A Case Study Of Apple Inc Commerce

Table of Content

In the class of this paper, the writer discusses about the patterns of Reverse Logistics in Enterprise with Apple Inc being the instance survey of this treatment. This class work will be concentrating on the cardinal features, benefits, execution issues, barriers to execution and hazards of the pattern.

All the patterns of contrary logistics would be correlated with the instance survey so a clear apprehension is achieved on how rearward logistics truly works, besides a brief history of the instance survey is discussed herein.

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In old old ages Reverse Logistics has been side lined and ne’er given a serious idea, companies/organizations did non welcome the thought until late, this was due to the fact that its debut and execution was perceived as a cumbersome, chiefly because of its wide impact on environmental and human wellness ( Rogers and Tibben Lembke, 1999 ) .

However today this is non the instance as consumer electronics houses such as Apple, Samsung, Panasonic, Philips, Sony, etc. are now in stiff competition with each because they all pattern a good organized contrary logistics strategy, this is so because such companies have come to a realization that reverse logistics truly does work hike net incomes, net incomes being the ultimate end for every company.

Furthermore houses that have non embraced and accepted the importance of an effectual RL plan are at really high hazard of harming their administration ‘s repute and clients.

However before one can understand the term Reverse Logistics we must foremost cognize and understand what Logistics is and what it is truly all about.

Gen.3:19 “ In the perspiration of thy face shalt thou eat staff of life, till thou return unto the land ; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust 1000 art, and unto dust shalt 1000 return. ”


Logisticss is the planning and direction of the flow of resources between the initial point of industry to the concluding point of sale or finish. These resources can be from industry, production, packaging, stock list, transit, warehousing, information flow etc. ( Council of logistics direction, 2004 )

Logisticss merely emphasizes the motion of merchandises from one phase to the other ( industries to clients ) , it has a figure of Fieldss but in the class of this work we will look at merely one which is Rearward Logisticss.

Rearward Logistics is really similar to Logistics, as all the afore mentioned procedures are carried out the lone difference being that the activities or procedures take topographic point in the contrary or opposite way.

Reverse logistics harmonizing to Aviral Gupta 2009 can be explained in two simple stairss:

1. Removal of new or used merchandises from their original point in a supply concatenation and this includes, returns from consumers, over stocked stock list, or excess ware.

2. Redistributing merchandises utilizing merchandise return direction process that will ensue in maximized value at the terminal of the merchandises ‘ original utile life.

Rearward Logistics is the procedure of taking original or used merchandises from consumers back to the maker ; it is the procedure of movingA goodsA from their typical concluding finish for the intent of re-capturing value, recycling or proper disposal. It is the procedure of taking new, old, unwanted or used merchandises from one point to another, for the intent of revalue or proper disposal. ( REVLOG, 2004 )

Rearward Logistics is fundamentally the procedure of returning a faulty, faulty or no longer in usage merchandises from the client to the maker in order to recapture value, for illustration if one was to recycle a bottle or a piece of paper that is taking portion in the contrary logistics procedure.

1.3 PRM and SPM

The two of import points within any rearward logistics procedure come under the countries of merchandises return direction ( PRM ) and service parts direction ( SPM ) . PRM is based on the receiving, processing, and nature of merchandise that come back from the client to the maker, while the service portion direction focuses on holding the right stock list and direction at the appropriate location to back up service fix operations with trim parts. An effectual PRM programme offers the possibility for value betterment and cost decrease. ( Michael, 2012 )


Some of the features of a good contrary logistics procedure are:

A rearward logistics operation must hold suited aggregation and service support points to have the used merchandises from the client.

Packaging and storage systems must guarantee that the staying value in the used merchandise is non lost due to careless or hapless handling.

The transit manner must be compatible with bing frontward logistic system.

Disposition includes returning goods to storage warehouses, returning goods to the original maker, selling goods in secondary markets, recycling, to acquire maximal value realisation.

Landfill has to make with disposal of merchandises or parts that can non be used. ( Aviral,2009 )

Below is a rhythm of the procedure of contrary logistics.


Production Dept

Boxing Dept


Testing & A ; Disassembling

Service & A ; Support

Receiving Dept




Figure 1.1

The rhythm explains that the merchandise comes from the client and goes back to the maker. The client returns the merchandise, the merchandise goes either to the distributer or the service and support section this so goes to the trial and disassembling section when it is tested and when the job has been diagnosed it goes to the remanufacturing section it is either the merchandise is refurbished and re-sold or recycled and most times when the merchandises can non be recycled it has to be disposed of ( Landfill ) . Regardless of the issues all merchandises need to be collected and sorted before transporting to the following stage.

Peoples return goods for assorted grounds and these grounds are stated below:

Commercial Returns- clients ‘ dissatisfaction or due to catalogue gross revenues.

Repairable Returns- if the merchandise has faulty constituents.

End-of-Use Returns- when the constituents are no longer utile to the original proprietor but can be utile to another individual. E.g. trade-in

End-of-Life Returns- Recalled by the maker

LeBlanc, H.M in his PhD thesis stated that there are 5 phases in the processing of returned goods, which are: Product Acquisition – Collection – sorting, proving & A ; Disposition Recovering – Redistribution & A ; gross revenues. This besides agrees with the procedure in fig 1.1


Rearward Logistics is good to both clients and makers, below are some benefits of modesty logistics. ( Liz et al, 2000 )


Conveyance costs

Improved client service

Labour economy and expertness

Increased flexibleness and legerity through direction by exclusion

Improved spouse keeping and satisfaction.

More cardinal benefits are improved inventory direction and high gross by offering new merchandises in topographic point of the old 1. ( Aviral, 2009 ) .Reverse logistics is a tool to cut cost and better client satisfaction ; it is besides a competitory scheme.

5dimensions of RL







Beginning: ( De Brito, 2004 ) FIGURE 1.2





Corporate Citizenship

Direct GAINS: Input signal Materials, Cost decrease, Value added

Indirect GAINS: Improved Customers, Market Protection






The drivers of contrary logistics can move as both benefits/incentive and as barriers depending on the company.


There are several grounds and accounts why companies in the yesteryear did non accept and present rearward logistics but today a alteration in the perceptual experience and apprehension of RL has been noticed as several companies have non merely embraced but besides implemented this thought. Change for the better they say is ever met with obstructions and barriers, small admiration that such a great thought that would frontier a major positive alteration production and industry has been faced with barrier and execution issues, it is of import to distinguish between these two issues, the chief difference being Barriers are legal related whilst execution issues pertains to issues associating to the company and organisation. ( Rogers & A ; Tibben-Lembke,1999 ) .

Some of these barriers are as follows:

Legal issues

Environmental issues

The authorities has strict regulations and ordinances about recycling sites and besides companies do non desire to hold to transport the excess load of paying revenue enhancement for recycling sites.

The major cogent evidence of environmental jobs comes from the rapid demand of waste disposal. Previously the bulk of the public wastes disposal was land filled, and this nevertheless poses an unacceptable environmental hazard because of location of the landfill, which in hindsight have posed risky hazards to human wellness through land H2O taint and toxic air emanations. ( Gungor, A. , & A ; Gupta, S. M. , 1999 )

Landfill sites have become a major issue as it pertains to the environment and human wellness because it has played out that the cons of holding a landfill far outweighs its pros, strains on the natural environment every bit good as illness from taint became the order of the twenty-four hours. Hence the authorities, environmental organic structures and single are really doubting about Landfill sites.


Lack of promotion and cognition of Reverse Logistics

Under-development of recycling engineering


Lack of direction attending and company policy

Companies with small or no cognition of contrary logistics think that contrary logistics has a high cost of operation and most of these companies have low fiscal resources. ( Kwok, H U. & A ; Yiming, W. , 2009 )

Many companies are of the sentiment that returns compared to gross revenues bring forth small or no money but with the debut and enterprise of the cyberspace, gross revenues returns of goods & A ; merchandises by clients have improved. ( Anindya R, 2003 )

Forward logistics systems are non designed for contrary logistics system, some companies do non understand this fact and it leads to hapless services and finally to failure. ( Laura M. & A ; Joseph S, 2002 )

Poor stock list deployment is besides a factor because if the stock list is non managed and organised decently so companies would non cognize what is in their stock list and what parts they need to inquire their providers for, when there is deficiency of cognition of contrary logistics so there is bound to be hazards of failure. But these issues of execution to change by reversal logistics were a traditional manner of thought because these yearss ‘ companies have embraced the pattern of contrary logistics.

Fiscal hazards are besides involved when a company does non hold the agencies and fiscal position to run a contrary logistics pattern, practising a good and organized forward logistics does non needfully intend that the same company can pull off a successful contrary logistics strategy without equal cognition and top direction planning.

Another issue of implementing contrary logistics is the determination to transport out the operation in-house or to outsource, this determination can be based on a figure of factors ;

Volume: if returned goods are low in figure so the demand to outsource is n’t necessary.

Cost-control: if the subcontract can execute the undertakings more cost effectual so the endeavor in inquiry so the demand to outsource can be considered.

Complexity of Undertaking: if there are assortments of undertakings like review, proving, fix, repackaging, recycling, renovating etc, all these are clip devouring for an endeavor that is n’t good into the contrary operation so the endeavor can make up one’s mind to outsource.

Other factors of outsourcing may include: truth and informations control, security etc. ( Jade, 2002 )


The public presentation of contrary logistics can straight act upon the full supply concatenation system ( Blumberg, 2005 ) .




Forward Logisticss

Reverse Logisticss





Natural Materials




Beginning: 3 phases of SCM ( Christopher, 1998 )

Rearward logistics is better in information sharing between client, provider and makers ( Curran & A ; Ladd, 2000 ) .It improves the flexibleness, dependability of the supply concatenation system ( Chopra & A ; Meindl, 2001 ) . It helps in merchandise development, shortened merchandise life and development rhythms can assist companies to better on their merchandises and services.

Rearward logistics helps in operational excellence and expertness, the direction of merchandises from fabrication and into the shutting phase which is gross revenues and brings about cost and efficiency benefits of contrary logistics to the supply concatenation.

The consequence of contrary logistics improves services to clients and better fiscal public presentation for the supply concatenation as a whole and its members separately, it reduces cost, increases gross and client services and assist to obtain market advantage. ( James, 2007 )


6.1 A Brief History:

Apple Inc is an American worldwide endeavor which was established on April 1, 1976 and founded by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne with central offices in California. Harmonizing to statistics it is the universe ‘s 3rd largest nomadic phone shaper after Samsung and Nokia ( Linzmayer, 1999 ) .

Apple industries and sells a assortment of electronics computing machines ( Mac ) , phones ( iphones ) , iPods, ipads, application package pressmans, storage devices, talkers, earphones etc. It is a extremely competitory market. Apple ‘s trade name is driven by 3 elements: assurance, competency and clients, it sells worldwide through its online shops and retail shops, third-party, resellers etc. Apple sold more than 45 million units of iPod harmonizing to their one-year gross revenues study in 2007, on May 19, 2001 and it opened its first functionary Apple retail shop in Virginia and California.

6.2 Rearward Logisticss Operationss:

Previously their take-back ( change by reversal logistics ) plan comprised of 2 methods:

Customer slump

Direct cargo to their centralised return Centre

When clients drop off the merchandises at the service centres the merchandises are merged before being shipped to the centralised return Centre and clients do non hold to pay for transportation and handling.

In recent times Apple has added an on-line return system, in which a client fills out the return signifier and one time the application is completed successfully and it meets all needed standards Apple Inc sends a packaging box for the client to transport the merchandise back to them for either trade-in or whatever the instance possibly.

A instance was published in an SC Digest about a client who requested for his faulty iPod to be returned online at the Apple web site. He keyed in relevant information asked and within 12hours he got a mail from Apple corroborating that the merchandise was still under guarantee and O.K.ing the return. Within 2days Apple delivered via express bundle service a box for transporting the merchandise back to one of its beginning Centres, within hebdomads a new iPod was delivered to him. ( SC digest, 2009 )

Basically even if a client goes to a service and support Centre of one of the retail Centres and asks for a return back or replace, the merchandise is checked and if it is still under guarantee or has a defect it is taken and shipped to the testing and dismantling Centre for proving, remanufacturing, recycling or disposal if necessary and the client does non hold to pay for cargo. A personal instance happened that a client went to an Apple retail store with a faulty merchandise for a trade-in, the merchandise was tested and within 1week a new phone was sent to the client.

6.3 Environmental issues and agencies of bettering

For many old ages Apple has been working on agencies to minimise the impact their merchandises have on the environment. Their first policy was developed in 1990, since so they have been planing new agencies of energy efficiency, cut downing environmental impact via digital ingestion. In 2010 Apple introduced the Apple Battery courser for reloading batteries, alternatively of the disposal alkaline batteries and this reduces waste by 78 % . ( Apple Inc, 2012 ) .

In recent times Apple faced an tremendous figure of concerns about toxic pollution and industrial unit accidents at an abroad providers ‘ mill in China, and that environmental scrutinies would be separate from an independent investigate of working conditions at the abroad mill of the provider. Apple Inc reviewed this job and hopes to do public the consequences of the reappraisal. ( Kathy, 2012 )

Greenpeace international campaigned against Apple on assorted environmental issues sing a peculiar chemical called polyvinyl chloride ( PVC ) and brominated fire retardents BFRs toxins in their merchandises, on the 2nd of May 2007 Steve Jobs released a statement denoting the policy to extinguish the toxins by the terminal of 2008 ( Apple Inc, 2008 ) , the endeavor has since eliminated the toxins from their merchandises going the first laptop maker to make so. ( ABC News, 2007 )

Because of the issues about landfill sites Apple has devised a agency to run into the energy demands of their landfill site in Carolina utilizing renewable resources. The energy efficient design component of Apple ‘s installation will include a building procedure that utilizes 14 % recycled stuffs diverted 93 % of building waste from landfill and sourced 41 % of purchased stuffs within 500 stat mis of the site ( Apple,2012 ) . Apple is devoted to protecting and screening the environment, wellness and safety of employees, clients ; in fact the whole planet from environmental jeopardies and this is stated in their environment wellness and safety policy statement.

Apple Inc has a life rhythm appraisal procedure that evaluates the consequence a merchandise has on the environment throughout its life rhythm and the aim of the appraisal does is to better resource efficiency while seeking at the same clip to cut down the impact the merchandise has on the environment during the activities of recycling, fabrication, re-manufacturing, distribution, use and disposal.

Apple is market driven, has strong leading, strong way, and great package support, has a good fiscal analysis study so the basic execution issues like fiscal issues, deficiency of cognition of contrary logistics, misconception etc are non factors for Apple as compared to some other companies.

6.4 Success/benefits of execution.

Apple has mastered the act of rearward logistics and they have success narratives in the undermentioned Fieldss: impact on supply concatenation direction, comparative monetary value public presentation, merchandise quality, dependability, design invention, selling and distribution capacity, service and support, corporate repute, changeless development etc ( John, 2010 )

A old challenge that Apple had was the consumer mentality about environmental issues but the populace have a better sentiment about Apple merchandises in recent old ages because of the extent on how Apple has gone to undertake and better the environmental issues they had in the yesteryear. Reverse logistics has helped to better expertness and besides helped to fulfill clients.

Harmonizing to the tabular array below Apple has a 45 % stock list return.

beginning: hypertext transfer protocol: //www.zdnet.com/blog/btl/amr-research-apple-has-the-best-supply-chain-dell-no-2/18791


In the class of this paper, the writer attempted to analyse rearward logistics activities in the manufacturing/ consumer company. There are several issues in the recycling, reuse, renovating, or appropriate disposal of merchandises. The primary barrier to the pattern of contrary logistics plans in some administrations is deficiency of cognition and misconception.

The grounds to implement contrary logistics are really basic ; to recycle merchandises and salvage & A ; redistributing unsold merchandises. Though initial surveies indicate that contrary logistics practises one time implemented, give cost-savings, these illustrations are far and few between every bit has been seen with the instance of Apple Inc.

Information Technology plays a critical function in contrary logistics because its applications are used to follow and track the goods and merchandises on their return trip from the client to the initial point of industry. Apple has grasped this fact and it has enabled them operate in the contrary supply concatenation channels expeditiously.

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