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2018)” This focus reflects on Apple’s share price and not the welfare of its contracted employees. As the market leader and most successful consumer electronics firm in the world, Apple has a very high responsibility to ensure the responsibility and integrity of its value chain. The future of innovation is placed in jeopardy when the idea of value creation becomes defined as value extraction. Rather than focusing solely on returning cash to its shareholders, Apple must also focus upon its efforts to eradicate the issues disrupting its supply chain. The continued use of an “at arms-length” mentality shifts the burden of production and cost to its suppliers, while also making them carry the burden through unsafe working conditions and low wages. Surviving in the U.S. Economy: As mentioned in the case, Apple cannot survive in an economy that relies on U.S. suppliers. Apple executives estimated that about “8,700 industrial engineers were needed to oversee and guide the 200,000 assembly-line workers eventually involved in manufacturing the iPhones” (Mark, 2017). These engineers work closely with suppliers to update manufacturing processes and technology which grant them a competitive advantage over their competitors. The demand that is created for these products requires a staff that is readily available throughout all hours of the day. To meet sudden spikes in orders from Apple, one former executive describes
Week 7 – Cast Study: Apple and Its Suppliers: Corporate Social Responsibility 11how a foreman roused over 8,000 workers inside the supplier’s dormitories to meet a spike in demand. Each employee was given “a biscuit and a cup of tea, guided to workstations and withinhalf an hour started a 12-hour shift fitting glass screens into beveled frames” (Mark, 2017). Within 96 hours, the plant had produced over 10,000 iPhone a day. “The speed and flexibility is breathtaking. There’s no American plant that can match that”, the executive said (Mark, 2017).In the end, it the authors of this paper believe that Apple should not bring manufacturing completely back to the United States. This decision needs to be purely a business decision and not an emotional one. From a business perspective, it would not make any financial sense to bring 100% of production for Apple products to the United States. As mentioned previously in this paper and with other associated costs aside, the cost of an iPhone would increase exponentially due to the lack of manufacturing capacity in the US to meet demand. The production of the necessary parts and the tooling that is required to assemble the products is highly specialized and requires an equally highly trained vocational laborer to perform these tasks. Unfortunately, the United States has not focused on vocational training for the most recent generations entering the workforce, thus resulting in a drastic shortage of skilled personnel to perform the tasks (Luk, 2018).