How Apple built a powerhouse supply chain

11/7/2011 | Bloomberg Businessweek

Apple's supply chain is as big a factor in its success as its shiny toys, industry-watchers say. The tech giant spends huge amounts of money to lock up components and factory machinery long before anticipated demand, and offers limited customization choices to maintain a streamlined production channel. "Operations expertise is as big an asset for Apple as product innovation or marketing," says Mike Hawkes, former Hewlett-Packard supply-chain chief. "They’ve taken operational excellence to a level never seen before."

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