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Apple places higher restrictions on supply chain under Cook?

According to reports from Apple's supply chain, the company has been even more focused on cutting costs and maintaining quality in its supply chain since Tim Cook took over.

Workers at an Apple supplier facility in Shanghai.
Workers at an Apple supplier facility in Shanghai.

Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook has dramatically ramped up the amount of attention his company pays to its supply chain, according to a new report.

Digitimes is reporting today, citing sources, that since Cook took over as chief executive, Apple has applied "stricter management" in its supply chain, ensuring that it's effectively managing costs and delivering the highest-quality products.

In order to achieve that goal, Apple has conducted more (and longer) inspections, according to Digitimes' sources. Those folks said that in one case, Apple found a fingerpint on an internal component, and demanded the entire production line be rechecked.

That Apple is spending more time worrying about its supply chain under Cook shouldn't be much of a surprise. Prior to becoming CEO, Cook was Apple's chief operating officer, handling the company's supply-chain management. He's widely viewed as a key reason Apple has been able to improve margins. Now that he has full control over Apple, it's quite likely that he's using that knowledge of the supply chain to further manage costs.

The Digitimes report follows Fortune's look last month at the changes instituted after Cook took over as CEO. Among the revelations was an acknowledgement on the part of former Apple engineering vice president Max Paley that the supply chain has become a more integral piece in Apple's decision-making.

"I've been told that any meeting of significance is now always populated by project management and global-supply management," Paley told Fortune in an interview. "When I was there, engineering decided what we wanted, and it was the job of product management and supply management to go get it. It shows a shift in priority."