Uncoordinated Decisions by the US Energy department and supply chain impact

A New York Times article (May 28, 2011) describes one department selling the helium-3 gas as fast as the other department worked to build up stocks, thus creating a shortfall.  The gas is helium-3 that is cited as a “byproduct of the US nuclear weapons program”, as the number of weapons declined, so did the gas produced.  This decline in inventory was kept a secret. Thus, while the gas generation was declining, another division was sponsoring technology that used this gas to detect nuclear weapons smuggling.  The result is a potential shortage in helium-3 thus causing a scramble for new supplies.  Should the focus be to permit sharing of such information, despite the security risks that the information pose ? Should newer technologies be sponsored that use gases other than helium-3, albeit at a higher cost ? Or is the culprit the apparently naive demand estimation method used i.e., counting the telephone logs of requests for material ?

About aviyer2010

Professor
This entry was posted in Collaboration, Operations Management, Supply Chain Issues and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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