Apple One Of The Best Examples Of An Efficient Supply Chain

When it comes to the supply chain, many companies all around the world have found ways to make great advances in the method they manage it, as they understand that this influences in a major way how the company develops and administers its production. Company executives and customers are strongly linked thank to this chain, as they depend on each other to accomplish great logistics in the supply chain.

One of the world’s most popular companies is Apple, an organization with a great strategy to run its operations from where they purchase all the way to logistics and manufacturing that work hand-to-hand. Another great aspect to consider is the conservation of the environment and the way the company works directly with other industries and governments to ensure they uphold the shared idea of taking care of the planet.

For years, Apple has organized and created an internal method or organization in which they effectively control almost all factors and cycles of the supply chain and that is why its stores and the design of its products are part of a system that is different from everyone else’s. Apple offers great discounts in some of its products and is able this way to enhance the capacity of manufacturing and lower production costs so as to remain competitive.

Here we can take a look at some of the aspects that make Apple have such a successful supply chain.

Innovative principles in the supply chain: Apple began to improve upon established principles when Steve Jobs came back in 1997. Products used to be distributed by sea between manufacturers and they themselves would ensure the articles would arrive in optimal condition and on time. After sales improved, Apple decided to take the air and deliver its Macs in a safe manner to customers during their 1998 Christmas campaign. Years later in 2001, the iPod hit the market and the company realized they had a great method to distribute this product quickly and efficiently in large quantities, so air shipment became the most budget-effective way to directly ship the product from the factory to the customers.

Production and budget: Apple has always employ practices that have worked very well, one of them is not having a problem spending large sums of money as long as they can guarantee timely delivery of their products to their stores and customers alike. This is possible due to the large investment Apple has made over the years in their supply chain and reaping the benefits from those great practices that can be visible through the clear success of the company. Dedication and perseverance have made it possible for Apple to become one of the companies that best manages their logistics.

Apple’s control over every aspect of the supply chain has made it so the company has an operational edge that is unrivaled by its competitors. Apple’s large amount of money in cash and investment allows it to leverage spending when dealing with manufactures to ensure low prices and availability of parts before any of the competition. Some examples can be seem if we take a look at the time when the iPhone 4 came out in 2010 and competitors like HTC were simply unable to procure enough screens for their products because most manufacturers were too busy filling Apple’s orders at the time.

Benefits of retail sales: Apple stores also play an important role in the outstanding way the supply chain works. When a product goes on sale, the system can track demand by individual store considering times and volumes of the sale in order to be ready to adjust orders to meet the needs of customers accordingly. These types of systems ensure customer’s satisfaction in such way that it further cements the loyalty users have towards the company and their products.

apple-aluminum-macbook_supply-chain_logistics
Image courtesy of William Hook at Flickr.com

A successful supply chain: The results obtained by Apple during the company’s journey to becoming in such a successful organization have depended great upon its amazing supply chain management that has ran so professionally administered. Those involved with the smooth operation of the supply chain are not only the ones in charge of it, but also those who are parts of the link that constitute the supply chain itself. Links of the supply chain like suppliers and agents at different levels, also contribute to making sure the operation runs perfectly thus assuring the benefit of Apple and their individual companies as well.

Apple’s success does not follow a magical formula that works in every case, but instead a number of plans and contingency properly placed in such way that when things go wrong, they can anticipate and use their tremendous knowledge and influence in the market to ensure their products are always in the edge of innovation and their customers are always satisfied with the newest additions to the Apple’s family of devices.
For more great articles on how to manage smaller supply chains, check out David Kiger’s Blog today.

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