Inbound Logistics | January 2024

can be a sound strategy. Although Apple has diversied its supply chain in recent years, the company outsources much of its manufacturing to China, which has provided them with the revenue needed to launch new and updated products very quickly over the years. Operating and maintaining a lean and streamlined inventory can has years, its provided to very quickly Operating lean very

management system is especially important in the tech industry, where new items can practically eliminate consumer interest in older models. Apple keeps as little inventory as possible, providing them with the agility they need should a management system important where eliminate older

Apple prioritizes customer satisfaction in its supply line and its retail stores o er personalized shopping. The company also prioritizes a strong logistics network to ensure products reach stores quickly.

as the competitor new product,

competitor release an innovative new product, thereby decreasing the value of any items in stock at that moment. Furthermore, having fewer SKUs to keep track of allows for more accurate forecasting. SUSTAINABILITY FOCUS Apple has introduced various initiatives throughout the years to improve sustainability across the supply chain. In 2020, for example, Apple announced its goal of creating a closed-loop supply chain, meaning that eventually every product would be made solely from recyclable or renewable products. Today, every one of its global facilities is powered by renewable energy, while newer products, such as the MacBook Air, are made from 100% recycled aluminum. The company has also invested heavily in a mix of clean energy technology, such as solar and wind. Its online Clean Energy Portal allows suppliers across the globe to identify renewable sources. After publicly announcing its plans for a completely carbon-neutral supply chain by 2030 a few years ago—and already reaching a carbon-neutral status for its global corporate emissions—Apple provided an update in early 2023 and explained that its manufacturing partners now globally support more than 13 gigawatts of renewable electricity. This comes at an almost 30% increase over the previous year. n the value

Apple keeps as little inventory as possible, providing agility should a competitor release Although the efcacy and efciency of outsourcing production of nished products have come into sharper focus in recent years, Apple provides proof that it The company maintains strict standards for its numerous supplier companies, which are named each year in Apple’s Supplier List. The top 200 businesses in this list make up 98% of the business’s procurement. Demanding high-quality service from suppliers helps ensure the nal products are reliable and long-lasting. Since Apple consistently innovates, its suppliers enjoy a degree of stability; even if one Apple product doesn’t succeed or suffers from setbacks, suppliers can rest assured that another request for another product will likely be coming down the pipeline. maintains

Under this new sustainability initiative, the company aims to combat issues currently plaguing cocoa harvesting operations, including child labor, deforestation, and poverty. As a result of this plan, estimated to cost the company $1 billion over 10 years, Mars says all of its cocoa will be responsibly sourced by 2025. In 2021, Mars also pledged to achieve net zero carbon emissions across its full value supply chain by 2050. Biting into the Apple Supply Chain In the supply chain sector, Apple is widely regarded as an innovative leader, providing inspiration for other brands and forcing the competition to keep up to the same standards with their supply chains, or risk falling behind. But how does Apple manage to always stay at the top in this regard? STRONG SUPPLIER RELATIONSHIPS By focusing on maintaining strong relationships with its supply chain partners, Apple can provide great exibility in response to demand surges. This, paired with Apple’s large production capacity, allows the company to provide products when and where customers want them, and accounts for much of Apple’s success.

an innovative new product.

114 Inbound Logistics • January 2024

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