Hugh Pickens writes writes: "Peter Cochrane writes that since globalization took hold, geographic diversity has become distorted along with the resilience of supply so we now have a concentration of limited sourcing and manufacture in the supply chain in just one geographic region, south-east Asia, amounting to a major disaster just waiting to happen. "Examples of a growing supply-chain brittleness include manufacturers temporarily denuded of LCD screens, memory chips and batteries by fires, a tsunami, and industrial problems," writes Cochrane. "With only a few plants located in south-east Asia, we are running the gauntlet of man-made and natural disasters." Today, PCs, laptops, tablets and smartphones are produced by just 10 dominant contract manufacturers spearheaded by Foxconn of Taiwan, which manufactures for Apple, Dell, HP, Acer, Sony, Nokia, Intel, Cisco, Nintendo and Amazon among others and the bad news is many of the 10 big players in the IT field are not making good profits so economic pressure could result in the 10 becoming seven. The problem is that economic theory and practice isn’t working and "making judgment calls using simplistic models of supply, demand, price and profit is far too crude a starting point," concludes Cochrane. "We need to include resilience, survivability, sustainability (PDF), people and ecological impact in the equation.""
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