It is our collective hope that the supply chain giants will learn from this. But I am not optimistic, especially in light of dwindling profits by these companies because of China's policies. All this is a smoke screen to make us believe the companies are doing something. Unless a third party advocacy group or news reporters keep the searchlight on these human rights violations and worker abuses issues and hold the companies accountable, we will be discussing the topic again when we either have a catastrophe or another company decides to do "an audit".
As much as I respect Apple for their technological innovation, I have to agree with Hardcore and Ms. Daisy. The Apple findings are not very surprising. Everyone knows cheep labor is why these companies contract overseas. We all inherently know that working conditions are poor in these overseas subcontractors, to fain surprise now is misleading. Why did Apple wait until now to do the audit? Why have other OEMs NOT done any auditing? The answer is simple, they are looking to reduce costs at all cost.
I will say, hopefully something good will come out of this and things will finally change.
I seem to agree with Hardcore that this audit by Apple is all smoke and mirrors. Why will a giant like Apple wait till now to audit its business partners especially in light of its doing business in China.
China has been accused of human rights violations from time immemorial. So why will anyone go into business in China without a memorandum of understanding with contractors that is close if not similar to labor laws in the US.
Apple and I bet other giants in the supply chain that have outsourced to these developing economies have turned a blind eye to these abuses till now, as long as it is not traced directly to them. Hopefully this audit will be a challenge to all in the supply chain to demand fair treatment for workers in the these countries!
I originally did a reply to the Apple 'release', but decided it may be bit to inflammatory to post, even though it did not specifically relate to the case.
Not specifically related to any particular supplier/OEM
To generalize, I notice that the text used a number of classic distraction methods, specifically they 'insinuate' that the report relates more to China, but in reality looking at some of the pictures, It seems this is not the case.
Taiwan is specifically mentioned ,but nothing is actually broken out, I also find the conclusions a bit 'slanted' and this that there are some items just 'thrown' in to balance it out.
Related to offers of 'benefit' and based on how things work here, someone is trying to pull a 'blinder'.
There is absolutely no way that they only have one incident of reported corruption for a company of that size with that supplier base, generally I dealt with at least one a week.
I even have some photographs of the inspector of one VERY well known 'independent' audit company being 'brown enveloped' out in a company car park, and had another situation where I was 'warned' by a certain inspection Agencies staff for reporting their corruption back to their manager (I'd known the manager for about 10 years)
I have read many such reports, and even developed various systems for supplier evaluation, I can say it is a highly sophisticated process that cannot easily have statistical methodlogy applied to it.To do so, would be to consider that a factory was consistent in all areas without issues related to 'theifdoms' 'power-plays' and 'political maneuvering'.
I have also had the pleasure/displeasure to deal with some very big names and have a very firm conclusion that much of this ethical auditing is smoke and mirrors ,related to feel good factors and market security.
Just for the record, this is not a government problem, it is a people problem and in recent years I can say I have seen a general lack of moral decline in the industry, despite all the "joy joy feel good" propaganda, but it is said that things generally get worse before they get better.
I think at most levels, unfortunatley, alot of the large high-tech companies are guilty of some violations. It's just a matter or when and where they take place. The waterfall affect is taking place now since one big player is busted THEN regulators clean up their act and start checking out the rest of the industry.
I agree with you. Third party certification is always better than self certification, because in self-assessment there is always scope for tweaking your report based on your interests. How about "Labour Friendly" certification if the product complies with labout laws, Something simliar to "ECO FRIENDLY" certification.
Wow thats great that Apple has come up with such review report. It will only bring up its trust among customers and shareholders. Apple would be the only company that has willingly published such a detailed report. Definitely kudos to them...
EBN Dialogue enables and encourages you to participate in live chats with notable leaders and luminaries. Not only editors and journalists, but the entire EBN community is able to comment and ask questions. Listed below are upcoming and archived chats.
Thailand Stages a Comeback Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Microsoft Surface: Potential Winners & Losers What are the implications for the electronics industry supply chain of Microsoft Corp.'s decision to launch its own tablet PC? Join industry veteran and EE Times' systems and OEM expert Rick Merritt on Tuesday, July 3, at 12:00 pm EDT for a Live Chat on this subject.
Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Peter Drucker famously said "Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window." Yet in the razor's-edge world of electronics—with a lean supply chain and just-in-time demands—the need to know the future is vital.
While no one really can accurately predict the future, we can take guidance from another Drucker saying which is the best way to predict the future is to create it.
You've heard the saying "the No. 1 supply chain risk is your people." That hasn't always been the case. But today's complex global supply chain requires a new type of multitalented employee. It's one who understands, finance, marketing, economics, is savvy with technology, graceful with relationships and can think analytically.
Where are these people? Are universities properly preparing the next generation supply chain professionals? How do train your existing workforce for these new, demanding positions?
Brian Fuller, editor-in-chief of EBN, will lead a 60-minute Avnet Velocity panel discussion that will ask and answer these and other questions swirling around today's supply-chain talent challenges.