Operations management can be described as the use of resources that are necessary for the production of certain goods or the delivery of services (Rowbotham, Azhashemi, & Galloway, 2012, p. 2). In this context, resources include such components as employees, technologies, raw materials, and information (Rowbotham et al., 2012, p. 2). In turn, this paper is aimed at examining the operations management of such a company like Apple that operates at the global level. It retails a variety of products such as consumer electronics as well as software applications (Stack, 2010, p. 145). For instance, one can mention smartphones, tablet computers, operating systems, multimedia players, and so forth. Apart from that, they provide various services to clients who want to purchase music or films on the Internet. In turn, it is necessary to illustrate the importance of this process for this enterprise. One can say that the managers of Apple concentrate on such details as the creation of value for customers and decreasing the costs of production. These priorities shape the long-term operational policies of this corporation and its investments.
The analysis of operations function
Prior to discussing the operations of Apple, one should first identify the key goals that the management tries to achieve (Rowbotham et al., 2012, p. 2). At first, the company wants to deliver high-quality and innovative goods (Stack, 2010). At the same time, they want to ensure that their goods can be accessible to many customers. In turn, the operations of this company are driven by these needs. Therefore, they want to recruit the most efficient software designers and engineers who can introduce innovative products on a regular basis. One should keep in mind that Apple cooperates with various research facilities that develop new technologies.
Moreover, this enterprise is renowned for its ability to adopt innovations that could be produced by other companies such as IBM. This part of operations management is essential for the creation of the additional value that can be appreciated by potential customers. This objective can be attained by increasing the functionality of new products and improving their design. Apart from that, it is important to make those changes that can distinguish the company’s goods, among others. Furthermore, other businesses often emulate the design choices taken by Apple. It is one of the tasks that should be taken into account by the managers of other enterprises that compete with Apple.
At the same time, this organization tries to make sure that its operational costs are reduced to the minimum. Thus, they decide to outsource their manufacturing activities to other countries such as China. Moreover, they cooperate with various suppliers that manufacture the spare components at a reduced cost. These suppliers are located in different parts of Asia (Rowbotham et al., 2012, p. 105). As a rule, these manufacturing businesses regard Apple as one of their major clients. In turn, this corporation can receive considerable discounts from them. This approach enables the company to make its products more affordable. In this case, Apple can control every part of the manufacturing process. Moreover, they can set the quality standards that local suppliers need to reach (Stack, 2010). However, this organization does not have to owe legal duties, especially the obligations that are related to the protection of employees’ rights.
This approach to operations management has been adopted by many businesses, especially after the liberalization of the regulations governing international trade (Stack, 2010). In this way, many global companies can get access to less expensive labor force. As a result, they can eliminate a considerable part of their costs (Chan, Pun, & Selden, 2013). Certainly, such practices have often been criticized because they lead to unemployment. Nevertheless, they appeal to many businesses that represent different industries. Thus, operations management of this company includes such processes as the selection of innovative technologies, the identification of the most appropriate suppliers, the delivery of spare parts, and quality control. These activities are essential for the efficiency of this enterprise and its competitiveness.
To a large degree, these examples suggest that business administrators should concentrate on several critical aspects. In particular, they should attach importance to such issues as the quality of their products, the transportation of these goods, and the reduction of operational expenses. Additionally, these professionals should accurately understand the requirements that are set by clients. Furthermore, these people should interact with suppliers that may be located in different countries or regions. Thus, these workers should possess a broad range of competencies to perform their tasks successfully.
It should be noted that currently, Apple is one of the most recognized brands in the world. In particular, this corporation holds a significant share in various markets such as smartphones and tablet computers. Additionally, many customers believe that their products have two components, such as innovative design and reasonable prices. Furthermore, they assess the products of other businesses according to the standards set by Apple. Therefore, the approaches adopted by this corporation have been rather efficient.
Overall, these details indicate that the operations function is vital to the sustainability of this corporation. Nevertheless, it is important to keep in mind that there are other aspects that are essential for Apple. For instance, much attention should be paid to the marketing strategies of this enterprise. In particular, the marketing managers of this corporation have ensured that the products of this business appeal to clients from various regions of the world. This detail is also useful for explaining the reasons why this corporation holds a competitive advantage over its rivals. However, the essential attribute of Apple is that this enterprise has transformed the innovation into a regular process. This organizational capability contributes to the profitability of this organization and its competitive strength. Thus, it is possible that this policy will be applied by the management for a long time.
This discussion shows that operations management is one of the pre-requisites that ensure the long-term success of businesses. The examples that have been examined in this paper indicate that this element is necessary for increasing the value of products. Additionally, managers should also focus on such a criterion as the cost-efficiency of operations. The senior executives of Apple have ensured that their products are both affordable and innovative. It is one of the details that should not be overlooked. However, much attention should also be paid for the successful marketing strategies of this corporation since this organization has created a brand that is familiar to many people. Overall, the practices of this enterprise can be emulated by other large businesses, especially the companies that operate in such markets as consumer electronics or other fields in which continuous innovation is one of the top priorities.
Chan, J., Pun, N., & Selden, M. (2013). The politics of global production: Apple, Foxconn and China’s new working class. New Technology, Work & Employment, 28(2), 100-115.
Rowbotham, F., Azhashemi, M., & Galloway, L. (2012). Operations Management in Context. New York, NY: Routledge.
Stack, N. (2010). Operations Management. New York, NY: Pearson Education.