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Apple Inc is a company that deals in consumer supplies. The company has been under the headship of Steve Jobs for quite a time until his demise. The company is fighting with the challenge of finding the best replacement for Steve Jobs.
A SWOT analysis is important for any company, wishing to trudge successfully into the future. This refers to the analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. The company must do this since it is a going concern and has interest for the foreseeable future. It must understand that there are other players too in the market, working day and night, so that they can outdo it. The Company’s idea statement is “To make a donation to the earth by making apparatus for the mind that precede humanity."
The Mission Statement of the Company
Apple Company is dedicated in ensuring the highest quality of social accountability. The companies it does commerce with must provide secure working conditions, care for employees fairly, and use environmentally accountable manufacturing processes wherever Apple manufactured items are made. The primary stakeholders of Apple Inc are Shareholders: preferred and common financial institutions and individuals that lend to the company (Scott, 2010).
Employees of Apple Inc - these are individuals who are employed to work for the company. They provide relevant services to enable the company to survive in the ever increasing competition from other firms and try to serve the customers to satisfy their needs.
Software developers - these individuals develop programs that enable Apple Inc to grow and remain strong; also, providing the best service in the industry.
Customers - they provide the returns and feedbacks, experienced by Apple Inc, and the processes that help the company to achieve high sales levels.
Suppliers - these individuals supply important goods and key components to the company. Such goods also enable the company to operate in a proper manner. Certain service operators also offer important services e.g. consultants on various issues.
The music industry - these are the major market of Apple Inc. They purchase such products as Ipads and Ipods. There is also Board of Directors and executives of Apple Inc (Davitkor, 1994).
The company is lucky enough to have such strengths as a huge financial base on its side. The company has been in operation for a long time. Its books of accounts reflect a progressive increase in revenue collections every year. The company has also done a lot of capital retention which was a recommendation by its accountants. The shareholders of the company also have great interest in the company, which is depicted by the huge share capital they have in the company. The company’s assets are also high both current and long term. A huge financial base enables the company to invest even in other sectors of the economy. It also enables the company to be able to finance its operations.
The management of the company also forms part of its strengths. The management of any company is an integral part of it. It, actually, determines where it is headed in the future. Apple Inc has been under the leadership of the late Steve Jobs who was the company’s CEO until his demise (Pomering, 2010). Steve Jobs was a creative thinker. He can be described as an innovative person, who had the interest of Apple Inc at heart. The management of the company has worked together in unison and cooperation. They have tried to keep wrangles and politics on the minimum as this would lead to the downfall of the company. The Board of Directors has also tried as much as possible to discuss ways and means of seeing the company go far. They discuss issues that pertain to finance and give it the priority it deserves (Morris, 2010). They have also been on the forefront, in giving the management and employees support. All this, coupled with the huge financial base, is sure to see the company into a bright future.
The company also has the advantage of having a clear flow of work. The company’s operations are divided between different departments. Each of these departments is charged with the responsibility of ensuring that things work smoothly. The departments also work together such that the sales department will not fail because the accounts department failed to provide finances in time. This should continue to be the case even with the demise of Steve Jobs. Departments must take their roles sincerely and work with the interest of the company at heart as has been the case before. The heads of these departments report to the management and make necessary recommendations, aimed towards improving things. They must understand that there are other players in the market; some of them are not fair players. This will surely see them achieve significant progress.
The employees of the company also form a part of its strengths. The company has employed several individuals in each of the departments. Software engineers are a common source of labor for the company (Applegate, 1990). These individuals are charged with the responsibility of installing, running and maintaining the company’s systems. This department forms the backbone of the company and ensures that services are equal to the customer’s needs and wants. This serves further to build customer loyalty.
The company has the strength of its image as well (Morris, 2010). The image of the company is a good one. The major reason for this is the case of customer satisfaction. The company has, over the years, produced goods and services that meet customer’s requirements. These range from communication infrastructure to other important equipment. The making of products that are unique by Apple Inc has not been a smooth ride. It requires expensive automated technology to achieve this (Pomering 2010). A good system of transport and fleet of business cars also helps the company to market its products in the USA and other parts of the world. They are able to organize seminars and public gatherings, where they educate the public on what their products are capable of achieving. This has seen the company grow to its current position.
The company’s weaknesses refer to conditions that are within the business, working towards its disadvantage. Any business in operation suffers from certain weaknesses. Apples Inc is no exception, especially after the demise of its CEO Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs was the company’s CEO (Davitkor, 1994). He, however, recently succumbed to cancer. He had been ailing for a long time and this affected the company’s operations. It has to work towards getting the best replacement for him if progress is anything to be achieved. Just as Steve Jobs, an intelligent creative mind is all what will see the future of Apple Inc.
System malfunctions at certain times also form a weakness for the company. The iPhone, at times, may malfunction or break down due to some complications during manufacture. This may lead to customer dissatisfaction, making consumers to avoid it in the future. The malfunctions may also put competitors on a positive edge. Consumers will start preferring what other producers have to offer now.
Several opportunities surround Apple Inc. It has to come to the call of selling its products like never before if it has to succeed in future. The company is surrounded by different factors outside its environment that are important and that may see it succeed greatly.
The dollar is now very strong. The demand of the dollar at this time in different parts of the world is very high. The exchange rate of the dollar is at a high compared with other currencies. This implies that the company will make more through its sales. The company is likely to receive more through exportation of products to countries, experiencing weak currencies (Serbin, 1991). This is the case, especially for developing countries.
The period of political stability in the USA also is important and as such, an opportunity for Apple Inc. The USA has been experiencing a long period of peace and stability. This is important since it provides a favorable environment for business. Investment is most recommended, when there is peace as opposed to when people are fighting. Lack of peace simply creates unnecessary tension.
Competitors form a very significant threat to the company. There are several companies, offering similar or almost similar services to those of Apple INC. Such companies include Nokia, Samsung, and Dell etcetera.
Technology quickly becomes obsolete (Cameron, 2007). The company has the challenge to ensure that it matches up to the quickly and fast changing moments of technology phases. Government policies are also a challenge and, thus, threat. Heavy taxation is one such threat. This is a challenge, since the tax is proportional to the income, flowing into the company. Apple Inc, therefore, has to incur huge amounts, owing to taxation. As such, the company net profit margin declines a great deal.
The future of the Company is another threat to Apple Inc. The company is uncertain of its eventuality after the death of Steve Jobs. This is because of the fact that it was the man who was directly behind the success of Apple Inc. He was an innovative person and he was behind the Iphone, Ipad and Ipod developments. The global crisis is another challenge. The company is experiencing reduced sales in some regions due to the economic situation globally. Currently, economies are growing slowly.
The recession of 2009 was a challenge to the Apple Inc. A future occurrence of such may deal a great blow to companies. This is because an economic recession means there is no money in the economy. The economy, at that time, was growing at a rate of 4%. I recommend that the board of Apple Inc work towards getting the best replacement for Steve Jobs (Mark, 2010).
The company should tap its strengths such as the reliable group of employees to work towards achieving certain goals for the company. The company should also rely on its already well established image to create better prospects. Such prospects will enable the company to survive amidst various threats.
The company should rely on price leadership strategies (Applegate, 1990). This is where it fixes some of the best prices, possible in the market. This will enable the company to survive since customers tend to prefer costs that are economical. This will, in turn, boost the sales level of the company.
The company should also rely on marketing strategies. These include advertisements. Advertising should be done increasingly to better the prospects of marketability of products, offered by the company.
Its team of professionals must constantly keep researching on emerging trends. This sees to it that customer’s do not asking for gadgets that are not currently available. The company must take this positively and work towards getting the most suitable replacement for Steve Jobs. He has been a man worth the test of management. He has beaten all odds to maintain the company to its status ( Barrile, 2007).
Recent Corporate Governance issues that are Currently Affecting the Company's Decisions
Corporate governance issues include the relationship that is there between shareholders. The relationship between these people may be poor, leading to a strained relationship. This may further affect the performance of the company a great deal. Scandals also form part of corporate governance. Such include frauds in accounting. These are very common in companies, especially where a section of management and employees want to take advantage and defraud the company.
Late payment of creditors is another corporate issue. These persons supply goods and services to the company. When creditors are paid late, it leads to a poor working relationship between the creditors and the company. This may result to issues in future relationships.
The issue of dividend payments also causes tension. This is where the shareholders of the company may demand very high dividends more than the directors of the company are willing to spend on. This may result to animosity. Some of the ways that may be used to prevent this is to endure that rights of shareholders are upheld to reduce chances of a strained relationship.
Creditors should also be paid in time. This includes all the suppliers who supply goods and services to the company (Serbin, 1991). This maintains a good working relationship and strengthens the ties for future transactions to be done.
It is important to ensure that integrity leads the selection of corporate officers and board members. It is important to confirm a proper code of conduct that will guide the behavior of all employees.
It is important to have disclosure and transparency. This refers to the process of ensuring that nothing is hidden, including all financial transactions. There should be proper keeping of financial statements (Davitkor, 1994).
The company faces competition from various sources. Such are the companies that provide similar goods and services. Apple Inc faces stiff competition from Dell, HP, Samsung, Nokia, and Sony. These companies produce such electronic goods as phones, computers etcetera.
The competition that comes from Dell is robust. Dell is computer manufacturers. Computer technology can effectively do what the Ipad and Ipod do (Applegate, 1990). Certain customers, therefore, prefer buying Dell products than products, coming from Apple Inc.
Nokia produces phones which are communication and entertainment gadgets. Such also pose a threat to the marketability of the Ipad and Iphone. Samsung also produces phones and other communication equipment, making Apple Inc to compete for the same customers as Samsung.
Competition affects the company since it reduces marketability of products. The profits of Apple Inc would be super normal were it not for the competition. The competition that comes from Apple Inc also makes it to spend a lot of money, doing marketing and advertisement at the expense of expansive growth programs. Competition also threatens the company’s future. It is hard to determine, where the company shall be in some year’s time. This is because the competition, coming in handy, is extremely stiff (Donald, 2004).
Apple Inc can be categorized into one of the most successful companies in the world. It started from a humble beginning, and has gone through challenges to reach the current heights, where it now lies. The company has done this by seizing opportunities as they come. It has also tried to maintain its shape through focusing on working on its weaknesses. This is the reason why a SWOT analysis is important in organizations that have concerns and that want to go far. Corporate governance issues are very important and should not be ignored. These define the relationship between the company and its various stakeholders. It must be worked on to ensure people relate well between each other. This will achieve the best results possible.