Apple is a 40-year-old international technology company situated in Cupertino, California whose focus is the design, development and sale of consumer electronics, online services as well as computer software. Founded in 1976 by Steve Jobs, the firm is the largest information technology corporation by revenue. As such, it is divided into different product lines with varying structural architecture although most of them are interlinked due to their complementary role in enhancing the living standards of consumers. The Mac series of computers is a long running product that focuses on providing clients with a great PC experience and on which various accessories are incorporated (Scott, 2008). In most instances, the models are designed with ultra-thin interfaces that are readily portable thereby simplifying their usage. Production of the iPod is another catalogue of devices whose objective is the provision of digital music players in differing variants. It is however noteworthy that emphasis is laid on the amount of storage space available in order to grant the user the luxury of having a large archive of favorite songs. Its flagship product is the manufacture of iPhones, which run on several Apple applications. Such smartphones are modeled on different camera sizes, faster internet speeds, voice control, video recording capabilities, LED screen displays and Wi-Fi connectivity. Integration of its iOS software is visible in the production of the iPad as well, which is a superior tablet containing numerous multimedia products such as music, ebooks, video games, phone capabilities and photos. 2014 witnessed the introduction of the Apple Watch while an Apple TV line has also been launched. Whereas the company specializes in the production of its OSX operating system too, an Apple SIM is also available. Predictions are rife that the corporation is focused on diversifying into the electric vehicle sector by 2020.
Numerous external factors abound that could affect the company’s success. For example, there is growing disquiet within the industry about the fate of foreign employees whose harsh working conditions pose a danger to their lives thereby endangering the production of Apple devices. Workers in Suzhou Industrial Park received dangerous exposure to hexane, a component vital in the cleaning of iPad screens. It is thus evident that the poor labor practices at some of its plants threaten the firm’s operations due to the huge union influence in these countries. In most instances, such charges may result in the imposition of huge monetary fines or even the resignation of its staff (Dormehl, 2012). The occurrence of these outcomes would ruin the corporation’s reputation while draining its skilled personnel capacity hence affecting its revenue streams. Environmentalists have also increased their pressure on Apple Inc. due to its unfavorable waste management routines. The origin of its source materials for the various devices is under scrutiny thus fueling speculation of the company’s contribution to pollution. At a time when most stakeholders are concerned with environmental preservation, such intense evaluation of its activities is bound to generate negative publicity as well thereby leading to costly damage limitation mechanisms. It could also result in the discontinuation of some of its operations, an outcome that would cripple its level of production. As such, this would deplete its market share for the various consumer products with negative connotations for its stakeholders.
Apple employees have spent many years at the business, understand the value of their productivity and efficiency in raising revenue streams. Their competency and dedication to the firm is vital in enhancing its operations hence making them indispensable to its financial performance. In fact, their work ethic is essential to its growth therefore its performance is directly linked to the workers’ resolve and belief in its vision. Their quest to improve the systems as well as interactions with the loyal Apple customers would substantially increase sales volumes while any reversal would negate its target projections. As ambassadors of the corporation, their knowledge is integral in raising profit margins. Business partners/investors have the ability to contribute to the firm’s growth especially as it ventures into futuristic technology. Their marketplace knowledge as well high liquidity levels are important avenues of maintaining consumer trust in the brand thereby enabling it to engage in capital-intensive activities that are desirable to the entity. Such capital infusion would give Apple an edge over its competitors.
Complementary business partners such as suppliers of the various machine parts are an integral part of the Apple operation because the order and delivery of such components accelerates the production process. These entities are well informed about the procedures that are needed in order to make the transfer of these parts effective and successful. Reducing lead times by them would therefore have a positive impact on inventory control by hastening the assembly and distribution of Apple products to their stores for sale. The company enjoys unrivalled loyalty from its customers hence its obsession with meting timelines without compromising their quality. It is thus probable that their adoption of a lean approach in their engagement with the business would lead to faster delivery of the products thereby satisfying consumers who in turn would be frequent purchasers.
Apple customers are renowned for their fervent support of its products due to their varied preferences and features. They are spread globally and are committed to the initiatives of the firm because of the bond they have cultivated through interactions with the different devices. As such, their purchasing power is high and the corporation tries to always meet their expectations. Whereas this notion is favorable to the company’s prospects, it should not be a license for them to have laxity in their operations (Sunderland, 2011). The huge clientele is the reason that it makes such huge profits hence a surge in consumers would translate to an increase in revenue. A decline in these numbers would however affect its bottom line due to the reduction in volumes. Communities around Apple outlets as well as the company offices are also vital in influencing its trajectory due to their constant presence. Different locations have varying beliefs and values while Apple incorporates its own culture within the workplace. A mesh of these diverse routines based on the pulse of the communities would be beneficial to its revenue generation because of the bond created between the two entities. In fact, such close affiliation is important in building trust, which is reciprocated by greater sales.
Apple is a major
multinational firm, which happens to have fully outsourced the manufacture of
its components. China
is the second leading market for the company and it acts as a major producer of
these parts. In this country, there is a higher propensity for cheap labor due
to the large population and rising income inequality levels. It is however a
universal practice for businesses to be involved in corporate social
responsibility especially by observing legal and moral labor practices. The
firm has thus violated this requirement for some time now especially in its
overseas manufacturing plants such as those located in Foxconn. It is widely
believed and has been established that these factories employ child laborers
contrary to the provisions of the low. In most instances, these young workers
are exploited through overworking in squalid conditions with poor heating and
lighting systems. While acknowledging the existence of such problems, the
company attempted to defend itself by feigning non-liability due to their lack
of direct ownership of these franchises. It is however inexcusable for the
existence of such unfair labor practices because even the employees are paid
low wages whilst being coerced to work overtime, against even Chinese laws. The
same factories have also been known to have minimal safety gear for offering
protection against toxic fumes emanating from the manufacturing lines. In fact,
two iPad factory explosions have been reported thereby underscoring the danger
that the workforce faces (Green, 2016). In Wintek, such leaks led to the
hospitalization of many members of staff while in others, there has been an
increase in suicide rates amongst employees. In all these instances, the poor
welfare of workers has been highlighted as the main cause of such problems
thereby exposing Apple as an uncaring corporation. Whereas the firm commits
itself to adhering to the set labor regulations as well as offering the best
workplace environment for its personnel, such incidents highlight its
insincerity thereby enhancing the resolve of major stakeholders, such as the
Chinese government, of intervening in its operations to enforce compliance.
Dormehl, L. (2012). Different Thinking: Steve Jobs, the Counterculture and how Apple Inc. took over the world. London: Virgin.
Green, S. (2016). Apple.
Scott, M. (2008). Apple, inc. Westport: Greenwood.
Sutherland, A. (2011). Apple. London: Wayland.