The paper "Apple’ s Inventory Management" is a wonderful example of a Management Case Study. The following paper is based on an inventory management system of Apple Inc. It describes Apple’ s emergence in the consumer electronics market along with its success story. Inventory management of the company is its strength which is highlighted in the paper. 1.1. Introduction This report is to get deep insight and understand the importance of managing inventory in ensuring the optimum application of value chain management. The report will help us get a comprehensive understanding of business practices by highlighting the various aspects associated with inventory management and their practical consequences.
Inventory management is the backbone of any organization’ s business strategy; it plays a role at every stage of planning and execution of operations to achieve the organizational goals. The primary role of inventory management is to integrate a company’ s strategic goals, sales forecasting, Production, Marketing and Operations Planning, and Materials requirement planning (O'Grady 2008). Over the years, these basic principles of Inventory management have not changed, despite being modified and presented through new approaches. Even though, inventory management isn’ t directly responsible for making decisions or manage operations; it provides the management with all the information required to do so.
Further, we will review all the aspects of inventory management as discussed in relation to Apple Computers Inc. , the World’ s leading organization in the field of designing and marketing electronic gadgets and computer applications. The company is headquartered at Cupertino, California in the United States and has a presence worldwide with the ever-increasing market size. Apple was originally co-founded by Steven Paul Jobs (Jobs); the sales and marketing maverick, Stephen Gary Wozniak (Woz); the inquisitive technical genius, and a fellow named Ronald Gerald Wayne in 1976 and was later incorporated in 1977 (Linzmayer 2004).
The company was named Apple Computer, Inc. until early 2007 when it was renamed as Apple, Inc. to pronounce the versatility and range of the products in the consumer electronics segment. Apple, Inc. has since become a force to reckon with not only in the US but has been globally acclaimed as the top software and hardware service provider across the world. Jobs and Woz have been famously known to be the two icons behind forming and taking the organization to enviable heights found their investor in Mike Markkula and went on to introduce their first range of computers, Apple II in 1977.
Apple had reasonable success with its first launch and was beginning to set its sight on the future with three separate lines of computers; Apple III (business-oriented machine), Lisa (Apple III’ s successor), and the Macintosh (Schermerhorn 2010). The first of the three, Apple III was launched in 1980 but never caught the imagination of their target consumers owing to their high-end pricing and technical flaws.
This was the very year when Apple saw first large scale success as it went public making the three brains – Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Mike Markkula behind it, the overnight success. Apple Inc. then launched the Lisa, first-ever computer with features of Graphic User Interface but this line too went the Apple III way as it lost out on target consumer by a big margin because of compatibility issues. Customers had to shell out too much on top of the product cost to ensure optimal running of the machine as it was not compatible with other computers of that time (Zmud and Apple 1992).
Meanwhile, Steve Jobs had had few conflicts with the CEO, Michael Scott and willingly indulged himself in creating a product that could have features (Graphic User Interface and Mouse) in addition to the ones that Lisa had and was sold at a price almost one-fourth of their compatriot; the computer was named as Macintosh. Macintosh was released by Apple in 1984 and was initially broadly welcomed by consumers only for Apple to have realized the falling sales soon after.
The sales though went up again with the innovative marketing and advertising campaigns initiated by John Sculley. Jobs, all the while was not too impressed with critically questionable advertising campaigns initiated by Sculley and finally left the organization. The sales of Apple, however, skyrocketed after 1985 and Apple dominated the computer industry for years to come. 1992 saw the company slowly starting to lose out on competition and earnings started falling significantly (Duncan 2005).
Sculley tried hard but fell short of expectations only to give way to Michael Spindler in 1993, who was involved in several negotiations with top market players but all the time neglecting and failing to find the real loophole in the falling market shares; which was primarily the absence of a strategic supply chain management in place leading to failures in forecasting and meeting market demand. The losses continued in 1995 and took a further dip with Microsoft releasing modern-day operating system, Windows 95; mounting losses forced the board to replace Spindler with Dr.
Gil Amelio. Dr. Amelio’ s desperate efforts to come up with a competitive strategy and updated software that could bring Apple back in the top foray ended up in no lesser than a drama that saw Steve Jobs replacing him as Apple decided to purchase the Next computer from Jobs (Kossovsky 2010).
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