From the above graphic, Apple Inc accelerates the new product introduction by acquiring licensing and 3rd party businesses.The whole process looks very similar to that of other industries.
To the best of my knowledge, many business schools still use the case study “Apple Computer’s Supplier Hubs: A Tale of Three Cities” from Stanford University (1996).
To get a closer look at modern-day supply chain at Apple Inc, this case study utilizes the content analysis technique.
Everything about Apple Inc is the talk of the town, for example, the new i Pad, i Phone 5, Apple Map or even environmental and labor issues at its suppliers’ facilities.
Surprisingly, IT research firm Gartner ranks Apple Supply Chain as the best supply chain in the world for 3 years in a row.
There are many challenges to overcome, for example; The above information is also from the annual report.
As you can see, most of the risks are on the supply side. Some people in the blogosphere said that Apple Supply Chain is not that complicated.
The above picture shows that inventory turnover of Amazon and Apple is 10 and 59 respectively (cost of goods sold of digital content/downloadable products are excluded).
From the face value, Apple seems to be more efficient. Apple Inc is now a marketing company with no manufacturing facility but Amazon is a distributor of general merchandise.
Supply chain professionals also use this metric in the inventory management function.
Generally accepted calculation is (Cost of Goods Sold / Average Inventory).