Carestream Health Inc.: When Disruption Hits a Lean Supply Chain
In October 2014, Carestream Health Inc. (Xiamen) (CHX) was faced with a supply chain disruption caused by a labour dispute involving most of the ports on the west coast of the United States. The work-to-rule strike was having a considerable impact on the operations of the ports and was putting pressure on CHX's lean supply chain. In particular, the supply of wide rolls of films, the key material to CHX operations, was compromised. In an emergency meeting, CHX's management team discussed using other shipping options. One of these options, (airfreighting) appeared to be feasible but costly. The meeting's leader who was the director of the Asia Pacific Lean Six Sigma asked the management team to determine when CHX should use airfreight for its supply of wide rolls, how many rolls should be airfreighted each time, and what the best mechanism would be to govern the use of airfreight.