GMS Business Consulting No Comments

Apple – Lacks Supplier Oversight

Photo from:×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.


John 14:15