Performance and profitability are two central objectives of any company or institution. This calls for the design and implementation of strategic plans, which entail key decision-making processes to steer the institution’s development and success. The planning process should adopt innovative thinking to formulate strategies, which will guide the organization’s progress, and ways to achieve the company’s objectives.
As such, the strategic plan creates a clear focus on the approaches that would be suitable to run every department’s activities. The plan could act as a progressive yardstick suitable for monitoring the company from the management and employee points of view. This implies that plans are drawn from the company’s overall goals and tailored to each department’s needs (Carter, 2007). The company’s financial base and the funds allocated to each department should guide the company strategic plan. A period in which the plan is deemed feasible should be set, and priorities are given to activities that would improve the impacts of the plan. In this case, the strategic plans and SWOT analysis of Apple Incorporation are examined.
Apple Incorporation is a highly profitable organization with reputable product brands. For that reason, it has to develop a strategic plan to create competitive products alongside a dedicated and resourceful labour force, which will sustain its continued advancement. Proactive management of the company’s human resource across all divisions is crucial in ensuring the company’s progression within the technological industry. Since the firm values its employees, it should develop a strategic plan to improve its workforce (Dess, 2012). The market creates a high demand for skilled labour, making the company’s employees vulnerable to poaching by competitors offering better employment terms.
To develop the company’s overall strategic plan for the company, an analysis of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats should be conducted. Apple Incorporation has several strengths and is built on reputable employer values, which create a respectable environment for its employees. It values its workforce and emphasizes its ethical values through the department’s mission statement. The firm employees are experienced, and thus, create a resourceful pool for innovations. Employee dedication is unsullied in ensuring effective service delivery (Lashinsky, 2012).
Apple Incorporation’s workforce is managed by a proactive administration, which encourages employee teamwork. The teamwork creates uniformity in service delivery and the development of quality products. The company’s research and development team expose the company to several developments in new products. The company motivates its employees regularly through its annual awards to the best employee teams within divisions and impeccable individual innovation (Dess, 2012).
The established planning practices within several departments offer several innovative solutions. The set targets within the company’s forecast would help the company meet the consumer needs. Through its books and reputation, the company can source unlimited funds to finance the company’s expansion and boost its innovativeness. Its global brand and products, which are of reputable quality, has earned it a competitive advantage (Carter, 2007).
Although Apple Incorporation’s strengths set it to a reputable position in the industry, its human resource department has not gone without challenges. Employee performance is heavily dependent on technological development and innovativeness. This proves the vulnerability of the success of the company. In many instances, Apple Incorporation’s employees have suffered from faltered performance and resulted in layoffs. It is argued that the firm should diversify its employee base to meet the consumer needs and contribute towards the company’s success (Lashinsky, 2012).
The company’s laxity in improving departmental and cross-departmental communication has hampered employee relations. This minimizes the holistic achievement of the firm’s goals and, in turn, reduces its productivity. The absence of the regular employee assessment to create an updated workforce has served to diminish the department’s effectiveness. The human resource managers lack accountability in their management that exposes the employees to poor performance. This is attributed to the absence of clear-cut performance practices and measurable output levels. The lack of defined professions and knowledge base required for the performance of certain duties has led to employee conflicts (Dess, 2012).
The human resource department is exposed to several opportunities to improve its performance. The employee recruitment process could be flexed to obtain resourceful employees who are updated on the current market needs. Highly developed technologies are accessible to present, create and foster additionally effective employee activities. This helps in the selection of human resources that will improve the company’s performance and profitability. The human resource practices could be articulated with available information of the consumer demands to maintain the company’s relevance.
The management of human resource should be regularly appraised and monitored to ensure constant innovativeness and minimize conflicts. Cross-functional and departmental communication is necessary to minimize employee conflicts and encourage teamwork (Carter, 2007). The company has the opportunity to stimulate the hidden talents of its employees through the process of job rotation. Apple Incorporation can tap into the individual employee strengths and use them to promote creativity in its commodities production. The workforce can be exposed to leadership and team management training to cater for potential advancement to management.
The achievement of the company’s goals is, in many cases, limited by the organizational finances. Considerable technological advancement of production requires unlimited finances. The level of technology used is costly with respect to the benefits of the company’s developments in terms of production and profitability. In other instances, companies with better financial terms have poached employees whose services are essential to implement these technological advancements. Staff turnover reduces the effectiveness of the department and interrupts the company’s performance.
This is because the company will regularly be involved in the recruitment process, which may take a long time. The interruption may result in the back-lock of work, and for that reason, hinders the achievement of set targets and timelines (Dess, 2012).
The relevance of the company’s products poses a constant threat to the company. The workforce used to develop such products may also be irrelevant. The chances that the technology used to produce the output stays in favour compared to other products availed by the competitors are limited by changes in consumer demands. More sophisticated commodities have replaced a considerable number of products presented by Apple Incorporation and as such, led to the employee redundancy (Carter, 2007).
Apple Incorporation’s products are exposed to the rise in the cost of production. The company, in many instances, would employ strategies that maximize their profitability and in this regard, may affect the workforce. Most employees would be laid-off or inadequately remunerated, resulting in reduced performance due to job dissatisfaction.
Since the establishment of Apple Incorporation, its triumph in the technological world has led to the entry of competitors. The presence of the competitors has led to price wars and cartels that cut down on the company’s profitability. Since the company operates majorly in the retail market, the consumers opt to go for better deals. Imitative brands have posed marginal threats as the consumers lack information about original brands and means of detecting non-genuine brands or imitations (Lashinsky, 2012).
The international sale of Apple Incorporation’s products exposes it to the foreign exchange losses and trade barriers. The exposure brought about by different trade currencies leads to fluctuation of the company margins and affect the stability of the international trade. The exposure to different tax regimes may mean that Apple Incorporation would be selling its products at a loss or manufacturing a high cost. This affects Apple Incorporation brands negatively (Dess, 2012).
The employment terms of workers who offer their services full time create a constraint to the department’s budget. The company spends a large proportion of its finance remunerating them although their performance may not be reciprocated in their work performance. This would not be the case if the company had its employees on a contract basis or the full-time employees paid according to their work performance (Lashinsky, 2012).
The overall plan should be feasible within a reasonable time and should be regularly updated to cater to the company’s objectives. It should be regularly revisited and annual reports, drawn as part of the strategic plan’s re-assessment and adjustment.
More detailed work plans for shorter periods should be established and then modified to portray the developments in the short term. A strategic plan to improve the company’s performance should focus on producing quality products and ensuring consumer satisfaction. Products that serve the consumer’s needs, such as networking through social networks, should be met. New products serve several consumer demands such as mobile phones with high-speed internet connections and provision of user-friendly interfaces coupled with other communication services, should be established. This would ensure the real-time satisfaction of the consumer needs and in turn, give the company’s products a competitive edge (Carter, 2007).
Employee satisfaction within the organization is essential. The plan should encompass strategies, which ensure job satisfaction in order to enhance a more dedicated workforce. It should include the improvement of previous strategic human resource development efforts to advance innovation. The employees should be made to feel important to the organization. Teamwork should be championed to enhance the effectiveness of the workforce and minimize employee conflicts. Approaches used when recruiting personnel, for instance, interviews should be reviewed to ensure that qualified and competent staff is selected.
Short-term contracts could be offered to tasks that do not require long-term employment. In other instances, the recruitment process should be outsourced to obtain the best employees from the market (Dess, 2012). Superior technologies offered to human resource management should be employed to improve employer-employee relations. The implementation process of the company’s plan should be monitored through the provision of reference points to new employees while the incumbent is served with reminders about the plan’s challenges and successes.
A time frame should be set on the frequency of the employee appraisal in order to keep track of the employee work performance. The plan should include on-job training to keep the employees up to date on the current market trends and changes in consumer needs. Apple Incorporation should allow negotiation of the terms of employment to achieve proper remuneration to avoid employee poaching and job dissatisfaction (Lashinsky, 2012).
The workforce available to the organization should be re-analyzed on matters concerning skills, experiences and contributions to the company’s performance. The gap between the present and required human resource’s skills, experience and contribution to the company should be evaluated. The ways that the company desires to fill these gaps should be included within the plan. Optimal balances between the workforces available to each department should be created with respect to the company’s capacities and resources required to ensure the success of the plan. The plan’s effectiveness on the development of the human resource is attributed to the cohesion between teams, communications within the firm and advocacy for employee satisfaction (Carter, 2007).
The success of the strategic plan can be evaluated through the constant monitoring and reporting on the impact of the implementation of the plan on the target objectives. Consumer satisfaction with the company’s products is measured by the company sales of the improved products. In addition, it is measured through the evaluation of the competitiveness of the product in relation to the competitor commodities. An independent survey can be conducted, and real-time information obtained from the consumers on matters regarding the products availed to them (Lashinsky, 2012).
The implementation of the strategic plan by Apple Incorporation will help the company remain focused on its long-term goals entailed within its mission and purpose. The key decisions regarding the shift in approaches used to achieve consumer satisfaction while taking care of the priorities of its owners and employees are well within the plan.
Carter, E. (2007). Effective path to market strategies for new Apple Incorporation varieties. New York, N.Y.: Macmillan Pub. Co.
Dess, G. G. (2012). Strategic management: text and cases (6th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.
Lashinsky, A. (2012). Inside Apple Incorporation : how America’s most admired-and secretive-company really works. New York: Business Plus.