Can You Defend Your Supply Chain as Well as Apple?

If you were accused of having unfair or unsafe working conditions in your supply chain, could you defend it with as much confidence as Apple CEO Tim Cook did last week?

When the New York Times recently blasted Apple for working conditions in one of their Chinese factories, Cook blasted right back.  In an email to his staff that was quickly published online, Cook defends Apple’s efforts to make sure their supply chain is free from unsafe practices and slave labor.  “Every year we inspect more factories, raising the bar for our partners and going deeper into the supply chain. As we reported earlier this month, we’ve made a great deal of progress and improved conditions for hundreds of thousands of workers.” (Read the entire email here.)

How well could you defend your own supply chain?  How well do you know your vendors?  What processes do you have in place to ensure you aren’t unwittingly supporting working conditions that exploit workers? If you can’t immediately respond with the same level of confidence as Tim Cook, it might be time to take a closer look at the answers to those questions–before the New York Times decides to take a look at your business.