For enterprise users, one thing that may be significant about the businesses Apple is supporting under the umbrella of its Racial Equity and Justice Initiative is just how many of these organizations are offering business-focused tools for enterprise pros. These businesses, owned by Black and Brown entrepreneurs, have been given support from Apple’s Business Accelerator scheme.
It’s a testament to the huge ability of these underrepresented groups that the business ideas on offer here are deeply credible, useful, and viable. Perhaps we are witnessing an evolution of business ideas that meet real needs, based on the lived experience of those with unique insights into existing challenges?
Take, for example, Inspectorio, Argent Associates, and Group O, all of which specialize in some or all components of integrated supply chain solutions, packaging innovation, and beyond. These three seem particularly relevant these days, as supply chain innovation and resilience remain stretched by the seemingly never-ending sequence of crises the world is experiencing.
Crisis is complicated
Not only does crisis impact us all on a deeply human level, but it also fosters resistance to change — even though transformation is frequently the best approach to take to resolving a crisis.
When it comes to supply chain evolution, Gartner research reports that 76% of digital supply chain executives are investing in innovation, but 81% have problems scaling innovations for production use. Things that get in the way are typical of the challenges most businesses face during digital transformation: risk aversion, poor executive governance, and organizational resistance.
Inspectorio’s solution may help mitigate some of this. Founded in 2016, the SaaS supply-chain solutions company builds quality and compliance programs to help support interconnected supply chains through data sharing, accelerated inspection processes, and real-time insight. That means it creates the kind of metrics you need to help manage internal resistance to change, and data that may help convince reluctant internal stakeholders.
It’s a living illustration of the evolving data-driven intelligence models transforming supply chain logistics, delivering transparency and resilience, and empowering modern supply chains.
“By using this platform, various teams are now digitally connected in our supply chain and have an enhanced real-time access to data across various reporting tools,” said client Interloop in a customer testimonial on the Inspectorio site.
Solving real problems
Another Apple-supported business, Argent Associates, offers smart solutions for supply chain management and automation, network services, and smart cities and municipal infrastructure, such as smart lighting. It combines cloud-based IoT applications with logistics systems to monitor, predict, and optimize supply chains. This extends from warehousing to asset management and data transparency.
Group O provides services to support supply chain resilience, particularly around sustainable packaging, warehousing/inventory management, and delivery tracking. Once again, this is a company that helps businesses transform existing operations into relevant and usable data, boosting operational processes and supply chain resilience.
Beyond supply chain logistics, Apple has chosen to support a range of additional companies that speak to some of the most pressing needs of international business, from employee transportation to environmental management and beyond.
Reflecting Apple’s wider corporate goal to accomplish carbon zero across its business, there is plenty of representation for new takes on energy supply, including BlocPower, Volt Energy Utility, GreenTek Solutions, Oceti Sakowin Power Authority, and Dunamis Clean Energy Partners.
Apple enterprise, empowered enterprise
What also makes these companies interesting is the extent to which they reflect the rapidly accelerating evolution of the Apple-driven enterprise ecosystem.
Many of these tools are cloud-based, many make use of apps across multiple platforms, and most have a mobile component. But I hope these Black- and Brown-owned companies also show not only the opportunity for transformative change across business IT, but that so many talented people of color exist with the insight to identify such change, embrace it, and build solutions to help organizations navigate it.
As organizations around the world begin to take a hard look at systemic racism and the need for structural change, these emerging businesses help make change happen while also providing living evidence that profound change absolutely must take place. For everyone’s benefit.