A lesson in supply chain risk from Ford Australia

Posted on 26 Apr 2012 by Tim Brown

Ford's Australian car-making operations will shut down for almost a week following the appointment of administrators at parts manufacturer CMI Industrial.

About 1800 workers would be stood down at the Broadmeadows and Geelong plants on Friday and Tuesday next week, while a rostered day off would go ahead as scheduled on Monday.

Ford spokeswoman Sinead Phipps said that by rearranging planned down days, workers would to be paid 50% of their wages, which they could top up with annual leave.

Ms Phipps said Ford believed it would take CMI administrators several days to stabilise the business and resume production, and it would then be 24 hours before parts were available to Ford.

“We won’t be producing cars on Friday, Monday or Tuesday,” she said. “Obviously the whole process needs a bit of time to happen before we can start our production line again.”

CMI Industrial was handed over to voluntary administrators Grant Thornton, and receivers McGrathNicol while about 80 workers at CMI’s Campbellfield factory have been locked out since Friday after the landlord changed the locks in a dispute over rent payment.

McGrathNicol receiver Keith Crawford said the task was now to stabilise all the company’s operations as soon as possible, before assessing all its finances, in a bid to find new buyers. Crawford however said he could not reveal when the plant was likely to reopen.

“In the interim we will be liaising closely with employees and  unions, customers and suppliers to ensure minimal disruption to  operations,” Mr Crawford said in a statement today.

Ms Phipps said the employees would return to work on Wednesday and Ford would have further meetings with administrators over the coming days