Spend Matters Afternoon Coffee

Look for continuing coverage of supply/procurement issues from Japan all this week in our afternoon posts.
Japan's carmakers suspend domestic operations -- Japan's four biggest carmakers have said they are suspending production at their domestic plants through to at least Wednesday to cope with the after-effects of Friday's earthquake and tsunami.

Some supply optimism.
Japan earthquake: Acer says supply chain not substantially hit -- Acer has said that the devastating earthquake in Japan will not bring substantial impact on the company's supply chain. The impact on its procurement of LCD panels, optical disc drives (ODDs), hard disk drives (HDDs) and other key components is limited, Acer estimated. For panels, Acer's suppliers are mainly South Korea-based makers and Taiwan-based AU Optronics (AUO) and Chimei Innolux (CMI), with Japan-based makers accounting for only a small portion of total procurement volume, Acer said.

Cost reduction wins.
Cost still main priority when managing supply chains in spite of damaged relationships -- Cost still reigns as the top concern among 66 percent of top industrial companies as the leading consideration of their supply chain models. However, 63 percent of the same agreed more attention should be paid to non-financial elements of the supply chain and 38 percent said that an myopic focus on cost has harmed supplier relationships. This according to a new report from KPMG, Global Manufacturing Outlook – Relationships, Risk and Reach, which polled nearly 200 senior-level executives from across North America, Western Europe and Asia-Pacific about their supply chains and how they were changing as a result of prevailing economic uncertainty.

How will Japan earthquake affect Apple's iPad supply chain? -- Apple releases the iPad 2 on Friday and on the very same day a 9.0 earthquake rocks Japan, one of the centers of NAND flash production. What might the fallout from the quake be to Apple's product availability and rollouts as well as to prices?

- Sheena Moore

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