3 Lessons From the Apple-Foxconn Debacle

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Barbara Jorgensen
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3 lessons
Barbara Jorgensen   4/20/2012 4:33:48 PM
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@prabhakar: good point. It is easy for those of us in the US to impose our value system on a company that is half a world away. It is much more complex than "just do it this way" because we say so. It is entirely possible, as several readers point out, that some workers are not all that unhappy with their lot. What seems outrageous to us may seem commonplace in another region. It is complex and will take a lot of time.

jbond
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Re: Not convinced
jbond   4/20/2012 7:11:18 AM
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@ProcurementEtc, You are exactly right. These OEMs need to be the driving force behind changes, and until they step up to the plate things will not change.

prabhakar_deosthali
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The rich-poor divide
prabhakar_deosthali   4/20/2012 2:19:36 AM
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IT is the rich and poor divide that creates this difference of opinions. In the developing countries where there are millions of people living under poverty line , people are ready to accept below par working conditions and earn some livelihood  for themselves and their family rather than be dependent on some doled out money given out by some charity organizations.  Whether this is being exploited by the local powerful people to negotiate cheap labor contracts with the western world is another issue.

But in my opinion this is a very complex socio economic issue which can only get solved by slowly reducing that rich-poor gap.

Hospice_Houngbo
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Workers need salary raise
Hospice_Houngbo   4/19/2012 6:46:34 PM
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Ironically, the workers seem to like their workload and would even want more if they could. But the reality may just be that they need more pay for what they are already doing. That is what Foxconn has failed to understand.

Hospice_Houngbo
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Re: 3 lessons
Hospice_Houngbo   4/19/2012 6:37:39 PM
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At least the mistakes have not sunk the two companies. Maybe the workers problems have to be found elsewhere than in their actual working conditions. 

ProcurementEtc
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Not convinced
ProcurementEtc   4/19/2012 5:09:51 PM
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While the 3 lessons should be part of our routine due diligence I'm not convinced they are useful in ensuring a supplier reflects an OEM's business standards.  

Since the 1970's China's human rights violations, IP and technology theft, unauthorized and often dangerous material substitution have been well documented.  Anyone who's visited China knows they tell you what you want to hear, no action behind it.  China also continues to be unwilling to change by enforcing contracts and enacting legislation.  They have no incentive as long as OEMs and consumers condone immoral or criminal activity to save a buck.

OEMs need to be the catalyst for change not China, Mexico, etc.  In order for suppliers to reflect the OEMs business standard the business needs to valuate and analyze culture (business, political, legal and human) against traditional cost benefits and award business accordingly.   SC professional can lead the change by educating stakeholders, updating ethics statements to include socially responsible language, developing means to collect data and create rakings on key cultural criteria.

elctrnx_lyf
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Re: 3 lessons
elctrnx_lyf   4/19/2012 4:35:42 AM
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I believe most of the top companies actually follow all these guidelines to actually rate the suppliers. But in the future I hope many more OEM's will start assessing their suppliers to actually understand the working conditions and make sure the dignity of labour is maintained everwhere. Let us not exploit some one to reduce the price of our product.

Barbara Jorgensen
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Blogger
3 lessons
Barbara Jorgensen   4/18/2012 5:42:34 PM
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good points all. The situation would be worse, in retrospect, if the industry wasn't able to learn from its mistakes.



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