Supply Chains Darlings – 6 Supply Chains the Industry Has Obsessed Over - #4, Apple
‘Supply Chains Darlings’ – the companies that tend to dominate the headlines of the supply chain world every-so-often for their innovative thinking, and re-imagination of the industry. Here’s part 3 in our series.
‘Supply Chains Darlings’ – the companies that tend to dominate the headlines of the supply chain world every-so-often for their innovative thinking, and re-imagination of the industry. Here’s part 2 in our series.
eft is going to attempt to chronicle ‘Darling Supply Chains’ – you know, the companies that tend to dominate the headlines of the supply chain world every-so-often for their innovative thinking, and re-imagination of the industry. The idea behind doing this is to revisit some of the reasons why supply chains have grabbed headlines and to imagine what companies might be gracing headlines over the next decade. Over the next 4 weeks, we’re going to release articles looking at 6 supply chains that have grabbed the headlines in the supply chain world over the last decade or so, and arguably changed the industry for good.
To help launch the discussion, we’ll be announcing each subsequent selection over twitter over the next 3 Fridays on - @eyefortransport. We’ll be using the hashtag - #SupplyChainDarling to help facilitate the debate on each!
3) October 11
2) October 18
1) October 25
2001 – 2012: Apple
Apple has played an integral role in the way that consumers have adopted technology over the last decade. Achieving this has been an incredible supply chain journey. The iPhone 6 uses suppliers from 30 different countries for instance, with over 10million units sold in its first weekend. Getting to this point has been an incredible feat for Apple, as it has had to reimagine how it manufactures, sources, ships these devices to meet demand over and over. The relationships the company has developed with some of its major suppliers has been one of its major controversies yet successes, but perhaps more than all this, the biggest headlines Apple has gained in the supply chain space have been on the consumer end. Firstly, the iPhone began a revolution in hand-held technology that has created a level of connectivity that’s been unparalleled in history. The smartphone has provided consumers with unparalleled access to market-places, and has really underpinned the viability of e-commerce. It has also given a huge amount of power to end users, and thus given businesses an entirely new way to communicate with their workforce, a technology that has certainly enabled many supply chains positively in the realms of visibility, communication, data capture, etc. Secondly, the creation of the iTunes store has been one of the single greatest drivers for the digitalization of supply chain. It has meant the virtual obsolescence of physical media, and the ability for apple to seamlessly delivery billions of products digitally. Thirdly, the app revolution, more importantly the ability for developers to harness the capabilities of the smartphone, have completely changed how consumers can interact with businesses – especially as far as supply chain is concerned, and how businesses can communicate with their employees. Uber, Lyft, Amazon, Ebay, FedEx, UPS, Google Express etc. – all companies that harness such tools as GPS, real-time mapping, apps to improve how they interact with the consumer. Countless more businesses are using ipads, built-in gps systems, etc. to save on transportation costs, capture signatures, exchange data, update stock, take payment, track shipments, and many more. Apple has been able to meet the demand of its success through an impeccably run supply chain. Through business and consumer adoption of these products, it has changed the way business is conducted. Ultimately it’s this change that is the greatest impact it’s had on supply chain, and what has lifted it to 4th on our list of Supply Chain Darlings.
Why did apple dominate our supply chain headlines? – Not necessarily because of their supply chain
1) Its devices and the connectivity they empowered consumers with for eCommerce
2) the iTunes store digitalized whole physical businesses
3) there’s an app for that