Apple: Challenges of a Global Supply Chain
Given the accelerating pace of its new product development and introduction cycles, success of its retail chain globally, the added requirement of greater customer-facing training, and the need to constantly innovate, Apple places a very high level of demands on it suppliers globally. Of the many elements of the company’s value chain, suppliers and the supply chain are foundational the company’s success (Lucas, Kang, Li, 2013). What has been troubling about the Apple supply chain and its practices in the past has been a lack of consistency and governance regarding supplier ethics, human rights, education, safety and sustainability for preserve the environment (Lucas, Kang, Li, 2013).
As Apple’s Chief Compliance Officer, the need for providing greater education to all suppliers globally is a top priority. The latest 2015 Apple Supplier Responsibility Progress Report provides a useful series of frameworks for illustrating just how quickly Apple is making strides in the area of supplier management including greater emphasis on education, reducing unethical activity, safeguarding human rights, ensuring greater health and safety throughout our global network of thousands of suppliers. All of these efforts are being galvanized around accountability and greater reliance on audits than ever before. To ensure the greatest number of suppliers learn of these advances, a video will be made, highlighting the following areas mentioned in this analysis.
Accountability and Audit Improvements
Apple continues to accelerate the adoption of accountability and audit improvements across all nations our suppliers operate in today. The experience at Foxconn has become a catalyst continued improvement and a continual shift in mindset away from pure production quality to the level of human rights compliance achieved and the ambitious goals of getting at least 400 audits completed on an annual basis at supplier locations globally (Lucas, Kang, Li, 2013). This goal was achieved for the first time in 2013, and in the video being produced, the stories of how lessons learned at Foxconn and other locations will be shown as a powerful catalyst for continual improvement (Lee, Lau, Cheng, 2013).
The video will begin with an overview of the accountability and audit results of Apple as of 2014, and provide a glimpse into the future plans for the company for this vital area. Many of the leading corporations are also integrating corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs within the context of accountability and audit studies, further galvanizing their ole as contributors to a region or nations’ growth (Lee, Lau, Cheng, 2013). One of the most valuable lessons learned from the accountability and audit initiative at Apple is how powerful it is to integrate CSR initiatives into supplier performance (Kanter, 2010). This not only motivates suppliers to compliance as they see the benefits in their own regions of being high performance Apple suppliers who excel at compliance, it also drives down the factors that cause unethical sourcing, procurement and supplier practices to begin with (Moren, 2010). This video segment will cover the following significant accomplishments attained by Apple in its supplier sourcing strategies. In 2014, the following were all achieved: Apple performed 633 audits covering over 1.6 million workers; audited suppliers in 19 countries; calls were made to 30,000 workers to make sure their rights were being upheld;…