La revolución de la cadena financiera global de suministro

HONG KONG.– En marzo de 2011, las catástrofes del terremoto, el tsunami y el desastre nuclear que se abatieron sobre Japón detuvieron la producción de componentes clave para muchas cadenas mundiales de suministro. La repentina interrupción en el flujo de esos materiales esenciales para el proceso productivo obligó a reevaluar la forma en que funcionan esas cadenas de distribución. Pero esas vulnerabilidades no están confinadas al sector manufacturero. También la industria financiera ha casi sufrido recientemente el colapso de su propia «cadena de suministro».

La caída de Lehman Brothers en 2008 no solo enturbió los mercados financieros globales, sino que además prácticamente paralizó el comercio mundial cuando los bancos mayoristas se rehusaron a financiarse entre sí por miedo a la quiebra de sus contrapartes. El sencillo sistema bancario del pasado, basado en la concentración de los ahorros minoristas para financiar necesidades crediticias, ha evolucionado hacia una cadena de distribución extremadamente compleja –y global– con riesgos de interrupciones interrelacionadas comparables a las ocurridas en Japón durante la primavera pasada.

Las cadenas financieras de abastecimiento y las del sector manufacturero comparten tres características clave –su arquitectura, sus mecanismos de retroalimentación y sus procesos. Su robustez y eficiencia dependen de la interacción de esos componentes.

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