I will liken Apple to a chess grandmaster when it comes to the electronics market, most of their moves is preplanned and steps ahead of their rivals. keeping the suppliers list a secret, in the first place generates speculation (life blood of business). Publishing it at this time after much speculation sustains peoples interest..
I think there are two key reasons why Apple has done this:
1 - By publishing its list of suppliers, Apple surely drew the attention of the competing suppliers. Now that the information is out, many competing companies will be knocking on Apple's door to offer it attractive new deals on parts that they are already using in their products. This will save Apple a lot of legwork. This will obviously put pressure on the suppliers who are already on the list because they will have to work harder to offer at least as competitive prices to Apple and will have to fight for their positions on the list.
2 - Although the existing suppliers will need to work harder to stay competitive in order to remain on the golden list, they have started to reap the benefits of their exposure as a supplier to Apple by means of increasing their share prices. In addition to that, many investors are probably taking a good look and putting a few tick marks on that supplier list as a pointer to where their cash is going to go next.
Even though I found it very odd that Apple released such information for no apparent reason, I think they are looking ahead at some industry changes about to take place. If nothing else, this pre-emptive strike helps put Apple out front again and makes sure their suppliers are following the rules.
Bolaji--the more I think about it, the more I'm convinced Tim Cook has something to do with this sea change. This indicates to me that--typical for Apple--they've seen something coming and have jumped out in front of it. No question, though, it makes Apple look good, as did its report last year on its manufacturing partners. The information wasn't so pleasant, but Apple faced it head-on. If nothing else, they can demonstrate their due diligence, if, as reported, Foxconn is still having problems with employee rights
Barbara, I wonder too why Apple has suddenly decided to publish a list of suppliers it kept secret for so long. Was this because secrecy is no longer necessary or that the disadvantages overway the advantages?
You also raised a valid point. Now that Apple has disclosed its suppliers, the onus for proving compliance with all environmental and social responsibility would be transferred to the suppliers too, or at least shared. Now, Apple won't have to be the only one putting pressure on the suppliers. Labor and human rights agencies will be able to threaten suppliers with reporting them to Apple.
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.