Learning that a supplier may be having problems is one thing, but then receiving word that they have declared Chapter 11 is quite another. By the time a supplier declares Chapter 7, however, the supply management problem has reached crisis level. In this case, Ashmark Corporation is a major supplier to the automotive industry and had one of its major (Tier 2) suppliers go into receivership. Adding to the complexity of the situation is that the supplier, Red Star Castings, was in possession of supplier-held tooling.
Several questions, which are also stated at the end of the case, pose plenty of reason for contemplation of the following:
- What more could Scott Tilden, the supply chain manager, have done to make the case for more resources, getting buy-in, or qualifying more suppliers? (We suggest that you revisit the topic of segmented supply from a previous SCM course to ascertain how the urgency of the situation might have been elevated.)
- Had he done all that he could, given the circumstances that stretched back many years?
- Perhaps the most key question of all is, what should he do next?