In January, Resilinc reported on the potential El Niño and its impacts on the global supply chain. In the last few months, we’ve started to see weather reports, possibly El Niño related events, that can have significant impacts to industry supply chains such as electronics and life sciences. As you will see, impacts in one industry can impact industries not typically viewed as related or interdependent. Below is an analysis of potential supply chain impacts to electronics, automotive, and life sciences industries, as well as upstream mining and agriculture industries.
Watching the news recently, I heard the weatherman say that the first major blizzard of the season dumped a year’s worth of snow on the Buffalo area alone. Then, the Thanksgiving nor’easter brought a sloppy mess of rain and snow to several parts of the U.S.
Images of the supply chain disruptions from last February and March popped to mind. During that "Snowmageddon," icy roads and damaged railways caused transportation delays, and we saw shortages for some materials that double as deicers.
“Being proactive is not a mysterious quality that we have, or don’t have. It is a way of dealing with things that we can develop and strengthen.”
There was a recent news article about Apple delaying the release of their new Apple Watch from November 2014 to the Spring of 2015. The Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing of GT Advanced Technologies, a supplier to Apple of scratch-resistant sapphire goods, appears to have caught Apple by surprise potentially causing this delay. Obviously this push means a huge loss to Apple, especially since it was targeting its launch to coincide with the holiday shopping season. Apart from the direct impact to Apple watch deliveries, this also means that Apple will now have to abort their plans to replace the gorilla glass with sapphire in their upcoming iPhones.
The current Ebola outbreak is becoming more than just a worldwide emergency health issue. It is becoming a supply chain concern. While our thoughts are with those impacted by the awful disease, the potential supply chain risk is also creeping into the minds of business leaders.
Resilinc’s monitoring shows some signs of a ripple effect on supply chain sourcing, pricing and availability of key raw materials. These events, indicated by an increasing number of news reports, raise flags about the impact the disease has on mining activities (particularly with alumina, iron ore and gold), palm oil and palm kernel oil supplies, and potential crude oil disruptions.