Posted by: brandextenders | March 14, 2011

Japan’s Devastation Already Being Felt in the U.S.

I stared at the screen dumbfounded. Could this really be Japan; the country that came back stronger than ever after World War II, repairing destroyed cities and building one of the strongest economies on earth? The devastation is unbelievable and looks like the aftermath one might see in a movie like “War of the Worlds.” My heart is broken for their country and I feel helpless to do anything other than offer financial assistance, which seems like a pittance given what they are facing.

Various Memory Chips

As a result of this catastrophe, global companies are facing disruptions if not complete closures of many of their facilities.  Japan is the leader in worldwide electronics and already stocks of major corporations like Sony have fallen today. This article from Procurement Leaders gives a good summary of how the global supply chain is going to change dramatically. What does this mean for us in sales? It means memory chips may be harder to get since Japan supplies 30% of the world’s chips. The law of supply and demand says if there is less to go around you can expect to see the price of anything using memory chips, from smartphones to flash drives,  increase. Despite the fact much of the completed electronics come from China, they rely on Japan for the memory chips. Our advice is to set expectations with your customers who may purchase flash drives or other products with memory. Prices are going to rise and it will most likely happen quickly. Talk with your top customers in advance so there won’t be any surprises when you tell them those $5 flash drives are now double, perhaps triple the cost. Between this disaster, the instability in the Middle East and the resulting petroleum spikes and the short supply of cotton, our customers will be paying more for a variety of things they purchase from us.

If you can help, financially or otherwise, do so. It’s only been three days since the northern part of Japan was devastated and the road to recovery is going to take years. The American Red Cross has teamed up with iTunes to make it easy to donate. The Salvation Army and World Vision are two other organizations that are global in scope and you don’t have to worry about where your money is going.

We’d love to hear your thoughts below on this tragedy and ways others might be able to help in some small or big way way.

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Responses

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