How Apple Procurement Works - Guidance for Suppliers
June 21, 2017
Suppliers at Apple
Apple requires each of its suppliers to meet the highest standards for all goods and services. Apple's requirements include a commitment to rigorous quality assurance. In addition, suppliers must be committed, as Apple is, to ensuring the highest standards of social responsibility.
The ideal suppliers are those who understand Apple's culture and expectations. Apple values suppliers who take the time to learn about and understand its business and who look for ways to add value. These suppliers know the importance of making and meeting commitments and delivering the highest quality goods and services.
Apple's business environment is competitive and fast-paced. The company's suppliers must understand this dynamic and be agile and flexible in responding to changing business conditions. Above all, Apple values innovation. It appreciates suppliers who truly understand and share in company's challenges, and who help Apple find the best possible solutions.
Supplier Diversity Program
Apple takes its social and environmental responsibilities seriously. A good example is company's strong and longstanding commitment to a diverse supplier base.
Apple’s Supplier Diversity Program was formally established in 1993; since that time the company has continued growing and supporting the long list of suppliers who participate. Apple actively participates in the program through the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), and Veteran–Owned Business Expositions, as well as Supplier Diversity Business Opportunity Trade Fairs around the country.
The businesses Apple categorizes as diverse suppliers are Minority-Owned, Women-Owned, Veteran-Owned, and Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses, as well as businesses located in Historically Underutilized Business regions (HUBZone) and Small Disadvantaged Businesses (SDB).
So how does a business join Apple’s Supplier Diversity Program? That’s simple: You start by registering as a prospective supplier. Following a swift verification and screening process to ensure a good fit between supplier strengths and capabilities and Apple’s current and future requirements, Apple reviews the supplier information. The business then becomes a potential supplier who may be used in the procurement process as business needs dictate. In the interest of encouraging the success of company's diverse supplier base, Apple works with the Supplier Diversity Program participants to help them develop their businesses. This often involves working with a number of organizations that offer training and feedback.
Suppliers who wish to participate in Apple’s Supplier Diversity Program should register as a Prospective Supplier so their information is available in Apple’s prospective supplier database. Apple has included special areas within the database to alert the supplier diversity team and relevant procurement professionals about the availability of qualified participants in Apple’s Supplier Diversity Program. This helps increase the visibility of these suppliers and can improve their potential for engagement.
Apple’s sourcing process is designed to ensure equal and fair treatment of suppliers so that they can fully participate in a competitive procurement process.
Apple asks suppliers wishing to participate in the process to register in Supplier Connect, a secure online database that company maintains with regularly updated information on current and potential suppliers. Supplier Connect enables Apple procurement professionals to access key information about potential and current suppliers, including capabilities, Supplier Diversity certifications, product/service descriptions, Universal Standard Products and Services Classification (UNSPSC) codes, contact information, and so on.
The First Step
The first step any supplier should take in seeking opportunities to do business with Apple is to register in Supplier Connect. If your company registers in Supplier Connect and there’s a need for the type of products or services you provide, an Apple procurement professional can then contact you to explore potential opportunities.
If there’s no immediate opportunity for engagement (as sometimes happens), the information will remain in Apple’s confidential Supplier Information Database for six months or for as long as you continue visiting Apple’s procurement website to keep your company’s information up to date.
Please note that all purchases are made in the competitive marketplace. Registering your company in Supplier Connect does not automatically place your company on a “bidder’s list,” nor does it constitute approval of your firm as an Apple supplier or obligate Apple to solicit requests for quotations.