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This paper intends to describe the two mini case studies of Apple Inc. and Dell. The case study of Apple displays that how they succeeded while using their differentiation strategy. Whereas, the case study of Dell depicts the importance of the customer service in the development and progress of any country. At the end, the cross case analysis is also done in order to better understand the critical success factors required for the accomplishment of the organizational goals.
CASE STUDY 1: APPLE Inc. - SUCCESSFUL STRATEGY
Apple Inc enjoys a remarkable position in the world of technology for over years. This is because of the irresistible performance and services it provides its customers with, its excellent market share and leadership. The company's untimely access and former entry in the technology business has been closely related with its persistent triumph and supremacy. This great success and fame had been a result of nothing but its proficient and competent organizational management. Moreover, it is also noteworthy that the innovative business tactics implemented by the company have been the core reasons of its survival in the technology world and victories in the market. The evidence of this fact is the latest products and services introduced by the organization. This has largely affected its reputation in the market, bringing great fortunes for the company. Besides, the company is also recognized and appreciated for serving even those consumers who lack access to its originators; and also for its smart marketing skills and creative designs.
Since the launch of Macintosh in the market, Apple Inc strategies and smart tactics regarding computers and other portable electronic devices has been extremely steady. The strategies were related to hardware and software from the supplier, designing skills and pricing methods. All this allowed them to achieve great revenues in the market. This is now applicable to all their products like laptops, cell phones and music players. Furthermore, Apple Inc also adopted the concept of differentiation and innovation in order to enhance its reputation in the market, increase competitiveness and also to grain large profits. All this had been possible due to introducing different products which are unique and consists of latest technology. The company also considered deeply the marketing and advertising of its markets to maintain its competition. Even though this required great capital investment; yet they did not ponder on this point and did whatever they could to differentiate their products and services from others. In this way, Apple made its product unique and attracted a large number of consumers. (Davidson, 2011)
Apple Inc had been very mindful about the raised prices at the same time when they worried about maintaining its competitiveness along with differentiation. In general, a company can only keep up with its isolate position in the technology world in terms of its products. Apple has clearly achieved this over and over again by introducing amazing product offerings. Apple also takes care of the fact that the main financial and monetary value of merchandise demarcation comes from sinking environmental pressure. (Lim, 2011). The expenditure of this method of product differentiation plays an effective role in hindering new entrants willing to serve the same purpose. Thus, the competition from growing markets is reduced. Since companies follow positional markets, it is very unlikely that a rivalry will be seen between market competitors.
The consequence of using this policy is that Macintosh computers constantly store large sums of profits for Apple as compared to what other competitive brands return to their producers. Apple does not hold the lower position in the market where profit margin is low. In fact even the cheapest Apple technology devices and electronics are in midrange; but they assure its customers to provide expert and great quality user experience. (Apple, 2012)
CASE STUDY 2: DELL - UNSUCCESSFUL STRATEGY
Michael Dell established Dell in 1984. He initiated this large company with the purpose of providing its customers with efficient computer systems. Its commercial center of operations is located worldwide in Round Rocks and Texas. (Dell, 2012). However, it accomplishes business globally in the course of subsidiaries. In recent times, the company has commenced to practice various achievement-based tactics in order to enhance and expand certain targeted areas of its industry. Similarly, it attempts to introduce more products along with additional services and innovative technology in the market. In our present day, dell's aspiration is to endow his users with the most excellent customer knowledge by offering premium quality and pertinent machinery, modified and better quality maintenance incentives; and distinguished products that are very easily accessible in terms of buying and selling.
Moreover, the company established an exclusive model of vending PCs to its clients directly, avoiding the resellers. This unique model was called the Direct Model by its manufacturers. With the aid of this model, the company acquired orders from its consumers and then provided them with the specially-made products. In this way, it decreased the inventory expenses and expenditures as it eliminated the requirement of mediators. Apart from this, Dell also offered its customers the latest and advanced technology and presentation at a spirited price. In the later part of 2006, Dell experienced great competition from HP who surpassed the company and became the summit manufacturer of computer systems in the world. Production connoisseurs of Dell then evaluated the company's performance and recognized the reasons behind their failure. They identified deficiency of new products and variety, bad customer service, high support charges, increased need of marketing and also the restrictions of the Direct Model as the major causes. Dell's Direct Model which was believed to be the company's fundamental power had lost its luster in the ever growing and competitive market. (Van, 2012)
The disadvantages of executing a new stratagem for business are many and predictable especially when the company fails in assessing and verifying the product quality before selling it to their customers. Also, by providing underprivileged customer service along with restricted customer choice and shopping knowledge affects the customer-base negatively. The Dell's policy of business is undeviating customer sales. In this method, the company gives its customers the opportunity of choosing the computer of their choice. Although, Dell limits the offerings in this case; but still provides the clients with the PC of their desires and even ships them without any charges. However, this direct model was soon degraded because the company failed to continue good communication with its customers. Also, they were unsuccessful to pay out duties on R&D in order to invent more innovative ideas to keep the products up-to-date.( Darlin,2006)
Unluckily, Dell became futile in achieving their mission which was to become the most flourishing computer manufacturing company on the planet known for their excellent customer services and products. They became more engrossed in the market share affairs than on customer experience; in this way they became unsuccessful in reaching their goals. This happened because, integration of their mission demanded unbreakable and consistent communication with their customers which Dell failed to maintain. Similarly, introducing new and advanced technology is also required to provide good customer service.
CROSS CASE ANALYSIS
The Apple Inc. and Dell belong to the Technology Industry and both are aimed to attract the more customers and earn the optimal revenues. They have executed certain strategies in order to be effective but some of them haven't yield positive results. The critical success factors discussed in the case study of Apple Inc. are R& D, differentiation, and innovation. Whereas, the second case study emphasis upon the customer service as an important constituent of success. Moreover, it is also essential to integrate the functional strategies with overall corporate goals of the organization in order to succeed. Dell lost its market share due to the lacking in its customer service and their inability to introduce innovative products in the market. On the other hand, Apple Inc. invested in the Research and Development of their products and always focuses on making their products different and appealing to the customers. This helped them to gain an edge over their competitors. Furthermore, Dell can also develop and progress if it formulates its strategies while taking the CSFs into consideration.