Academic writing by MurrayEriccson




Company Background:
Apple was established on 1st of April 1976 by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne and it is based American Corporation has its base in California and Cupertino. With the time Apple has brought significant reputation in the market and today it is known as giant company over the world for manufacturing and designing smart electronic products, software, and hardware and consumer electronics devices.

Overview of the company:
Iphone, ipad, Mac, ipod, Apple TV are the highest demanding devices with the software applications, there operating system includes iOS, Mac OS and offer various accessory and services like iCloud. The company sold its product worldwide through its online store, retail stores in sisteen countries and direct sale force (Apple, Inc., 2011).


The company is continuing its investment in programs which enhance sale of the reseller. The company has approximately 72, 800 employees working full time for the company in sisteen countries and additional part time employees and contractors make the counting to 2,900 working in 10 countries. Company required specialist employee for different departments that are for development, design department, technical department, Analysis department, in manufacturing department, financial, promotion and so on.

Company changes from establishment till now:
The company was started in 1976 by Steve Job’s by that time he has 7000 employees, it seems vast but the founder does not stop there. He increases the permanent employee up to 46, 500 in just five years and the company’s business become so powerful. Due to number of employees working the company produces a lot of work. It also creates lot of wealth for the lot of people consumed Apple Company’s services and products. The company success does not stop there, Job think about the people who support Apple product, the companies that created programs for Apple devices (Jessica, 2013).

Apple company also toped in its app download from app stores, Apple stores has over 425, 000 apps available not only this Google also shows that searches for the ipad sleeves are reached towards 60,000 per month. Also in 2011, Random House made catalog books and they made it available in only Apple iBookstore (Apple, Inc., 2011).

I think these example are alone enough to show how this company boost its success from the year of staring to current business environment. The innovation have ripple effects not only for Apple but also for those who work for the company, for those who developed apps for Apple produces and those companies also growing and fulfilling their own entrepreneurial dreams.

Understand the Process of Strategic Planning
1.1: Explain Strategic Contexts and Terminology

According to Johnson et al (2011), strategy refers to the “the long-term direction of an organization”. Therefore, strategic planning has an element of long-term direction through which an organization hopes to achieve its goals. For instance, Apple Inc. has established several practical measures categorized under three main aims and objectives. These aims are innovation, operational excellence, and customer relationship management (CRM). The practical measures of the company can be identified as the desired long-term direction of the company.

Strategic planning of any company has five main contexts or components. These are the company’s missions, visions, objectives, goals, core competencies. These components are often identified and written in clear statements that define the company’s ideals and desired direction within a specified time frame.

Mission refers to the organization’s role or purpose, which acts as a guiding principle in the company’s interaction with its stakeholders. Mission statements describe what the company does, its stakeholders, and the different things that make the organization unique. This is basically a justification of the organization’s existence. Ideal mission statements are clear and brief, but manage to capture the organization’s essence in the few words described. It shows the focus of the business. For instance, Apple’s mission statement is to “Deliver value to our customers by providing the most reliable and efficient solutions through information technology”.

Vision, on the other hand, refers to the direction in which the firm intends to be in the future, or the point at which the organization will be best suited to serve the needs of its stakeholders. This incorporates a shared understanding of the purpose and nature of the business and uses this understanding to drive the organization towards a far much greater purpose. The main purpose of a vision statement is to inspire the employees and management of the organization to work together collaboratively in driving the organization’s agenda and accomplish the company’s desired goals. A good vision statement is one that is brief, powerful, and simple. It must also have an emotional impact because its main objective is to inspire people towards achieving greater good for the business.

Objectives of an organization describe its desired outcomes for its activities. The objectives of an organization are much more specific, measureable, attainable, realistic, and time bound. For instance, Apple’s top-level objective is “to achieve profitable growth.

Goals refer to organizational targets that must be achieved within a specific time. Without elaborate goals or aims, one cannot live happily and with the feeling of satisfaction. Goals can be one or more objectives that need to be achieved by specific time. Goals make one to get clarification to do a specific task choosing from various options what one thinks of about his future. The goals explain the way in which the organization is going to achieve its mission. Organizational goals and aims can be identified as similar concepts. There are three main types of organizational goals; uniform goals, performance based goals, and potential based goals.

Uniform goals refer to a single goal is set for all departments within the Company. Every department is expected to meet the same goal. In performance goals, every organization is given a goal that reflects an increment on last year’s performance. On the other hand, potential based goals are the criteria used to assess organization’s potential.

Core competencies differentiate the organization from its competitors. Skills, resources, and activities which cannot be imitated by other competitors can be identified as core competencies of the organization. Apple has many core competencies and it has led to achieve the competitive advantage through available resources.         

1.2: Review the Issues Involved in Strategic Planning

Sadler (2003) defines strategic planning as the form of systematized, step-by-step, procedure to develop an organization’s strategy. This strategic planning involves with many issues and Sadler (2003) has identified five (5) major issues which involve with strategic planning namely, confusing strategy with the strategic plan, detachment from reality, paralysis by analysis, lack of ownership, and dampening of innovation. 

There can be confusion with the existing strategies at the stage of strategic planning. Managers may feel that the strategic planning is the planning of same strategies which they are practicing now. Also detachment from reality is also another issue. Sadler (2003) argues that strategic planning is an intellectual process and it damages to the reality of operation. This basically happens because of the lack of involvement for the strategic planning of employees. The next issue is paralysis by analysis. This argues that strategic planning can be over-detailed because of the extensive analysis. Lack of ownership is another problem. Most of strategies are planned by the corporate planning department or by the senior management. Thus, it can be argued that strategic planning does not have a wide spread of ownership within the organization. The final argument is that strategic planning is dampening of innovation. This mainly happen since strategic planning introduces many strict controls to the organization and it limits the flexibility of the organization (Sadler, 2003).

1.3 Different Planning Techniques for Organizations

There are several techniques or strategies that organizations can use for their strategic planning purposes. The two most common strategic planning techniques are BCM Matrix Model technique and the SPACE Analysis Matrix model technique.

The BCM matrix model technique is founded on the product life cycle theory, which helps organizations determine the priorities that should be given to different products in the company‘s portfolio of a business unit. In order to be sustainable in the long term, a business ought to have a portfolio of products containing both high products that need more cash inputs as well as other low growth products that generate more cash for the business. Therefore, the BCG matrix model has two dimensions for business planning purposes. These are market growth and market share dimensions. The main objective for tis classification is that the bigger the market share for a product or the more the product grows in the market the better it is for the business.

The BCG matrix has four categories for placing products of a company in relation to their market share and market growth aspects. These are stars, cash cows, dogs, and question marks. Products in the star category have higher growth and higher market share. These products consume huge amounts of cash, but also generate more cash because they command a bigger share of the market. Products in the cash cow section, on the other hand, have low growth and a bigger market share. These products generate a lot of profits for the business, but since they have a lower growth, the business should put in les investment. The third category, the dogs, consists of products with low growth and low market share. The business needs to minimize or avoid this kind of products because they are not as productive for the long term business development plan. Finally, products in the question mark category have higher growth with a low market share. This implies that these products have a higher demand in the market, but they bring in little returns for the business. If there is no change in the market share for these products, they may end up consuming a lot of investment, and end up as products in the dog segment. 

Strategic Planning
To Formulate a New Strategy
2.1 Produce an Organizational Audit For a Given Organization
SWOT analysis method is one of the most used strategies in analyzing the environment of an organization. It refers to the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that characterize and organization’s internal and external environment. In developing an organizational audit for Apple Inc. the SWOT technique will be the most appropriate because it helps to paint a clear [picture of the factors that affect the organization, both internally and externally (Thompson, 2001).


The strengths of Apple can be listed out as follows

Apple is a global Company with a huge client base serving customers in over 200 countries around the world. This huge customer base give the company a bigger market share when compared to its competitors.
Apple is considered the most reliable manufacturer of smart phones, personal computers, and other consumer electronics. This gives the company adequate strength in the market because it already has the customer trust and a good brand and image among consumers
The company uses sophisticated technology. This ensures it manufactures its products in the best environment, reducing the production costs and time. This gives the company sufficient strength because it facilitates production of high quality products.
Apple has a committed and a highly trained staff. This gives the company enough strength in its human resource to implement its policies.

Being a well-established organization and as an organization, which maintains a healthy organizational environment, well planned strategies, missions, visions and objectives, Apple can be considered as an organization with a minimum amount of weaknesses. However, some of the notable weaknesses of the company include;

High prices for its products lock out a huge portion of the market who cannot afford the company’s products. This makes the company’s products out of reach for most customers, hence a weakness it its marketing strategy.
The company’s products are incompatible with other devices. This makes it difficult for clients to make a switch from their current devices to adopt Apple products. This also weakens the company’s marketing strategy since it makes it difficult for the customers to integrate Apple’s products with other electronics they use.

The company’s global operations open up more opportunities for further expansion in to other markets around the globe.
The demand for smartphones, iPhones, 

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