Thursday, July 17, 2014

The lessons will be hard

We're a couple of decades or so into our rapidly expanding digital age.

Cellphones and PCs have given way to Smartphones, iPads, and tablets. And these are just the most obvious applications.

Everything seems accessible by our fingertips. In real time, no delays.

We now take more for granted than ever before.

At the same time, these technological marvels allow our society's suppliers to run with ever thinning inventories, and to centralize their operations using drastically stretched resupply lines.

And anything but those retail items that turn over the fastest need to be special ordered, usually dispatched straight to your home from a warehouse often far, far away. Overnight delivery is an option for critical items.

All done in the name of efficiency.

Now, for the down side:

Even a modest disruption in digital information services or networks could mean significant almost instantaneous provision shortages on a local or regional basis if they cause just-in-time inventories to not arrive on time.

And once shelves go bare, how soon after will panic set in?

We're too new into the digital age to fully understand some of its pitfalls.

When the shortcomings reveal themselves, the lessons will be hard ones.

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