September 10, 2021

Toyota, Supply Chains, And You

New cars, especially popular new cars can be hard to find, and a long wait if you order. This has resulted in skyrocketing used car prices. But one manufacturer has been almost immune to the computer chip shortage that has plagued auto-manufacturers, Toyota. At a time where American manufacturers have experienced incredibly decreased production, GM at 60%, Ford at 50%, Toyota has led the world by staying at over 90% production.

How did they do this? They predicted the supply problem if chip production was ever disrupted, and they stock-piled computer chips. Pretty simple, huh?

As the article I was reading in Fortune magazine about this said,

“Unlike many of its rivals, Toyota essentially stockpiles chips. That’s a deviation from JIT, which dictates that supplies reach the production line only when they are needed. (Stockpiles occupy valuable space on the factory floor, as well as on the company’s books.) In practice, Toyota’s suppliers do the actual stockpiling. Like all automakers, the company relies on a multitude of components that contain semiconductors, such as smart displays or audio systems. Toyota requires suppliers of those components to maintain up to a six months’ buffer supply of chips dedicated to Toyota orders—just in case.”

Now why I do bring this up? Because we can learn in these uncertain times from Toyota. Identify what you need to “stockpile” and do so.

And it might not just be goods. How about stockpiling time with your family and friends? How about building relationships with people you’d need in a time of need. How about building your “spiritual” home for future threats to your faith?

When you are caught short-handed, it is too late to stockpile. We also tend to make bad decisions during times of crisis. We make short-sighted corrections that lead to worse problems. Just look at our responses to Covid.

Preparation is a common biblical theme:

Proverbs 20:4

The sluggard does not plow in the autumn; he will seek at harvest and have nothing.

Proverbs 24:27

Prepare your work outside; get everything ready for yourself in the field, and after that build your house.

Luke 21:36

But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.

Hebrews 11:7

By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.

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