Suppliers dodge a bullet named Sandy, but still must track parts

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Hurricane Sandy destroyed thousands of cars and trucks at dealerships along the East Coast, but automotive suppliers survived with relatively little damage.

Still, the storm offers a useful reminder to North American purchasing chiefs: Have you taken a census of your suppliers? Do you know where your bottlenecks are? Are you ready for the next Big One?

As many as 123 suppliers on the Eastern Seaboard were in or near the storm's path, according to the Original Equipment Suppliers Association, citing data from ELM Analytics, a suburban Detroit research firm.

One potential headache was the Port of Newark, an important shipping terminal for European suppliers as well as automakers. That port was forced to shut down for a few days after New Jersey got hammered.

Yet suppliers weathered the storm with nary a hiccup, according to OESA President Neil De Koker. "We were lucky with the weather," De Koker said. "I have not heard of any significant disruptions."

You can reach David Sedgwick at dsedgwick@crain.com.

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