Ethical Sourcing and the Supply Chain

Is a firm responsible for its supply chain? Yes, firms are responsible for their supply chain. Supply chain simply involves various activities and people together with necessary resources to transfer a service or product from producer to consumer. A firm to responsibility in supply chain management means that the firm (producer) is responsible for its products to reach the final consumer in the best way possible, (Gold, 230-245). For instance, if fake or expired products having the brand and details of a given firm are identified, then the firm is responsible for the supply of the fake product. Supply chain management requires that the firm either to supply its product or find a trusted and accountable supplier of their products, (Andersen, 75-86).

The responsibility of the firm in supply chine is first seen as the firm looks for a supplier to whom will be trusted with the supply of the products of that firm. Selection of supplier for companys products involves a lengthy procedure as the firm tries to get the best one. This is because the supplier is the representative of the firm in the supply of its products, (Gold, 230-245). After the firm has decided to use external suppliers, the invitation of the most competitive suppliers is made.

The capabilities of the suppliers who express their willingness to supply firms products are assessed the most trusted supplier is selected. Some of the factors considered when selecting best suppliers include” ” suppliers records demonstrating the ability to supply goods on time, should show strong logistic capabilities and customer support, (Gold, 230-245). To ensure that the selected suppliers understand the products that they are providing, the company undertakes the responsibility of training the supplier, setting out the technology to use as the supply of the firm’s products is involved. The firm then permits the selected supplier to supply its products. Even after the firm has transferred the responsibility of distribution of its products to a given supply, the firm remains responsible for how its products are reaching their customers.

For instance, even though Apple does not supply its products directs to its final consumers, it has the responsibility to ensure that its customers enjoy the high-quality product. To ensure this goal is achieved. Firms set supply chain responsibility policies with their suppliers and which the suppliers must adhere, (Gold, 230-245). These policies may include, health and safety of both the suppliers workers and that of the public, human right policy as well as environmental policy. On top of these policies, responsible purchasing policy that regulates the whole process of the supply chain.

The extent of responsibleness of the firm in the supply chain. Supply of product from international companies such as Apple Company follows a complex supply chain to reach the final customers in countries of continents. This forces these companies to use complex supply chain management. Such chains involve suppliers dealing directly with the producer. They take the products from the producer and supply them to other suppliers in specific regions who then supply the product to the final consumers. Irrespective of how long the supply chain, firms remains responsible for the supply of their products. The firm, without any challenge, manages the supply of their products since they have specific suppliers to who the firm deals directly with them, (Gold, 230-245). In case of any supply of counterfeit products, the regional suppliers dealing within the region that the counterfeit products have been identified are answerable to the firm, but the firm is held responsible for the counterfeit firms products.

The firm must come out and clear its name so as not to be associated with the counterfeit products. Thus the firms are held responsible for the chain supply management up to their products reaches final consumers. Reasons why Apple continue to source its production to overseas firms such as Foxconn Foxconn Company is a Chinese international company that is located in China while Apple is American International Company located in America. Apple has been doing its production With Foxconn since China has biggest electronics factories that are more advanced regarding technology and specialization compared to factories in America. Thus it is cheaper to produce most of the electronic products in China than in America, and hence Apple cannot transfer its production plants in America. China has a large supply of high quality appropriate qualified labor that is cheap to hire compared to America, (Andersen, 75-86).

Most of the Americans are specialists in electronics and thus salary of electronic engineer I China is more cheaply compared to the salary of American electronic engineer and thus Apple enjoys high profits as the cost of production in China is more cheaply compared to cost of production in America. China has high production of electronic components used to manufacture many electronic gadgets. And thus it will be expensive for Apple Company to import electronic parts from China and assemble its products in America which may create several logistic challenges together with other overhead costs such as transport cost. This makes Apple continue its production at Foxconn in China. Advantages of Apple company from doing its production at Foxconn. Cost reduction, outsourcing helps Apple Company to cut off most of the overhead costs and hence making high profits. Some of this costs that Apple Company evades by conducting its production in China include, training costs since China has a vast pool of qualified personnel, cheap raw materials as most of the China companies produce electronic components used for electronic gadgets assembly, (LeBaron, 1-18). Outsourcing of the Apple production to China has enabled Apple Company to become a diversified company thus producing various types of products. The production of Apple Companys products in China opens additional insight into the foreign market.

This made the Apple Company start producing other products since they have discovered a new market in China. Apple Company also enjoys mass market since it can access Asian Market as some of its products are produced and sold in China and thus increased revenue to Apple Company. Disadvantages of Apple company production it production from at Foxconn. Quality control, the quality of the products produced in China are known to be of poor quality since the China government does not put much emphasis in quality control of the products produced by the companies located in China, (Andersen, 75-86). Although Apple company products may be of high quality since they are produced in China, most customers that do not trust the quality of products from China may fail to buy Apple products that are produced in China. This may result in reduced revenue. Also, it will be difficult for a firm to continue with mass production and yet its products are in low demand, (LeBaron, 1-18). Most of the chine citizens cannot speak fluent English which is the national language of America. Many of the Apple Company sinner officials of this company are Americans, and in case they are transferred to China they experience language barriers challenges. Thus language barrier may make it difficult for some American managers not to control the company well. How could Apple have avoided the threats identified? It should have ensured that its suppliers were proving better conditions for its employees. Since some of the Apple company offices are spread everywhere, Apple Company should have been sending its health workers to visit Foxconn Company to ensure that the working conditions in the company are favorable to its workers. By doing so, the working conditions of the employees would not have gone to such low standards, (Andersen, 75-86).

The Apple Company should also have pushed Foxconn Company to pay its employees good pay since the company was making good profits from the sales of the products produced in China were making good profits in the market, (LeBaron, 1-18). Apple should have ensured that the company as they outsource in China, they do not ignore the legal responsibilities. These legal responsibilities including human right and labor rights to ensure that employees working in their companies receives fair wages. Do the benefits of Apples decision outweigh the costs? No, it does not overweigh the costs. This is because Apple Company has enough funds from the high sales that the company makes, (Andersen, 75-86). Offering out corporal social responsibility does not make a company to count some losses since it usually uses the excess funds to advance the employees and social welfare.


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