operations of its independent suppliers. But as a key customer of these suppliers, Apple can demand and support its suppliers to improve on its labor conditions if it has an adverse effect on Apple’s bottom line and its brand. 3. Would onshoring, insourcing, or a combination of the two represent a suitable response to Apple’s problems? Onshoring and insourcing would help eliminate the issues of poor working conditions of its manufacturing partners almost entirely; however, it is not realistic. While the United States has strict labor laws protecting individuals from being taken
advantage of in the name of corporate profit, it comes at a financial cost for businesses that look to keep their suppliers onshore rather than abroad. Modern labor laws in the U.S. cap hours, have minimum wages, restrict child labor, and require safer working conditions, which subsequently leads to higher cost of manufacturing. Given the information from the case study, Apple has no incentive or want to insource or onshore their manufacturing, and there is also no labor force to accommodate the requirements of Apple. 4. If Apple continues on the current path, what should it do differently? Apple claims to support safe working conditions and partnering with manufacturers who follow the same belief, however, the case study proves differently. If Apple continues on the same path, it needs to determine if various negative PR from abusing lax labor laws is more important than its profits. As the market continues to mature and ultimately run its course to the end of its cycle, it will be essential to maintain good faith with consumers to ensure dominance in the market share. I would recommend Apple hold itself and its manufacturers accountable by not prioritizing profits over everything else. By forgoing profits as the single driver, it would allow Apple to eliminate its price cuts with manufacturers and thus allow those same manufacturers to increase their margins and reinvest that into its employees and work environment.
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