Business Strategy Assignment Solutions

Business Strategy Assignment Solutions

Business Strategy Assignment Solutions

Introduction

With the help of adequate business strategies a company like Apple can easily fulfilled the fixed objectives and goals. Basically Apple deals in mobile phones and personal computers around the world and it was founded by Steve Jobs. This report basically covers the areas like objectives, strategy, competencies, missions and goals of Apple. Along with all this the report try to emphasis over the strategic planning and different other planning adopted by Apple related to the used techniques. Additionally there will be a discussion made over the PESTLE analysis conducted over Apple considering the Porter’s 5 forces factor along with the other related threats and opportunities. Even somewhere the report shows the strength and weaknesses of Apple’s internal audit. 

TASK 1

1.1 Explain the concept of strategy, vision, mission, goals, objectives and core competencies.

Steven Jobs and Stephen Wozniak are said to be founders of Apple. It was established in 1984. It is considered to be a software and hardware company popularly known for its personal computers. The marketing strategies adopted by Apple are treated to be innovative for the company’s progress. (whatls.com, 2015)

Marketing Strategies:

1. “Identify Trends”

The vacancies in order to fulfil consumer satisfaction strategies are been framed regarding these jobs after making a recognition regarding the trends of digital consumerism.

2. "Analyse Competitors”

In the era where Apple’s market was decreasing a research was made which concluded that partnership with the competitors being beneficial mutually along with advantageous downright.

3. “Innovate”

Rethinking is another focused factor of Apple strategies in order to bring improvement in its product and bring new innovations.

4. “Position your product”

Because of the replication of various products including computer systems, different methods are been framed to increase the life of products in way of compliment to the buyers which be treated equally important as re-invention.

5. “Build Brand Awareness”

Apple adopted a totally unique strategy for establishing the Mac brand, for this they make use of “creative campaigns and non-traditional advertising channels”.

6. Optimize Distribution”

The restoration process of Apple involves bringing the distribution system from “smaller outlets to national chains”. Till the date Apple has opened 280 stores in 10 different countries, giving around 16 per cent of total revenue to Apple.

7. “Don’t Forget Your Customers”

The best quality of Apple is of its advanced customer service. There is an achievement made by the company by developing its high “customer service model”. (holistic marketing concepts, n.d.)

Vision:

Vision specifies the long term goals and objectives of the company. Briefly they are mentioned below:

1. The basic vision of Apple is to bring innovative ideas into application and accordingly introduce products in market.

2. In order to bring different innovative ideas Apple adopted collaboration and cross pollination policies. (holistic marketing concepts, n.d.)

Mission:

Below are the missions of Apple:

  1.      The designed products by Apple include the famous “Mac, OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software”.
  2.      Online iTunes and iPod are another covered area in music field by Apple.
  3.      With the help of App store and iPhones a reinvention is made by Apple in “mobile phones industry”. (slideshare, n.d.)

Goals and Objectives:

In order to achieve the targets of attracting the left out customers, who are still not using Apple products, the given below factors should be achieved:

1.    In order to bring the products not with any issues to get full enjoyment for the customers.

2. For the computers and mobile industry the company should be brought at a leading position.

Great competition is faced by Apple with other companies like HTC, Nokia and Blackberry. With these goals importance can be framed by Apple in the market. (slideshare, n.d.)

1.2 Review the issues involved in strategic planning.

Planning simply means defining procedures adopted by the company in order to maintain a discipline required for “what it is today, what it does and what it will do tomorrow. Below given are the challenges faced while following strategic planning:

1. “Lack of consensus”

2. “Too ambitious”

3. “Failing to integrate planning into operations and budget”

4. “Lack of momentum”

Similar problems are faced by Apple while performing the strategic planning. In order to avoid this entire Apple should try to avoid them by engaging right leaders and adopting consensus. Secondly Apple should make sure that highly ambitious could be dangerous for the company even if they high standard people. Most importantly the company should assuredly assess the annual programs. (AAL, n.d.)

1.3 Explain different planning techniques that organisations can use

Planning is considered to play a very important role in organisation’s development, but somehow due to the reason of low resources and less time the organisation fails to follow them. One of the reasons behind this could be the departmental managers low planning. Even without appropriate techniques for planning could result into loss of business destinations. Given below are the planning techniques which are required to be performed:

1. Primary Planning

The size of business helps in determining the business plan type. In order to achieve business objectives the organisation should definitely have the knowledge of basic planning. Selection of tools could be done after having a brief idea of set goals and objectives related with the business.

2. Business Planning:

It is the planning used at the initial stages of business organisation. Steps like “market analysis, product descriptions, etc.” are treated are part of this planning. Future projections are treated to be the basis of business planning.

3. Strategic Planning:

The owners or senior managers of the organisation should adopt the strategic planning. It is said to be the conceptual process of planning. The organizational goals, analysis of resources in order to fulfil the set objectives and consideration made of the availing opportunity helping in achieving the goals are treated as part of this planning. The planning related to this are considered good for short term applications for around 12-24 months and are not appropriate for long term as they basically focus on present resources.

4. Marketing Planning:

The most important planning is to frame policies in relation with sale of products and services, as if this is not done then it will be said a failure for every other planning too. Achievement of sales and gross income forms the part of marketing planning which can be achieved by following SWOT analysis. 

5. Universal Planning:

The activities like “setting measurable goals, communicating and understanding your customers” are covered under Universal Planning. By following this planning the desired results can be easily gained and business will never have to face failure. (Pirragila, n.d.)

TASK 2

2.1 Produce an internal organisational audit of Apple evaluating their strengths and weaknesses.

Strengths:

1. Good market position.

2. Three times most developing company.

3. No debt and good competitors in regard with cash.

4. Worlds second highest brand value.

5. Due to brand awareness high quality customer experience is achieved.

Weaknesses:

1. High prices

2. Influencing decrease in market share

3. Disobedience of patent

4. Flexibility in appointment of CEO’s

5. Continuous increase in prices(Jeynes, n.d.)

2.2 Carry out industry analysis of Apple using Porter’s 5 Forces framework, and conduct and environmental analysis of its macro environment using PESTEL model, clearly identifying Opportunities and threats present in the external environment.

Porter’s 5 Forces Framework:

1. “Existing Rivalry”:

a. In order to play music Microsoft use “Windows operating system and window media player”

b. Linux giving competition to Mac OS X

c. Existing alternate sources for Apple in field of computer hardware includes Dell, Lenovo, etc.

d. Competition given in area of music player faced from Samsung, Sony, etc.

e. Napster is treated as rivalry for iTunes as an online music store.

2. “Threat of new entrants”:

a. Verzion for v-casting of audio and video streaming.

b. Rising demand with respect to online iTunes.

c. New start up equipped with modern technology.

3. “Bargaining power of suppliers”:

a. IBM and Intel are the examples of computer memory and processor suppliers.

b. Microsoft are alike Mac supplier

c. Disney and Fox are said to be the suppliers for TV and movies

d. Sony and BMG are said to be the sources for music

4. “Bargaining power of customers”:

a. Without giving any payment music can be shared by peer-to-peer network (LimeWire)

b. Creating pressure by retailers to get better usage terms and lower prices (Retailers)

c. A reduction in computer spending is noticed due to economic downturns.

d. Consumers create a cycle of refreshment.

4. “Threats from substitutes”:

a. XM make use of Satellite radio to get music

b. PS2 is an example for music and entertainment media

c. Music CDs are treated as alternative sources

d. Theatres, CDs, etc. are used as movies alternative means (Jonty, n.d.)

PESTLE analysis of Apple:

1. Political factors:

1. It is not America who is generating sales for Apple more than half of the sale’s share is covered by other countries.

2. A negative impact can be noticed by the company because inappropriate relationship of US with other countries.

2. Economic Factors:

1. Apple is affected by economic factors like “inflation, recession and currency”.

2. Less expenditure is made by the people over Apple products as they are considered to be the luxury products.

3. Social Factors:

1. The craze for gadgets among people creates important share for Apple in the existing market.

2. Being the status symbol, Apple noticed an increase in their sale

4. Technological Factors:

1. For competing the competitors Apple adopt up gradation in technology.

2. Products like iPod are ranked at top because of the high development and research team.

5. Legal Factors:

1. Filing of various patent cases against Apple.

6. Environmental Factors:

1. Computers and displays are been recycled by Apple

2.3 Explain the significance/importance of stakeholder analysis.

Meaning of Stakeholder:

A person or group of people who is having some interest in the organisation in way of “having stake or interest or have invested in Business Environment ” are considered to be the stakeholders. For the sake of profit making it is important that there should be involvement of stakeholders. For accurate solutions to the creating problems, it is required that there should be proper usage made of stakeholder’s knowledge. 

Types:

1. External: “Customers, Suppliers, Government”

2. Internal: “Employees, Owners, Local Community”

Stakeholders of Apple:

1. Customers:Same as every organisations customer are treated to be the important stakeholders for the company. It is because the profit making of the company depends upon the consumers only.

2. Employees:The employees are treated as internal stakeholders. This is because employees work with the organisation and have knowledge regarding the working of the organisation. Apple has great discount policies for their employees over buying of Apple products.

3. Suppliers:Other important stakeholder for Apple is the suppliers, as without them the manufacturing of the products would not be possible for the company.

4. Owners:Due to the investment made by the owners they are treated to be the most important stakeholders of the company. All the important decisions for Apple are taken by the owners of the company.

5. The Local Community:The other internal stakeholder for Apple is the local community. This is because they got the right to be informed about the issues affecting the community in anyhow.

6. Government:The external stakeholder for Apple covers Government, as they affect the company because of its various policies and encouragement. (Anon2, n.d.)

TASK 3

3.1 Analyse possible alternative future strategies of Apple relating to substantive growth, limited growth and retrenchment.

“Alternative Strategies for future growth”:

Vietnam market is open for Apple, as it has a lot to offer in the field of technology. The resources in the market are suitable for the company growth. The people in Vietnam are hardworking, skilled, the technology is very advance. The market is very strong as it is full of rich resources and economy is also very powerful, hence giving a great opportunity for a company like Apple to make huge profits. Some of the strategies are:

1. Improving the distribution channels in Vietnam and have them in a more structured manner.

2. Researching the market for Apple, forming strategies to target all segments of population. Researching on spending trends of different segments of population will help in understanding the customer attitude and hence will help in satisfying the customer. 

Horizontal integration: When current operations come in as complementary along with the developed operations of the company, then it is called Horizontal integration. For e.g. in the market two apple stores can compete with each other but they ultimately are a part of the same company and hence contribute for the same company.

Vertical Integration: When the company itself handles the supply as well as the distribution of its products then it is called vertical integration. Using this Apple in Vietnam, Apple can supply its products in other cities as well.

Ansoff’s matrix:

Related Diversification: The prime objective of this is customer satisfaction by giving to quality customer service.

Market Penetration: “It is a measure of brand or category popularity, defined as the number of people who buy a specific brand or a category of goods at least once in a given period, divided by the size of the relevant market population”. Market in which current or similar products already exist and a new company comes in and introduces similar products and capture the market by either gaining competitor’s customer or non-buying customers also. 

Market Development: “It targets non-buying customers in currently targeted segments. It also targets new customers in new segments”. It helps in expanding the potential market through new users.  Vietnam is a new market for Apple so it will be a challenge for Apple.

Product Development: In the current market, apple will have to form “new strategies in order to develop and launch its new product with advanced technology”.

Retrenchment Strategy:  “This refers to cost cutting through many means various means such as distribution cost, transportation cost etc. which can be done by having many distribution channels at one place like Vietnam”. Advertising cost can also be reduced by Apple (Abrams, 2010)

3.2 Select an appropriate strategy Apple can pursue for its future growth.

Differentiation strategy may play a key role in Apple’s future growth as it will enable apple to sustain growth, flexibility and stability. It carries maximum amount of risk for a firm because of its continuous cycle of development of new products entering new markets. Apple will fall under this category because Apple offers a wide variety of products from personal computers like Mac to iBook with unique design, best quality and reliability, taking it far apart from its competitors. The prime focus of apple is on the quality of products, rather than price. Differentiation strategy allows Apple to charge high prices for its products (Anon 3, n.d

TASK 4

4.1 Compare the roles and responsibilities of the different levels of strategy adopted in 3.2

Diversification strategy focuses on expanding firm’s market, introducing new products, improving its service quality and structuring its production stages. It plays a vital role for a firm which is trying to enter a new market or industry or which is trying to develop a new product for market. It helps the organization by setting it apart from others and diversifying its current line of operations. This type of strategy is a type of growth strategy as it catalyses the growth of the company in market. Differentiation strategy has the following roles and responsibilities:

1. To Increase stock value of the firm by expanding successfully in different markets using unique techniques

2. To increase the rate of growth of the company by entering new markets and developing new products in a unique manner

3. Investment of funds is very important. Investment should be done diligently so that it gives higher value in future and better profit margins. Hence, rather than using them, one should focus in investment.

4. Sales are one of the most important things for a product to be successful. It generates revenue from the product sold in market. Diversification strategy helps in improving the solidity of sales and earnings

5. The product line to be balanced

6. To make the product line diversified, as product diversification helps in attracting larger part of population in market.

7. The needed resource should be acquired quickly

8. To accomplish savings on tax, as more the savings on tax more will be the profit margin.

To increase capability and profit making of the company, this can be achieved by consumer satisfaction by offering good qualities products and providing top class service (Anon, n.d.)

4.2 Evaluate what resources will be required to implement Apple’s chosen strategy.

In reference to business, a resource is a source or supply from which benefit can be produced by transforming into a useful product and then selling it in the market. For a business, resource is everything, as its helps in operating a business successfully. All the business possesses its resources, it may vary in form but its use is the same that is it should be useful in producing or developing a product and hence each resource has its own value. Now the value may also vary depending upon the type of market. For e.g., a market with similar products and many competitors with limited resource will have high valued resource compared to a market with huge resources, low demand and less competitors. Now good use of the available resources is very important. In fact one needs to optimize the use of resources available for developing and producing a product to increase profit margins. “One can calculate the value of a business by the quantity and quality of the resources it has. In order to implement diversification strategy, the following resources will be required”:

1. Human capital: It is amongst the most important resource for Apple, in fact for any company on earth and hence for every business to be successful. It is the humans who do everything in a business taking from forming strategies, producing products, doing research, innovating, in fact everything. “Humans are the one who turns raw material into products that have value”. The knowledge helps the business in making profit and their skills.

2. Structure and system: A well-structured for everything is a key for any organization to be successful and to achieve its goal. There should be a proper plan for everything. Not only is the existence of structure and plan important but the execution also plays a vital role in an organization success. Different teams in an organization should work together to produce a top quality product. “There should be a systematic coordination between management and technology”.

3. Tangible resources: “The resources like the brand name of the company as it takes time for anything to get known in market and create its value”; its goodwill in the market where-in comes the trust part into play as it binds the consumers with the organization. All these are referred to as tangible resources. They are overlooked sometimes. Big companies with big brand names like Apple do well just by making use of its brand name.

4. Financial resources: The source of investment, income or revenue for a business is referred to as financial resources. “It may include any loan from the bank, sales, or any investments”. It is the key resource to drive any business as one can’t start a business without money (Lafley, 2014)

4.3 Discuss the importance of targets and timescales to monitor the successful achievement of he adopted strategy for Apple.

Every business needs to set targets and proper timelines to accomplish those targets or goals, as it helps in generating profit and revenue for the investment put in the business hence, “it is very important that targets and timescales being set in order to observe the successful accomplishment of the strategy which has been adopted by the firm. Apple has adopted diversification strategy”. So it becomes important for Apple to produce different products with best quality in market. Uniqueness is the key for Apple. It is these things which help in monitoring its success. Now consumer’s need and satisfaction are vital as the consumer will only buy a product if he/she needs it and it is of best quality in market. For this the company needs “to take feedbacks from consumers and should try to find out what else they are looking for in the product and the services” and how they can improve a product or find a need of introducing a new product in market to satisfy the unsatisfied need of the consumer. “There should be a time scale such as weekly or monthly monitoring of success by the line manager” to assure everything is done properly to achieve the target set by the organization. From the feedback received from the customers they should first identify the need and problems of the consumers and then plan new strategies to solve those which in-turn will help in their continuous growth. The managers should be honest in observing the expectations and what the actual results are and should compare both in order to identify the lagging areas which are needed to be worked upon for improvement. This will help in achieving the growth and profit. “There can be inefficiency on part of workers or managers. Education programs should be organized so that each and every employee and manager has clear view of the objective of the firm”. In this way Apple can achieve their desired outcome based on the strategy adopted by it and can reach its goals. In case, if a company fails to attain its objective, then they should first try to find the reason of their failure and then fix it and then form strategies to assure that such things are not repeated in future. As per the need after observing the cause of the problem they can introduce programs like “training its employees in a suitable manner so as to improve their skill-set”, as with good skills chances of error is very less.

Conclusion 

This report contains different business strategies adopted by Apple. Meaning of stakeholders and its application with Apple are been covered under the above report. Further a discussion is observed over Porter’s 5 forces framework and PESTLE model. A suggestion is given in this report for the adoption of required business strategic by Apple. For monitoring the company’s success the required time scales and targets should be used by the company is suggested by this report.

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