Essay On Challenges In The Global Business Environment

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Supply Chain, Company, Steve Jobs, Apple, Supplier, Employee, Workplace, Ethics

Pages: 4

Words: 1100

Published: 2020/12/06

Apple has managed to go through various changes over the years. These changes have been made due to pressure from the public or current trends. Apple has a code of conduct that ensures that all activities in the company are both ethical and environmentally responsible. It is important for Apple to have rules and regulations so that it can stay line with its objectives. Many global business entities have been faced with compliance challenges. It could be unethical practices, competition or failure to embrace technology. As the chief compliance officer, my focus today will be on Apple's supplier code of conduct. The company heavily relies on its suppliers in China, Japan, France, Germany, Taiwan, Brazil, USA, and Mexico (Apple, 2015). These are people who ensure that our products reach all our clients. They are also responsible for bringing feedback from our customers because they are the ones who deal with them directly. Apple's suppliers have been faced with a lot of controversies that will be addressed in this paper.
In the past years, there have been various adjustments made in the suppliers' code of conduct. In 2005, one of the conducts that were enacted was that all working conditions in each and every Apple's supplier should be in good working condition. All workers should also be treated with respect and dignity and that all processes should be environmentally responsible. This rule was to ensure that suppliers do not exploit their employees. In as much as they do not work directly for the company, this is a law that every supplier should comply with. Additionally, social and environmental standards should also be well upheld by the supplier. The supplier should by no means go against regulations from the company. This will ensure that there are more safe and ethical working conditions for all employees (Moren, 2014).
In a new initiative was introduced by Apple to help its suppliers. This was the Supplier Employee Education and Development (SEED). This is a program that offers course to supplier's employees; these courses help employees improve their knowledge on how to go on with their operations. This is also listed in the supplier code of conduct where the supplier is expected to motivate their employees to attend the programs in order to improve their knowledge.
There were claims that one of our biggest suppliers in China Foxconn was not treating employees fairly (Kaiser, 2012). They were working overtime hours and paid little salary. They also were not being paid in time. There were times when they would be exposed to harsh working conditions. This was a report that came to our company and took us by surprise. In our code of conduct, suppliers are expected to provide a safe and healthy facility for all employees. This was unbelievable because Foxconn had complied with our rules, and it was expected to ensure that the environment is safe for all employees and should be treated fairly. Another code of ethics in regards to the supplier is that all guidelines should be published for the world to see. The guidelines will show what the company does and how effective it has tried to be. There have been many complaints towards the company, but this is because some people did not follow the stipulated guidelines. The guidelines offer direction on what should or should not be done.
Audits are compulsory. They help the company detect any loophole sin its supply chain. Apple's supply shin is among the best in the world and in order to keep it up and running; the company has to ensure that all problems are detected. Suppliers are also expected to do the same. Audit reports should be generated every year to show what has been happening in the supply chain. Any form of misconduct is not tolerated. The chain should at all times be smooth without any hiccups.
All suppliers should understand the code of conduct clearly. Before they come to any form of agreement with the company, they should sign and make an agreement. This is due to various reasons. The first reason is that in case of any misconduct by any of the supplier, the company will always be blamed. People will not want to understand that it is a different entity from the company. As long as the company's products are involved, the company will always be blamed. This is not a good picture in the global eye that is faced with a lot of uncertainties and stiff completion. Competitors might decide to use this issue as an opportunity and make a better name out of the misconduct. This is why all suppliers, regardless of the country they come from, should be licensed. This will also proof the company is serious and is not involved in any shady operations.
Employees should try their bets to attend the course offered by Apple. This rare opportunity will help employees understand their job even better. Having overqualified employees is a good thing for both the employees and the company. They will have all the knowledge they need when working. This is also a competitive advantage because qualified employees will try their best to work in the company in order to receive these classes. Over 600 employees so far have benefited, and more are still joining the program. SEED has helped employees and their families to improve their living status because they are well paid and have enough education once they leave the company. This shows that Apple is also giving back to the society. This education is also spread in many parts of the worlds where the suppliers are based. Many companies benefit from this initiative (Apple, 2015).
Performing audits should be mandatory. This is especially because audits show a true and a fair view. Internal and external audits are allowed as long as they are professional and work towards achieving their audit goal. This help to reveal any shortcomings that might lead to failure of the company. If there is a problem in the chain, suppliers are expected to state the problem. If the audits see the problem and identify it as a threat, both the supplier and the company will try to work together to repair the threat. This is because competitors to bring down the company could use it. In the case of any defectives in the devices, they should not be made public. The supplier is responsible for letting the company know before the scandal goes viral and almost brings our operations to a standstill (Nova & Shapiro Isaac, 2014). This means that employees matter a lot to the company. They all should be treated ethically well. They have helped in improving the company's performance, and this shows that their welfare would be well catered for.


Apple, (2015). Supplier Responsibility, Retrieved from:
Kaiser, T. (2012). Apple’s Suppliers continuously violate code of conduct, apple does nothing to change it, Retrieved from:
Moren, D. (2014), Apple’s 2014 supplier report: Better working conditions, fewer conflict minerals Retrieved from:
Nova, S & Shapiro, I. (2014), Assessing the reforms portrayed by Apple;s supplier responsibility report, Retrieved from:

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Essay On Challenges In The Global Business Environment. Free Essay Examples - Published Dec 06, 2020. Accessed June 27, 2022.

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