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Modern corporations have the most efficient supply chains the world has ever seen. Exotic fruit travels from tropical plantations to cold-climate supermarkets faster than it can spoil. Electronic devices assembled and personalized in China are in an American customer's hands less than a week later.
Unless something goes wrong. Just-in-time manufacturing, author Barry Lynn warns, removes the cushion that supply chains need to absorb disruptions. Meanwhile, globalization means that any local crisis can spread ripples throughout the world. For example, the 1999 earthquake in Taiwan disrupted TSMC's production and caused supply shortages at Dell, even though Dell was not a direct customer of TSMC at the time.
Though some will argue that Lynn is being unneccessarily alarmist in order to sell books, cooler heads might want to examine contingency plans through his lens anyway. Does a second source really protect you if it is hit by the same crisis as the first?
Though my brother is the photographer in the family, I've taken some pictures that I'm pretty happy with as well. Still, I never thought my first published photo would be this one. Apparently the Energy Resources Center at the University of Illinois, Chicago, thinks it's a good illustration for a project they're putting together.
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