How supply chain management is necessary for delivering a sustainable supply of a product
Supply of iPhones in UK
IPhones are among the most technologically advanced products of the 21st century. It is one of the most consumed products in the Smartphone Industry of the United Kingdom. IPhones are products of Apple Incorporated Company which is based in the United States. IPhones are sophisticated technological products which utilize the latest developments and innovations in technology (Walker, Stanton, Jenkins and Salmon, 2009).There are about five different types of iPhones with the technology employed in each of them being the major distinctive feature between them. IPhones were first invented in the year 2007 as part of the revolution in the world telecommunication industry. They have found their way into the entire world market (Wright, 2012).
Quality is an important consideration in the marketing of technological products. Quality in most cases is set by the company offering the product but is determined by the consumers of products (Boyer and Verma, 2010). The technological quality and the efficiency and effectiveness of use are the considerations that are made in their manufacture (Bloomberg Businessweek, 2011).
Though it was developed recently, quality improvement has been a major exercise resulting in the numerous iPhone generations. The major reason for continuous investment in quality is to beat the high competition in the smartphone market of the UK for instance Blackberry, and Samsung among other competitors (Arewa, Bottom of Form
When the iPhones were first introduced to the market, they attracted a lot of customers creating high expectations in the products. Thus reduction in quality improvement in iPhones is one way of ensuring that the expectations of customers are met. Quality delivery is also seen as one of the ways of cost reduction. The costs come with default products lading to complaints and recalls by the company (Cohen and Roussel, 2005). Quality management in iPhone production leads to increased sales and profits.
Importance of product innovation to the supply chain
IPhones hit the market with a bang because of the kind of innovation that went into their production. During its early stages of introduction in the market, iPhones recorded very high sales. Just like in innovations that preceded the iPhone, The Apple Company utilized the new product development process in making the iPhone (Hitt, Ireland and Hoskisson, 2007).There are many benefits of continued innovation in products. Product innovation is one of the processes that are used in supply chain management. The main aim of supply chain management is seeing that the products get to the market and meets the needs and consumer expectations thence profits. Product innovation is a means of making the product in the supply chain. Innovation in products entails the creation of economic, social and environment value by using new ideas (Wilding, 2007). The ideas that led to the development of the iPhone were very advanced. As soon as the iPhones were released into the market, they immediately captured the customers. They have advanced tools which eased communication. The demand was thus automatically created by the value with which the users attached to the iPhones. The iPhone has undergone several changes with each change being aimed at adding value to the product by adding an application that did not exist in previous products. There are five generations of iPhones: iPhone, iphone3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and the iPhone 4S. This denotes an improvement innovation for each of these products. Each generation of iPhones has a different design and taste from the other. The latest generations are more advanced in terms of design and quality two key important aspects in fulfilling the demand of customers (Jefferson and USA, (n.d)).
Supplies for Delivering IPhones
The iPhones are manufactured in different countries with major manufacturing centers being in china and the United States. Huge sums of money are invested in the manufacturing process. The two major stores are thus found in the two countries. The supplies to the United Kingdom are gotten from the United States. Therefore a lot of logistical procedures are involved in the supply of the iPhones. The supply of iPhones is guided by the demand for the products in the country. However, it is the responsibility of the Apple as a manufacturer to ensure that customers get the products at the time they need them (Moren, 2010).
The manufacturers of iPhones depend on other suppliers who supply them with materials that are used in processing the iPhones. The quality of iPhones in the market depends on the quality of the material that is used in making the iPhones. IPhone manufacturers work closely with the suppliers of the products materials as part of ensuring that total quality management is attained in the final products being released in the market. The logistics of shipping the goods to the UK poses another challenge in the supply of iPhones in the UK market. There are different models of iPhones and the demands for each of the models vary. The most demanded models are the latest models of iPhone 4S. Preorders are placed by different wholesalers who get the products directly from the company. Apple has its own supplies and logistics departments which guides them in taking orders and ensuring that products are delivered safely to the distributors. Within the United Kingdom, there are many suppliers of iPhones. The importing companies deal directly with iPhone manufacturers – Apple Company. There are several importing companies that are engaged in the importing of the iPhones. UK has many distributors and wholesalers of iPhones. They get the products from the importing companies (Moren, 2010).
To ensure quality in the supply of the iPhones in the UK, Apple takes part in almost the entire supply of iPhones. Follow ups are made as the goods are put on transit to ensure that they reach the customers in in a good condition. Follow-ups are even made in the retail stores all which is an almost final point of supply before the iPhones get to the consumers. Furthermore active communication n is maintained between the manufacturer of Apple and the consumers to taste the level of utility which guides future supplies of iPhones (Sako, 2011).
Making supplies sustainable
Apple has more than ten companies which supplies it with materials or different parts that go into the manufacturing of the iPhones. If problems exist with any of the suppliers and supplies, a problem will be imminent in the quality of products (Taylor and Brunt, 2001, Pegasus Software, 2009). The company must ensure that all quality considerations are met in all the supplies. Apple has put mechanisms of managing the supplies of these materials. One thing that is notable on the list of its suppliers is that most of them come from Taiwan. By this it is easy to assess the supplies and gain trust with the companies making the supplies. Also, the standards of quality in production for a particular country are often standardized. The types of material and production processes are often similar (Abilla, P, 2007).
To ensure sustainability of supplies from the supplying companies, apple must initiate healthy and mutual strategies. These strategies have to ensure that all the companies benefit reasonably from the supply and sales of iPhones. This will enhance trust which will extend into quality in supplies (Beheshti, 2010).
Apple invests a lot in quality checks which is why it is able to come up with high quality products – iPhones. One major objective of service –chain management is ensuring that the customers get quality products which are what keeps to them to the products. Through quality checks, Apple Managed to keep the quality of iPhones according to the expectations of their customers (Hugos and Hulitzky, 2010).
As part of the expanding its supplies of iPhones due to the risen demand for the products, Apple needs to select more outsourcing vendors in the UK. The outsourcing vendors will be able to reach more customers creating more demand for iPhone supplies (Beheshti, 2010).
How to ensure sustainability in supplies
The supply chain of IPhones can be made sustainable by capturing the important areas of supply management (Tillon et al, n.d). In dealing with the manufactures the suppliers of products used in manufacturing iPhones, three things have to be adhered to. These are time, transparency and trust between the suppliers. The three things interact to effect positively on the supply chain. Trust enhances transparency and timely delivery of supplies. When this kind of relationship is embraced, the supply chain of will be effective and efficient thus sustainable.
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