Apple Inc.'s Returns Management Practices

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Case Details:


Case Code : OPER097 For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 600;
For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 600 +Shipping & Handling Charges extra


Supply Chain Management / Reverse Logistics / Returns Management

Case Length : 15 Pages
Period : 2000-2010
Organization : Apple Inc
Pub Date : 2011
Teaching Note : Not Available
Countries : US
Industry : Consumer Electronics


US-based technology giant Apple Inc, since its inception in the late 1960, had established itself as a very successful brand. It had earned a reputation for its innovative products such as the iPhone, the iPod line of portable digital music players, Apple TV, and the iPad. Apple’s success was also attributed to its customer focused operations. Apple had topped the list of top supply chains for three consecutive years from 2008. Experts opined that Apple had achieved this through its focus on reverse logistics and returns management. The case takes a look at the history and evolution of Apple over the years, and elucidates its returns management strategies that led to the success of its supply chain.

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To understand the concepts of reverse logistics and returns management and their importance in supply chain management.
To discuss the process of returns management
To understand how Apple has been effectively practicing returns management to reduce the costs involved it.
To explain how returns management helps Apple to provide better customer service.
To discuss and debate whether returns management adds to Apple’s costs or reduces its total costs.
To explore ways in which Apple could further improve its reverse logistics and returns management practices


  Page No.
Introduction 1
Background Note 2
Returns Management @ Apple 4
Genius Bar 5
Return and Refunds 5
Reactions 8
Outlook 8
Exhibits 10


Returns Management Practices, Reverse Logistics, Supply Chain, Supply Chain Management (SCM), Customer Service, Operations, Genius Bar, Store Layout, Innovation, Technology, Cost Reduction, Apple

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