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Apple – Lacks Supplier Oversight

MacRumors.com

Photo from: https://cdn.macrumors.com/article-new/2015/02/iphone75colors-800×438.jpg?retina

Good Morning Everyone:

Just a brief post we wanted to share with you…that we believe you would want to know about.  This post is to highlight the lack of oversight by Apple Inc. with regard to the poor working and living conditions for employees at one of Apple’s key manufacturing suppliers.  This is a situation that should be non-existent when it comes to the worlds largest market capitalized corporation in the world.  A company that does so many things well, yet completely misses the mark when it comes to addressing the fair treatment of their manufacturing supplier’s employees overseas.  Why?  What’s the reason for this?  This VIDEO as presented, reported and seen on Bloomberg News, shows one of Apple’s key manufacturing suppliers in China by the name of “Catcher Technology” (the manufacturer for the iPhone’s brushed metal casing), exhibiting deplorable working and living conditions for its employees!  This component…the iPhone casing is one of the largest if not the single largest component of the iPhone!  Is this too much of a challenge for Apple to address with its suppliers?  May I be so bold as to present three simple solutions that would eliminate this situation with all of their key suppliers:

  1. First, in all contract negotiations with foreign suppliers, Apple needs to set the standards for employee working and living conditions similar to what would be set here in the U.S.  Anything less would be taking advantage of these contracted employees from a human dignity standpoint.  Of course these workers will be paid less as their cost of living is less, but the “working and living conditions” should be established and implemented according to Apple’s standards.  The incremental cost should be easily negotiated and absorbed by both Apple and their supplier.  AND
  2. To hold unscheduled/unannounced on-site visits, documentation and interviews (including video interviews and site locations of working and living conditions…all done on iPhones to be directly uploaded to Apple Inc.) by an independent 3rd party at each key manufacturing supplier on a monthly basis.  This will allow the supply chain management team to view, analyze and remedy any potential adverse employee living and working conditions before they become problematic and in accordance with U.S. standards.  OR…
  3. Assign 2-3 full-time Apple employees at each of their key manufacturing supplier facility to perform the same tasks listed above to remedy any potential adverse employee living and working conditions before they become problematic, and in accordance with U.S. standards (as well as perform other supply chain optimization and intelligence gathering that would be beneficial to Apple’s executive management).

Is there any reasonable explanation for this lack of oversight?  With billions of dollars in revenue, and all the technological, logistical and managerial capabilities that Apple Inc has at its disposal, you would think they would have the ability to address these issues with EACH of their key suppliers at the onset of contract negotiations.  Perhaps we’re wrong?  What would it take for Apple to remedy these situations?  Perhaps if each potential buyer of Apple products were to see this VIDEO…before making their purchase, would it influence their purchasing decisions regarding Apple products?  Would it get Apple’s attention then?  I personally have been a supporter of Apple products for over two decades.  However, after seeing the conditions of this one “key” manufacturing supplier, it’s hard to ignore and not let this influence how I view Apple (the corporation), and its dedication to upholding humane, decent employee working and living conditions of its key suppliers employees.  In producing this VIDEO, Bloomberg News sent one of their own reporters to document these awful working and living conditions at one of their key suppliers.  So this is not simply rumor or hearsay by an anonymous source, this is researched, documented and publicly presented by Bloomberg.

I understand Apple is not alone in this lack of supplier oversight.  Many, many global corporations are guilty of the same disregard of foreign employees/contracted employees working and living in shameful conditions all for the sake of maximizing their earnings per share.  Is this due to the lack of ability or lack of financial resources?  Or is it due to negatively impacting earning results of a few pennies per share?  I don’t know the answer to that from Apple’s perspective.  Only Apple’s executive management knows the answers to these questions.  All that said, given Apple’s position as a global leader in technology, their apparent lack of knowledge, interest and dedication to negotiating and implementing higher quality, humane working and living standards for key supplier employees is inexcusable and a great disappointment.  Those in charge of supply-chain management & oversight at Apple, should be better negotiators and better enforcers of making sure their products are not being made at the expense of human dignity…especially when charging the prices they do  for their products, and offshoring $billions in profits.

As for us, this current lack of oversight may influence our future purchasing decisions when it comes to Apple products.  What a shame…  Apple does so many things so well.  Perhaps Apple focuses too much attention on placing investment capital in technology, design, branding & image, and offshoring huge profits in the BILLIONS…and perhaps not enough attention spent on the human dignity of the foreign workers in their supply chain.  Come on Apple, you can do better than that…we know you can!  It’s a choice…but is it a priority?  We expect you to lead, innovate, implement and uphold to higher standards, especially when it comes to global worker conditions in your supply chain.  The importance of human dignity should match the quality of the products you produce…period.  Please don’t prove us wrong!  Give this the attention and resources it deserves…fix the problems.

GMS BUSINESS CONSULTING – provides lawyers and business professionals with Accounting Services, Business Development Services, Business Optimization Services and Digital Marketing Services to help business professionals successfully organize, grow and operate their businesses more effectively and efficiently.  We do NOT provide investment advice.  Contact Us  if you are interested in learning more about our services, and in particular about M.A.P.(our 3-phase business development solution), designed to help you strategically focus and tactically grow your business.  We would welcome the opportunity to speak with you.

info@gmsbusinessconsulting.com

707-218-3135

John 14:15

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“BUY LOW…SELL HIGH” – LOOK FAMILIAR?

“Buy low…Sell High”  Sound familiar?  Good Morning Everyone!  It’s been a few months since our last post.  After spending several years analyzing dozens and dozens of investment charts and graphs as a stockbroker/financial consultant/and a middle-market institutional broker at two international investment firms, I saw the above graph and article this morning on Bloomberg.  I couldn’t resist…I have to share my views and make a few comments…

As the saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words.”  And this picture on the surface tells a lot.  Based on my years of experience advising and consulting the general public, (both inexperienced as well as very experienced investors) on prudent investment management, I know most everyday investors and self-proclaimed savvy or experienced investors simply don’t understand the foundational principles of investing.  The general principle is to buy low and sell high.  In most cases, the general public invests in a manner that is the exact opposite…they tend to emotionally buy high, and in a panic… sell low.  The savvy/experienced investors on the other hand do exactly what they should do…they unemotionally buy low and unemotionally sell high!  How do they do this?  The answer in general terms is simple, but it’s not easy.  They do the following, but methodically:

  1. They don’t invest with emotion, they invest with discipline using financials/trading models etc. (which are all available to the public through their investment firms and online sources)
  2. They do their own homework first, by relying on their own research, good advisors (if they need one), and their own business sense.
  3. They don’t follow the crowd…they do quite the opposite.  They buy when the public is emotionally selling or panicked, and sell when the public is emotionally optimistic and running up the markets.

The point is, if you want to buy low and sell high, you have to get into the mindset of the savvy experienced investors.  Beginning with understanding where the markets are in the midst of the investment cycle…are they over-valued or under-valued?  Are they at high or low valuations.  And secondly, begin asking yourself (or your advisors) strategic questions.  As you can see in the above chart, all three markets are at or near their all-time highs.  Then depending on whether you are an existing owner or considering to be an/investor/or speculator, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are the markets (stock/bond/real estate) under-valued or over-valued?
    • Based on what information and valuation data?
    • What are your investment goals & objectives?
    • What’s your time horizon?
    • What’s your expected R.O.I.?
  • Is it a good time to be either a buyer or a seller in any these markets right now?
    • It depends…What’s your motivation?
    • Are you an existing holder considering to sell…or an investor considering to buy…or simply a speculator looking for a short-term profit?
  • Why do you want to buy/sell/ or hold in these markets now…is it due to need/long-term investment/speculation?
    • Again…What’s your motivation?
  • What’s your buy/sell discipline…your entry/exit points?
    • How did you arrive at those entry/exit points…through emotion or through a careful analysis of financial data and momentum oscillator data?
    • Again…What’s your time horizon?
    • Again…What’s your projected R.O.I. given your time horizon?

In general…not always…when the general public’s interest goes one way (in terms of investing), you may want to consider doing the opposite (however do your own due diligence and research first, and don’t rely on others!).  Generally, when it comes to “investment timing”, people tend to buy their investment assets at inappropriate times because they feel good or positive about the economy/the markets/or a particular company is popular or they’re afraid they’re missing out.  When it comes to inappropriate investment timing on selling, it’s usually because the markets are diving and they simply panic.  In either case the timing is off due to emotional investing and not methodical investing.  That’s understandable…we’re human!  That said, most experienced investors understand this costly emotional roller coaster and tend to avoid that ride by doing the fore-mentioned above.  When markets have fallen and asset valuations are near their lowest price points in their market cycle, this often times presents an optimal time to begin acquire such assets.  Likewise, when the markets are reaching new highs and the general public has taken an emotional buying position, this may be an opportune time to begin  taking some profits off the table, and setting the cash aside to invest when prices soften once again.

Is this a simple concept…yes.  Is it easy to implement…no.  When it comes to investing, most people tend to take action based on their emotional instincts…which are usually wrong.  Interestingly, the Bible also cautions us to not be ruled by emotions as ““The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; Who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9…please understand this text in its context).  So given the state of these markets, use your common sense…your business sense…do your own research…ask strategic questions, and make your investment decisions based on research and not emotion.  This will get you closer to becoming a savvy, experienced investor with the mind-set and practice of buying low and selling high.  We hope you found our perspectives and opinions to be insightful and helpful.

GMS BUSINESS CONSULTING provides lawyers and business professionals with Accounting Services, Business Development Services, Business Optimization Services and Digital Marketing Services to help business professionals successfully organize, grow and operate their businesses more effectively and efficiently.  We do NOT provide investment advice.  Contact Us  if you are interested in learning more about our services, and in particular about M.A.P. (our 3-phase business development solution), designed to help you strategically focus and tactically grow your business.  We would welcome the opportunity to speak with you.

info@gmsbusinessconsulting.com

707-218-3135

John 14:15

GMS Business Consulting 510 Comments

Former Fed Regulator Appologizes For Quantitative Easing (QE)

Federal-Reserve-Building-Washington-D_C  JP Morgan Chase

Hello Everyone!  Anyone having a keen sense of the obvious would agree that too much power in the hands of too few is a recipe for disaster.  That is the current state of our banking/financial system, and more specifically, talking about the “Too big To Fail Banks” (which is counter to capitalism isn’t it?).  Listen to this interview on Bloomberg with former Fed regulator Andrew Huszar, who candidly yet diplomatically describes the foundational problems of the Fed, QE, and our current banking structure. Read more

GMS Business Consulting 589 Comments

The Return of Blackberry?

Blackberry Passport

Mark Blinch/Reuters

 

Hello Everyone!  This morning we’re writing to you, our viewers, regarding the release of the new smartphone by Blackberry, called the “Passport“.  Seriously…you ask?  Who cares?  I’m sure that’s what many of you are thinking!  We however believe many business professionals should care/need to care or at the very least, be aware of the launch of this new device and its possible benefits for business and personal use.  With data security becoming increasingly important,  we as business owners and those of you in highly sensitive industries like legal, financial, healthcare, technology, and government, should be concerned about the security of our business and client data, as well as our own personal data!  Read the online articles on the NY Times and Bloomberg and other online sources to get a good perspective on this new release.  So back to the new Blackberry PassportRead more

GMS Business Consulting 963 Comments

A New Breed of Derivatives…Really?

The JPMorgan Chase & Co. in New York Photographer: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg

The JPMorgan Chase & Co. in New York
Photographer: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg

 

Hello everyone…You heard right!  Hard to believe it, but it’s true!  If we didn’t learn the first time around about Wall Street created derivatives, how about a second round?  Guess who is leading the charge this time around…you got it, Goldman Sachs,  JP Morgan Chase and ProShares.  In today’s Bloomberg Article, you will discover that the unimaginable, the unthinkable is happening again. Read more

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Is The U.S. – Big Brother To The World?

Photographer: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg

Photographer: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg

 

Hello everyone…this is a follow-up post from a post we made earlier in the year regarding the U.S. Government requiring foreign banks to give up personal data on foreign bank accounts held by U.S. citizens…or else…face fines/penalties/prosecution/access to U.S. financial markets etc.  This law is known as FACTA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act).  Today’s article on Bloomberg does a good job in describing this very disturbing law and progression of our governments reach.  It appears as though we’re not only acting as big brother to U.S. citizens, but perhaps to the entire world.  Below are several key points to consider: Read more

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Are Employers Squeezing 401(k)’s?

Photographer: Peter Foley/Bloomberg

Photographer: Peter Foley/Bloomberg

 

Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Hello Everyone!  We thought this article on Bloomberg highlighting how company’s may be squeezing 401(k)’s would be of interest…to both  employer’s and employee’s.  We’re going to approach this issue from as balanced a perspective as we can.  We are by no means speaking on behalf of any particular company or organization nor any individual…it’s just from the perspective of GMS Business Consulting.  That said, let’s begin looking at this retirement plan benefit from the perspective of the Employer side. Read more

GMS Business Consulting 533 Comments

The Volcker Rule…Update

Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

 

Good Morning!  Just a brief update to the previous post regarding the Volcker Rule…Volcker himself said he didn’t help write the rule that is now in place.  Surprised…we’re not.  Here’s the Bloomberg Article that discusses this in general.  Having the Volcker Rule is certainly better than leaving things as they were.  However, it just begs the following questions: Read more

GMS Business Consulting 420 Comments

Remember, Buy Low….Sell High?

Floor Trader

Jin Lee/Bloomberg

 

We thought this Article on Bloomberg would be of interest to our viewers.  Remember the old saying. “Buy low, sell high?”  Remember another old saying, “Those who ignore history are destined to repeat it?”  Well, here we are again…  Seems like the retail investor will lose their investment “lunch” once again.  It really is unfortunate because we have vast amounts of historical information available at our fingertips 24/7.   If we would only take the time to do a little research and study history, then compare it with where we are today, we might be better informed, more astute and perhaps savvier investors. Read more

GMS Business Consulting 914 Comments

Economic Warnings From China…

China's Economic Woes

China’s Economic Woe’s

 

China's Real Estate Bubble

China’s Real Estate Bubble

Hello everyone, this mornings post is on the economic woe’s of China.  We don’t hear a whole lot about the economic challenges China is facing, and how these economic woe’s will ultimately impact the U.S. and the rest of the world economically.  This Article on Bloomberg today, really touches on what is going on behind the scenes economically.  Some of you may be very familiar with this situation, but for those of your who aren’t…we highly recommend that you read and forward these stories to everyone you know.  In addition to this Bloomberg article,  we also recommend that you, your colleagues, family and friends watch this Story that aired on 60 Minutes just over 8 months ago. Read more