#AppleWatchWin: What manufacturers can learn from how Apple handled Watch defects

Glen White
- Leadership - Apr 30, 2015

Apple is now being praised for how it handled the delay of Apple Watch due to defective components from a supplier. While this type of mistake would be devastating to most companies, Apple will get through this due the immediate action taken to remedy the situation.

Although Apple has the best supply chain in the world, they have highlighted how new technologies, such as Big Data and cloud-based supply chain analytics, can de-risk supply chains and give companies the confidence to deliver new products to customers on time.

Here’s what Apple did right:

Had multiple suppliers of the tactic part - Two suppliers allowed them to toggle production of the tactic part once the quality issue was discovered.

Did not ship faulty watches to customers - Adequate testing and inspection means that customers never received faulty product, allowing Apple to avoid a recall of the product.

Took orders online first: By skipping its retail channels in the initial launch phase, Apple avoid building up too much inventory of the faulty product.

Adding a new assembler of the Apple Watch - Apple may add Quanta Computer of Taiwan to assemble the watch in order to meet demand once the tactic part shortage has been addressed.

“Apple’s supply chain issues around the Apple Watch should serve as a major wake-up call for all companies, said Gary Meyers, CEO of supply chain analytics company FusionOps. “Apple has the world’s best supply chain, and has incredible brand loyalty, so they’ll weather this fine, but this would be catastrophic for most companies. The good news is that new technologies, such as Big Data and cloud-based supply chain analytics can de-risk supply chains and give companies the confidence to deliver new products to customers on time, to enable both revenue growth and market share gains.” 

 

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