Apple Inc.'s Returns Management Practices

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Case Details:

Case Code : OPER097
Case Length : 15 Pages
Period : 2000-2011
Organization : Apple Inc
Pub Date : 2011
Teaching Note :Not Available
Countries : US
Industry : Consumer Electronics

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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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“Apple has been leading the industry trends in the recent years, and Apple’s Genius Bar has been regarded as an excellent example of how to manage returns effectively.” 1

- IQPC Worldwide2 , in 2011

“From Instructions to Packaging, Apple Gets it Right.” 3

- Daniel Gilmore, Chief Editor, SCDigest in January 6, 2009


In 2010, Apple topped Fortune Magazine’s4 “Most Admired Companies” list for the third consecutive year5. The company was given the top rank in innovation as well as on fierce consumer loyalty. On Apple’s achievement, Fortune journalist Christopher Tkaczyk wrote, "With 250 million iPods, 43 million iPhones, and 32 million iPod touches sold to date, plus the promise of a game-changing iPad, Apple won this year's vote by the highest margin ever for a No. 1. Two more years as champ and Apple will match GE for most appearances in the top spot."6

Introduction - Next Page>>

1] "Managing Reverse Logistics to Improve Customer Experience and Reduce Cost,", February 1, 2011
2] IQPC (International Quality and Productivity Center) is a consulting and conference company which conducts tailored practical conferences, large scale events, topical seminars and in-house training programs for business executives around the world, to provide them with information on latest industry trends, technological developments, and the regulatory landscape
4] Fortune Magazine is a bi-weekly global business magazine published by US-based publishing group Time Inc, which also brings out many other magazines like Time, Life, etc.
5] The survey annually measures the views of investors, securities analysts, and executives on a numbers-ranked basis in nine specific categories: innovation, people management, use of corporate assets, social responsibility, global competitiveness, management quality, financial soundness, long-term investment, and quality of products and services. The survey covered 64 industries and a total of 689 companies from 28 countries were surveyed.
6] "Fortune’s 2010 World’s Most Admired Companies List: Apple Inc. #1 for third consecutive year,", March 4, 2010

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