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Apple Inc.: College Essay Examples

Apple Inc. designs, manufactures, and markets personal computers, mobile communication devices, computer electronics, accessories, software, and digital content and applications that are mainly third party. The essay writer company’s products include iPhone®, iPad®, Mac®, Apple Watch®, AirPods®, Apple TV®, and HomePod™. The company also sells software applications such as iPhone OS (Ios) and iCloud (United States Securities and Exchange Commission, 2019). The company was incorporated in 1977. The company has penetrated markets in the Americas, Greater China, Japan, and the Asia Pacific. Apple Inc. target segments includes consumers, the education sector, governments, and small and mid-sized businesses

Mission Statement

The company’s mission statement is “bringing the best user experience to its customers through its innovative hardware, software, and services.” The mission demonstrates the company’s commitment to offer the best services to its customers.

Goals and Objectives

The company’s main goals and objectives in the next three years include:

  1. To provide customers with services of high quality
  2. To ensure customers get the best user experience. It does this by creating innovative products and services.
  3. Increase the volume of sales by increasing its presence through new products, more stores, and other smart marketing strategies
  4. To design its operation systems, hardware, and application software

Key Internal and External Stakeholders

Apple’s main stakeholders include investors, employees, customers, communities, shareholders, and board members. Employees are internal stakeholders of the organization. Apple values its employees by offering them great compensation and a safe working environment. Employee engagement is instrumental in the organization. The company has about 89,000 employees in different fields ranging from technicians, executive managers, sales workers, professionals, craft workers, service workers, administrative support, and mid official managers. The organization also respects diversity and inclusivity in its hiring process (About Apple, 2020).

Investors are another group of key internal stakeholders of the organization. The investors aim to maximize profits on their investments. Therefore, financial performance and high-profit margins are essential to ensure this group of stakeholders is satisfied. 

The board of directors is an additional group of internal stakeholders. It comprises the CEO Tim Cook, Arthur Levinson, who is the chair of the board, Andrea Jung, James Bell, Susan Wagner, Ronald Sugar, and Albert Gore Jr (Investor Relations, 2019). The board of directors ensures that the interests of shareholders and stakeholders are met. The board also ensures that the organization is ethical and competent in its operations. 

One group of external stakeholders are employees of suppliers and distributors. This group consists of workers in the supply chain. Just like Apple’s employees, this group of stakeholders is interested in job security and proper compensation. To ensure the needs of this group are met, the company monitors and imposes the firms’ employment requirements in its supply chain. 

Customers are also key external stakeholders of the organization. The group includes individuals and organizations that buy the company’s products. They are in different market segments and consist of different demographics. Apple prioritizes its customers by providing innovative products and technologies. Though its products are highly priced, they are of high quality to meet customer specifications. Besides, Apple invests highly in its customers by offering them the best experience through various products.

The community is another group of key external stakeholders of the organization. The company’s role in the community is meeting its corporate social responsibility. The company meets its CSR by contributing to the charitable community projects. 

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Current Leadership of the Organization

Apple’s leadership comprises of the CEO, senior vice presidents, the chief operating officer, the chief financial officer, and vice presidents. It is hierarchical with the senior vice presidents reporting to the CEO. Tim Cook is the current CEO of Apple Inc since August 2011. He also serves on the board. Katherine Adams is in charge of the legal and global security and general counsel. She joined the company in 2017. As a vice president of the legal and global security, she oversees all legal matters. She also serves on the executive team of the organization. Eddy Cue is the senior vice president in charge of internet software and services. In his current position, he oversees the content stores such as Apple Music, iTunes Store, Apple Pay, iCloud services, Search Ads, Maps, and other creative apps. He is also the leader of the video programming team (About Apple, 2020).

Craig Federighi is the senior vice president in charge of software engineering. Deirdre O’Brien is the senior vice president in charge of people and retail. Luca Maestri is the senior vice president and the company’s chief financial officer, and Sabih Khan is in charge of operations. John Giannandrea is in charge of machine learning and AI technology. Dan Riccio is the senior vice president who oversees the hardware engineering. Johny Srouji is in charge of hardware technologies, and Philip Schiller is in charge of it of worldwide marketing. Jeff William’s is the company’s chief operating officer. In his position, he oversees the company’s global operations, customer service, and support. The company’s vice presidents include Lisa Jackson, Tor Myhren, Adrian Perica, and Isabel Ge Mahe. Lisa Jackson is in charge of the environment, policy, and social initiatives. Tor oversees marketing communications, Andrian is in charge of corporate development, and Isabel is the managing director of greater China. 

Problems Facing the Organization

Competition. Competition is one of the fundamental problems facing the organization. The company faces aggressive competition in the market segment. The rapid growth in technology means that the production of products in this industry segment is increasing. In markets such as China, competition is particularly high. Most of the competitors offer their products at lower prices and low-cost structures (United States Securities and Exchange Commission, 2018). Consumers are looking for quality products at an affordable price. Besides, the evolving design and approaches is increasing competition in the sector. Apple relies heavily on brand loyalty, but as more affordable and quality devices come to the market, customers are likely to shift. If not addressed, competition is likely to affect the company’s gross margins.

Vulnerability to global and regional economic conditions. The company’s supply chain, manufacturing, and assembly lines are not in the U.S. The company is, therefore, subject to conditions such as inflation, tariffs, recession, high-interest rates, and currency fluctuations. Political unrests and pandemics, such as the current COVID-19, are also likely to have a significant adverse effect on the company’s operations and finances. The company’s net sales for the fiscal year 2020 are projected  to drop. Therefore, the company’s operations and profit margins are likely to be hit significantly because of outsourcing. 

Reasons Why Change Is Necessary For the Organization to Meet Its Mission and Goals

Addressing the problems named above is necessary if the company is to continue being a leader in the sector and register high-profit margins. The company needs to address competition and the disruption of operations due to outsourcing. The volatility in the financial market is likely to lead to decreased sales and posting of reduced profit margins. Therefore, addressing these issues is necessary.

SWOT Analysis

StrengthsWeaknesses
Strong brand image Customer loyalty Rapid innovation of new products High profit marginsHigh prices Dependence on sales in high-end markets The distribution network is limited The company’s supply chains, manufacturing, and assembly lines are outside the U.S. increasing its vulnerability to global and regional economic conditions
OpportunitiesThreats
Continually develop new products and improve the existing ones Expand the distribution network Increased emerging market demandAggressive competition in the industry Rising labor costs which is likely to increase production costs Imitation and intellectual rights infringement

Apple’s strengths include a strong brand image, customer loyalty, rapid innovation of new products, and high-profit margins. The strong brand image gives the company a competitive edge in the market. Besides, a strong brand image means stronger customer recognition. A strong brand image also makes it easier when introducing new products in the market. The company’s pricing strategy gives it high-profit margins. The company’s intensive growth strategy means it enjoys rapid innovation. Rapid innovation builds customer loyalty as customers are assured of new and latest technology products (United States Securities and Exchange Commission, 2019).

Irrespective of these strengths, the company has its weaknesses. The high prices limit sales to high-end market segments. The high-end market segment represents only a small portion of the population. This is a problem since competitors are producing products for all market segments. The distribution network is also limited because of the policy of exclusivity. Exclusivity limits the market reach and entry to other potential markets. Besides, the company’s supply chains, manufacturing, and assembly lines are located outside the U.S., making the company vulnerable to regional and global economic conditions. In case of disruptions in such markets, it is likely to affect the company’s operations.

The company has opportunities to maximize growth and increase profit margins irrespective of these weaknesses. The company has the opportunity to continually develop new products and improve existing ones, which can support growth in new markets. The company also has the opportunity to expand its distribution network to reach more customers. The increase in demand for innovative products and technologies means the company has the opportunity to increase its market segment.

However, the company should pay attention to threats when exploring these new opportunities. Aggressive competition is one of the greatest threats in the industry. Rising labor costs, which is likely to increase production costs, is also a threat the company should consider. Imitation and intellectual rights infringement can also affect the company’s expansion strategy. 

Strategic Plan

Competition

The company can beat the competition by continually introducing new products, technologies, and services. The company can also enhance the existing products and services. Continuously introducing new and better products and enhancing the existing ones can stimulate customer demand, increase customer loyalty, and build even a stronger brand image, however, for the company to continue to appeal to its customers with the new products, it should consider timely introduction. The company should also continue to invest in its research and development to ensure unique designs, software applications, services, and operating systems. 

The company can beat the competition by expanding its distribution network. Expanding its distribution network will enable the company to reach more customers in its global market. The current strategy limits the company to high-end clients, unlike competitors, who target all market segments. The company can reach more customers through targeted marketing for specific markets based on needs. 

The company can beat the competition by taking advantage of the increasing market demand. Demand for Apple products and services is increasing in emerging markets such as India, and the company can take advantage of this to gain a competitive edge over competitors. By developing products and services that respond to these new emerging markets’ needs, the company can gain a competitive advantage over its rivals. 

Vulnerability to Global and Regional Economic Conditions

The company is vulnerable to global and regional economic conditions because it’s manufacturing, assembly lines, and supply chains are located outside the U.S. The company’s operations and performance can be adversely affected by changes in global and economic conditions. The company can address this problem by minimizing its outsourcing activities and basing some of these activities in the U.S. In-house capacity expansion is one way the company can solve the problem. To address the issue of costs, the company should consider using part-time workers instead of permanent workers. The company can also address this problem through domestic outsourcing. Domestic outsourcing provides more flexibility and is not subject to regional economic conditions since their production firms are based in the U.S. (Sardar, Lee & Memon, 2016).

Plan Implementation

Three steps to prepare the organization for change. Stakeholders should define the change and align it to the organization’s goals and objectives. Defining the change outlines what the organization intends to change and why the change is necessary. Conducting a review to determine whether the change aligns with the organizational goals and objectives is crucial in the change process. 

Developing a detailed communication plan is additional step stakeholders should take. A communication plan outlines the way the change will be communicated to employees. Failing to communicate change to employees effectively can affective the implementation plan. The plan should outline the timeline for change, the key messages that will be communicated, and the communication mediums that will be used to ensure the implementation is successful.

Stakeholders should also develop training plans that align with employees’ needs to ensure the successful implementation of the changes. Most employees reject change because of a lack of training. Training will provide employees with the expertise they need to handle the coming organizational changes. 

Resources needed. Defining the change and aligning it to the organizational goals and objectives will require financial and human resources. Financial resources will facilitate the review of goals and objectives. Human resources will help in defining the change needed and why the change is necessary.

Developing a detailed communication plan will require both financial and human resources. Materials to develop the plan and airtime to communicate the plan will be required. Program participants and volunteers are examples of the human resources that will be required.  

Developing training plans will also require financial and human resources. Training software and training equipment will be required. The company will also hire certified trainers. Current skilled employees will also offer training. 

Implementation timeline

StepImplementation timeline
Defining the change and aligning it to the goals and objectivesI month
Developing a detailed communication plan3 months
Developing a training plan2 months

Evaluation of the Plan

Success metrics

Frequency of new product launches. To beat the competition, the company aims to launch new products continually. The success of the plan will be measured by how frequent the launches of new products, technologies, and services are. Shorter time between one product launch and another is an indication of the success of the plan. 

Increase in manufacturing and assembling activities in the U.S. The proposed strategy is to minimize outsourcing in manufacturing and assembly activities. Success will be measured by an increase in manufacturing and assembling activities in the U.S. 

Challenges and Contingency Measures

Costs. Cost is one of the challenges that is likely to affect the implementation of the proposed plan. Many resources are required to ensure the implementation of the plan is successful, and failure to meet these costs can lead to challenges in implementation. Setting apart a contingency budget will address any possible challenges attributed to costs. The budget will compensate for any uncertainties that are likely to emerge when implementing the plan.

Poor communication. Poor communication is also an additional challenge that is likely to affect the implementation of the plan. A poor detailed plan is likely to cause communication problems. Ensuring that the communication plan clearly outlines the strategic plan goals can minimize challenges that are likely to arise.

Ineffective training. Ineffective training can also hinder the implementation of the strategic plan. For change to be successful, employees need to be well equipped with all the necessary knowledge about the changes. Conducting drills to assess the efficacy of the training plan can minimize the likelihood of this problem occurring. 

Communicating the Plan to Internal and External Stakeholders

Communicating the plan will be done clearly and concisely. Targeted communication can ensure the communication process is effective to both internal and external stakeholders. This will ensure stakeholders have access to any information that is crucial in change implementation (Bourne, 2016). Personalizing the communication in view of the different needs of the stakeholders is essential for effective communication. Clear communication is essential to ensure all stakeholders understand the plan. Clear communication entails using a clear language that is free of jargon to ensure everyone can understand. It also means communicating the goals of the plan clearly. Communicating concisely aims to provide everything is on point. Communicating the plan’s details in a concise yet clear manner will ensure the plan is well understood. 

References

About Apple. (2020). Retrieved from https://www.apple.com/

Bourne, L. (2016). Targeted Communication: The Key to Effective Stakeholder Engagement. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 226, 431–438. doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2016.06.208

Investor Relations. (2019). Leadership and Governance: Board of Directors. Apple inc. Retrieved from  https://investor.apple.com/leadership-and-governance/default.aspx

Sardar, S., Lee, Y., & Memon, M.S. (2016). A Sustainable Outsourcing Strategy Regarding Cost, Capacity Flexibility, and Risk in a Textile Supply Chain. Sustainability, 8 (234), 1-19. doi:10.3390/su8030234

United States Securities and Exchange Commission. (2018). Form 10-K: Apple Inc. http://www.annualreports.com/HostedData/AnnualReports/PDF/NASDAQ_AAPL_2018.pdf

 United States Securities and Exchange Commission. (2019). Form 10-K: Apple Inc. http://www.annualreports.com/HostedData/AnnualReports/PDF/NASDAQ_AAPL_2019.pdf

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Hanna has won numerous writing awards. She specializes in academic writing, copywriting, business plans and resumes. After graduating from the Comosun College's journalism program, she went on to work at community newspapers throughout Atlantic Canada, before embarking on her freelancing journey.
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