Apple Watch Teaches Supply Chain Best Practices
Last week, as customers waited for their much anticipated Apple Watches, the Wall Street Journal reported that delays could be traced to a feared supply chain nightmare: a faulty part. Apple’s supply chain strategy, though, likely mitigated the risk.
“Apple’s supply chain issues around the Apple Watch should serve as a major wake-up call for all companies,” said Gary Meyers, CEO of supply chain analytics company FusionOps. “Apple has the world’s best supply chain, and has incredible brand loyalty, so they’ll weather this fine, but this would be catastrophic for most companies.”
Apple, of course, is in a position that few OEMs find themselves. “With the Apple Watch launch, Apple is introducing a new product, already a big undertaking considering the volumes they are dealing with, but is also creating an entirely new category, so there’s no way to forecast demand,” Meyers told EBN in an interview.
Into this mix, a potentially faulty component was introduced. Taptic engine components manufactured by AAC Technologies Holding, when tested, showed degradation over time and Apple chose to throw the products away rather than risk a black eye to the product or the brand, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Of course, problems can’t always be avoided—and then risk mitigation becomes the key. “Although Apple has the best supply chain in the world, they have highlighted how new technologies, such as Big Data and cloud-based supply chain analytics, can de-risk supply chains and give companies the confidence to deliver new products to customers on time,” said Meyers.