Business Strategic Process of Apple
This report incorporates in detail the business strategic process, a case study of Apple. Inc. The report entails professional’s view on the development of a business relationship with the company while taking into consideration its vision, mission, objectives, goals, and core competencies. In addition, company’s strategic plan is outlined, and consideration of new planning techniques is suggested considering how they can be incorporated in company’s business strategy (Argent 1968). Organizational audit and environmental audit of the company is given, determining the significance of stakeholder analysis while analyzing possible strategies for substantive growth, limited growth, or even retrenchment. Professionally, an appropriate future strategy for the company is considered detailing its implementation.
Strategic Planning Process
Apple Inc. is a company offering electronic devices to the technological world and has been able to be very significant and successful despite the competition from other companies producing the same products. Companies require strategic plans in order to be able to realize success in their endeavours to serve the customers in the most ideal manner and at the same time still be able to get profits. In strategic planning it is evident that vision, mission, goals, objectives should be laid out. As a result these tend to bring out core competencies that make the company relevant and competent. The mission of the company entails its objective of offering best personal computing experience to their consumers through its innovation of hardware, software, and Internet offerings.
Company’s vision sees to it that its customers master the use of their products. It states, “Man is the creator of change in this world as such he should be above systems and structures, and not subordinate to them” (Banton 2011 p. 90). Likewise the vision according to Banton (2011) states that Apple is committed to bringing best personal services when it comes to computing to their customers. The company’s goals are based on providing the best computing, mobile communication, and portable digital music and video experience to customers. The vision, mission and goals are primarily based on the provision of adequate supplies and needs to the customer in that they make their consumers their main objective.
The main competencies of Apple company is the adequacy of resources and a wide and large market in that they have branches all over the globe to ensure that they meet the needs of consumers. The company has been in the market for quite a long time eventually garnering loyal customers and supporters. Apple has employed professionals and innovators that give the company an edge over its rivals. The company has a wide variety of products hence having a wide range of consumers and customers. Products of the company are of high quality and are reliable. In addition, these products are user-friendly as the company sees to it that customers are able to use them efficiently. Basing company's vision, mission, goals, and objectives on the consumer is highly advantageous and is viewed as a good strategy. It should be noted that with time the company has widened its scale of production not only basing their products on their common smartphones, but also on other accessories.
Advantages that are most likely to be involved in company’s strategic plan are being highly innovative, differentiating company’s products from similar products in the electronic market as they are unique, and finally, offering high quality products besides their recommendable good and friendly customer services. It has also entrusted manufacturing of some high quality products to third parties, making the company unique in some ways like no other company (Burkhart 1993). In addition to these strategies, the company itself has a difficult task as it has set very high standards that even the company itself has to be at its very best to meet and fucntion in accordance to its own standards. The company has seen to it that it has talented research and development teams, making it able to position its products as the best when considering innovation, performance, and reliability.
However, Apple company faces couple of issues like competition from other electronics companies, lack of the market in some parts of the world, and lack of a consistent vision and mission that are competitive in the market. It should be noted that the company need to establish itself in places where it has no market, has not been recognized, and has no presence. This will help increase their dominance in their market and increase their market and consumers. When studying the vision of the company, it is notable that it is inadequate because it does not meet the requirement of stating how it will help in achieving the mission of the company. An ideal vision in good strategic plans supplements the mission in that it outlines how to meet the mission stated and also states objectives of the company. Apple Inc. as a company to reckon with in the world today needs a vision that corresponds to company’s objectives as a large leading company and entailing on quality and good prices for their loyal customers.
Presence of talented researchers, design teams, design engineers, and development teams in the company makes it up-to-date and competitive as these teams ensure that their products are developed with an introduction of newly required features. This practice has ensured high competence among its competitors. The company uses vast resources in research and development, ensuring that new products that have unique features can still be developed. A recommended strategy for Apple company is to be able to match up with its competitors in that they can have affordable products that still provide equal services as other products from its competitors. This is due to the fact that current market is highly determined by prices of products.
Strategic planning can be based on the situation-target-proposal planning strategy and draw-see-think-plan planning strategy. In the situation-target-proposal planning strategy a planning strategy is designed depending on the situation in which the company is at the moment. After this, goals and objectives are defined for the company, and finally, a directional guide in the form of a map to achievement of the goals and objectives is laid down. On the other hand, there is a draw-see-think-plan strategic plan, where an ideal situation is visualized providing the desired state, the gap between the ideal desired state and what is available is observed, deep thought is given to actions that need to be taken to achieve the desired ideal image, and, finally, a plan is made on what resources are required to accomplish the activities. These two strategic planning techniques can be extremely profitable if used in the strategic planning of Apple Inc.
Audit on Apple and Alternative Strategies
Apple requires that suppliers have organized management systems that are responsible and ensure that the codes, laws, and regulations are complied with. They should be able to identify and mitigate to their own standards they put and to operational risks. Apple's audit systems examine management systems to ensure that policies and procedures are followed and offering of training in the management of the workers in the company in a quest to make them aware of their rights in a bid to ensure the suppliers maintain social responsibility and ethical practices. As observed in Apple's audit conducted a year ago, it was noted that scores were impressive in that management systems compliance scored a high notch in the employment of underage person courtesy of the training that had been carried out prior to the audit.
A great violation of company’s standards has been noted in an environmental audit conducted in 2012 as cited in institute of public and environmental affairs pollution database. In the report it was discovered that facilities did not store, move, or handle chemicals in a proper manner such as not providing an anti-leakage protection or provision of separate storage for incompatible chemicals was not offered. Other facilities did not label hazardous storage locations of waste products. Wastewaters and storm water was not managed well and air emissions were not controlled or monitored. In accordance to Apple, it is recommended if a serious core violation impacts great danger to the environment, therefore, the supplier should shut down the facility and is given 90 days to resolve the issues.
Stakeholders at Apple are many in that there are as many as non-stakeholders. Apple has announced that over the next three years it will be buying back $45-billion dollars worth of shares owing to the fact that projected profits will increase faster than the cash can be distributed (Berkow 2012). It is also said that original stakeholders tend not to be as active employees as before, but for many others the pay is good. Apple is top ten in the most paying and most promising employers in America (Glassdoor 2012). Apple campaigns for fair wages and good pay for workers and employees are balancing its concentration on both employees and staff. Apple has numerous third party app developers, movie studios, and musicians that they represent and have used their community strategically in protecting them. For example, back in 2000, Apple highlighted the rampant rate of music piracy saving the music industry from collapsing as it was in a very bad shape by then. Similarly, Apple also protected software developers and the movie industry as they had the required software and hardware ready protecting them from piracy. As noted, Apple keeps a good and amicable relationship with its stakeholders.
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The number of retail shops should also be added and not only in one place but to also spread them in various places. It is also strategic to be diverse in that they should be able to make any kind of music available for download on iTunes. Maximizing of apple profits can be done in order to continue good performance in the market; this can be achieved by emphasizing in developing of technologically bound products that are latest in the market. Apple is also recommended to start investing in other foreign markets since with its strong brand name it can easily lure customers as it is known that apple products are genuine.
Apple Company requires the situation-target proposed strategic plan mainly to cope with the issues that arise. The substantive growth, limited growth and retrenchment can all be addressed as current situations and a target with high growth of the company will be the target or goal and an ideal state (Lorenzen 2006). As also noted in the company’s vision, there will be need for change so as to mention how the mission will be achieved as well as mentioning the company’s objectives which are the ideal proposals to be achieved. Alternatively, the draw-see-think-plan can also be used in that an ideal image of an impressive growth of the company is determined at the desired state. The gap preventing the company from achieving the desired goal will be addressed by creating the best action plan that can be taken and, therefore, outlining a plan of activities necessary to achieve an ideal state (Duncan 2000). This step will be taken in a bid to improve the company.
Despite its remarkable returns and huge success over the years, it is advisable that the company changes its vision, mission, and objectives as well as goals on a regular basis so as to create a competent strategic plan. This is whereby it can be noted that situation-target-proposal strategic planning is used. The need to change the vision is the situation; the target is the idea of changing this vision, mission, and objectives. Initially, company’s vision stated that Apple computers are committed to protecting the environment, health, and safety of employees, customers, and global communities where the company operates (Banton 2011). This vision needs to be reviewed in that it will state on how to reach what has been stated in the mission and to also include the objectives.
Another threatening situation is whereby Apple faces the threat of competitors and new entries that may change the game in the market. The proposal to this threat is to consequently innovate a unique trademark that will leave an impact (Cunningha 2001). This can be done by using their brand name and market it vigorously to make the population aware of their existence as the best company in its field. Improving services provided together with Apple products is also crucial. Keeping Apple software only compatible with Apple product is also very important as it ensures uniqueness and hinders piracy attempts. Their presence in the market should be boosted to make consumers and customers aware. As observed, the best strategic planning technique is the situation-target-proposal.
Implementation of New Strategies
The role of the situation-target-proposal strategic technique is to study current situation of Apple company, whereby it faces different challenges. These challenges can be identified, stated, and studied to help internalize the current situation. Responsibility, however, of this strategic planning technique is to ensure that the current situation is weighed down, a target, whereby an ideal situation is envisioned and challenges of the company have been addressed, is outlined.
In case these new strategies and ideas are implemented, there will be a very high possibility of maximizing success of the company. However, before this success is achieved, there are requirements for the strategic plan to be implemented. First, it is required of the company to carry out enough and adequate research in order to ensure that these strategies will realize the best profits and success as perceived. It is also required that the company starts manufacturing new products in totally new fields. It is consequently determined that Apple will realize a larger market, hence will need to extend its services. The company will have to look for new strategic experts to lead and make analysis in the new fields that have been predetermined. By increasing the number of retail shops and their presence in foreign markets is key as it has been established that marketing efforts are essential in capturing places of high potential such as in China.
The main target of the strategic plan is to realize a world class company that serves people adequately and efficiently. With the increase in the market and products, there is a suggestion that Apple needs to visit new markets and fields. As a result, more profit may be realized. A timescale is whereby the plan is given a duration after which a positive result is expected. It is also crucial that Apple offers training programs to employees, who will represent the company in different countries and in foreign markets in a bid to acquire a positive image. By keeping a timescale and having targets, it is ensured that strategic plan is monitored. It is also advisable that the company attains a contingency plan in that these new markets might be unable to acquire a profit or success. This is a possibility that any good business strategist should not leave out as a loophole. In case that new markets do not thrive, Apple should see to it that the initial markets that had assuredly led to the profit and success of the company will be adopted.
It is a professional practice to continuously assess figures put in place to cater for the needs of the company against figures that had been forecasted before and predetermine whether the company is on the right track. In addition, Apple Company will require an increase in financial investments, which is easily catered for by company’s current profit. It is advisable that the company comes up with new ideas as to get feedback from customers and ensure that raised issues are looked at. For example, there is a complaint regarding battery’s short life. It is, therefore, important for Apple to come up with a mechanism for charging its devices apart from using electricity.
In conclusion, it is quite important that Apple Company tries to maintain a good relationship with its customers by providing good services, introducing efficient products to the market, and even offering affordable prizes, especially to bulk purchases done mostly by institutions. It should also see to it that it employs good business strategists that will be able to make professional analysis of the company, have good and promising visions and after which they will make professional and competent strategic plans to better the current, despite successful, business achievements. Apple Company is a good investment company where there is a definite assurance of acquiring a profit owing to its current success in the market and promising future, as experts have observed. It is said that despite slowing down of the economy in previous years, Apple has not been affected and has been making a profit consistently.