The case " Apple Computer's Supplier Hubs: A Tale of Three Cities" deals with the imple-mentation of supplier hubs as an instrument to improve the flow of materials along a sup-ply chain based on the experience at Cork, Ireland and Fountain, Colorado. Since the demand of Apple's desktop PC and server PC products has rapidly increased there is a need to built new production lines, but at the same time a need to store more material at the manufacturing site. To solve this problem the supplier hub seems the most attractive option to us because Apple not only solves the space problem but also manages to have declining material and capital cost, while increasing flexibility and raw material quality. In a supplier hub there only three entities involved, which make the work as efficient as possible. The implementation of an information system like FLEX by the logistics provider Fritz simplifies the whole material flow process, while documenting it better. As important criteria to decide whether to build the new hub or not we determined A and B criteria. Accordingly we would advise for the following material to be managed with the supplier hub: Plastic enclosures, PC assemblies, monitors and mass storage. In conclu-sion it can be said that although the location of Sacramento differs in some aspects from the situation at Fountain and Cork, the advantages of the supplier hub are dominant over the other solutions, especially since the concept does not have to be developed a new if FRITZ is used as the logistics provider.
. (Apple-Fritzs Supplier Hub, see ) In the past, supplier lead times to Apple Computers Sacramento, California, and Fountain, Colorado plants were both long and unreliable, due to the Fact that most of the suppliers are located in Asia with supplier shipments subjected to possible delays in transportation and customs clearing. The supply chain between an Asian supplier and Apple involves at least five steps...
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