Apple Inc. products have capture share of the heart and mind of most consumers. There is word that people who hate Mac have not really had a moment of using their products to be able to discredit it. For example, when compared to Sony which has had a strategy of high price high end quality, Apple Inc can offer a very high end quality at a considerable cheaper price. The flow of the audit report of Apple Inc. The Baldrige Criteria for performance is an assessment plan applicable to firms on their strategic goals as they endeavour to delivery customer requirements in a competitive manner.
This criteria helps organizations like Apple Inc. to improve there product and service deliveries under the best business environment and industry practice. The criteria allow organizations to align their resources in a certain manner that will not only make economic sense but lead to their long time sustainability. The Baldrige Criteria for performance is used to assess the organizational operations then a scoring system is invoked at the end. Finally recommendations for improvement are passed with note of issue, what need to be done, time frame and responsibility. (Baldrige National Quality Program 1-57).
1. 0 Leadership
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The current evaluation of Apple Inc. leadership is excellent. They have good vision of the organizations values and performance targets while focusing on their product consumers and suppliers. The consumers have been empowered to choose the products they prefer and when to seal purchase deals without coercion. The products are highly innovative and diversified. The work force and customer have a wonderful learning experience as they live alongside the firm’s goals. Apple Inc. has a good approach of addressing the public and the stakeholders contributions.
1. 1 Organizational Leadership
Apple Inc. set organizational values by focus group meeting and deliberations on the next stages of development. The values are communicated to the various workforce teams and individuals with clear definitions of the performance expectations such as application and design, quality and quantity of product. Apple Inc. follows up by deploying the organizational values by use of a master action plan. The deployment is done alongside the organizational structure with adequate consultation on step by step process of execution.
The employees receive the communications by regular meeting, trainings and other media such as e-mails and e-circulars that are available on their e-books. (Baldrige National Quality Program 2) Senior leaders at Apple Inc. establish and reinforce a conducive working environment by approach of empowering the staff to take part in the fun of innovation so that they can be proud of the end product that satisfies the customers. Through focus group, they encourage the staff to give their opinion that bolsters a learning environment and supportive ideas.
Senior leaders at Apple Inc set directions and future opportunities by scanning the current market situation and carrying out consumer preference and expectation research and survey. The feedback is used to shape the new opportunities for Apple Inc. (Baldrige National Quality Program 2) Senior leadership review the Apple Inc performance and capabilities by learning from the quarterly and annual financial reports to be informed of the viability, competitive status and opportunities in the firm. The outcomes of the Apple Inc. financial report are compared to the quarterly set target and these are changed in accordance with new firm needs.
The key performance measures are positive increase in net revenues, net product sales, and reduced customer complains, and market dominance index and surveys. (Baldrige National Quality Program 2)
The Apple Inc. management translates the latest performance reviews into priorities by deploying strategies that act as either corrective actions for failures or innovative actions where there are performance review gaps. The key recent review findings at Apple Inc. are an increase in net revenue. This has a priority for improvement as the technology market is not yet saturated.
The product review findings for Apple Inc. show that many customers are happy with the iPhone applications and utilities as well as the low costs of down loads. This has opportunities for improvement by doubling the current number of available downloads in multiple world languages so that more revenue can be realized. (Baldrige National Quality Program 2) The increase in revenue is deployed by rolling out more unit products and diversifying the markets geographically to reap economies of scale. The opportunites for innovation are being deployed by new product development and active software and hardware research.
Through active media advertisement and campaigns, the new opportunities are communicated to the suppliers and customers for a successful organizational strategic alignment. (Baldrige National Quality Program 2) The senior leaders at Apple Inc. use the general organizational review and workforce findings to prioritize and align input resources such as qualified workforce, financing suppliers and marketing. This is translated at all levels of the organizations. (Baldrige National Quality Program 2)
1. 2 Pubic Responsibility and Citizenship
Apple Inc.responds to public concerns and adheres to good practices by embracing recycling and conservation principles that promote good citizenship. Apple Inc. is conscious of the fact that some of their hardware products and operations have the potential of causing pollution in the environment. This is likely to have a negative impact on the society. As part of their wider corporate social responsibility, they encourage recycling of product parts to avoid pollution and save on production material costs. They are also adhering to legislation about waves and noise pollution standards so that the health and safety of the all stake holders can be upheld. (Baldrige National Quality Program 3)
Apple Inc. is an ardent practitioner of the OSHA regulations that ensure the workforce’s welfare is responsibly cared for. Apple Inc. adheres to Employee Equal Opportunities principles. Apple Inc. has a supplier code of conduct. Apple Inc. follows the ADA regulations that prescribe what employees need to do to avoid a potential discrimination suit. Above all Apple Inc. has maximum respect for the US Title VII and actions the law sufficiently. Apple is aware of potential risks associated with non conformance to operations regulations, product health and safety and services under deliveries.
These include but are not limited to legal suits, fines, plant closures, loss of market and general public goodwill. (Baldrige National Quality Program 3) Apple Inc. carries out internal and second party surveys to gather public concern information and opinion on existing products, services and operations. This feedback is used for future research and development in a proactive approach. Apple Inc. is a signatory of ethical business initiatives which is also reflected in the mission, and core values in relations to all the stakeholders. (Baldrige National Quality Program 3) Apple Inc.
workforce participates in many corporate social responsibility initiatives. The CSR audits for Apple Inc. are carried out by Calvert Social Index. The Apple Inc. areas for involvement and concentration in the CSR are human rights, product safety, workforce relations management, environmental matters, society relations and hazardous product assessments. Current success and results of Apple Inc. Leadership operations and strategic management is evident in their consistent rise in revenues, increase sales, achievement in regulation standards and general consumer satisfaction with their products and services. (Baldrige National Quality Program 3) Also read Apple corporate governance issues
2. 0 Strategic planning
Current Apple Inc. performance in strategic planning is good to excellent. Apple Inc. has a sound and sustainable strategic planning process which is coordinated from objectives, actions and responsibility assigned to the personnel. The strategy execution is also very systematic and well monitored.
2. 1 Strategy Development
The Apple Inc. organizational development strategy is keen on good performance and maintaining positive market leadership. The process is planned from an approach of the customer needs captured via research and surveys to product design and development then rolled out.
The customers are the key participants in the needed product survey; the Apple Inc. professionals are the key participants in the product design and development while the marketing team is the key participants in the role out phase. (Baldrige National Quality Program 4) The Apple Inc. customer needs such as iPhone are generated from proactive surveys while the expectations such as ability to integrate product with other software are generated from product / service assessments. (Baldrige National Quality Program 4)
The Apple Inc competitive environment and technology capabilities are considered by scanning the existing market using a SWOT analysis. The competitive environment is also scanned by use of the Porters Five forces model. The Apple Inc financial, societal and potential risks are scanned from the Stocks exchange market, which is NASDAQ where apple trades as APPL: NASDAQ and from the quarterly and annual financial reports. The Apple Inc. human resources and capability needs are scanned from internal appraisal by the HRM and the data gathered is analyzed individually or team wise where applicable. The Apple Inc.
operational capabilities and needs plus the potentials are scanned by internal operations audits to gather data departmentally, individually, regionally or organizational wide. The Apple Inc. suppliers and partners’ needs and potentials are assessed by supplier audits alongside the supplier code of conduct. (Baldrige National Quality Program 4)
Apple Inc. has various key strategic objectives such as customization of iPhones to accommodate more applications within the next 1 year. The options available are collaboration with other key industry players for compatibility efforts or in-house research and development. Read about Apple internal growth
The latter option would guarantee the best performance. Apple Inc. has got objectives of understanding the current iPhone market deeper so that they can maintain the leading market share. The option they have is to collaborate deeper with the customers on their needs and expectations. Apple Inc. has the objective of rapidly responding to the new customer requirements. The option they adopt lean management strategies from research to product roll out. (Baldrige National Quality Program 4) Apple Inc. has the objective priority of leveraging their stock market assets at NASAQ to remain most attractive and profitable.
The option they have is to keep high standards of products and services so that the investor confidence and general publicity remains positive including in the media. The other option they have is to have excellent enterprise management strategies. Finally, Apple Inc. has the objective of being the leading firm in Information technology by means and ends. The option they have is to lead in innovation. (Baldrige National Quality Program 4)
2. 2 Strategy Deployment
Apple Inc. has an elaborate strategy deployment process.
They have a master deployment plan that is tied to specific performance measures in a forecasted approach. The development of the action plan starts with communication from the organization leadership though meeting, e-mails and other circular modes. At these meeting the strategic objectives are highlighted for priority purposes on resources. Baldrige National Quality Program 4) Apple Inc. has short term market actions of keeping leadership of share of the mind to keep the sales high. The market changes will also include expansion of geographical scope and penetration with products by aggressive marketing. Apple Inc.
has long term product action plans of increasing the number of applications and downloads that customers can access with the existing products. The key change here will be advanced and innovative software application. (Baldrige National Quality Program 5) Apple Inc. key workforce requirements are re-training in technical know-how such as development in software applications and increase in workforce capacity to embrace expansion for market opportunities arising from economies of scale. Apple Inc. allocates resources such as advance payments to supplier based on operations priority and on scarcity of the resources.
The KPIs used by Apple Inc. to evaluate progress following action plan are timeliness, cost levels, quality standards and customer and supplier feedbacks. (Baldrige National Quality Program 5) Apple Inc. communicates and implements their strategic goals and objectives from top to bottom of the workforce. The senior management passes the action plan to the lower management then to lower staff as they monitor the performance. The performance measure indicators are deployed by involving the actual task executioners so that they own the process and become responsible during the outcomes.
Some of the performance and business measure that Apple Inc. communicates are new product development, new software creation, market diversification and new operations technology. (Baldrige National Quality Program 5) Apple Inc. has a two to five years financial projection of financial net revenue of $ 45-65 billion. The customer base with iPhone is projected to between 100 million to 300 million with download of software capacity at 50%. Additionally Apple Inc. is targeting to maintain market leadership in computer and applications technology over the next five years. (Baldrige National Quality Program 5)
As compared to the Apple competitor, these projections are realistic. Sony is one of the competitors and is sticking with the old strategy of high end product at high prices. Therefore, is Apple has the same objective of high end product at premium cost; they will likely win the customer meet their revenue projections. Google Android and Windows are keen on protecting their applications software 100% from their competitors. In the benchmark contrary, Apple Inc. is allowing some level of collaboration so that their products can become more users friendly.
Therefore, the issue of patenting as a basis of comparison will enable Apple Inc. to penetrate more in the customer areas and give the organization economies of scale. Current successes of the Apple Inc. progress in strategic deployment are evident in their successful and smooth operations with collaboration with the stake holders where appropriate. Overall the deployment strategies are timely, cost effective, and objective and action oriented. (Baldrige National Quality Program 5)
3. 0 Customer and market focus
The current Apple Inc. customer and market focus is good to excellent. Apple Inc.
is capable of determining qualitative requirements by use of research and surveys and quantitative requirements by use of sales forecast. Apple Inc. is capable of determining the customer expectations and preferences by use of the CRM feedbacks. Apple Inc. is capable of determining the markets buy demand and utility surveys. Apple Inc. has managed to build good customer relationship starting with their brand proposition to fulfilment of the customer need and expectation. The customers have reciprocated with their loyalty to the products and services. (Baldrige National Quality Program 5)
3. 1 Customer and Market knowledge
Apple Inc. determines short and long term requirements of the customer and market knowledge by demand forecasts. The short term requirements are specifically capture by customer usages, accounts and complain data. The long term requirements are specifically captured from the trends. (Baldrige National Quality Program 5) Apple Inc. determines the customer and market groups by carrying out satisfaction surveys. From these surveys, Apple Inc. segments the population needs, targets their specific requirements and positions the products and services.
Apple Inc. considers the customers of competitors as a great source of information on how products and services can be positioned so that these customers can switch their loyalty to Apple Inc. Apple Inc. considers that customers of the competitors’ preferences are the next step determinants of new or existing product development. (Baldrige National Quality Program 6) Apple Inc. listens to the voice of the customer through surveys, feedbacks and informal complaints to determine requirements and next steps on purchase objectives for existing, past and future customers.
This determination approach will differ for groups based on their demographics such as education level, gender and technology cultures. Apple Inc. determines major products and services and their value to the customer by evaluating factors like multiple usage , functionality and architectural designs so that they can plan on future resources such as workforce technical capabilities, manufacturing materials and marketing resources. (Baldrige National Quality Program 5) Apple Inc. uses customer information to improve on the current products offering and design. Apple Inc. uses customer retention information to gauge the customer loyalty. Apple Inc. uses customer information on won or lost analysis as opportunities for strategic management improvement. Apple Inc uses customer complaints information for continuous improvement. Apple Inc. keeps listening and learning current business trends and opportunities by benchmarking quarterly benchmarking with other industry players. (Baldrige National Quality Program 6)
3. 2 Customer Satisfaction and Relationships
Apple Inc. has a strategy for satisfying the current customers while developing new approaches for future customers’ opportunities.
Apple Inc. is able to determine how customers would like to access business product by review of their feedback and by timely actions to their complaints. Apple Inc. has a web postal where customer can communicate their satisfactions or complaints. Apple Inc. records customer contacts on a willing basis that can be used in case of responses on actions required or services desired. Apple Inc. has an efficient complains management process that records the issue, forwards the issue to the relevant Customer relations personnel and gives a timely feedback within a certain timeframe based on the customer concern.
These complaints are aggregated through a CRM process and data is analysed weekly and monthly for trends and next cause of action. Apple Inc. has managed to build good relationship with the customers by prompt response to their complaints, focus on their suggestions for product and service applications and buy satisfying their expectations. This in turn has earned Apple Inc. more positive customer referrals following the positive experience with products and services. Apple Inc. is in touch with the customer access and business needs by use of technology trends and survey of the competitors strategies.
(Baldrige National Quality Program 6) Apple Inc. uses a customer satisfaction index to determine levels of satisfaction and dissatisfaction. The customer satisfaction survey index has provisions where customers suggest the kind of product or service applications that they would like to be developed on either the existing product or as a new product. This forms the basis for future business potential or purchase referrals. The customer satisfaction survey index is designed per product or service groups for attention to detail requirement. Apple Inc.
has a robust enterprise management chain that includes points of sale data, customer details, CRM data base, product and services categories that are used to follow up in cases of urgent feedback. Apple Inc. considers the number of complains they receive per 10,000 customers or per set period then compares these data with that of the other competitors as a benchmark. This information is also used for next action plans. Apple Inc. keeps a proactive survey and research approach to keep in trend current and future business needs. (Baldrige National Quality Program 5) Current success results of Apple Inc.
on customer focus and market focus is evident in their customer loyalty numbers, revenue earned, product sold and from comments made in various customer blogs.
4. 0 Information and analysis
Current Apple Inc. focus on information and analysis is good to excellent. Apple Inc. has a range of performance information that is used to make strategic plans for future business prospects. 4. 1 Measurement of Organizational Performance Apple Inc. uses information gathered from past performance for future improvement. The performance measures and indicators are used financial report.
These are used in deciding aspect like expenditures, pricing, promotions and remunerations. Therefore, a strong financial performance report such as increase in net revenue has implications that the various Apple Inc. business components can be expanded. The other component of performance is the total product sales. This performance measure is used to forecast demand and schedule production of products and services. Customer complaints and satisfaction performance information is used in daily product development and service delivery improvement. (Baldrige National Quality Program 7)
Apple Inc. uses the selected data and KPI to prioritize resources and to redesign processes for performance excellence. The effective use of the KPI is monitored by audits and appraisals at Apple Inc. The data and information reliability at Apple Inc. is done by comparison and benchmarking with other industry players or past experience. The financial performance data at Apple Inc. is further analyzed to various performance ratios to determine feasibility of costs and budgeted expenditures. Apple Inc.
uses the comparison data to plan for projects and for future planning. Apple Inc. compares their performance measurement with current industry trends by scanning the players’ annual reports and surveying their strategic operations. (Baldrige National Quality Program 9) 4. 2 Analysis of organizational Performance Apple Inc. performs analysis to help senior executives overall review for strategic management. The analysis are performed by competitive trends scanning, competitive products analysis and market forces model review. Apple Inc.
surveys opportunity for products, possibility of other competitors integrating in to the product port folio, entry barriers, exit barriers, potential of buyers, potential of sellers and price fluctuation over a study period. This approach helps the executive to plan for the commercial future of the organization. Apple Inc. analyzes HRM statistics including demographics, education levels, market rate benefits and compensations, retention at work and other metrics that on aggregate will enable the senior executives to plan for the human resource future. A similar analysis at Apple Inc.
is done for the customers. These analyses have benchmarks and targets that are use to interpret the overall health of the organization including the outcome and objectives. (Baldrige National Quality Program 9) At Apple Inc. , the results for the organizational level analysis are tied to the teams, groups and individual key performance indicators to be used for functional objectives and decision making. Additionally, these results that have been translated to new KPI are tied to a time frame and assigned specific responsibility of reporting the progress.
Thus the analysis helps the normal operations by availing data to be used to justify strategic management approach and operational alignment. The results of Apple Inc. organizational information and analysis are evident in their ability to manage various product portfolios under smooth operations process. (Baldrige National Quality Program 9)
5. 0 Human resource focus
Current Apple Inc. Human Resource Focus is good to excellent and enables the employees to produce to their best potential while keeping in line with the firm’s objectives. Apple Inc.
is striving to make the working environment conducive to all for sustainability, better workforce retention and high productivity.
5. 1 Work Systems
Apple Inc. has work systems that are designed around customer product and service needs. Apple Inc. has various departments of operations and staffs are organized as teams, group, regions or as focus teams to promote collaboration. The Apple Inc. work system is coordinated by information technology as one of the major avenues of communication, direction and flexibility. The information technology application at Apple Inc. helps the workforce to keep in touch with business needs and trends. (Baldrige National Quality Program 10)
The Apple Inc. management and supervision encourage and motivate the workforce by empowering the employees to exhibit their technological now how towards the customer product and service solutions. The management also uses reward systems to reinforce good practices emanating from the work force. The management and supervision recommends workforce to attend trainings as a formal career objective for learning. Workforces at Apple Inc. have a formal performance management system that is based on individual KPIs and deliverable targets to support high performance.
Workforces who attain the set objectives are rewarded by either promotions, monetary rewards, or by stock options. (Baldrige National Quality Program 10) Apple Inc. management and supervision has a good strategy for communication to staff to foster cooperation. There are departmental communications that come directly from the line management to teams, groups or focus groups. Similarly, there are individual communication strategies such as e-mails that come in handy when staffs are located at distant places. Additionally staffs attend training and meeting together so that they can share knowledge.
Effective communication is assured by assessment of the feedback from the communication target. (Baldrige National Quality Program 10) Apple Inc. carries out keen interview, recruitment and employment of persons who meet the task criteria of qualification. The recruitment starts from advertisement, short listing for interview, 1st actual interview, short listing for 2nd interview, then final interview for selection of the best candidate for job placement. The key performance requirements are set by the product or service specifications and timeliness of delivery on an Equal Employment Opportunity basis.
The diversity of the community is taken care of by affirmative action. Fair work force practices such as non discrimination follow the ADA regulation and the Title VII. The Health and Safety practices follow the OSHA regulations. Fair work force practices at Apple Inc. also follow CSR principles. (Baldrige National Quality Program 10)
5. 2 Employee Education, Training and Development
Apple Inc. has an active education and training systems that is geared towards meeting the organization objectives, creating a learning environment and improving the employee’s efficiency.
Apple Inc. education and training for short term needs are deployed whenever there are recommendations on urgent corrective actions such as quality complaints and application architecture. Long term educational needs are based on internal continuous training or external training that is sponsored by Apple Inc. for career progression. (Baldrige National Quality Program 11) Apple Inc. has designed the organizational training alongside upcoming technology. The training contents are updated regularly to keep in trend with industry needs.
Workforce outcome on periodic staff appraisal and evaluations are also used to identify the training needs for performance improvement. Apple Inc. taps the educational knowledge and skills from the employees to allocate challenging task in customer expectations and designs. (Baldrige National Quality Program 11) Apple Inc. has formal deliveries of workforce training that are done from internal sources or by inviting external sources. The evaluations for the trainings are done by final examinations at the end of the training sessions. Apple Inc. has informal learning that takes place in the form of team demonstrations, coaching and mentoring.
Informal learning is evaluated when staffs act in the capacity of the actual jobs holders during short period such as annual leaves. (Baldrige National Quality Program 11) Apple Inc. has good approach of addressing training requirements. For diversity, they encourage collaboration with other organizations where appropriate. For management and development, Apple Inc. encourages professional institutions such as Corporate Research Centre to take lead. New employee at Apple Inc. are trained initially by induction approach then later formally trained on the product or service operations. In the health and safety aspect, Apple Inc. engages key health and safety organizations such as OSHA to come and provide internal training. (Baldrige National Quality Program 11)
Apple Inc. trains staff on how to excel at work to enhance efficiency, effectiveness, timeliness and high quality standards. The Apple Inc. employees are trained on application of metrics such as output, quality, and deadlines by objective hands one experience. The Apple Inc. employee will then learn how to maintain high performance, exceed expectations, deploy their skill in challenging tasks, and keep high performance, delivery high quality and benchmark with other industry players.
Apple Inc. reinforces knowledge by evaluation of the training task. This takes the form of examination and observation as the staffs bring out what they have learnt. (Baldrige National Quality Program 12)
5. 3 Employee Well-Being and Satisfaction
Apple Inc. has the general employee welfare at heart. The work environment is kept safe and accident free in terms of ergonomics. The Apple Inc. employees take part in health and safety audits so that they can be part of identification of safety concerns. The Apple Inc. performance conforms to the Occupational Safety and Health Association regulations.
Workers have varied environmental experience as far as health and safety is concerned such as hardware and software locations. Hardware environmental factors of concern are physical pollutions and accidents. Software environmental concerns are noise, waves, light and irradiation pollution. (Baldrige National Quality Program 12) Apple Inc. support work climate by provision of health insurance benefits and work place accidents compensation schemes. These policies are tailored to the different needs of the employees’ bases on ranks and risk analysis.
Thus, the more an employee is exposed to risks, the more the workplace accidents compensation insurance. The work climate support the diverse work force by prescribing the kind of protective gear the staffs wear based on the vulnerability and susceptibility to risks. (Baldrige National Quality Program 12) Apple Inc. determines factors what affect the employee welfare and motivation by formal and informal assessments. Formal methods deployed by Apple Inc. evaluating the surveys and appraisal. Informal methods deployed are evaluation of output levels, absenteeism, attrition levels and level of industrial welfare union engagement.
These methods of observations are tailored to meet diversity need by encouraging freedom of expression when workers have concerns, setting up strategic systems that minimize grievance incidents, good communication at various categories and fairness in using the staff conduct code for staff discipline. Factors like high turnover, increased absenteeism, lowered productivity and high grievances indicate that the workers are not motivated or satisfied with the work environment and this is calling for Apple Inc. senior management to intervene with appropriate actions. (Baldrige National Quality Program 12)
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