Apple Inc.: Managing a Global Supply Chain
(9 pages of text)
2018; 2017; 2016
AWARD WINNING CASE - PRODUCTION AND OPERATIONS MANAGEMENT CATEGORY - THE CASE CENTRE AWARDS AND COMPETITIONS 2016. An analyst for a money management firm is studying Apple Inc. as one of the firm’s key investments. In 2013, Apple had a market capitalization of nearly US$500 billion and sales of US$171 billion. According to the research firm, Gartner Group, it had the world’s best supply chain, ranking ahead of companies such as Walmart, Amazon and Inditex (Zara). As part of the analysis, a full review of Apple’s supply chain is required to look for insight into the future performance of the company in order to decide whether or not the analyst’s firm should continue to hold Apple shares.
This case can be used in a single 80-minute class in an operations, supply chain management or strategy course, in an undergraduate, MBA or EMBA program, to illustrate the supply chain capabilities necessary to successfully compete in the fast-paced high tech industry. Combining the Apple case with the “Half A Century of Supply Chain Management at Wal-Mart” case (Ivey 9B12D010
) in back-to-back classes provides a particularly powerful illustration of the differences between the two leading companies and the alignment of supply chain competencies and organizational strategy. The comparison illustrates that firms must consider their unique competitive environment when investing in supply chain capabilities.
Information, Media & Telecommunications
Canada, Large, 2013
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