Analyzing and simulating supply chain disruptions on the automobile industry based on experiences of the Great East Japan Earthquake

Kenji Ono, Yasuhiro Akakura, Masami Kanda, Masatoyo Ishihara


The Great East Japan Earthquake revealed fatal weak points of the supply chain management (SCM) employed by Japanese industries in particular that of automobile industry. Observed disconnections of supply chain and shutdown of production lines of the industries are recognized as an icon of weakness of industrial SCM. Japanese automobile industry in particular is now keen on improving resiliency of the supply chain in terms of continuity of the automobile assembly lines. In view of this, the authors: i) review an observed negative impact of the Great East Japan Earthquake on the automobile industry, ii) identify current strategies being considered by automobile industry for improving resiliency of supply chain, iii) develop a numerical supply chain model of automobile industry, and iv) evaluate efforts to improve SCM practice through inclusion of risk mitigation measures. The authors finally conclude and recommend a possible policy development for further strengthening resiliency of the automobile industry.


The Great East Japan Earthquake, supply chain management, numerical modelling

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