Apple Inc. Company - Business Report Assessment

November 01, 2018
Author : Alex

Solution Code: 1DGI

Question: Apple Inc. Company

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Apple Inc. Company

Task

The argument should be presented in a business report format and the business report needs to be supported by academic references.

For this assessment, select an organisation (either your current employer OR one that you are able to access primary or secondary information from OR an organisation that you wants to get employed in the future).

Then, identify and describe any two (2) business operational issues/challenges facing the organisation within any of the 4 main action areas (Direct, Design, Deliver & Develop) of the operations management (see page 7 of your study guide) and discuss how these issues may impact on the organisation’s business activities. You are also required to critically review the identified issues and suggest recommendations to overcome these issues.

Some examples of operational issues/challenges (although this list is not exhaustive) include:

- Operational strategy: Operational strategy defines the direction and scope of an organisation over the long-term in order to match the resources to the changing environment and the market needs.

- Design of goods and services: Designing goods and services defines much of the transformation process. Costs, quality and human resource decisions are often determined by design decisions. What good or service should the organisation offer? How should they design those products and services? Does the products meets the marker requirements, etc,?

- Managing quality: The customer’s quality expectations must be determined; and policies and procedures established to identify and achieve that quality. How the organisation defines quality? Who is responsible for quality? etc.

- Process and capacity design: Process options are available for products and services. Process decisions commit management to specific technology, quality, human resource use and maintenance. These expenses and capital commitments will determine much of the firm’s basic cost structure. What process and what capacity the products require? What equipment and technology is necessary for these processes? etc.

- Location strategy: Facility location decisions for both manufacturing and service organisations may determine the firm’s ultimate success. Errors made at this juncture may overwhelm other efficiencies. Where should they establish the facility? On what criteria should they base the location decision? etc.

- Layout strategy: Material flows, capacity needs, personnel levels, technology decisions and inventory requirements influence layout. How should they arrange the facility? How large must the facility be to meet their plan? etc.

- Human resources and job design: People are an integral and expensive part of the total system design. The quality of work life provided, the talent and skills required and their costs must be determined. How do the organisation provide a reasonable work environment? How much can they expect their employees to produce? etc.

- Operational planning and control: This involves matching the capacity of the organisation with customer demand and it is vital in enabling the organisation achieve its strategic objectives. How does the organisation achieve intermediate and short-term schedules? How the job sequencing and priority rules were implemented? etc.

- Inventory and material requirements planning: These decisions can be optimised only when customer satisfaction, suppliers, production schedules and human resource planning are considered. Some of the questions may involve: How much inventory of each item should they have? When do they re-order? etc.

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Solution:Apple Inc. Company

Executive Summary

Apple Inc. is one very competitive company in the world in the electronics industry. It produces and markets various electronic products such as music players, smart phones cell phones, Laptops TVs among others. These are high quality products because it integrates high technology in its production. However, Apple products lack originality since all products it are invented by other companies before it makes similar ones. For example Osborne computers invented the first laptop, and Apple only improved on it by coming up with Mac Book laptop. It improved on the Smartphone, which was invented by International Business Machines Corporation Company. Despite all the success and progress Apple Inc. company has made, it experiences various challenges that have not been addressed by the management. Some of the challenges range from mistreatment of employees, lack of innovation due to inappropriate research and development and delays in updating its wage rate statements. This report analyzes some of the challenges the company is facing and suggests some of the recommendation it should consider to improve its performance.

Introduction

Apple is a large company and a key player in the telecommunication sector. It designs and manufactures a wide variety of electronic devices. They include music players, smartphones, tablets, and television sets (Fuber, 2008). This company designs products by employing a unique business model whereby it writes and designs all products software and operating systems uniquely. Its products are considered as the best in the world. The company has been successful in the recent past courtesy of its effective production and marketing operations. It reported impressive revenues of $224.34 billion in the month of June, $50.77 billion sales second quarter of 2015 and $233.02 billion current fiscal year (Anoe2013). The company achieved profit reasonable margin, which was 21.52% (Draft, 2016). This paper establishes some of the challenges the company is facing. The essay shows and describes how these challenges affect the company operation and suggests the recommendations that the management should consider.

Operational Challenges Facing Apple Inc. Company

Inappropriate research and development initiatives

Apple Inc. is not innovative enough. Most of its products lack originality and are based on the innovation and creativity of other companies (Anoe 2013).The company has only invented Mackintosh computer in the early 1980s which later on failed. The computer failed because of several reasons. First, the machine was very slow and could not perform efficiently. Secondly, the computer lacked adequate power to run its software. Mackintosh also had a very low storage capacity of 128k memory. It lacked the internal hard drive to save data and information (Draft 2016). Lastly, the computer did not have fun to cool inner parts of Computer and as a result, the machine would burn easily because of internal heat. In spite of all those weakness of Macintosh, CEO John Sculley overpriced the machine at $2,495. As mentioned earlier, Apple Company does not invent its own products but only improves products invented by other companies. A good example is through its current products such as, MacBook Laptops, I pads, I pods, I phone and Tablets (Draft 2016).

Dess (2012) notes that Apple improved the Smartphone and made more impressive and outstanding because of through several features. First, it installed the variety of colors of a different design that the user can choose to depend on his or her own wish. Bigger internal memory size that can store a large amount of information, a very clear camera, and lens were also integrated into the phone. Apple Inc. clearly shows the lack of originality through music player products. It improved music device and rename it I pod. I pod is a small portable music player. Fuber (2008), states that Apple integrated a large storage capacity of approximately 5 GB as opposed to another initial one. It is clear from the outlined points that Apple Inc. Company lacks the originality of its own products but rather only relays on other companies (Anoe 2013). All its current products, Laptop, Smartphone and music player are the invention of other companies.

Failure to improve the Software Quality

Apple has failed to improve the functions of its software for a very long time. Most of its software is poorly designed and leads to malfunctioning and frustrations to the users. An example is the iOS 9, which was ineffective and slow to the frustrations of the customers. The OS X 10.11 was also poorly made and was slow and ineffective.

Managing Analyst/Media/Consumer Expectations

Apple has been unable to manage the information that reaches he customers and the general public concerning its operations. Apple is a highly secretive company, which means that there is an information vacuum. Critics and analysts can fill the vacuum with wrong or false information, which ruins the reputation of the company (Kingsley-Hughes, 2016).

Violation of Employees Rights

A company needs to create a good relationship with its employees to facilitate efficiency in its operations. A company that mistreats its employees hinders its operations since employees do not perform work effectively and efficiently. Violation of employee rights tarnished the good name of the company (Miller, 2004). Employees play a very big and vital role in an organization, business or in a company therefore manipulation of workers result in poor operations. Apple Inc. The company is facing a lawsuit against employees’ manipulation in fact; the case is reported by 20,000 staffs. In reality, this is the huge number and it is clear indication that the company has been carrying such unfair act over a long period. The lawsuit tarnished the name of the company since it talks about mistreatment of the workers. The Company manipulated the employees through various several ways. First, it stretched working hours of the workers. According to California Labor Laws, Workers should work for five hours to ten hours depending on the company they are working with, therefore, should any company extend working hours, it is entitled to pay overtime amount.

Apple workers were supposed to work for the maximum time of four hours. However, Apple violated the law-forced employees to work for five hours with no additional pay. This is clear evidence that the company breached the rights of the employees and it did not care about the welfare of its own workers (Fuber, 2008). This affects the operation of the company because it demotivated the employees. Secondly, Apple denied its employees meal breaks. California Labor Laws states that Employees should be given meal breaks because it relieves them of duty. This enables them to regain energy it makes them relinquish control over their activities and finally encourage them to do work (Anoe, 2013). The firm filed to consider this stipulation as the management was only focused on achieving the company objectives. The firm further denied the employees leaves and vacations. According to Labor Laws of California, an employee should be given a vacation of two weeks after six months of work. 227.3 Labor Laws section codes, stipulates that employee must be paid for a vacation with his final rate pay (Fuber 2008). The firm also delayed the departure time of the employees.

Recommendations

Growing beyond iPhone

One of the recommendations that the company should consider is introducing other products other than the iPhone. The company has for a long time been perceived as an iPhone corporation and due to the changing trends in terms of customer choices and preferences, the company should consider diversification of its products to possibly include android phones and other smartphones and gadgets.

Improve Software Quality

Apple should consider updating its software to improve quality and efficiency in the operations of its gadgets. The iOS 9, which was approved in 2015 previous, worked according to the expectations but later became frustrating and difficult to use (Fuber 2008). The OS X 10.11 was not as efficient either as it had show-stopping bugsthat were really frustrating to the users.

Meet the Analysts/media and consumer expectation

Apple should consider divulging some of its operational information to the media or the customers. Unless the information contains the top secrets of the firm, then the management should let the public know of their operation policies to avoid speculations (Fuber 2008). Speculations have ruined the company image since critics have been given a leeway to feed the public with any information including defaming information.

Invest more in research and development

Apple Inc. The company only innovate products of other companies. It has innovated Laptops, Smartphones and Music players. Therefore, Apple should embrace originality of their products by inventing their own instead of basing on the invention of other companies (Fuber 2008). The firm should conduct wide research on current consumer trends to establish the choices and preferences of the customers so that it can design products that meet the demands and expectations of the customers.

Create Friendly Worker-Management Relationships

Apple should promote a good relationship with its workers. Good relations between the employees and the management will ensure that they are motivated to work and will work well towards the motivation of the employees (Hochbaum, 2011).

Compensation and reward programs

The firm should consider creating an effective compensation and reward program in its operations to boost its sales volumes. For a company to succeed and meet its objectives it must make improve its profitability and this can only be achieved if it makes more sales. Apple should motivate its employees especially those in the sales department by offering favorable rewards to motivate them (Hochbaum, 2011). The reward policy should consist of base salaries, commissions and bonuses to energize the sales force. By having an effective reward program, the firm will improve its sales volumes and this will assist in achieving the company objectives of recapturing its lost share of the market.

Promotion and marketing activities

A final suggestion that the company should consider is intensifying its promotional and marketing initiatives. Though the firm promotes its products mainly in the social media platforms, this is not adequate enough to reach all the clients. The company should introduce other methods of promotional strategies to assist in marketing its products. Some of the strategies that the company should consider include targeted marketing, market automation, Display, and Native Advertisement (Hochbaum, 2011). In targeted marketing, the company should make devices targeting specific clients. This should be done after conducting a market research to find the needs of the customers.

Conclusion

Apple Inc. experiences operational challenges in areas such as research and development as well management. The firm lacks originality in the devices that it markets which gives the competitors an edge over the firm. First, it lacks the originality of products due to lack of invention. The company should invest more on research and development to ensure that it invents new devices and not copycats from other companies. The firm should also polish its management policies to avoid mistreatment of employees, which is a breach of the labor laws and stipulation. The paper has analyzed all the challenges the firm is experiencing and has provided recommendations on the best ways to solve the issues. Some of the recommendations suggested in the paper include improving its software quality; invest more on research and development and management of the media and customer expectations.

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