A Chinese proverb quotes "Distant water will not quench a fire near". It clearly tells us to focus on local solution than source from hundreds or thousands of miles away. The article in the TIME magazine indeed is another wake-up call for us to re-look into the JIT success factors: "Closer is Faster. Closer is More Manageable. Closer is Better". JIT works best with nearby suppliers. In order to allow close proximity supply delivery, localization must happen. It eliminates not only the risk of unexpected natural disaster but other hidden factors which lie along the way. Apart from the risk factors, the delivery cost which largely depends on the fuel price is trending up too. All these add burden to the product cost.
In summary, for effective LEAN supply chain in your manufacturing plants, you need to look into the fundamental influencing elements: the supplier profile. The rule of thumb is "begin with near". If the local suppliers cannot meet your expectation entirely, work on the improvement opportunities before jumping to a quick solution for sources elsewhere. Things you can do include modifying your needs in terms of delivery mode, acceptable quality level, internal material management system, cost model, and etc. Only if you have exhausted the local options, you consider exploring sources from far.
You may have found yourself secretly looking at some woman or man across the street only to ask yourself, how does he or she have such a lean stomach? Like you, many have asked this question and have painfully compared themselves with different strangers as they walk by. The result of such an act is what we see today: unmotivated people who think that a flat stomach is only for the selected few. This however is general misconception and the tips below will help you to see why you too can also have a lean stomach: