Words of Advice:

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight
to a Person on the Ground Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It." -- Unknown

"Everything is easy if somebody else is the one doing it." -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Friday, March 13, 2020


I have long wondered what would happen if the “just in time” method of supply and stocking was disrupted on a large scale.

We may find out soon enough.


CenterPuke88 said...

Exhibit A: Toilet paper at your local supermarket.

DWW said...

I’ve long wondered the same thing.
It seems like one of those things that looks great on paper, especially the balance sheet, but is pretty sensitive to any little bobble in the supply chain. It’ll be interesting to see if retailers/manufacturers etc start maintaining larger inventories in the near future, and how long it takes them to revert back to a JIT system.

FWIW, I took an inventory around our house of consumables that are made in China and bought accordingly. I’m not too terribly worried about the virus ( I may regret being blasé about that), but I’d rather not go a couple of months without trash bags and laundry soap if I don’t have to...

dinthebeast said...

Having spent a decade managing a warehouse, this disruption doesn't really surprise me. You always want to aim for JIT, but sometimes you miss a little and either run out and miss some sales, or get stuck holding merchandise that may or may not retain its value.
In my own case it was food, and came with an expiration date that you really wanted the retailers to still have a lot of when they took delivery.
Got a feeling that such pickyness won't be as much in the picture fairly soon, at least for a while.

-Doug in Oakland

Stewart Dean said...

Oh, we have JIT medicine; it's called for-profit medicine which holds dear a couple of magical beliefs:
1) Really, really bad and disruptive things never happen so you spread-sheet 'optimize' your medical infrastructure for steady-state plus 20%. Profits, dividends and (most importantly) executive compensation for this genius work come first. That and building HMO and Big Pharma empires
2) Medicine is risk-free, now that there are magic bullets for everything medical, and not particularly tied to healing or compassion, therefore any clown that wants to make a killing should make a career in medicine (the reason that docs never used to be sued was that they were on the front-lines of life-and-death exposure to dread disease and were respected for their commitment, risk and sacrifice. How 20th century)

Oh, and this: Medicine is something that money can be made off of, therefore it should and must be ("It's morally wrong to five a sucker an even break")

Eck! said...

Having worked in the electronics industry... The most disruptive time was
Chinese New Year, everything stops for at least two weeks. With a new
product stocking was not possible it was rush to the shutdown and then
if it shipped good even then it was largely two weeks, more like three,
nothing was going to happen if a change or more was needed.

Fukashima was another case of it....

Any of us that depended on stuff of any kind to be made then shipped
from anywhere knows this already. JIT was a tool to avoid the costs
of stocking by ignoring what happens if there is no stock available
for some amount of time usually brief. It was the handmaiden to the
contracting out of work to make the factory smaller thus avoiding in
house fabrication. In the end its not a single thing its a collection
of things that if one fails its broke.