Table of Contents
Strategic capability can be defined as the scarcity and appropriateness of the competencies as well as the resources that an organization needs to survive from is difficult, and the aim of this paper is to enhance the strategic capability of Apple Inc. through influencing of their current strategy they are operating in. A strategic capability is usually developed for the purpose of identifying the capabilities that meet the criteria of vigor, scarcity, value, and irreparability (Grunig, 2008). These factors are very important and play a major role in the determination of the competitive advantage of the organization as well as the general structure of the organization. The Methods that are employed by Apple Computer in developing a competitive edge will be analyzed in the course of carrying out this exercise (McGee J et al, 2009). Necessary changes as dictated by the main drivers will be given be recommended for implementation.
The analysis of the strategic capability will be combined with the SWOT analysis to ensure that the corporation settles for the best decision as far as the strategic competition is concerned. The strategic management of Apple is indeed a strong one and has proved to be working for a long time by enabling the company to command the electronics and the computer software industry for a long time. The competition in this industry has increased immensely and as a result, for Apple to maintain its past performance in terms of the position it holds in the market, their strategy needs to be updated to incorporate current issues and other important factors. The updating of the strategic plan of Apple will be enhanced by a number of analysis studies with the main one being that of the porter's five force and this will surely influence strategic capability through the determination of the power of the company that will enhance the persistence of the strengths and the strengthening of the weak areas (Grunig, 2008).
As stipulated in the strategic intent of Apple Computing Inc., the company is a renowned designer as well as distributor of products that are based on thorough research and implementation of clear innovative skills and this has been their strength. They do this at a profit and ensure that they change that they create a customer experience that causes changes in the way people work, communicate, think and learn. This is a very effective strategy based on the fact that the sure way to exploit an opportunity in the market is to redefine the existing market concepts and this is one virtue that the management of Apple should make sure that it is apprehended at all times (Bach, 2007).
Apple computers Inc. has succeeded to built several competitive advantages since the inception of the computer industry. In the year 1978 Apple managed to stand as a monopoly in the personal computer market after it launched the product of Apple fall under four differentiations such as brand loyalty, dedicated market shares, hard ware designs and ease of use. Based on these principles, the products and services of Apple should be based on the principles and the tradition of the company that has enabled the company to grow immensely from the future and this growth still continues.
One major analysis that will be of help in the determination of the company as well as its strategies is the implementation of the porter's Five Forces. Through this tool; the current strength of Apple will be determined as well as the future that the business aims at attaining. After this evaluation, the capability strength of the company will be enhanced because this analysis will assist in the exploitation and maximization of the strengths of the company to ensure that the growth of the company continues (Bach, 2007). The analysis will also assist in improving the weakness that will be identified which have the potential of bringing losses to the company in the future. This is the reason why this test is very important and must be conducted with a lot of caution to ensure that the all the intended goals are achieved (McGee J et al, 2009).
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The first power that needs to be considered is the supplier power and for this in the case of Apple, it is partially catered for based on the fact that the company designs their products but they contract independent manufacturers to develop the designs into tangible products. This means that the possibility of another institution affecting their prices is partially catered for based on the fact that the company designs its products and produces its soft wares. However, the fact that other companies are entrusted to manufacture the goods as designed can be a loophole for variations of prices against their will and this should be reviewed in their strategic planning to ensure that there is no such time when the companies that are hired to carry out the development of the designs have no powers to hike the prices in a way that Apple Inc. cannot control. This may be done through establishment of a manufacturing plant or entering into a partnership with a manufacturing industry that deals with the kind of products that are distributed by Apple Inc.
Buyer power is also an important factor to consider in this analysis (Bach, 2007). Despite the fact that Apple Inc has a wide range of products thus bringing the confidence that the buyers cannot tamper with the prices, the uniqueness of the products must be maintained at all times to ensure that the cost of switching to other alternatives for buyers is actually very high. In regard to competitive rivalry as a power, the virtue inventiveness applies and there fore should not be compromised to develop a competitive edge that cannot be compromised in terms of quality. This virtue also dismisses the threat of submission through raising the cost of developing a substitute as a result of the originality of the Apple's products that must be upheld at all times. The customer assessment and the knowledge of the clients are very important to any company based on the fact that they assist the company in understanding and learning the methods of creating desires for their products. This will be determined through the analysis of the threat of new entry. The value-added user experiences are also enhanced in the company's products too. Though the industry that Apple Inc. is operating in is quite expensive to invest in, this threat must not be left out (Bach, 2007).
One of the secrets that any business can implement to create dominance in the market is being able to know how its customers think, what the customers are looking for and the decisions they make as well as how they do it. By this the company will try as much as possible to give the customers what they are looking for and as a result they will win them and end up dominating the market over the other competitors (Copeland, 2010). The Apple brand needs to be enhanced through such strategies that would ensure that there is a close contact between the company and its customers and this will enhance a mutual understanding too. If there is one important that should be ensured to remain intact, this is what is referred to as the Brand loyalty. This is one of the things that have enabled Apple to maintain a consistent competitive edge (Bach, 2007).
Another thing that needs to be incorporated in the strategic plan of Apple is thorough customer focus. This will trigger an urge to produce innovative products each and every time. For a long time, Apple has been known to base its core-competency objectives to reinvent some of their products that had been produced in the past to fit in the contemporary world as well as being implemented in the current uses as technology demands (Bach, 2007).
In short the future of Apple will be secured if these things are incorporated in the strategic plan. Things like the shifts in the personal computer and their use can never be a problem to this particular company based on the fact that their inventive nature gives the customers what they desire and this is what should be maintained at all times.
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Industrial analysis with the implementation of the porters five model of forces. Apple Computers in almost three years of operation has had a lot of highs and low but they have conquered in a way based on the fact that this is a highly innovative company. The company has implicated the virtues of its leader Steven Jobs who has been in the management of this company for a long time and who has proved himself to be a visionary leader and a goal getter (Huzefa et al, 2009). The Industry Environment needs also to be incorporated in the plan because it consists of factors that determine the progress that company is likely to take as well as its competitive actions and responses. Some of the important factors that need to be considered as far as this is concerned include; the buyers' power, the threat posed by possible substitutes, and the intensity of competition posed by the competitors (Bach, 2007).
In the case of Apple computers, Apple is just one of the companies that are operating in a highly competitive industry whose market is almost saturated in offering both hardware and software computer needs to customers. Other major players in this industry are Dell, HP, Compaq, Gateway, and Microsoft but the updating of the strategic plan will ensure that Apple Inc. will conquer the rest in creating a competitive edge.
Evaluation of Apple's strategic planning
Apple Inc. has trying to maintain a good name as well as a considerable value in the personal computer industry which is highly competitive. This has been enhanced by the principle of innovation that has been governing this organization for a long time. This is one of the outstanding principles that have enabled the company to forge ahead based on the fact that it is unique considering other competitors in the same industry (Grunig, 2008). As a result of this, the products of Apple Inc. stand out to be differentiated in terms of design sophistication, quality, and elevated customer service despite the fact the company outsource the manufacturing services from a trusted independent partners (McGee J et al, 2009). However, not withstanding all the advantages that the company has benefited from based on their principles of operation, the industry in which Apple Inc. is operating in is still competitive enough to require a review of the strategies that the company is using to fight this competition. Apart from the competition, there are other external factors that present dreadful challenge to Apple Inc (Bach, 2007).
The market of the Personal Computer Industry has become much commoditized causing a lot of rivalry from the related business that are operating within this industry, this has led to a sudden fall of the prices as a result of a destructive price war that threatens the future growth of the industry. This is the reason why the strategies of Apple need to be reviewed for perfection so that this problem can be fixed immediately to avoid further destruction of the strategic plan as intended in the initial stages of the company as it was being formed.
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Among the key strategies that the company has undertaken to fight this problem include; good utilization the necessary resources as well as capabilities such as the best design team in the entire industry, brilliant software and hardware engineers, support from a considerable research and development fund allocation, these are all necessary in the facilitation of a lot of thousands portfolio patents, and all these have been enhanced by the strong and visionary leadership of the CEO of Apple whose name is Steve Jobs. These among other strategies have played a major role in the lives of many especially the workers and it has also ensured that the company maintains a stable position in the market in terms of the premium prices (Grady, 2008).
Looking carefully at the financial analysis of Apple and other relevant factors regarding its performance, the Company may soon run out of business if quick implementation of any recommended strategies is not done. The company may appear a very profitable company in the eyes of many but if some of the strategies are not revised, there is a great danger of becoming bankrupt for the company (Grady, 2008). One strategy that has posed a great risk is the one regarding borrowing of money and this should be reviewed because the company has accumulations of high borrowings. Therefore, the company needs to divert most of the attention on the areas that have already established and the branches are doing good and put more emphasis on the areas that are not doing very good. The position that the company holds now is not permanent and neither are the profits assured. This is the reason why everything Apple must ensure that it creates value for both the shareholders and the customers as far as the brand of the company and its entire operation is concerned. To sustain its growth, the company also needs some more markets for their goods and this is one way of ensuring that there is an extra source of income every other day (Grady, 2008).
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Nevertheless, it is wise noting that Apple cannot and should not sit on its laurel. Having looked at some of these factors regarding the strategic war that Apple is facing, there is need for a new or an upgraded system of operation in general. Taking into consideration the current position that Apple holds within the Computer Industry and the compelling factors that influence the various trends as far as the internal and external environment are checked, it is quite clear that the company has the chance to continue with the creation of a considerable value and also a related diversification (Mische, 2002). The history of the firm as far as products such as iPods and iPhones is an enough prove that the company has all it takes to continue with the path of innovation that must be perfected in a way to make the general strategy that is being followed currently to be reviewed to incorporate some of these important factors. The goal that has been driving the company for a long time regarding the development of products and services that will ensure that the needs of the clients in the industry of electronics and their soft wares are well addressed and that every opportunity that may arise out of that is well catered for (Lynch, 2009).
It is after all this consideration that I propose some of the necessary improvements that I feel will have a great impact in regard to the future of the company. One of the propositions that need to be considered is the development of the designs that incorporate the current issues and a model that will be multi-purpose and one that will fit into the various aspects of life and as well solve some basic problems in the contemporary digital world (Tyndall, 2007). Such devices should contain some jam-packed while leveraging the unique system of Apple that features seamless assimilations that will ensure that there is creation of a compelling user experience. This will bring in an elegant and an executive showcase of Apple's leading design capabilities in this particular industry. This will ensure that the company has the next must have software and hardware in their stores ready to be dispatched to their customers (Deutschman, 2000).
In an attempt to maintain the growth of Apple, the company has considering a way of increasing the availability and distribution of their products through the introduction of clones. Unfortunately, this does not rhyme with the company's virtue of upholding innovation in the development of their products. The reputation of Apple has been that of quality and reliability and should be aimed at exploiting such characteristics. This is one of the reasons why the pure performance of Apple is associated with the company failing to match the strength with its strategy (Hellmann, 2000).
For a long time big organizations have realized the importance of having a clear understanding of the market surrounding them as a measure of maintaining a good competition in the market. Through the process of strategic management, an organization analyses the environment in which they are operating in and the process involves four major stages. These are; the assessment of the current condition, decision making and development of strategies, implementation of the decisions as well as the strategies, and finally evaluating progress. Apple should also embrace this in developing the strategic plan for increased gains (Copeland, 2010).
An external analysis highlights the implications that the company has to the industry of operation as well as the outside community. This kind of analysis focuses on the future environment conditions as well as the existing elements of the company.
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Among the general recommendations that Apple Inc. should consider is the creation of a differentiation strategy as mentioned earlier (Useem, 2007). The company should also strive to have close relationships with the manufacturers who are hired to manufacture the products. This should also be the case with some of the customers so that they can be able to tell the expectations of the customers (Harps, 2009). Apple should also ensure that the products that are designed for production encompass the feature of consumer electronic diversification based on the fact that the competition is growing at a very fast rate (Dhaliwal, 2009). Another recommendation that should be considered is the continued expansion of stores that distribute Apples products but this should not be done at the expense of accumulation of debts for the company as it was before. There should be emphasized integrated systems when dealing with advertisements. Development of the new technology leads to the production of convergence devices as a project that will be incorporated into the system of Apple. This is a technology that has the potential of developing gadgets that have a wide range of purposes as well as powerful processing capabilities that may provide a lot of assistance in the medical sector as well as other industries (Copeland, 2010).