Logistics And Operations Management (A Case Study On Apple Inc) Essay

Question:

You are an operations manager for one of the companies or organizations listed below;

• Apple

• Halliburton

• BBC

• LIDL

• NHS

You are currently reviewing the product portfolio in other to introduce a new or modify the existing product /services.

Assignment task
.
Design or modify a product or service for your chosen organization you are to report on the following;

• An introduction to the product or service.

• Details of the important of process design on the product or service

• The overall aim and objectives of the products/services using process design.

• Stages of product /service to illustrate your design concept.

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

Your report should include relevant academic models to support your analysis.

Answer:

Introduction:

Apple is one of the innovative product manufacturing organizations in the world. The particular organization is famous for developing the software, hardware and associated digital services. Apple not only focuses on one dimension but also deliver unmatched user experience. Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne established the organization in 1976 (Apple.com. 2016). The unique range of products and services of the organization allow them to obtain high sales revenue in the business. The logistics and operation management of the organization involves a particular process including five steps such as inbound logistics, operations, outbound logistics, marketing and sales and services (Hitt, Ireland and Hoskisson 2012). Apple has accumulated revenue of US $233.715 billion as of 2015 (Amit and Zott 2012). In the AMR supply chain list, Apple has been positioned as one of the 25 companies in the world. In recent years, the organization has been excelling their operational and innovative level for enhancing their business opportunity in the most competitive market (Chan, Pun and Selden 2013).

Introduction to the product and services:

By delivering the unique range of products, the organization can enhance its business opportunities in an effective manner (Boudreau and Lakhani 2013.). Apple has both hardware and software products. In the hardware product category, the products are Macintosh, iPod, iPhone, and iPad. On the other hand, in the software product category, Apple produces Mac OS X, iTunes, Internet browsers and other software (Teece 2012). The current products of Apple can be segregated into four different sections including desktops, IPOD, Laptops and software (Apple.com. 2016). Apple produces three types of Desktops including Mac mini, iMac, and Mac Pro. On the other hand, the organization has been famous for its iPod devices such as IPod Classic, IPod Nano, IPod Shuffle and IPod touch. The popular laptops manufactured by the organization are Mac Book, Mac book Air, Mac Book Pro (Stark 2015). Under the software category, the organization produces ILife, ITune, and IWork. Among these all products category, the organization focuses on its primary product IPhone.

By discussing the services of the organization, it can be assessed that the company has a wide range of services for their global customers. Apple provides the services like Apple Pay, Apple store, online Apple Store, iTune Store, iOS App Store, Mac App Store, iBook Store, iCloud and Apple music. By delivering this unique range of services, the organization has collected adequate sales revenue from the global platform (Huang and Benyoucef 2013). The Apple watch is one of the unique products of the company that attracts a huge number of customers on the global platform. In recent days, the organization has been planning to launch a new product called IPhone 7. Apple provides excellent after selling services to the clients so that it can remain its brand loyalty in the global platform (Polaine, L?vlie and Reason 2013). Some of the apple service programs are Apple care Products, iOS Direct Service Program, Self-Serving Account Program, and Apple Authorized Service Provider program (Osterwalder et al. 2014).

The SWOT analysis of the Apple has been provided below:

Strengths

· Apple has strong brand image on the global platform.

· The organization provides enhanced customers service

· In recent years, Apple has shown the robust financial performance in the competitive market.

· The organization has been expanding adequate financial resources on the research and development. For example, Apple has invested $10 US billion dollar in the research and development in 2015 (Apple.com. 2016).

Weaknesses

· The high pricing system of the company has created challenges to enhance their customer’s base on the global platform.

· Apple uses the IOS operating system, which is less popular, compared to android OS.

· The product development time of the company is unknown. Consequently, customers are not aware of the releasing time of new model.

Opportunities

· Apple can utilize their huge financial resources on the product development and product designing

· Launch of I Phone 7 can be a beneficial aspects of the company

· There is a huge number of retail store available in the global platform

Threats

· Nowadays, the organization has been facing intense competition from other organizations called Samsung.

· The uncertainty in the global economic has created difficulties to the organization for executing business in an effective manner.

· The organization has been focusing on increasing I-Phone sales. Consequently, their pc sales has been decreasing

Process design on the product or service:

The product designing is an important process of research and development. Most of the global companies including Samsung, Apple, Sony, and HTC have been spending huge monetary resources in the research and development activities. Apple invests $10 billion on research and development process in 2015 (Apple.com. 2016). Product design is one of the important parts of creating a new product. Without including enhanced product design process, the organization is unable to capture a new market. Consequently, the organization may experience a huge loss in the business. Apple focuses on the product design for engaging a huge number of customers globally. Each product of the organization starts with the enhanced designing process. Jonathan Ive is a chief designer officer of Apple Inc. According to Jonathan Ive, the designing of the product has facilitated them to uphold uniqueness in the product (Brown and Wyatt 2015). For example, the sleek and stylish design of the MacBook Pro has attracted a huge number of customers globally. On the other hand, the recent mobile devices of Apple like iPhone 6, IPhone 6s have an attractive design. Moreover, the gold variant IPhone devices are nothing but incredible. The management of the organization provides high priority to the designers, as they are responsible for improving product design in an effective manner (Teehan and Kandlikar 2013). The design department of Apple produces artwork not only electronic device. Steve Jobs always preferred to work with those people, who have an artificial point of view. The designing process starts with the products, and it ends with the packaging. The designing department of the organization directly reports to the CEO (Lakhani et al. 2012). Before creating new products, Apple involves three primary processes including analysis, concept, and synthesis. In the analysis process, the designing team evaluates the research and data on the products so that they can be modified the product in an effective manner. On the next step, a new concept of the product is accumulated from customer’s feedback. By including new concept, the organization ensures the design that will meet customer’s expectation (Balmer 2012). For example, in the new product category, the design of smart watch has attracted a huge number of customers globally. On the other hand, most of the customers have provided feedback that the unique design of the I-Phone has helped them to enhance the sales revenue within the short time span. In the final step, synthesis of the designing takes place (Porter and Heppelmann 2014). In this segment, the organization includes the brainstorming ideas for developing the products.

Figure 1: Product design process

(Source: Chandrasegaran et al. 2013)

The aims and objectives of the products:

The aim of the process design is to ensure unique designing of the products that attracts a huge number of customers in the global platform. On the other hand, the objectives of the products designing are as follows:

To increase the product selling through its unique design

To increase the organization’s market share and to target the new market segment

To ensure complete product range in company’s portfolio

To meet the new requirements of the customers globally

By discussing the aims and objectives of the product, it can be assessed that the organization needs to focus on their product design department for engaging huge customer’s base in the market. In recent years, most of the electronics companies like Samsung, Sony have been focusing on their product design for enhancing their sales in the international market. In the competitive market, without having unique product design, Apple would not be able to achieve their desired goals and objectives of the business.

Stages of product or service to illustrate design concept:

Apple ensures the market expansion by delivering a unique range of products to the customers. Apple’s products have attracted a huge number of customers in the domestic and international market. Jonathan Ive, the chief designing officer of Apple, has been following the principle of the organization’s designing strategy. The particular rule same for new chief executive of the company named Timothy Cook (Apple.com. 2016). The founder of the organization, Steve Jobs said, “Quality is more important than quantity.” Apple’s designing process is being executed through three processes including ideas, product start-up created and prototyping (Hitt, Ireland and Hoskisson 2012). At the initial stage of product creation, the senior managers of the company express their interest in developing a new product. In this stage, the discussion of the new products and ideas are initially sketched in an effective manner. For example, the product development team needs to accumulate market feedback for developing new products for customers (Amit and Zott 2012). In the next step, the product start-up is created. After defining the product, an interior start up stage is executed that works unconnectedly for developing a new product. In the next stage, the prototyping is executed which is the beginning of the new product mockup. The designing team has the freedom to explore their individual ideas on the new product development (Chan, Pun and Selden 2013).

Figure 2: Design process

(Source: Teehan and Kandlikar 2013)

On the other hand, the Apple’s new product process is executed after selecting the prototyping. This particular process includes several processes such as follows:

Weekly executive team review

Peer design meetings

The production management

Testing of the product

Packaging

On every Monday, the executive team follows up the invention procedure within the business. The particular convention facilitates the organization to accomplish objectives by weekly reviewing process. The production procedure is less than two weeks from the supervisory pronouncement. In the next stage, the peer design meeting takes place in the process. The peer review meeting takes place between the design team and engineers, which focuses on improving the design ideas in an effective manner (Chan, Pun and Selden 2013). These meetings can be regular production meetings for bringing new creative ideas. After conducting the peer design meetings, the production management decides the final design of the products. In this phase, both engineer global supply manager (GSM) and product manager (EPM) are responsible for the production process. In this phase, the best possible products design is selected. Both of the GSM and EPM spend most of the time in China because the production is executed on that particular region. In the testing phase, the EPM and GSM take back the product to the Cupertino for obtaining the review and feedback from the executives (Teece 2012). Next, the product goes back to the China to apply to changes. The particular process can be repeated for enhancing the standard of the quality of the products. After the execution the testing phase of the product, the design department finalizes the particular design and started producing the models. In the final phase design, the wrapping of the invention is intended and tested on the latest prototypes.

Figure 3: Stages of product design in Apple Inc

(Source: Stark 2015)

Impact of performance objectives on the design:

The performance objectives are provided below:

To enhance 10% sales yearly by including the improved design of the product

To attract a huge number of clients globally by the unique range of product design

To target youth customers by its enhanced product design

The performance objective of Apple facilitated them in enhancing the sales revenue in the business. There are five different performance objectives including quality, speed, dependability, flexibility and cost. The design department of Apple has been following these particular performance objectives to deliver high quality products to the customers worldwide. Jonathan Ive, the chief design officer of the company believes that the organization is bound to uphold the quality of the design (Huang and Benyoucef 2013). The prime objective of the design team is to attract customer through attractive design and high quality performance. On the other hand, the quality indicates the durability of the product. For example, most of the products including I-Phone, IPad, MacBook have enhanced design that attracts a huge number of customers on the global platform (Polaine, L?vlie and Reason 2013). The speed performance objectives indicate the process where Apple can generate high sales in the market. Moreover, the particular process suggests how fast the organization can deliver its products to the customers. For example, the product design of the new I-Phone 6 and I-phone 6s facilitates the organization to attract all age customers in the market (Osterwalder et al. 2014). The improved design of the I-Phone influences a huge number of youth in the market to have the product experiences. The product development team of Apple has agreed with the fact that they would achieve 10%c increment on their yearly sales by maintain unique design of the products (Brown and Wyatt 2015). For example, there are several laptop brands available in the market such as Dell, Lenovo, and Asus etc. However, the striking design of Apple MacBook Pro has differentiated it from other available laptop brands in the market. On the contrary, the organization needs to focus on the designing cost of the product. Without maintaining affordable pricing system, the organization may not be able to target youth customers in the market (Teehan and Kandlikar 2013).

Conclusion:

It can be concluded that the product design of Apple plays a major role in the business. By bringing new design of the product into the market, Apple would be able to enhance its business opportunity in the global market. In this particular assignment, the process of the product design has been analyzed in an effective manner. By developing the performance objectives on the product design, Apple would be able to increase its sales revenue within the short span of time.

References:

Amit, R. and Zott, C., 2012. Creating value through business model innovation. MIT Sloan Management Review, 53(3), p.41.

Apple.com. 2016. Apple Info - Apple. [online] Available at: [Accessed 8 Aug. 2016].

Balmer, J.M., 2012. Corporate Brand Management Imperatives. California Management Review, 54(3), pp.6-33.

Boudreau, K.J. and Lakhani, K.R., 2013. Using the crowd as an innovation partner. Harvard business review, 91(4), pp.60-69.

Brown, T. and Wyatt, J., 2015. Design thinking for social innovation. Annual Review of Policy Design, 3(1), pp.1-10.

Chan, J., Pun, N. and Selden, M., 2013. The politics of global production: Apple, Foxconn and China's new working class. New Technology, Work and Employment, 28(2), pp.100-115.

Chandrasegaran, S.K., Ramani, K., Sriram, R.D., Horv?Th, I., Bernard, A., Harik, R.F. and Gao, W., 2013. The evolution, challenges, and future of knowledge representation in product design systems. Computer-aided design, 45(2), pp.204-228.

Hitt, M.A., Ireland, R.D. and Hoskisson, R.E., 2012. Strategic management cases: competitiveness and globalization. Cengage Learning.

Huang, Z. and Benyoucef, M., 2013. From e-commerce to social commerce: A close look at design features. Electronic Commerce Research and Applications, 12(4), pp.246-259.

Lakhani, K., Lifshitz-Assaf, H. and Tushman, M., 2012. Open innovation and organizational boundaries: the impact of task decomposition and knowledge distribution on the locus of innovation. Harvard Business School Technology & Operations Mgt. Unit Working Paper, (12-57), pp.12-057.

Osterwalder, A., Pigneur, Y., Bernarda, G. and Smith, A., 2014. Value proposition design: how to create products and services customers want. John Wiley & Sons.

Polaine, A., L?vlie, L. and Reason, B., 2013. Service design. From Implementation to Practice. New York: Reosenfeld Media.

Porter, M.E. and Heppelmann, J.E., 2014. How smart, connected products are transforming competition. Harvard Business Review, 92(11), pp.64-88.

Stark, J., 2015. Product lifecycle management. In Product Lifecycle Management (pp. 1-29). Springer International Publishing.

Teece, D.J., 2012. Dynamic capabilities: Routines versus entrepreneurial action. Journal of Management Studies, 49(8), pp.1395-1401.

Teehan, P. and Kandlikar, M., 2013. Comparing embodied greenhouse gas emissions of modern computing and electronics products. Environmental science & technology, 47(9), pp.3997-4003.

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