Apple: Logistics And Operations Management Essay

Questions:

1. Detail of the importance of process design on the product or service.
2. The overall aim and objectives of the product using process design.
3. Stages of the product to illustrate the design concept.
4. Analysis of the impact of the performance objectives on the design.

Answers:

Introduction

The chosen organization is Apple, and the product that is to be modified is the Apple Watch. The modification is to be made to increase its levels of water resistance. Apple Inc. had developed a smart watch and had named it as Apple Watch. It has been incorporated with fitness tracking and health-oriented capabilities with integration with iOS and the other products and services that are offered by Apple. It is available in four variations namely, Apple Watch Hermes, Apple Watch Sport, Apple Watch Edition and Apple Watch. It is possible to distinguish it in various combinations of cases and bands that are first party or third party interchangeable. The Watch depends on an iPhone that is connected wirelessly to it for the purpose of performing the default functions like texting or calling. It is consistent with the iPhone 5 or the later models that run iOS or later, by using Bluetooth. Tim Cook had announced it on the ninth day of September 2014, and it was made available for pre-order on April 10, 2015. The shipping had begun on the twenty-fourth day of April 2015. The main objective of the product was freeing people from their cell phones.

1. Detail of the importance of process design on the product or service

The Watch as mentioned earlier comes in four variations (Shen 2015). It comprises of two sizes of cases, one of the 38mm and another of 42mm (Taylor 2015). The straps of the watch can be changed. It also includes a ‘digital crown' that can be turned to scroll or to zoom and pressed to return to the home screen (McNulty 2015). It also has a touch screen featuring the technology of Force Touch that makes the watch sensitive to pressure and capable of differentiating between a press and a tap (Hanewich-Hollatz 2015). It has a button on its side that can be used for displaying the contacts list or for accessing Apple Pay. The battery of the device is rated for eighteen hours of mixed usage by Apple. Inductive charging is used as a method of charging the watch by using a cable that is identical to the cable of MagSafe (Ingber 2016). When the battery of the watch gets depleted to ten percent, the user is given alerts and is invited to enable a ‘power reserve’ mode that permits the user to go on reading the time for seventy two additional hours. On recharging, the watch gets reverted to its original mode.

The watch is explicitly not marketed by Apple as to be waterproof (Strawbridge 2013). It states that it can tolerate water splashes like hand washing and rain, but submersion is not recommended. But the results of external checking by The Iconfactory and the others have revealed the fact that the watch can function in conditions even when it is submerged like swimming (Reiss 2014). But the touch screen behaves erratically when it is submerged. In addition to it, the water usage might void the warranty, establishing that the damage had been caused by using the product outside the guidelines published by Apple, and the apps that take this advantage might not be allowed as per the policies of the App Store (Kamardeen 2015). The policies inhibit the publishing of those apps which instigate the users for using devices in ways which might bring damage to them.

Thus, it is extremely essential to modify the product to make it waterproof or to increase its levels of water resistance. It must be modified in a way that it can be submerged, and there would be no problems arising when used during swimming or related activities. There are people who like to swim and enjoy water sports. Also, people get drenched in the rain at times, and the watch is exposed to water. The modifications must be made especially by keeping them in mind. The change must have an impact on the policies of Apple too. The policies must be such that the watch can be used to be submerged in the water.

2. The overall aim and objectives of the product using process design

The overall aim and objectives of Apple Watch using process design are to develop the product in such a way so that it might be able to fulfill the below-mentioned purposes:

  • The watch might be able to be dropped or subjected to other effects.
  • The watch may be able to be submerged in water for a long period.
  • The activities like bathing and swimming would be able to be done with the watch.
  • The watch would be able to be exposed to water that is pressurized or water that is of high velocity like water skiing, jet skiing, wake boarding, showering, surfing, etc (Michael and Michael 2015).
  • The watch must be developed in a way that it would be able to be worn in a steam or sauna room (Kusume and Gridley 2013).

Presently, the watch has a rating of water resistance of IPX7 under the IEC standard 60529 (Thompson et al. 2012). The rating indicates that the product is capable of surviving in water for thirty minutes up to a meter (Riches 2015). But if it is immersed deeper than one meter in water or above thirty minutes, it could spell doom. Hence, it is very important to increase the current water resistance rating of the product so that it can withstand the water at deeper levels or for a longer period.

3. Stages of the product to illustrate the design concept

There are many stages of modification of the Apple Watch (Anderson 2015). The process has to be performed by a set of people like the industrial designers, the field experts like the prospective users, engineer, etc. The methods of modification should be focused on improving the water-resistant features by brainstorming various ideas, making mock prototypes, and then the developed product would be generated (Jiang 2014). After the completion of the product, the designers need to monitor and evaluate the product to check whether the watch has met the required expectations or if further changes are required to be carried out. The process has to follow three sections for modifying the watch, and they are discussed below:

  • Analysis
  1. The product designers must decide to commit to the project of modifying the watch and to find a solution to the problem. The resources need to be pooled to figure out how the work can be efficiently solved.
  2. Proper research is required to be done for the collection of specific materials that would be helpful in figuring out the solution to the above mentioned problem.
  • Concept

The main issue of the problem is to be defined, and the conditions of the areas of the problem would become the goals, and the constraints on the situation become the guidelines within which the fresh design should be made.

  • Synthesis
  1. The product designers must weigh various ideas and solutions for the problem. This must not involve any judgment or bias. It should be focused on building original ideas.
  2. By this time the product designers should zero in some of their ideas that can make the project of modifying the watch to be successful. They must design their strategies from those ideas.
  3. The prototypes should then be constructed, the strategies that are outlined in the above step are to be implemented and then the modified product would be developed.
  4. The product so modified is to be tested, and further improvements are to be performed. It may be the last stage of the product modification, but that does not indicate that the process is over. If the watch is not modified or altered to match its expectations, new ideas should be thought of and applied accordingly.

4. Analysis of the impact of the performance objectives on the design

The analysis of the effect of the performance objectives of the design can be explained in the below-mentioned points:

To critically understand the development and innovation of the product

The development and the innovation of the watch must be understood critically. The features that are to be added must be clear and specific so that the development can be made as expected. The loopholes in the previous model of the watch that was launched by Apple were not water proof and hence the users had faced serious issues when they had used it while swimming and bathing. The policy that was used for the watch did not permit the watch to be submerged. Hence, the watch needs to be modified in a way that it can be able to be used during bathing, swimming and other water activities. The specifications of the watch need to be changed so that the user can wear the watch and perform the above mentioned activities. It is very crucial to understand thus the changes that are required to be done for the modification of the product. If the required activities are not properly understood or if the features that are to be incorporated are not critically understood, the modifications cannot be carried out as planned. The purpose of the modification of the watch will not be successful, and the customers will not be able to solve the problems that the existing customers are facing with the watch. If the customers are satisfied with the new and improved product, it will make Apple more popular, and the customer base would be greatly increased.

To critically analyze the pricing strategies used by Apple

When the product is launched with the new features imbibed in it, the pricing strategies of Apple needs to be critically analyzed too. The premium pricing strategy and differentiation need to be used in this regard. The objective must not be to sell the watch at a low cost. It must be to sell a good watch that has all the features of a great phone that would give a very good experience to the users. High end should be focused in this. Profits should be prioritized over the market share. A halo effect should be created which would make the customers starve for the Apple watch. The modified product so offered by Apple needs to be such that it is different and unique. This would be to enhance the market demand for the watch. The watch should be seen as a “value for the money” that is borne by the customers. The customers should not be of the opinion that the cost that they are bearing for the product is too much for the product.

To critically understand the market segmentation

The market segmentation strategy that needs to be used is psychographic. This involves the values, activities, attitudes, opinions and interests. Emotions are to be focused and hence this strategy of branding needs to be used. The brand personality of Apple is all about imagination, innovation, lifestyle, hopes, passion, and liberty regained people-to-people and aspirations with the help of technology (Aaker and Joachimsthaler 2012). It is also about simplicity and the obliteration of complexity from the lives of the people. The product so offered must be people oriented. By the use of the psychographic segmentation, the motive, personality, lifestyle and the geodemographic segmentation is to suit the high and middle-class consumers. The sole reason behind it is that money is required to buy the watch. For the people belonging to the high class and middle class, the psychographic segmentation complements each other since they aim at suiting to the needs of all the people in these classes. Demographic segmentation according to the gender must be used too. This is because the product would be suitable for every gender. The females would like the product due to its design and use and the males with the features that the watch offers. Apple comes in according to the incomes of the middle and high-income people and is used in all the ethnic groups.

Figure 1: Market Segmentation of Apple

Source: (Jefferson and George 2014)

References

Aaker, D.A. and Joachimsthaler, E., 2012. Brand leadership. Simon and Schuster.

Anderson, J.M., 2015. From Algorithm to Animation. Atlanta.

Hanewich-Hollatz, A., 2015. COMBINING AUXILIARY FINGER INPUT WITH THUMB TOUCH FOR SINGLE-HANDED MOBILE DEVICE INTERFACES.

Ingber, J., 2016. An Introduction to the Apple Watch.

Jefferson, D.A. and George, B.P., 2014. Creative market segmentation process, global positioning, global product design and successful global brands.

Jiang, H., 2014. Smart watch. U.S. Patent Application 14/781,543.

Kamardeen, I., 2015. Fall Prevention Through Design in Construction: The Benefits of Mobile Computing. Routledge.

Kusume, Y. and Gridley, N., 2013. Commitment 12: Create One Vocabulary for the Whole Organization. In Brand Romance (pp. 159-168). Palgrave Macmillan UK.

McNulty, S., 2015. The Apple Watch Book: Master the most personal computer in your life. Peachpit Press.

Michael, K. and Michael, M.G., 2015. The Apple Watch heralds a brave new world of digital living.

Reiss, M., 2014. Apple. Reaktion Books.

Riches, G., 2015. Apple watch for developers.

Shen, Y., 2015. Forecasting Twitter topic popularity using bass diffusion model and machine learning (Doctoral dissertation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology).

Strawbridge, D., 2013. It's Not Easy Being Green: One Family's Journey Towards Eco-friendly Living. Random House.

Taylor, A., 2015. Get Fit with Apple Watch: Using the Apple Watch for Health and Fitness. Apress.

Thompson, T., Colliou, O., Duck, R. and Behzadi, Y., Proteus Digital Health, Inc., 2012. Wearable Personal Body Associated Device with Various Physical Configurations. U.S. Patent Application 14/004,399.

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