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Running Head: SWOT Analysis: Apple’s Supply Chain

SWOT Analysis: Apple’s Supply Chain

SWOT Analysis: Apple’s Supply Chain
Research Paper – Week 15
Sample Paper
MGT 5069: Supply Chain Management
Dr. Michael Essary
Spring Semester 2022

Table of Contents
Abstract 3
Introduction 4
Background 4
SWOT Analysis 6
Strengths 6
Strong Supplier Standards and Relationships 6
Effective Inventory Management 7
Sustainability 7
Weaknesses 9
Dependency on China 9
Reliance on iPhone Sales 9
Opportunities 10
Refining Pricing Power 10
Another Warehouse 10
Threats 11
COVID-19 11
Chip Shortage 12
Conclusion 13
References 16


Apple has been a leader in the consumer electronics industry for decades. The company has evolved and grown tremendously to reach its current prestige. A critical component to Apple’s success has been its world-class supply chain management. Competitors fail to reach Apple’s leverage of quality suppliers, extremely low level of inventory holdings, and sustainable operational practices. This paper will explore these further as well as some weaknesses, opportunities, and threats faced by Apple’s supply chain system. Some lessons will be identified upon the completion of this analysis that can apply to all supply chain systems.


Apple is one of the most iconic tech companies in the world. The company that started in 1976 in the garage of two college drop-outs Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak is now worth $3 trillion (Nicas, 2022). Known for its high-end consumer electronics and top-of-the-line customer service, a key to its unparalleled success has been its excellent supply chain management. The foundation of Apple’s supply chain model has been shaped around the words of CEO, Tim Cook, “You kind of want to manage it like you’re in the dairy business. If it gets past its freshness date, you have a problem” (Lu, 2020). This quote illustrates Apple’s astute awareness that its products have a limited life cycle. Treating products this way allows Apple to optimize the efficiency of its supply chain.
Apple’s supply chain follows a logical sequence. “It starts with research and development, in which new technologies are developed and concepts are designed and licensed. Then goes to concept testing, where Apple performs market research and tests new products. Then pre-launch, which is when Apple fixes problems that were discovered and pays its suppliers. After that is the official launch. At launch Apple forecasts demand for 150 days. Finally, Apple performs quarterly reviews of inventories and life cycles (Shrum, 2018). In addition to exploring the company’s successful strategy, this paper will investigate Apple’s supply chain management strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.


Apple was on the brink of going out of business until Tim Cook had an intervention. An analysis explains the changes that Tim Cook made to Apple’s supply chain strategy when he came back to thResearch Paper

The research paper will be written on
some aspect of supply chain management. A 10-12 page (excluding appendices, table of contents, abstract, reference, and bibliography) research paper (case study) is required. This paper will be prepared consistent with the current APA Manual and will have a minimum of ten different references (No Wiki’s or Pedia’s).

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