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Strategic Management

Strategic Management

Paper details:

Apple Inc. – Managing a global supply chain. Read the attached case study and then prepare a paper answering the questions asked in the “Apple Case Questions.docx” Textbook is: Contemporary Strategy Analysis 8th edition. Additional sources ok.
Strategy Question – Apple Inc.: Managing a Global Supply Chain

Part 1 (50%)
Analyze Apple’s resources and capabilities, then describe their five main sources of competitive advantage (and/or disadvantage). The analysis itself can be placed partially or wholly in an appendix to preserve word count, but material in the appendix will not be marked.

Part 2 (25%)
Define the scope of the industry Apple competes in, then analyze that industry using Porter’s Five Forces analysis. Show the main findings for each section, as well as a summary on the state of the industry.

Part 3 (25%)
Based on your analyses from Part 1 and 2, prepare a persuasive argument about whether you think new product development is integral to Apple’s future success.

Answer Formatting Guidelines:
• Additional content may be included in appendices for reference, though it will not be marked.
• State all major assumptions made in preparing your answer.
• Use APA formatting for any references used, other than the case study itself.
• You have 1000 words (plus the usual 5% overage) to answer Parts 1, 2, and 3. Plan your word count accordingly.

9B14D005
APPLE INC.: MANAGING
A GLOBAL SUPP
L
Y CHAIN
1
Ken Mark
wrote this
case under the supervision of Professor P. Fraser Johnson
solely to provide material for class
discussion. The
authors do not intend to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a managerial situation. The authors may have
disguised
certain names and other identifying information to protect confidentiality.
This publication may not be
transmitted, photocopied, digitized or otherwise reproduced in any form or by any means without the
permission of the copyright holder. Reproduction of this material is not covered under authorization by any reproduction righ
ts
organization. To order copie
s or request permission to reproduce materials, contact Ivey Publishing, Ivey Business School, Western
University, London, Ontario, Canada, N6G 0N1; (t) 519.661.3208; (e)
cases@ivey.ca
;
www.iveycases.com
.
Copyright © 2014, Richard Ivey School of Business Foundation
Version: 2014
–
0
6
–
1
2
INTRODUCTION
Jessica Grant was an analyst with BXE Capital (BXE), a money management firm based in Toronto.
2
It
was February 28, 2014, and Grant was discussing her U.S. equity mandate with BXE’s vice president,
Phillip Duchene. Both Grant and Duchene were trying to identify what changes, if any, they should make
to BXE’s portfolio. “Apple is investing in its nex
t generation of products, potentially the first new major
product lines since Tim Cook took over from Steve Jobs,” she said. Apple Inc., the world’s largest
company by market capitalization, had introduced a series of consumer products during the past doze
n
years that had transformed it into the industry leader in consumer devices.
Apple managed a global supply chain with creative development in the United States, outsourced
manufacturing in Asia and components sourced from suppliers around the world. Appl
e was in the centre
of a complex ecosystem that produced market
–
leading consumer devices. With $160 billion
3
in cash in
February 2014, the company was well
–
capitalized. Despite its commercial success, Apple’s stock was at
$524.47 on February 28, 2014, 25 p
er cent below the $700 level it had reached in 2012. Cook reassured
investors that the firm was focused on the future, and it had a solid pipeline of new products. This was his
way of signalling to stakeholders that he would be able to run the firm followi
ng the death of Steve Jobs,
one of Apple’s co
–
founders and the man responsible for rebuilding the firm. “We’re working on some
things that are extensions of things you can see and some that you can’t see,” Cook said at Apple’s annual
shareholders’ meeting
on February 28, 2014.
4
Industry observers were skeptical that the company could deliver new product successes:
It is unclear whether the spread
–
sheeting
–
loving, consensus
–
oriented, even
–
keeled Cook can
successfully reshape the cult
–
like culture that Jobs
built. Though Cook has deftly managed the
iPhone and iPad product lines, which continue to deliver enormous profits, Apple has yet to
launch a major new product under Cook; talk of watches and televisions remains just that . . . in
the day
–
to
–
day at Apple
, Cook has established a methodical, no
–
nonsense style, one that’s as
different as could be from that of his predecessor. Job’s bi
–
monthly iPhone software meeting, in
which he would go through every planned feature of the company’s flagship product, is gon
e.
“That’s not Tim’s style at all,” said one person familiar with those meetings. ‘He delegates.’
5
Authorized for use only in the course CPEX-506 at Athabasca University taught by Dr. Aris Solomon from Jan 20, 2016 to Jan 26, 2016.
Use outside these parameters is a copyright violation.
Page
2
9B14D005
Nevertheless, it was clear to Jessica that Apple’s product range would get more complex in the next few
years. As part of her analysis of Apple’s stock, she
wanted to take a look at the company’s supply chain to
see if she could gain some insight into whether to continue with Apple as a key holding in BXE’s fund.
APPLE INC.
Apple Computer was founded on April 1, 1976, by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Mike
Markkula to
manufacture and distribute desktop computers. Both Jobs and Wozniak started tinkering with computing
devices in a time when enthusiasts who wanted a fully functioning computer had to assemble the parts by
themselves from individual components.
They struck a deal to sell an initial order of 50 units of their
“Apple I” computer to a local computer shop, and negotiated a 30
–
day credit term to pay for the parts,
effectively using their suppliers to fund the startup. After selling 200 units of the Ap
ple I, Wozniak
improved the design and showcased the Apple II in April 1977. Needing capital for the next phase of their
company, they brought on Markkula, a marketing manager at Intel who had retired after making millions
on his stock options. The company
became the largest private manufacturer of personal computers in the
United States and held its initial public offering in December 1980, thereby creating 300 millionaires.
Although it had a great product, the team at Apple soon found that IBM’s entry
into the market in 1981
would change the industry. By 1983, IBM’s personal computer (PC) became the best
–
selling computer in
the United States, heralding the beginning of its domination of the PC market. Even Apple’s popular 1984
Superbowl commercial,
6
com
bined with a heavy marketing campaign, was not enough to stop IBM’s
growth. Jobs left Apple in 1985. The company stumbled along for the next decade, and even though it
launched a line of Macintosh computers such as Quadra, Centris and Performa, it failed t
o gain traction in
the marketplace. Worse, its retail partners such as CompUSA and Sears did not devote resources to
displaying its products properly. Apple also suffered from a perception that its machines were more
expensive than comparable Windows PCs.
The company had poor operating controls and inventory
management, failing to properly estimate demand for its products and leading to both stock
–
outs and
excess inventory.
7
Apple squandered its goodwill from the 1980s Macintosh era
.
In 1996,
Microsoft wa
s one year into the
launch of Windows 95, which was turning out to be a very popular operating system.
Apple’s s
ales of
Macintosh computers fell dramatically and
Apple, in an attempt to reverse the trend,
began
licensing the
Mac operating sy
s
tems to third
–
party manufacturers. From 1993 to 1996, Apple went through three
CEOs: John Sculley, Michael Spindler and Gil Amelio.
8
In 1996,
Jobs returned to the company as CEO at a time when Apple’s future was in question.
Apple’s
market capitalization had fallen
from $11.6 billion in 1987 to $3.1 billion at the end of 1996. In 1996,
sales were $9.8 billion. In the early 1990s, Apple had begun licensing its Mac operating system to third
–
party manufacturers who would produce their own lines of devices powered by Mac
’s operating system.
Its licensing model was similar to that employed by Microsoft, allowing the operating system producer to
earn additional revenues by selling copies to generic computer manufacturers. With the objective of
reasserting control over its
product, o
ne of Jobs’ first decisions was to stop licensing Apple’s Mac
operating system. This resulted in a fall in computer unit market share from 10 per cent to 3 per cent.
Throughout this time,
Apple
continued to manufacture its own devices. In 1997,
Jobs announced a
partnership with Microsoft
that
would see the latter invest $150 million in Apple and release the dominant
office software
—
Microsoft Office
—
for Macintosh. At the time of the announcement, Apple’s market
capitalization
had continued to
fall to
$2.5 billion.
Authorized for use only in the course CPEX-506 at Athabasca University taught by Dr. Aris Solomon from Jan 20, 2016 to Jan 26, 2016.
Use outside these parameters is a copyright violation.

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Strategic Management
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In 1000 words, explain how strategic cost management can improve the strategic position of a firm and reduce costs?

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Strategic Business Plan for a New Venture

 

Start-up companies are more important in bringing products and services to market. In response to new technology, new and innovative businesses are taking over the markets of those older companies too slow to move with changing customer demands. Following this line of thought, for this task you are an administrative officer at the corporate level of an offshore organization and, you are assigned to develop a strategic business plan for a new venture in a sector of your choice. This Strategic Management Process should contain whatever is necessary to start-up a company from scratch, including the new company’s philosophy, mission, objectives, strategies and tactics, CSR, an analysis of the firm’s internal and external environment, organizational structure, leadership and, an one-page financial report justifying the firm’s survival for at least a year. You should justify your choices in terms of the chosen industry/sector on the grounds of innovation, competitive advantage and, company’s sustained growth and survival. Your budged is £150,000 (BP).

 

 

 

Assignment Specifics:

 

 

THIS IS AN INDIVIDUAL PIECE OF WORK

 

For the assignment’s requirements, if necessary contact local authorities for licensing and/ or legal issues.

 

Your report should be grounded in relevant theory – use the core and recommended reading – at the same time you should consider exploring a new/ innovative idea/venture.

 

 

2

 

 

Reference all sources appropriately, using the Harvard Referencing System.

 

 

The word count of your report is 5000 words (-/+10%).

 

The assignment counts 50% against your final grade.

 

 

DIRECTIONS AND HELP FOR YOUR ASSIGNMENT

 

 

You are expected to discuss a number of components that appear in the ‘Strategic Management Process’ in relation to an innovative idea/ new venture. However, in the same way that businesses vary in the processes they use to formulate and direct their strategic management activities, you may include different components in your strategic process. In other words, although the basic components of the models used to analyze strategic management operations are very similar, you may develop an eclectic strategic analysis. Despite the differences, nevertheless, your strategic analysis should be representative of the foremost thought in the strategic management area. Your strategic management process may include all, or most of the following key components (source: Pearce and Robinson, 2010):

 

 

Company Mission

 

 

Form a company mission for your new venture. The mission of a company is the unique purpose that sets it apart from other companies of its type and identifies the scope of its operations. In short, the company mission describes the company’s product, market, and technological areas of emphasis in a way that reflects the values and priorities of the strategic decision makers.

 

 

Internal Analysis

 

 

The company analyzes the quantity and quality of the company’s financial, human, and physical resources. It also assesses the strengths and weaknesses of the company’s management and organizational structure. You are expected to proceed to a similar analysis, using appropriate tools such as SWOT analysis.

 

 

External Environment

 

 

A firm’s external environment consists of all the conditions and forces that affect its strategic options and define its competitive situation. The strategic management model shows the external environment as three interactive segments: the remote, industry, and operating environments. You should present and discuss a similar analysis about the external environment of their new venture.

 

 

Strategic Analysis and Choice 3

 

 

 

Simultaneous assessment of the external environment and the company profile enables a firm to identify a range of possibly attractive opportunities. These opportunities are possible avenues for investment. However, you must be screened through the criterion of the company mission to generate a set of possible and desired opportunities. This screening process results in the selection of options from which a strategic choice is made. The process is meant to provide the combination of long-term objectives and generic and grand strategies that optimally position the firm in its external environment to achieve the company mission.

 

 

Long-Term Objectives

 

 

In your analysis, you are expected to emphasize the importance of long-term objectives. The results that an organization seeks over a multiyear period are its long-term objectives. Such objectives typically involve some or all of the following areas: profitability, return on investment, competitive position, technological leadership, productivity, employee relations, public responsibility, and employee management.

 

 

Generic and Grand Strategies

 

 

Many businesses explicitly and all implicitly adopt one or more generic strategies characterizing their competitive orientation in the marketplace. Low cost, differentiation, or focus strategies define the three fundamental options. Although every grand strategy is a unique package of long-term strategies, 15 basic approaches can be identified. You are expected to present and discuss the generic and grand strategy/ies that are suitable for their new venture, how are to be achieved, and their roles towards achieving the organization’s long-term objectives.

 

 

Short-term objectives

 

 

Short-term objectives are the desired results that a company seeks over a period of one year or less. They are logically consistent with the firm’s long-term objectives. Companies typically have many short-term objectives to provide guidance for their functional and operational activities. Thus there are, among others, short-term marketing activity, raw material usage, employee turnover, and sales objectives. You should discuss their short-term objectives, and their role in supporting generic and grand strategies.

 

 

Functional tactics

 

 

You are expected to suggest a number of functional tactics and how these short-term activities are used to achieve short-term objectives and establish competitive advantage. Within the general framework created by the business’s generic and grand strategies, each business function needs to undertake activities that help build a sustainable competitive advantage. These short term, limited scope plans are called tactics. A radio ad campaign, an inventory reduction, and an introductory loan rate ar examples of tactics. Functional tactics are detailed statements of the ‘means’ or activities that will be used to achieve short-term objectives. 4

 

 

 

Policies that empower action

 

 

Speed is a critical necessity for success is today’s competitive, global marketplace. One way to enhance speed and responsiveness is to force/allow decisions to be made whenever possible at the lower level in organizations. Policies are broad, precedent-setting decisions that guide or substitute for repetitive or time-sensitive managerial decision-making. Creating policies that guide and ‘preauthorize’ the thinking, decisions and actions of operating managers and their subordinates in implementing the business’s strategy is essential for establishing and controlling the ongoing operating process of the firm in a manner consistent with the firm’s strategic objective.

 

 

Strategic Control and Continuous Improvement

 

 

Strategic control is concerned with tracking a strategy as it is being implemented, detecting problems or changes it its underlying premises, and making necessary adjustments. In contrast to post-action control, strategic control seeks to guide action on behalf of the generic and grand strategies as they are taking place and when the end results are still several years away. The rapid, accelerating change of the global marketplace of the last 10 years has made continuous improvement another aspect of strategic control.

 

 

Conclusion

 

 

As it has been mentioned earlier, you are expected to use all or a number of components towards synthesizing a Strategic Management Process for their new venture. Each component is a central theme in different chapters of their core textbook. At the same time, students are expected to present a one-page analysis of their financial highlights, illustrating expected money inflow/outflow for a year.

 

 

 

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Question description

The “boiled frog” phenomenon is a business term ofsignificant to business in general and to strategic management in particular.Based on your research, describe how this phenomenon applies to business andparticularly to strategic management?Share a specific business /company examples, discuss the particularsituation where the boiled flog phenomenon occurred. What reason(s) do youattribute this particular phenomenon to? What could the business have done toavoid the effects of the phenomenon?

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