Under Tim Cook, Apple cracking down on supply chain management

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Quality control and cost management efforts in Apple's overseas supply chain has been an even greater focus for the company under Chief Executive Tim Cook, according to a new report.

Supply chain sources from the Far East indicated to DigiTimes that Apple has "adopted even stricter management over its supply chain than before," a report published on Monday reveals. The changes include more frequent inspections, greater time spent on inspections, and a renewed focus on managing costs and product quality.

All of Apple's suppliers are being "heavily evaluated," the report said, as Apple has placed particular focus on the performance of its supply chain over the last six months.

In one example, Apple reportedly discovered a fingerprint mistakenly printed on one internal component from Apple's latest MacBook lineup. Upon discovering the error, the company allegedly demanded a recheck of its entire production line to resolve the issue.

Apple's new, stricter approach is said to be a "challenge" for production line management at suppliers. Monday's report also said that it is expected to set a new threshold for companies that might attempt to enter into Apple's supply chain.

Tim Cook at Foxconn


Cook's ability to ensure Apple's supply chain runs smoothly and efficiently was known as one of his hallmarks well before he took over as CEO of Apple full-time last August. Apple co-founder Steve Jobs originally brought in Cook to make the supply chain leaner and more agile, with limited overstock of inventory.

When Cook initially took over Apple's supply chain, he cut down the number of component suppliers from 100 to 24, forcing companies to compete for Apple's business. He also shut down 10 of the 19 Apple warehouses to limit overstocking, and by September of 1998 inventory was down from a month to only six days.

Earlier this year, Cook even personally visited an iPhone production plant in Zhengzhou, China, run by Foxconn. The trip came as Apple faced media scrutiny over working conditions in its overseas supply chain.
«13

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 57
    mitchelljdmitchelljd Posts: 157member


    Tim Cook was responsible for Apple shutting down most American manufacturing by Apple. His expertise in offshoring manufacturing is responsible for Foxconn grabbing the lions share of Apple's manufacturing work.   Suicides and a massive amount of job losses at areas prior made in western nations.


     


    Apple's "cracking down" on supply chain management is hardly a novel idea, cut down the amount of ordering to keep inventories under check.  ie order what you think you are really going to make computers, ipads, iphones, etc.


     


    If they had done this sooner, would Apple have included a better camera in the NEW IPAD (ipad 3)???  they used they same camera's as the iphone 4, not even iphone 4S.   yes they used 1 1/2 year old parts.  Which is a major slight to consumers hoping for quality and up to date tech.


     


    I know Tim Cook is a decent guy, but remember his history is really a background in Worldwide Corporate Materials... ie he moved manufacturing to China.  So... its important to know who is really leading Apple at this point.   Simply put.... his priority was making things cheap and keeping them cheap. at all costs, which has included factories in china which are very questionable at best and some believe are modern equivilent of slave camps.

  • Reply 2 of 57
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,494member
    Maybe instead of a large font TS can post a jpg to make his statement. (Dutch tongue in cheek humor TS, just kidding)
    mitchelljd wrote: »
    If they had done this sooner, would Apple have included a better camera in the NEW IPAD (ipad 3)???  they used they same camera's as the iphone 4, not even iphone 4S.   yes they used 1 1/2 year old parts.  Which is a major slight to consumers hoping for quality and up to date tech.

    Maybe Apple thought that a true mobile device like the iPhone deserves the latest & greatest camera, whilst the iPad will surely be used less as a camera and therefore would justify a lower-end one?
  • Reply 3 of 57
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,443member
    This is excellent news. I suspect this will one thing Apple do that their copy cat, so called competition, won't by emulating.
  • Reply 4 of 57
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    mitchelljd wrote: »
    Tim Cook was responsible for Apple shutting down most American manufacturing by Apple. His expertise in offshoring manufacturing is responsible for Foxconn grabbing the lions share of Apple's manufacturing work.   Suicides and a massive amount of job losses at areas prior made in western nations.

    Apple's "cracking down" on supply chain management is hardly a novel idea, cut down the amount of ordering to keep inventories under check.  ie order what you think you are really going to make computers, ipads, iphones, etc.

    If they had done this sooner, would Apple have included a better camera in the NEW IPAD (ipad 3)???  they used they same camera's as the iphone 4, not even iphone 4S.   yes they used 1 1/2 year old parts.  Which is a major slight to consumers hoping for quality and up to date tech.

    I know Tim Cook is a decent guy, but remember his history is really a background in Worldwide Corporate Materials... ie he moved manufacturing to China.  So... its important to know who is really leading Apple at this point.   Simply put.... his priority was making things cheap and keeping them cheap. at all costs, which has included factories in china which are very questionable at best and some believe are modern equivilent of slave camps.

    This is, of course, nonsense. Almost everything you say is wrong.

    Tim Cook is not responsible for Apple shutting down US manufacture. Global economics and US manufacturing policies caused that. If Tim Cook was solely responsible, why don't HP, Dell, IBM, and everyone else manufacture in the US?

    Suicides and massive job losses? Care to document that? Apple has created hundreds of thousands of jobs in the US.

    Apple's control of inventories isn't novel? Then how do you explain Apple's incredible 75 inventory turns per year? And how do you explain that Apple's inventory turns are greater than anyone else in the industry (or most other industries, for that matter) by a large margin?

    Finally, Cook joined Apple in 1998. By then, the shift from US manufacturing to manufacturing in China was well underway in most industries. More importantly, the improvements in efficiency during the Cook era are a large part of the reason that Apple's still here.

    It is extremely juvenile and uninformed to blame one person for the state of US manufacturing.
  • Reply 5 of 57
    red oakred oak Posts: 679member


    I love to see this emphasis. Apple is locking and loading to build products at a much higher scale.   This is very hard and costly to replicate  

  • Reply 6 of 57
    mitchelljdmitchelljd Posts: 157member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post



    This is excellent news. I suspect this will one thing Apple do that their copy cat, so called competition, won't by emulating.




    non-news,  it's kind of sad. Tim Cook takes over leading Apple and then...




    No New Mac Pro's


    Not much news on desktop computers, leading many professionals to backlash and Apple doing damage control.


     


    Rush to "streamline" foreign component procuring.   Yes, the new Apple is akin to global supply chain management.  Hmmm.... you think Apple with squeeze a few extra cents per share a year from this exciting development?  Yes JRagosta, apple can turn over inventory 75 times a year, ie do the modern fast  manufacture and sell. It means the products are in demand. yay. thats a positive.  doesn't mean there isn't a massive cost to apple's manufacturing virtually everything in China.   Remember, with the hundred thousand of jobs in the US Apple has... at least a million have been made elsewhere.  Mark my thoughts, in the next decade Apple's great innovation will be supply chain downsizing.  ie Apple moving to use robots for manufacturing instead of people for "quality control".  Of course robots don't commit suicide or riot when mistreated.... well until AI comes and makes them go Skynet. (Terminator)


     


    Hmm, does anyone expect Apple's next exciting announcement to be quarterly TPS reports?


     


  • Reply 7 of 57


    I remember in the past when Steve Jobs would announce a new product and then would say, "it will be available in 2-3 months." This was for pretty much every Apple product they came out with. Now they come out with something new and say it's available today and have stockpiles of them. That's the work of Tim Cook.

  • Reply 8 of 57
    malaxmalax Posts: 1,598member


    Innovation and operational excellence are not mutually exclusive.  Apple has been the most successful corporation over the past 5-10 years because it excels in both areas.  Keep up the good work.

  • Reply 9 of 57
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,191member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mitchelljd View Post




    non-news,  it's kind of sad. Tim Cook takes over leading Apple and then...




    No New Mac Pro's


    Not much news on desktop computers, leading many professionals to backlash and Apple doing damage control.


     


    Rush to "streamline" foreign component procuring.   Yes, the new Apple is akin to global supply chain management.  Hmmm.... you think Apple with squeeze a few extra cents per share a year from this exciting development?  Yes JRagosta, apple can turn over inventory 75 times a year, ie do the modern fast  manufacture and sell. It means the products are in demand. yay. thats a positive.  doesn't mean there isn't a massive cost to apple's manufacturing virtually everything in China.   Remember, with the hundred thousand of jobs in the US Apple has... at least a million have been made elsewhere.  Mark my thoughts, in the next decade Apple's great innovation will be supply chain downsizing.  ie Apple moving to use robots for manufacturing instead of people for "quality control".  Of course robots don't commit suicide or riot when mistreated.... well until AI comes and makes the world go Skynet.


     


    Hmm, does anyone expect Apple's next exciting announcement to be quarterly TPS reports?


     




     


    Yes, because when SJ was around the Mac Pro was definitely the focus of the company, right? You don't have a shred of evidence that it wouldnt be the exact same scenario today with anyone else in charge. If it was SJ you would be bashing him as well. What a pathetic troll. As for your last line, most sane, objective, normal people without an axe to grind against Apple found last week's announcements extremely exciting and impressive. 

  • Reply 10 of 57
    kibitzerkibitzer Posts: 1,114member
    "You an' me, we pull dat chain,
    Body all achin an' racked wid pain..."

    - With apologies to the lyricist of [I] Ol' Man River.[i]
  • Reply 11 of 57
    mitchelljdmitchelljd Posts: 157member


    the last 2  lines were jokes, if you had a sense of humor you would get that.

     

  • Reply 12 of 57
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,191member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mitchelljd View Post


    Tim Cook was responsible for Apple shutting down most American manufacturing by Apple. His expertise in offshoring manufacturing is responsible for Foxconn grabbing the lions share of Apple's manufacturing work.   Suicides and a massive amount of job losses at areas prior made in western nations.


     


    Apple's "cracking down" on supply chain management is hardly a novel idea, cut down the amount of ordering to keep inventories under check.  ie order what you think you are really going to make computers, ipads, iphones, etc.


     


    If they had done this sooner, would Apple have included a better camera in the NEW IPAD (ipad 3)???  they used they same camera's as the iphone 4, not even iphone 4S.   yes they used 1 1/2 year old parts.  Which is a major slight to consumers hoping for quality and up to date tech.


     


    I know Tim Cook is a decent guy, but remember his history is really a background in Worldwide Corporate Materials... ie he moved manufacturing to China.  So... its important to know who is really leading Apple at this point.   Simply put.... his priority was making things cheap and keeping them cheap. at all costs, which has included factories in china which are very questionable at best and some believe are modern equivilent of slave camps.



     


    So much horse-shit in your post, all of it being entirely your imagination, or childish statements which have been thoroughly disproven. Your 'insight' into 'who is leading Apple' at this point is of no use to anyone. Slave camps? Grow the **** up and learn a thing or two before spouting non-stop drivel. 

  • Reply 13 of 57
    mitchelljd wrote: »

    non-news,  it's kind of sad. Tim Cook takes over leading Apple and then...


    No New Mac Pro's
    Not much news on desktop computers, leading many professionals to backlash and Apple doing damage control.


    Huh? You are either incredibly naive or ignorant.
  • Reply 14 of 57
    cvaldes1831cvaldes1831 Posts: 1,832member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mitchelljd View Post


    Tim Cook was responsible for Apple shutting down most American manufacturing by Apple. His expertise in offshoring manufacturing is responsible for Foxconn grabbing the lions share of Apple's manufacturing work.   Suicides and a massive amount of job losses at areas prior made in western nations.



     


    Please provide references for this claim.


     


    Of course, you will not be able to because it is a complete crock.


     


    Nice troll.

  • Reply 15 of 57
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    mitchelljd wrote: »
    …shutting down most American manufacturing… …Suicides… …job losses… …better camera… …slight to consumers… …making things cheap and keeping them cheap at all costs… …slave camps.

    And yet you continue to buy Apple products.

    How hilarious.
  • Reply 16 of 57
    mitchelljdmitchelljd Posts: 157member


    Some background on Robotic Manufacturing to come, which will hurt human job rates.   no joke, its reality. Even articles on Apple moving towards it.   So if you think it is science fiction, it's reality.  and yes bombastic, but it did get your attention.  The human toll on the move towards robotic manufacturing will lead to ethical crisis in many places.  It isn't far fetched to think some more suicides, lower birthrates, call for population control and more could occur from it.  Just hoping for some intelligent debate, but ill leave this my last post in this topic as some think this is trolling.


     


     


    http://seekingalpha.com/article/658711-apple-s-revolutionary-move-into-robotic-manufacturing


     


    http://news.cnet.com/8301-30685_3-57400957-264/the-robots-are-coming-better-get-used-to-it/

     


    http://www.everything-robotic.com/2012/06/companies-transitioning-from-industrial.html


     


    http://wallstcheatsheet.com/stocks/apple-wants-robots-to-make-your-next-iphone.html/


     


    http://blogs.computerworld.com/macintosh/20523/wwdc-2012-apples-iphone-and-irobot-supply-chain


     


    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/03/china-factory-robots_n_1566566.html


     


    If people don't think that manufacturing by robots will harm humanity in some ways, it is sad.  yes it can bring down price... but at a huge human cost.

  • Reply 17 of 57
    scotty321scotty321 Posts: 313member
    We bought a brand new iMac a few months ago, and it had a HAND PRINT on the glass! Underneath the plastic that you remove from the glass! We never contacted Apple about it, but it's good to see that Apple is cracking down on huge quality control oversights like this.
  • Reply 18 of 57
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    mitchelljd wrote: »
    Some background on Robotic Manufacturing to come, which will hurt human job rates. no joke, its reality.

    A reality that won't be the case for about 50 years, minimum. I'd love extra robot assembly to happen, but it won't be happening for a good long while.
    …ill leave this my last post in this topic as some think this is trolling.

    Because it is. Your other post, at least.
    If people don't think that manufacturing by robots will harm humanity in some ways, it is sad.  yes it can bring down price… but at a huge human cost.

    I see no problem with humanity being freed up to perform tasks requisite of a sentient mind rather than the crap that a robot can do.
  • Reply 19 of 57
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post





    This is, of course, nonsense. Almost everything you say is wrong.

    Tim Cook is not responsible for Apple shutting down US manufacture. Global economics and US manufacturing policies caused that. If Tim Cook was solely responsible, why don't HP, Dell, IBM, and everyone else manufacture in the US?

    Suicides and massive job losses? Care to document that? Apple has created hundreds of thousands of jobs in the US.

    Apple's control of inventories isn't novel? Then how do you explain Apple's incredible 75 inventory turns per year? And how do you explain that Apple's inventory turns are greater than anyone else in the industry (or most other industries, for that matter) by a large margin?

    Finally, Cook joined Apple in 1998. By then, the shift from US manufacturing to manufacturing in China was well underway in most industries. More importantly, the improvements in efficiency during the Cook era are a large part of the reason that Apple's still here.

    It is extremely juvenile and uninformed to blame one person for the state of US manufacturing.


     


     


    Tim Cook is the one responsible for shutting down Apple's own manufacturing operations. Apple might have had to do it do it to stay competitive, but that is another matter all together. Further, one of the main reasons Apple did away with its own factories is for accounting purposes. If Apple owns the factories it has to claim unsold inventory at the factory in its books that negatively affects its earning. Since Apple doesn't own the factories, it doesn't have to do this.

  • Reply 20 of 57
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    mitchelljd wrote: »
    Some background on Robotic Manufacturing to come, which will hurt human job rates.   no joke, its reality. Even articles on Apple moving towards it.   So if you think it is science fiction, it's reality.  and yes bombastic, but it did get your attention.  The human toll on the move towards robotic manufacturing will lead to ethical crisis in many places.  It isn't far fetched to think some more suicides, lower birthrates, call for population control and more could occur from it.  Just hoping for some intelligent debate, but ill leave this my last post in this topic as some think this is trolling

    It's ironic that all this push toward fewer hours for employees hurts employees trying to save money. It's not like they can have a 2nd job whilst living on the Foxconn grounds. At least not easily. It's also ironic that those outside China pushing for higher wages for Chinese workers — providing they work at Foxconn on an Apple related assembly line — are helping kill the jobs of the Foxconn worker. At some point these robots will be more cost effective than many of the employees and even if takes years to do every additional human cost for Foxconn and Apple could push them to invest more in robots that would have otherwise gone to people who need a job.

    Unfortunately there really is no other way around this. At some point the cost of doing business in China, if a great deal of manual labour is needed, will be too high. I think India will be the next stage followed by varied African nations. Speaking of Africa, it's amazing that people are upset with people willing to work for Foxcoon on their own accord and yet there is a world of people that truly are in dire need of civil rights and basic liberties that are getting ignored. Perhaps they are too un-relatable for us to think about that we only empathise with those that are doing monotonous jobs we, at least, feel we at least feel we've done at some point in our lives.


    PS: The word bombastic needs to be used more often in conversation. It's such a bombastic word. (Day's quota now filled)
Sign In or Register to comment.