May 17, 2020

Forbes talks supply chain risk management

Japanese Earthquake
Freddie Pierce
2 min
Forbes gives five pointers to add resilience to your supply chain in response to the Japanese disasters
When Forbes talks, you listen. Well, at least you should. In a blog posted last month by Forbes, author Mark Humphlett of Infor talks about some of the...

When Forbes talks, you listen.

Well, at least you should.

In a blog posted last month by Forbes, author Mark Humphlett of Infor talks about some of the top strategies companies can put into place to build a resilience to supply chain disruptions.

Here are some of the highlights on tips to help avoid supply chain disruptions in times of disaster:

Design networks to sustain potential disruptions in the first place

Use advanced supply-chain tools for a complete risk assessment

Develop a solid, institutionalized business process that considers supply chain risks

Build risk identification into everyday supply chain operations

Create supply chain agility

It seems that supply chains around the world have implemented, or are implementing, the first four solutions following the Japan disaster. Businesses around the world are better prepared now than they were before the Japan disaster, with supply chain networks and practices being put into place to help mitigate the effects of a natural disaster.


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The fifth point is the most interesting in my mind.

By creating supply chain agility, Humphlett argues that having supply chain agility can provide a “massive competitive advantage in meeting demand” driven by specific market needs. In a world where customizable supply chain solutions are a huge market focus, having some sort of supply chain agility seems like a pretty good idea.

With everything happening to Japan following the earthquake and tsunami, this seems relevant for any business leader in the world today. You can’t prepare for disasters, but you can better position yourself, should emergencies arise.

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Jun 16, 2021

EU and US agree end to Airbus-Boeing supply chain tariffs

3 min
Supply chains embroiled in Airbus-Boeing dispute will no longer be impacted by $11.5bn tariffs imposed on food and beverage, aircraft and tobacco

The EU and US have agreed to resolve a 17-year dispute over aircraft subsidies, suspending tariffs on billions of dollars' worth of goods that have plagued procurement leaders on both sides of the Atlantic. 

Under an agreement reached by European Commission Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis and US Trade Representative Katherine Tai on Tuesday, the tariffs will be halted for a period of at least five years. 

It will bring an end to punitive and disruptive levies on supply chains that have little to do with the argument, which became embroiled in the trade battle. Businesses on both sides of the dispute have been hit with more than $3.3bn in duties since they were first imposed by the US in October 2019, according the EC. 

The US imposed charges on goods upto $7.5bn in response to a World Trade Organisation ruling that judged the EU’s support of Airbus, its biggest aircraft manufacturer, unlawful. A year later in November 2020, the EU hit back. The WTO found the US had violated trade rules in its favourable treatment of Boeing, and was hit with EU duties worth $4bn. 

In all the tariffs affected $11.5bn worth of goods, including French cheese, Scotch whisky, aircraft and machinery in Europe, and sugarcane products, handbags and tobacco in America. Procurement leaders on both sides of the fence were forced to wrestle with tariffs of 15% on aircraft and components, and 25% on non-aircraft related products. 

Boeing-Airbus dispute by the numbers  

  • The dispute began in 2004
  • Tariffs suspended for 5 years 
  • $11.5bn worth of goods affected by tariffs
  • $3.3bn in duties paid by businesses to date 
  • 15% levy on aircraft and 25% on non-aircraft goods suspended

Both sides welcome end to tariffs 

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen branded the truce a “major step” in ending what is the longest running dispute in WTO history. It began in 2004.

“I am happy to see that after intensive work between the European Commission and the US administration, our transatlantic partnership is on its way to reaching cruising speed. This shows the new spirit of cooperation between the EU and the US and that we can solve the other issues to our mutual benefit,” she added.

Both aircraft manufacturers have welcomed the news. Airbus said in a statement that it will hopefully bring to an end the “lose-lose tariffs” that are affecting industries already facing “many challenges”. Boeing added that it will “fully support the U.S. Government’s efforts to ensure that the principles in this understanding are respected”. 

The US aerospace firm added: "The understanding reached today commits the EU to addressing launch aid, and leaves in place the necessary rules to ensure that the EU and United States live up to that commitment, without requiring further WTO action."

This week’s decision expands upon a short-term tariff truce announced in March this year. The EC says it will work closely with the US to try and further resolve the dispute, establishing a Working Group on Large Civil Aircraft led by each side’s trade minister.

Airbus last month signalled to suppliers that post-pandemic recovery was on the horizon, telling them to scale up to meet a return to pre-COVID manufacturing levels. “The aviation sector is beginning to recover from the COVID-19 crisis,” said Airbus chief executive Guillaume Faury, adding that suppliers should prepare for a period of intensive production “when market conditions call for it.”

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