Apples and supply chains

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One of the reasons behind Apple’s success is the company’s exceptional attention to detail. From the sleek design of its products to the intuitive nature of its software, nothing is left to chance. Thankfully for the California based company, the same amount of planning seems to have gone in to its supply chain strategy.Supply Chain Best PracticeAccording to Gartner’s 2012 Supply Chain Top 25 , Apple, for the third year in a row, operates the world’s most effective supply chain. The report, which ranks companies according to Return on Assets, peer opinion, revenue growth and other factors, placed the tech firm far ahead of companies such as Amazon and McDonald’s.The report highlights Apple’s “zealous focus on starting with the consumer experience and working back through the design of its supply network, and mastery in orchestrating its end-to-end value network.” In addition to operations expertise described by Mike Fawkes, former Supply Chain Chief at Hewlett-Packard as at “a level never seen before”, Apple can rely on sheer volume to get the best deals. The company is able to leverage its size to procure discounts for parts, manufacturing capacity, and air freight. Investing in SustainabilityIllustrating Apple’s commitment to its supply chain is the announcement that over the next year $7billion will be spent in supply chain investments and 2.5billion used to prepay critical suppliers. This type of investment could prove pivotal in satisfying consumer demand and taking advantage of the issues currently facing its competitors.

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