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Nokia vs Sony Ericson

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Swedish vs Finish companies: Nokia vs Sony Ericson


Please Read the case and then in a 1 to 2 page essay summarize the case and express your own thoughts for the successes and failure of the two firms

Ericsson versus Nokia

The now classic case of supply chain disruption 

Posted on 2008-10-18 Revised on: 2015-09-22

When faced with a supply chain disruption, proactive and reactive supply chain risk management can in fact make or break a company’s existence. One of the most famous (or rather infamous) cases is the fire at the Philips microchip plant in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in 2000, which simultaneously affected both Nokia and Ericsson.

However, both companies took a very different approach toward the incident, and in hindsight, clearly displayed how to and how not to handle supply chain disruptions.

The incident turned disaster cost the Swedish company $400 million in lost sales, and it had to quit the mobile-phone business, leaving Nokia to cement its position as the European market leader.

What went wrong? Ericsson vs. Nokia In the late 1990s, Swedish-owned Ericsson was one of the big international players in the mobile phone industry, together with the Finnish company Nokia.

The Albuquerque fire On March 17, 2000, a small fire hit a microchip plant owned by Philips, the Dutch company. The plant supplied chips to both Ericsson and Nokia, and the smoke and water damage from the small and easily contained fire contaminated millions of chips — almost the plant’s entire stock.

Nokia verus Ericsson

Nokia acted swiftly and moved to tie up spare capacity at other Philips plants and every other supplier they could find. They even re-engineered some of their phones so they could take chips from other Japanese and American suppliers.

Ericsson, meanwhile, had accepted early assurances that the fire was unlikely to cause a big problem, and settled down to wait it out.

When they realized their mistake it was too late:

Since Ericsson a few years earlier had decided to buy key components from a single source to simplify its supply chain, Ericsson now had to face the bitter realization that it had no other source of supply. Nokia had already taken it all. Single sourcing may have its benefits, but it has its costs, too. Ericsson lost many months of production, and hence many sales in a booming market that could now be dominated by Nokia.

Eventually Ericsson merged with Sony in order to survive,

Ericsson’s new approach

Ericsson learned its lesson and now has a completely different supply chain risk management system in place. It starts with mapping all the components and and products many tiers upstream the supply chain and identifies critical suppliers and sites that have to be prioritized and assessed further.

After a rough assessment on how shortage will affect the supply chain, a more thorough investigation into probability and impact of different accidents at different suppliers is conducted to assess the impact on the supply chain as a whole, particularly the impact on business recovery time.

Finally, risk management actions (protection) are evaluated against risk costs (impact and consequences), to avoid over-action or over-insurance against incidents. Lessons learned Not only Ericsson, but many other companies have also learned from this incident. Supply chain risk management (SCRM) is a necessary component of any supply chain. SCRM may lead to increased costs in the from of prevention measures, and SCRM may lead to increased lead time, in order to have buffers, should something happen. In essence though, risk exposure always has a price, and as a company one should think through what price (or rather cost, as in disruption cost) that is acceptable or not. A well-handled supply chain disruption equals business continuity; An ill-handled supply chain disruption equals business dis-continuity. 

Copyright (C) http://www.husdal.com/2008/10/18/ericsson-versus-nokia-the-now-classic-case-of-supply-chain-disruption/ .


Nokia vs. Sony Ericson Name: Institution: Course Title: Instructor: Date: Nokia vs. Sony Ericson Nokia and Sony Ericson were among the leading brands in mobile phone market. Ericson was


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