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This case focuses on the supply chain strategy of Apple Inc. Set in early 2020, it provides a detailed description of the company's supply chain network and capabilities. Data in the case allows students to develop an understanding of Apple's source of competitiveness and to gain insights into the management of a large, complex global supply chain network that focused on the intersection of services, hardware and software.
An analyst for a money management firm is studying Apple Inc. as one of the firm's key investments. In 2013, Apple had a market capitalisation of nearly USD500 billion and sales of USD171 billion. According to the research firm, Gartner Group, it had the world's best supply chain, ranking ahead of companies such as Walmart, Amazon and Inditex. As part of the analysis, a full review of Apple's supply chain is required to look for insight into the future performance of the company in order to decide whether or not the analyst's firm should continue to hold Apple shares.
A manager of student services at a small college was very concerned about the delays and costs of processing student registrations during the annual orientation week. She glanced at recently collected data on processing times for the six major steps that the registration process required. She wondered how the process might be improved while balancing budgetary pressures to reduce costs.