The 2008 Harvard Business Case Study on Apple Inc, describes the very popular corporation with 24 billion in revenue as of 2007 and how the company has had some problems yet sustainability over the years. The status of the company was examined in detail by the article which revealed a number of strategic moves under the leadership of several CEO’s in marketing, not only the PC industry, but also the consumer electronics industry. This will be discussed in the first five sections of the Process of Strategic Management.
The final section will offer recommendations of some difficulties Apple, Inc faced as it made successful changes (Slind & Yoffie, 2008). I. Mission Statement The very first stage of the strategic management process is for the corporation to evaluate its mission statement. The purpose of this mission statement is to define in simple terms the organizations reason and purpose for its existence. This can be very complex to construct because it requires one to have a clear and concise understanding and vision of the organization and ultimately understand why the company exists at all (Mello, 2006/2011).
Apple Inc’s Mission Statement was to bring easy to use computers to the market and envisioned changing the world through technology (Slind & Yoffie, 2008). II. Analysis of Environment The second stage of the Process of Strategic Management is to analyze the external environment in which an organization operates parallel with the Industrial Organization model (I/O) of Strategic Management whereas decision makers analyze the various components of the external organization, identifying the key players, and are aware of the opportunities and challenges with the environment. This involves analyzing egulations, chief competitors, economic trends, market trends, technological sector, to name a few (Mello, 2006/2011) Apple Inc. ’s identified their key players in the PC market are Dell, HP, IBM, Gateway, and Microsoft. At times they partnered with a few of their competitors such as was the case with IBM and Microsoft. Apple Inc. made various changes in the role of CEO and management on several occasions through the years in efforts to increase revenue. They began to lose their competitive edge and had several missed opportunities, which apparently led to tremendous decrease in profits.
Starting with Wozniak and Jobs in leadership to Scully, Spindler and Amelio, and back to Jobs, Apple looked within its internal organization to determine how they can better the product line and increase profits again by starting with individual leadership and new innovative ways of thinking. Apple Inc began to open their core markets to education and desktop publishing, cut costs in the workforce and reduce R&D. They created new servers and kept costs low. Unfortunately, the profits continued to decline (Mello, 2006/2011).
III. Organization Self Assessment. The third stage of Strategic Management is to assess the internal environment of the company, which is ultimately where decision makers find ways to capitalize their strengths and eradicate and improved weaknesses after careful consideration of what their primary strengths and weaknesses are (Slind & Yoffie, 2008). Apple, Inc. exemplified this stage of the Strategic Management Process well. Again, the management and board reorganized on several occasions to find the leadership that would be the most innovative yet increase revenue and simply make changes where eeded. They assessed the changes that needed to be made including their product being cloned repeatedly, and moved accordingly in efforts to better the corporation. In 1997, they put Jobs back into CEO position where he quickly reaffirmed and developed core products by reducing the product line from 15 products to 3. He also made the decision to increase the price of the PC and market it as a premium product and therefore, should have a premium price. Jobs outsourced the Mac products to Taiwanese, and worked on efforts to improve Apple’s image, and so much more.
IV. Establishing Goals and Objectives At this stage (stage four), an organization is prepared to establish its goals and objectives for the next performance. Not only should these goals be measurable and specific but they should also determine how performance toward these goals will be evaluated and measured by the decision-makers. These goals should be flexible as well (Mello, 2006/2011). Apple Inc. ’s main objective was to continue to grow and be the technology industry leader.
This is evident based on the financial growth as well as product growth as well. For example, by getting back to the core products, opening up additional stores in other countries, as well as developing the IMac, I-Pod, I-Tunes, etc lended to the vision and goals. The documented revenue and profit increase in the years following Jobs return can attest to how the goals were set, the future was considered, and the use of flexibility was met. Apple Inc. made changes throughout the years to accommodate their goals and objectives.
V. Setting Strategy The last area of the Process of Strategic Management is when an organization determines its strategy. How will the organization achieve its goals, the course of action that will be taken, and how it will most likely compete and operate (Mello, 2006/2011). Where Apple Inc. currently stands, I believe, they have in fact found a sustainable strategy over the years. Basically, they continued to improve the CEO’s until they attained the level of growth and success that they desired.
This included growth of new products, new stores, partnering with different companies, and improving the current product. Apple has also maintained its strategy for marketing for education and an easy to use computer. Recommendations which will increase revenue, positive brand image, continue innovativeness, continue marketability and competitive edge are as follows: -Apple Inc should create further marketing compatibility -Apple Inc should continue to market to educators -Apple Inc should either open more stores or franchise -Apple Inc should produce more non-PC product lines