Apple: Supply Chain Management System
Today, Apple is regarded not only one of the most successful, but also one of the most innovative companies in the world. The company has in the past raked in significantly higher returns than its peers, thanks to its unique approach to doing business. As a matter of fact, when it comes to supply chain management, Apple is regarded a market leader by most analysts.
Apple's Logistics and Supply Chain Management System
The company's supply chain management system could be broken into four general parts. These include, sourcing, manufacturing, warehousing, distribution and finally, return. It is important to note, from the onset, that Apple sources most of its raw materials from diverse locations -- particularly Europe, China, and the United States. The most critical raw materials for the manufacture of the company's numerous electronic devices include integrated circuits, the appropriate optical drives, microprocessors, and LCDs (Crandall, Crandall, and Chen, 2014). Some of the better known suppliers of the tech giant are "aluminum giant Alcoa (AA), chipmaker Intel (INTC), and diversified product maker 3M (MMM)" (Samson, 2013). Other equally important players in this case, as the author further points out, are Western Digital, Micron, Sandisk,...
It should, however, be noted that as Crandall, Crandall, and Chen (2014, p. 545) observe, the company largely embraces or adopts an outsourcing model, with its hardware products, as it previously pointed out in a 10-K report, being "manufactured by outsourcing partners that are located primarily in Asia." A bulk of the assembly work is undertaken or conducted in China, with all indications showing that the current CEO of the company, Mr. Cook, is likely to maintain the status quo. The company has in the recent past, according to Crandall, Crandall, and Chen (2014, p. 545), "reported assets of $2.6 billion, primarily in China, most of it in material and equipment…" This constitutes the second part of the company's supply chain management system, i.e. manufacturing.
When it comes to warehousing and distribution, it should be noted that it is after manufacturing that the various products made by the company are shipped to buyers, with those who purchase the said products from the company's online store receiving them via…
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