May 17, 2020

Apple 'insources' Samsung chip processing to Texas

Supply Chain Digital
Apple Supply Chain
Apple Outsourcing
Freddie Pierce
2 min
Taking a unique outsourcing approach, Apple supply chain managers brings some iPad and iPhone A5 chip production to Austin, Texas facility
Apples supply chain management prowess is well-chronicled, but the tech leader could be leading the charge in quite a different logistics adventure. Th...

Apple’s supply chain management prowess is well-chronicled, but the tech leader could be leading the charge in quite a different logistics adventure.

The Cupertino-based company is reportedly outsourcing Samsung A5 processors to the United States, a nation with historically high production costs. Apple’s decision to outsource part of its iPhone and iPad processors to Austin, Texas represents a kind of ‘insourcing’ mentality that’s to this point been uncommon within the electronics industry.

Apple’s production factory is a site to behold, however. The 1.6 million square foot facility cost the company $3.6 billion to furbish. Now, the plant is producing the A5 processor, introduced in Apple’s iPad 2 earlier this year.


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Though some in this space might view Texas’ entry into Apple’s business as foreign, the Lone Star State has long been Silicon Valley’s biggest rival in the U.S. tech industry. With lesser real estate prices, lower taxes and looser business regulations, Texas poses an attractive market for innovators within the electronics industry.

Bringing processor production to the United States emphasizes that point. While we’ve yet to see exactly how this bit of outsourcing innovation will play out, it’s safe to say that Apple’s ability to find new supply chain management techniques has been interesting to watch.

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Jun 21, 2021

Pandora and IBM digitise jewellery supply chain

2 min
Jewellery retailer Pandora teamed with IBM to streamline supply chains as sales of hand-finished jewellery doubled across ecommerce platforms

Pandora has overhauled its global supply chain in partnership with IBM amid an ecommerce sales boom for its hand-finished jewellery. 

The company found international success offering customisable charm bracelets and other personalised jewellery though its chain of bricks and mortar retail destinations. But in 2020, as the COVID-19 outbreak forced physical stores to close, Pandora strengthened its omnichannel operations and doubled online sales. 

A focus on customer experience included deploying IBM’s Sterling Order Management, increasing supply chain resiliency and safeguarding against disruption across the global value chain.

Pandora leverages IBM Sterling Order Management as the backbone it its omnichannel fulfilment, with Salesforce Commerce Cloud powering its ecommerce. Greater automation across its channels has boosted the jeweller’s sustainability credentials, IBM said, streamlining processes for more efficient delivery. It has also given in-store staff and virtual customer service representatives superior end-to-end visibility to better meet consumer needs. 

Jim Cruickshank, VP of Digital Development & Retail Technology, Pandora, said the digital transformation journey has brought “digital and store technology closer together and closer to the customer”, highlighting how important the customer journey remains, even during unprecedented disruption. 

"Our mission is about creating a personal experience and we've instituted massive platform changes with IBM Sterling and Salesforce to enable new digital-first capabilities that are much more individualised, localised and connected across channels and markets,” he added. 


Pandora’s pivot to digital 

The pandemic forced the doors closed at most of Pandora’s 2,700 retail locations. To remain competitive, it pivoted to online retail. Virtual queuing for stores and virtual product trials via augmented reality (AR) technology went someway to emulating the in-store experience and retail theatre that is the brand’s hallmark. Meanwhile digital investments in supply chain efficiency was central to delivering on consumer demand. 

“Consumer behaviour has significantly shifted and will continue to evolve with businesses needing to quickly adapt to new preferences and needs,” said Kareem Yusuf, General Manager, AI Applications and Blockchain, IBM. “To address this shift, leading retailers like Pandora rely on innovation to increase their business agility by enabling and scaling sustainable supply chain operations using AI and cloud.”

Yusuf said Pandora’s success was indicative of how to remain competitive by “finding new ways to create differentiated customer experiences that protect their enterprises from disruptions to help mitigate risk and accelerate growth”. 

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