For a long time Apple have been held up as a shining example for companies looking to create user friendly and well designed products. What most of us won't be aware of however is how advanced their supply chain capabilities are - they are widely regarded as an industry leader in the field due to the speed at which they can scale operations to fit customer demand.
One of the secrets to Apples's success is that they've maintained strong relationships with their suppliers. This has given them a platform to be flexible when the time has come to release new products, imperative when there's a spike in demand. Significant changes in demand have been catered for by a substantial production capacity that's been fed by Apple's profits.
Apple's decision to outsource much of its manufacturing to China has paid dividends, allowing them to reinvent products at a much faster rate than if they had used US factories. Outsourcing can create supply chain problems however, but there's real evidence to show that outsourcing has allowed Apple to maintain their status as one of the world's leading companies.
Tim Cook, Apple's CEO, is something of a supply chain specialist. With his insights onboard, the tech giant has been able to tighten up financially inefficient areas that once prevailed. For example, by using inventory tracking mechanisms, Apple squeezes its suppliers by making sure that the quotes their suppliers generate are grounded in the truth.
Apple's supply chain works so well because it's been built on long-term relationships that work for both Apple and its suppliers. Overall, Tim Cook has overseen a development in Apple's supply chain which has seen it become as efficient as it's ever been.