1. Specify the nature, structure and types of services and products of Apple Company Inc. Identify two key factors in the external environment of Apple Inc. that affect its success.
Apple Company is a multinational business in America concerned with the designing, manufacturing, and marketing of personal computers, portable digital music players, media communication devices, mobile communication devices and by extension, software services among other application and services (Apple Inc., 2016). Apple Company is commonly known for their hardware products such as the iPad, iPod, Apple Tv and the iWatch. In addition to this, Apple Inc. are provides professional services in software application such as the OSX operating systems and iOS operating systems. Furthermore, Apple Inc. is also a successful distributer and seller of modified software applications through the Mac app, App store, iTunes store, and the iBooks store (Apple Inc., 2016). Notably, apple services and products are in most cases rated highly in terms of quality and uniqueness. Towards that end, the services and products of Apple Company tend to be the best alternative to majority of customers due to their quality and unique features. These services and products have helped Apple Inc. to maintain its market relevance as its big rival companies lose a large chuck of the market share.
Moreover, the company has been able to perform well towards the creation of products and services that are user friendly as compared to its stiff competitors whose products of innovation do not blend in well with the consumers preferences (Apple Inc., 2016). Technicians within Apple Inc. have a clear understanding of their customer’s tastes and preferences thus selling the products easily without a hitch. The key pillar of Apple Company effective through its industrial design has assisted the company to establish confidence among its customers. The hardware and software engineers of the company have always maintained a hard work since the Apple Company was established in order to come up with new and amazingly more features that we see today.
Apple company nature of business is majorly operating software, manufacturing technology devices, providing services and application software (Apple Inc., 2016). The company provides solutions to personal communication devices and other closely related software. Apple Inc. is involved with the management and retail operation of its company business on a geographical basis, which includes America, Europe, Japan, China and larger part of Pacific Asia. In addition to this, Apple Inc. also obtains a large amount of sales from different nations and without having to totally depend on the United States of America. Notably, in the event of political instability in the countries outlined above, the performance of Apple Company will be affected negatively (Wheelen & Hunger, 2007). Similarly, Apple Company has a potential threat of facing America’s political pressure such as the ban imposed on the importation of some of the company’s products used in manufacturing IPhones by the American government in 2010. Ideally, the ban impacted negatively on the company since it had to recover such products.
Certain technological, macroeconomic, social, and demographic factors affect the external environment of Apple Company (Wheelen & Hunger, 2007). Although Apple Inc. assisted in changing the technology industry completely, technology has never been considered a factor in the company’s innovations plan. Therefore, technology has greatly contributed towards the innovation of most of the products and services of Apple Company. On the other hand, macroeconomic factors specifically adverse economic effect impacts negatively on the management and operation of Apple Inc. For instance, international economic recession has a negative outcome on the operation of Apple Company an issue that tends to influence its sales. At one point, the recession has made the company to have fragile sales due to inadequate income at the consumer’s disposal, which freezes their purchasing capabilities. On the contrary, changes in the taxation tend to affect the operation of Apple Inc. by causing an increase in the prices of its products. The impact in one way or the other will discourage immense consumption of all the products and services offered by Apple Company (Wheelen & Hunger, 2007).
2. Suggest five ways in which the primary stakeholders can influence the financial performance of Apple Company.
In the current 21st century where social responsibility and community citizenship have been cohesively integrated into business management, the influence of primary stakeholders on business activities of most company business have greatly increased (Gond & Moon, 2012). Ideally, employees, customers, business partners and communities are the most important group of stakeholder that holds the weight in the activities and decisions of a company. Therefore, having an understanding of how these groups of stakeholders affect business is very crucial for both small and large businesses. Towards that end, primary stakeholders can influence the financial performance of Apple Company through the suppliers, customers, employees, top management, and shareholders alike (Gond & Moon, 2012).
Foremost, through the demand of specific quality, price and by recycling, customers can affect the financial strategy. Customers take over the company’s central influence not due to the fact that would like to maximize profits. However, customers have the central influence since they tend to have a general mentality that long-term relationships and satisfied customers are the key to profiting and building sustainable success (Gond & Moon, 2012). On the contrary, most companies tend to use consumer relationship management for more efficient and targeted sales and marketing efforts.
On the other hand, employees and top management of the Apple Company can possibly impact on the organization of the company through their short and long term goals as well as vision for green investments. The opinion and perceptions of the company’s management have an impact to a level that the company implements the environmental practices (Gond & Moon, 2012). The effective participation of employees is a crucial decision especially when coming up with new improvements and ideas that may facilitate the reduction of energy and waste in the process of production.
Third, issues of social responsibility and governance may as well affect the financial performance of Apple Company. The formal establishment of a vision and mission that the company’s management and ownership oversee in the organization is due to business governance (Gond & Moon, 2012). Arguably, the primary focus of profits maximization has been attributed to business and governance operations whereas the social responsibility in a company, which exists for a long duration of time, plays an active role in the preservation of the environment due to societal and governmental pressure.
Fourth, business partners impact on the financial performance of the company. Supply chain management, which is the popular logistics system of management, has a close collaboration between business buyers and suppliers that pull their efforts to deliver the best values to the final consumers (Gond & Moon, 2012). Such collaboration is key towards distribution and logistics as Apple Company plans to strengthen focus on customer value, trim costs, build meaningful relationships, and improve environmental preservation with an integral group of trusted business partners.
Fifth, employees have a greater potential to influence the financial performance of Apple Inc. Company. Ideally, Apple Company is among many other companies that have adhered to making community citizen a priority as well as sticking to the requirements of social responsibility (Gond & Moon, 2012). Henceforth, adherence to such priorities has made the company’s business operations to focus entirely, on the employees interests. Therefore, promoting a nondiscriminatory working environment in which the employees are treated as the most valued assets as well as actively involving then towards important decision-making procedures is one of the many ways in which Apple Company has been impacted by the influence of a primary stakeholder. Apple’s chief executive officer asserts that its ten star employee benefit program commonly referred to as employee retention is formulated on the basis of realizing that contented staff offers stable consumer services.
3. Specify one controversial corporate social responsibility concern associated with Apple Company.
Markedly, Apple Company has clinched to the top of the technology world, and, by 2014, the company had registered 50% growth (Chan & Cole, 2015). Even though such growth might be anticipated from a small cap, it is evident that the company can never be established or rather started form such small cap. Despite the company being able to create a mega cap with a greater market cap of over $700 billion, one might doubt whether to categories the company as a socially responsible investment within his or her portfolio (Chan & Cole, 2015). In order to understand whether Apple’s corporate social responsibility blends with its spectacular financial performance, Foxconn’s issue, which is the most renowned controversial social responsibility issue, is analyzed.
Apple Inc. has at one point in time been accused of engaging in business operations that involves suppliers who infringes the human rights in one way or the other through the provision of limited safety precautions and poor working conditions. In a more specific case, an explosion at Foxconn in 2012 injures several employees in an iPad learning session and claimed the lives of four people (Chan & Cole, 2015). Employees of Foxconn company claim that they were at some point forced to work overtime without any formidable efforts to compensate them while at the same time, most of them complained of being left to stand for a long duration of time that they could barely move easily. Foxconn Company is the main supplier of Apple Inc. is accused of forcing its staff to employ the use of poisonous substances to wipe the screen of iPad as a result leading to the death of two customers.
Moreover, about fifteen employees are reported to have attempted suicide as a result of pressure related to Foxconn company. In addition to these claims, complains have been made against Foxconn for allegedly polluting one of the rivers in China thereby turning the river milky (Chan & Cole 2015). Therefore, in relation to environmental conservation, Foxconn is considered to have been controversial towards the concerns of its corporate social responsibility. Furthermore, Apple Inc. was allegedly suspected to have been manufacturing its iPad and iPhones using tin supplied by Foxconn thereby resulting in the damage of coral reefs and tropical forest in Indonesia. In a nut shell, there is evidenced violation of environmental policy as well as that of safety code and worker’s health violation by Apple Inc. in association with Foxconn suppliers.