Identifying risks and mitigating disruptions in the automotive supply chain

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Firms are exposed to a variety of low-probability, high-impact risks that can disrupt their operations and supply chains. These risks are difficult to predict and quantify; therefore, they are difficult to manage. As a result, managers may suboptimally deploy countermeasures, leaving their firms exposed to some risks, while wasting resources to mitigate other risks that would not cause significant damage. In a three-year research engagement with Ford Motor Company, we addressed this practical need by developing a novel risk-exposure model that assesses the impact of a disruption originating anywhere in a firm's supply chain. Our approach defers the need for a company to estimate the probability associated with any specific disruption risk until after it has learned the effect such a disruption will have on its operations. As a result, the company can make more informed decisions about where to focus its limited risk-management resources. We demonstrate how Ford applied this model to identify previously unrecognized risk exposures, evaluate predisruption risk-mitigation actions, and develop optimal postdisruption contingency plans, including circumstances in which the duration of the disruption is unknown.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Simchi-Levi, D; Schmidt, W; Wei, Y; Zhang, PY; Combs, K; Ge, Y; Gusikhin, O; Sanders, M; Zhang, D

Published Date

  • September 1, 2015

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 45 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 375 - 390

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1526-551X

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0092-2102

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1287/inte.2015.0804

Citation Source

  • Scopus