Members of Apples Supply Chain Violate Environmental Labor and Safety Practices Annotated Bibliography

Pages: 6 (2236 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 7  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Business

Members of Apple

One of the biggest challenges facing most firms is supply chain issues. This is because there are a number of practices which could be in violation of specific environmental, labor and safety regulations. In the case of Apple, the firm has redesigned its supply chain and the approach that it is taking. To fully understand what happening requires conducting an annotated bibliography. That will examine if the company's supply chain is in violation of these provisions. This will determine if the procedures used by Apple will benefit the different stakeholders (which is supporting or refuting the hypothesis that believes it is violation these practices). (Monczka, 2010, pg. 15)

Monczka, R. (2008). Purchasing and Supply Chain Management. Mason, OH: South Western.

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There are number of sources which are discussing the impact of Apple's supply chain on different stakeholders. According to Monczka (2008), the company has been transforming the way its supply chain operates after it received negative press in 1997 (with Business Week article asking if the firm is mincemeat regarding its possible bankruptcy). To improve efficiency there was a focus on reducing the products in the supply chain by half, forecasting weekly vs. monthly sales and it worked with suppliers to provide real time inventory assessments. The combination of these factors has helped to improve efficiency and reduce the environmental impact. As a result, this is going against the hypothesis by illustrating how the firm has implemented practices that do not harm the interests of other stakeholders (i.e. The environment). (Monczka, 2008, pg. 15)

Blanchard, D. (2010). Supply Chain Management. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

TOPIC: Annotated Bibliography on Members of Apples Supply Chain Violate Environmental Labor and Safety Practices Assignment

The biggest changes that Apple has been making with the supply chain, is to focus on using digital technology. Evidence of this can be seen with information that was written by Blanchard (2010), he found that the company is still utilizing a traditional supply chain to: manufacture computers, I Phones and portable music players. At the same time, they have implemented a secondary digital supply chain that will sell various services for specific devices (i.e. The I Tunes store). This allows the company to conduct over $1 billion in sales with lower labor costs. Moreover, the online transactions will have no environmental impact. As a result, Blanchard determined that Apple's supply chain is receiving favorable distinctions from AMR Research (with it being named supply chain of the year in 2008 and 2009). Commenting about what was happening Blanchard wrote, "I Tunes while shifting supply chain investments to technology and infrastructure, provides a platform for higher margin hardware sales, increased agility through higher cash flows, accelerated turnaround times (through on demand content) and the speed to market through a web-based store front." This is showing how Apple's supply chain is redefining the way firms are managing a host of challenges through the tools they are utilizing. The combination of these factors means that the environmental, safety and labor related issues are dramatically reduced. The reason why is because, no physical product actually is shipped. Instead, customers have a way of quickly finding the support they need (while reducing any kind of adverse impact from their activities on different stakeholders). This is refuting the hypothesis that was presented earlier.

New, S. (2011). Harvard Business Review on Managing Supply Chains. Boston, MA: Harvard University Press.

However, despite some of the positive reviews of Apple's supply chain, their labor practices have been openly criticized. According to New (2011), the company has been outsourcing the manufacturing of different products to subcontractors in China. They have the responsibility of producing the final product and importing it to the U.S. / other locations for sale. In 2009, one of their main suppliers (Foxconn) was exposed for running a sweatshop in China. This forced Apple to deal with issues that it was building its main products in locations that avoided labor laws (in an effort to reduce costs). This is showing how the other side of Apple's supply chain is causing them to violate labor laws indirectly. The way that this is taking place is through their continuous use and support of third party suppliers (which engages in these activities). As a result, the information from this source is supporting the hypothesis that was presented earlier. (New, 2011)

Epstein, M. (2011). Conflict Minerals. Environmental Quarterly Management 21(2), 13 -- 25.

There also other labor related issues that are having an impact upon Apple from their suppliers' activities. According to Epstein (2011) the company has been caught up in a scandal involving their support of corporations that purchase raw materials from locations such as the Congo. In general, most of the funds have been used by recipients to finance armed groups. These organizations are actively involved in committing a host of atrocities such as: mass rapes and the abduction / training of child soldiers. The fact that Apple was not aware of what is happening is an indication that they did not monitor the practices of their suppliers. Over the course of time, this lack of vigilance created a situation where they were indirectly supporting these groups (from their deficiency in oversight). As a result, this information is showing how Apple's desire to reduce their labor costs, has helped to fuel conflict in the Congo and Central Africa. This source is supporting the hypothesis statement. (Epstein, 2011, pp. 13 -- 25)

Yuan, Y. (2012). Risk Transmission Mechanism. Technology for Education and Learning 136, 95 -- 102.

Moreover, other sources are indicating that Apple is also violating many different safety and environmental practices. According to Yuan (2012), the firm and other multinational corporations have relocated to China in order to reduce labor costs (through their use of subcontractors). However, during the process of meeting the demand of these firms, is when many of these third parties will violate various safety and environmental guidelines. A good example of this occurred at the Foxconn plants in 2011, where a total of 12 suicides were reported from the demanding work schedule of employees. Furthermore, the company has been known to engage in practices that will pollute the river systems, the air and water supply. Although Apple is not directly involved in these activities, their support for suppliers who embrace these practices is contributing to the situation. This is showing how the practices used by the company are having an adverse impact on workers and communities near manufacturing facilities. The information from this source is useful, in illustrating how the company is indirectly condoning these activities by the continuous usage of these organizations. Therefore, these facts are supporting the hypothesis that was presented earlier. (Yuan, 2012, pp. 95 -- 102)

Enderle, G. (2011). Discerning Ethical Challenges. Asian Journal of Business Ethics, 22, 141 -- 149.

At the same time, other information was uncovered which is showing how Apple is following specific ethical practices with specific policies and procedures. However, when it comes to many of the manufacturing facilities (in locations overseas), these guidelines are often ignored. Like what was stated previously from other sources, the main issues are with the subcontractors that the company is using. This is because they do not have to follow these regulations. Instead, Apple is giving them the flexibility to determine what practices they are using in creating the final product (with the lowest wholesale costs possible). According to Enderle (2011), a report was published by it industry titled the Other Side. What they found is that the supply chain practices that Apple is using in China are in direct violation of its own ethical policies. This is from the company not monitoring the activities of third party providers during this process. The results are high numbers of work related injuries (from a lack of safety procedures). In most cases employees were often forced to: work in sweatshop like conditions, there were long hours for staff members and very little procedures for responsibly dumping waste byproducts. This is causing many areas to have high amounts of pollution. While at the same time, workers are forced to endure inhuman conditions at the hands of Apple's third party suppliers. This information is showing how Apple needs to apply its policies and procedures to suppliers. The problem is that when this approach is utilized, it could negate any kind of cost benefits that are realized by the firm. This is the point that the company will have to sell it products for more money (which could hurt their ability to compete in the global marketplace). As a result, this is supporting the hypothesis surrounding Apple and its business practices. (Enderle, 2011, pp. 141 -- 149)

Stonebreaker, P. (2009). Weak Links in the Supply Chain. Journal of Manufacturing Technology, 20 (2), 161 -- 177.

The focus on using third party suppliers has exposed Apple to possible supply disruptions and challenges in the future. This is because many workers in these facilities are beginning to want better conditions and higher pay. To force suppliers to meet their demands, there have been instances when these plants were shutdown in… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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