A big concern and debate during Trump’s presidency are about United States companies outsources their manufacturing. Apple’s co-founder Steve Jobs (Late) had several mentors in his lifetime, one of them was Sony’s founder Akio Morita.
Steve Jobs was also known for his appreciation and admiration of Japanese manufacturing and tried to imitate it for the company in the late ’80s. It is time when Apple has to make a tough decision so let’s look back when Apple has its manufacturing done in the United State.
When Apple Manufactured The Macintosh in U.S.A
Steve Jobs was impressed by Japanese manufacturing skills and tech and it led him to try and build a manufacturing plant for Macintosh in 1984. The first ever manufacturing plant of Apple was built in Fremont, California. Debi Coleman replaced Matt Carter as Apple’s manufacturing director after the latter quit.
“Steve had deep convictions about Japanese manufacturing processes. The Japanese were heralded as wizards of manufacturing. The idea was to create a factory with just-in-time delivery of zero-defect parts. It wasn’t great for business,” according to an engineer who worked at the plant during its early days. Apple’s late co-founder often failed to accomplish practicalities such as delivery schedules owing to his demand of controlling outcomes to the bare minimum.
“I’d go out to the factory, and I’d put on a white glove to check for dust. I’d find it everywhere—on machines, on the tops of the racks, on the floor. And I’d ask Debi* to get it cleaned. I told her I thought we should be able to eat off the floor of the factory. Well, this drove Debi up the wall. She didn’t understand why. And I couldn’t articulate it back then. See, I’d been very influenced by what I’d seen in Japan. Part of what I greatly admired there—and part of what we were lacking in our factory—was a sense of teamwork and discipline. If we didn’t have the discipline to keep that place spotless, then we weren’t going to have the discipline to keep all these machines running.” – Steve Jobs to Walter Isaacson
Apple failed to keep up with the expectation of a market for Macintosh and factory was shut down after 6 years. And, Apple’s production and supply chain management would be left to an Auburn graduate in charge of Compaq’s operations and with 12 years of experience at IBM.