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How Apple is changing the Supply Chain



Apple has long been a leader in Gartner's annual ranking of the Top 25 Supply Chains, but that isn't where their biggest influence on supply chains has come from. Their major influence and impact has come from their product design concepts. They have redefined the technology to user interface and set the standard for how people expect to interact with the products and systems they use, both personal and business. In this paper we explore the impact on people and in re-visioning the user experience.

Although Apple has long been at the top of Gartner’s annual list of the Top 25 Supply Chains, their influence on supply chain operations has nothing to do with their excellence in this area and everything to do with their innovative products. What Steve Jobs intuitively understood better than anyone else was the new user experiences consumers would clamor for. His iPods, iTunes, iPhones and iPads provided users with an easier, more intuitive and more personalized way to acquire and listen to music, connect with friends and compute on the go. In doing so, he redefined the interaction between technology and users.

So what does that have to do with supply chain, you ask?  Plenty! The people on the front lines of your supply chain are the same ones using all of those Apple-like gadgets and they expect to interact with all of their technology with the same ease of use, intuitiveness and personalized capabilities that they experience with Apple. The challenge is that supply chain software was never designed that way.


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