Despite criticism, Apple is beating competitors in supply chain efforts

The New York Times published an interesting article yesterday regarding Apple’s efforts to improve working conditions in its supply chain. But unlike the report it ran earlier this year, which largely criticized the company, this piece praised Cook’s team.

After doing a little research, The Times found that Apple is far more transparent with its overseas factory audits and is doing more to correct violations than any of its competitors. In fact, a majority of the companies won’t even comment on the matter…

Nick Bilton writes:

“Apple’s rivals are quick to say how much better, faster, cheaper or more popular their smartphones computers and tablets are. Yet when it comes to working conditions in the Chinese factories that build these competing products, Apple’s electronics rivals have been silent lately…

…In the last week I have asked Hewlett-Packard, Samsung, Microsoft and others about their reports on labor conditions. Most responded with a boilerplate public relations message. Some didn’t even respond.”

Bilton went on to quote the responses he received from different companies regarding their supply chain efforts. My favorite has to be the one from Mary Ellen Keating of Barnes & Noble who said “We don’t comment on our supply chain vendors.”

But at least they responded. Samsung wouldn’t even give a statement. Really? In this day in age, where Apple gets handed petitions with hundreds of thousands of signatures calling for it to improve supply chain labor conditions, you have nothing to say here? Wow.

Apple’s been publishing reports on its vendors’ labor practices since 2007. And it recently joined the Fair Labor Association to double its efforts. So why does it seem like Apple is the only company taking heat over supply chain conditions?