Japan’s top automakers, including Toyota, Honda, and Nissan, are once again posting strong sales and profit numbers, reports the New York Times. It is a sign they have weathered the disasters of 2011, when an earthquake and tsunami created chaos at facilities throughout Japan, while flooding in Thailand’s manufacturing centers paralyzed production lines. Prior to these disasters, the global financial crisis and large, heavily publicized recalls for Toyota made business difficult for the carmakers.
While a strong yen depresses some Japanese bottom lines, the restoration of severed supply chains and built-up demand means carmakers are regaining lost ground in markets including the United States. Domestically, government incentives on fuel-efficient cars also are boosting demand.
In Portland, Oregon, ports are preparing for a large increase in Japanese auto imports. This year, Toyota alone intends to build a record-breaking 9.76 million cars. Its net profits are about $3.71 billion from April to June, as it sold nearly double the cars from the same period in 2011. But some question whether automakers can maintain the upswing. “They’re at the peak of their momentum, but for quite transient reasons,” says Takaki Nakanishi, auto analyst at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in Tokyo. “Japanese automakers still face tough conditions and competition, and a slowdown is likely in the second half [of 2012].”
Companies Vulnerable to Supply Chain Information Risks
Supply chains are now an integral part of many businesses and a significant competitive advantage, which makes them targets for hackers and data thieves, says Michael de Crespigny, chief executive of the Information Security Forum, a not-for-profit information security and risk management organization. His group has begun a project to examine how collaboration and intelligence sharing can enable organizations to ensure supply chain information is secure, reports the Financial Times. The goal is to develop a security framework to provide companies with a degree of assurance on how their data are protected.
People in the developing field of supply chain risk management tend to focus on physical security and risks. However, information security may be as valuable as physical products and even more essential for the supply chain to function. Yet this aspect of supply chains is typically addressed less vigorously, says de Crespigny. However, a report by the World Economic Forum, an independent, nonprofit global business advisory firm, identified shared data as the second largest supply chain vulnerability, second only to reliance on oil.
Supply chain information sharing and security is complicated by a profusion of standards and guidance, says de Crespigny. Materials published by international standards organizations vary in scope, purpose, and level of detail. Additionally, little of this material is cross-referenced or mapped. As a result, supply chain partners find it difficult to communicate clearly about information and its protection. The goal of the Information Security Forum is to provide a common framework to communicate requirements and measure performance.
3-D Production Modeling Enables Better Visualization at Chrysler
Workers at a Chrysler facility in Indiana are using a new manufacturing process that adapts three-dimensional techniques to save costs making transmissions, Reuters reports. The preproduction modeling system enables visualization of all aspects of a factory, including people, parts, and equipment. The production aspects can then be tested virtually to see how they work together.
As a result of 3-D modeling, waste and worker injuries due to repetitive motion will be reduced. Cost savings likewise will be significant, says Brian Harlow, head of Chrysler’s powertrain operations in North America. Already, the portion of engineering costs to total costs are reduced to 3 percent from 4 percent.
The 3-D process enables engineers to simulate production with greater accuracy than two-dimensional modeling. “We can address issues before they ever become a problem on the plant floor,” Harlow says. Engine facilities throughout the United States and Mexico will adopt the imaging techniques.
2012 APICS International Conference & Expo
October 14–16, 2012
Denver, Colorado, USA
Colorado Convention Center
Registration for the 2012 APICS International Conference & Expo is now open. The conference will be held October 14-16, 2012 in Denver, Colorado, USA. The theme of APICS 2012 is Elevate supply chain performance: Value creation through market alignment and integration.
Visit the APICS 2012 website and register today!
Members-only: APICS Extra Live: Creating Strong Relationships Between Manufacturers and Distributors
Presented by: George F. Brown Jr., Founder, Blue Canyon Partners
Date: August 9, 2012
Time: 1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m. CT
Webinars On Demand Available
APICS Extra Live: Solving Supply Chain Disruptions--Beyond the tactical
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APICS Extra Live: Strategic Imperatives for Improving Supply Networks
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Watch more APICS webinars on demand.
Gartner Supply Chain Executive Conference
Join Gartner September 17 - 18 in London, U.K. for the Gartner Supply Chain Executive Conference. Collaborate and connect with the world's leading supply chain executives, all in one place at one time. The 2012 conference agenda offers content for all executives on the supply chain leadership team. Gain strategic and tactical Gartner advice from industry analysts and thought leaders who collectively have over 150 years of supply chain experience. As well as learning from these experts, you will have a chance to interact with leading solution providers at the forefront of the supply chain market. Plus, experience the 2012 Gartner Supply Chain Top 25: Top EMEA Supply Chains Revealed!.
Save $400 when you register with code APICS.
Save even more when you bring your team. Receive exclusive benefits, including complimentary registrations and additional time with our analysts.
Supply Chain Council Executive Summit
September 18-20, 2012
Indian Wells, California, USA
This year's executive summit will include topics that supply chain executives have expressed as major impactors on their decision-making. The effects these decisions have had on their professional development as an executive and the evolution of their organizations will be incorporated into the sharing.
The event will include several personal interview format sessions throughout the program so that the audience can have the opportunity to hear more detail about the speakers' accomplishments
View the conference website.
Introducing the APICS Risk Management certificate
APICS now offers a comprehensive, forward-looking program that will prepare you to lead risk management activities or participate in the development of global risk mitigation strategy. The APICS Risk Management certificate validates that you have received 12 educational contact hours in core and elective risk management topics.
Obtain the hours necessary to earn the certificate by attending the Risk Management learning path at the 2012 APICS International Conference & Expo (5 hours) and participating in one of the following to complete the remaining 7 hours
- a combination of risk sessions at future educational events including the APICS International Conference & Expo, APICS Supply Chain Asia Conference, or Best of the Best S&OP Conference
- APICS Risk Management Seminar (7 hours)
- pre-approved risk management education sessions at partner events.
Explore APICS folios
Assess supply chain risk, develop your organization’s supply chain strategy and sustainability, and understand how you can successfully implement or grow your organization’s sales and operational planning process with APICS folios.
$19.95 APICS member - Save 50%
APICS Supply Chain Sustainability Folio: Uncovering the Triple Bottom Line
Supply chain and operations management professionals are increasingly called on to carry the torch of innovation to reduce costs, demands on resources, and waste; while increasing the reuse of existing assets, and enabling lean operations. Employing sustainable practices is critical to meeting these business needs.
APICS Supply Chain Strategy Folio: Make the Most of Supply Chain Strategy
Understand challenges and identify areas where senior management and operations management can work together to maximize the effectiveness of your supply chain strategy. Access this APICS folio to delve into critical supply chain functions and tasks that may not be effectively supporting your supply chain strategy.
APICS Supply Chain Risk Folio: Protect your Business with Risk Management
Mitigate and anticipate supply chain risks at your organization—from rising and falling demand to natural disasters, market uncertainty, and varying levels of trust among supply chain partners. Purchase this APICS folio to identify tools to deal with risk at your organization.
APICS S&OP Folio: How to Be an S&OP Champion
Predicting the future generally is thought impossible; yet, S&OP users seek to do just that by strategically directing businesses to achieve competitive advantage. Purchase this APICS folio to understand how you can enable your organization’s bottom-line effectiveness with S&OP.
Access APICS career development resources
Use APICS career packs to understand your career path and next steps, evaluate candidate qualifications, or establish consistency across your organization's hiring.
Free! APICS member
- Individuals seeking to advance in one of the career pack job title areas can evaluate their knowledge and skills, plan their next steps, and identify areas for improvement and growth.
- Hiring managers seeking qualified candidates can identify specific knowledge, skills, and experience required when evaluating prospective employees and building job descriptions.
- Organizations interested in developing their workforce can create consistency and establish required competencies for individuals in each of the career pack job title areas.
APICS career packs:
For each job title, APICS career packs compile essential information to help you understand the job role, including
- career path information
- core competencies required of qualified candidates
- job descriptions and keywords
- how to use job titles and descriptions.
Download the APICS members-only report 2011 S&OP Practices and Challenges and purchase the APICS Folio: How to Be an S&OP Champion
Predicting the future generally is thought impossible; yet, S&OP users seek to do just that by strategically directing businesses to achieve competitive advantage, and—more and more—are expected to do so to enable their employers' bottom line profitability.
Supply chain professionals: Take the APICS CSCP Learning System Free Demo today
By earning the APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) designation, you will demonstrate significant commitment to your profession and your career, distinguish yourself as an industry expert, and excel with your newly acquired specialized knowledge.
APICS CPIM exam study options
APICS offers a variety of study options to help candidates prepare for the APICS Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) exams and enables them to choose the option that matches their preferred learning method.
For students who learn best in a classroom-based environment, there are instructor-led courses.
Online certification review courses
Online courses are ideal for professionals who enjoy taking a structured class, but need more flexibility.
Other APICS self-study options
APICS offers a wide variety of tools for candidates interested in studying on their own, including the
- APICS CPIM Exam Content Manual
- APICS CPIM practice questions
- APICS CPIM study notes.