier suppliers?
  • How quickly did your company gauge the impact to its supply chain?

Take some time to reflect on how you and your team reacted to the quake, and think about what you could have done differently. Could information have traveled faster? More efficiently? Do you have an emergency response team ready to act at any point? Now is the time to address the areas of improvement, so that if a subsequent disaster does impact your inventory, you know how to respond, communicate effectively, and avoid huge losses.

 

Banner image courtesy Associated Press.

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