The automotive sector is particularly sensitive to disruptions in supply chains, due to just-in-time policies and the complexity of upstream supply chains. When conducting studies aimed at reducing supply chain risks, one of the challenges is to conciliate the production and the sales perceptions of risks criticalities. While operations tend to look at expected production loss, sales will also consider the product criticality, delivery times and reputational aspects.
In this research work, the author analyses the global supply chain of a chemical company, tier-2 supplier in the automotive sector. The business unit analysed is a world leader with a global market share of nearly 60%. It has nine production sites in North America, South America, Europe and Asia. This study aimed at conciliating production and sales perceptions of criticality, via the identification of about 200 flows (defined by a product, a client and a production plant), which were scored based on the Production and the Business criticalities. Data and variables were defined and collected with managers. Resulting flows, plotted in an Operations vs Business matrix, were used to prioritise improvement actions.