Apple company and its services

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Apple company

To analyze this, Apple Company has been taken into consideration. The Apple is a company which proved its way by thinking out of the box. The growth of the company from 1976 was very fast when compared to many other concerns. It implemented MIS in its system which provided them the information about their stakeholders. It provided a competitive edge for Apple when compared to their competitors, so that they provided real time solutions for their customers. This essay does a critical evaluation of MIS implementation in Apple.

Apple was established in 1976 as a computer company. However, in the last decade, Apple has stretched into a complex company that specializes in much more than just computers. In 2001, Apple broke the barrier with the iPod, finally becoming the leading market leader in music players. In following, Apple connected the phone industry in 2007 with the iPhone, which has also been widely successful. Apple is known as a consumer goods company; therefore evaluating its value requires understanding its products and consumers. This would be very challenging where Apple competes with many different companies throughout the different industries it takes part in. Apple has established a unique reputation in the consumer electronics industry since it is elastic from its philosophy of comprehensive aesthetic design to its distinctive advertising campaigns. The unique characteristic about Apple is that it has a very strong customer base, which is very important in understanding Apple. Meanwhile, more depress is associated with their CEO; Steven P. Jobs (Apple chief executive)

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Apple launched its website www.apple.com. This is a place where customers can directly log in into the company website and place an order. They can select their own laptops, model, etc. . They can also check the delivery status and in case if they need any changes it would be done through real time information. Addition to this the customer can also get help from the Apple Company for technical support in case of any problems in future. The Apple store is open for 24 hours a day.

They also launched premier pages, where in customer can log in and find information about the technological details. Generally, the company posted revenue of $15.68 billion and a net profit of $3.38 billion. That means income was up about $4 billion versus a year ago, while profit was up over $1 billion. Gross margin was 40.9 percent, up from 37.9 percent a year ago. Apple is really successful because it targeted its market, and had brilliant customer relationships, since the customer can arrange their own systems and can get real time information. This is mostly due to the direct model business.

The Apple receives its order through the website where the customer configures his needs. Once it receives the order Apple, transfers this into an electronic spreadsheet which exactly breakdown the requirements of the configured system. This is then transferred to the collect department with a barcode attached to it. In case of any query and if the customer needs to know exactly where and how his order is he will be provided with an order number and if that is entered in the query, his status of delivery would be provided.

Direct Model

Order Delivery

Create by author in 2010

When the order is received by Apple, they first configure the motherboard and match it with the microprocessor and the required amount of RAM. Then they assemble other important parts like disk drives, CD ROMs, etc. This will be done by a set of trained production line where they knew what has to be done based on the customer requirement. They also believed that when they have high volume production line, they can cope up with the requirements of the Apple. The process time also was too less i.e., 36 hours from order receipt to product shipping.

The main success of Apple lies in their integrated management information system which transferred real time information across the organization. This mainly helped them to proceed with their business. The integration starts mainly from the customer side. Their direct business model.

Enterprise Model Of Dell:

Order Delivery

Source : apple online ,Harvard business Review

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Apple has a very good integrated information system, thus when a customer places an order it automatically gets transferred to the Apple's system. By the time it passes information to its components and commodity suppliers where they have a good integration with all of them, this is then assembled and then shipped.

The business model of Apple helped them in being successful over the years and has a competitive edge over their customers. This is very difficult for the competitors to compete since the competitors have large plants and machinery to produce all the parts required. It's not possible all of a sudden to dispose them.

According to market research firm IDC, Apple's desktop market share in the United States for the fourth quarter of 2004 was 2.88 percent, up from 2.20 percent in the third quarter of 2004 and up year over from the 2.06 percent registered in the fourth quarter of 2003.

United States Desktop Market Share

Vendor

Q4 2003

Q3 2004

Q4 2004

Dell

31.58%

34.50%

34.68%

HP (Merged)

22.01%

21.44%

20.86%

Gateway (Merged)

7.97%

6.45%

7.70%

IBM

3.47%

3.33%

3.04%

Apple

2.06%

2.20%

2.88%

Sony

1.86%

0.90%

0.94%

Acer

1.01%

0.56%

0.48%

MPC(MicronPC)

0.61%

0.46%

0.45%

Systemax

0.51%

0.42%

0.28%

Micro Electronics

0.17%

0.16%

0.15%

Total(Top10)

71.26%

70.43%

71.45%

Total(Others)

28.74%

29.57%

28.55%

Total

100.00%

100.00%

100.00%

While slightly smaller in number, Apple's worldwide desktop market share shows a similar upward trend. For the fourth quarter of 2004, Apple's worldwide desktop market share was 1.75 percent, up from 1.51 percent in the third quarter of 2004 and up year over year from the 1.32 percent in the fourth quarter of 2003.

Worldwide Desktop Market Share

Vendor

Q4 2003

Q3 2004

Q4 2004

Dell

16.20%

18.14%

17.30%

HP (Merged)

15.95%

15.79%

15.28%

IBM

4.34%

4.38%

4.18%

Fujitsu/Fujitsu Siemens

3.38%

3.36%

3.12%

Gateway (Merged)

3.04%

3.02%

3.00%

Lenovo

2.96%

2.47%

2.74%

NEC

2.36%

2.21%

2.19%

Acer

2.16%

2.04%

2.17%

Apple

1.32%

1.51%

1.75%

Sony

1.24%

1.24%

1.40%

Total(Top10)

52.94%

54.15%

53.15%

Total(Others)

47.06%

45.85%

46.85%

Total

100.00%

100.00%

100.00%

Source: www.macword.com

Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) today released four new versions of its iPod music player. The new releases include two new compact iPod mini models and two full-size, full-color players that have the ability to store and display photos.

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Apple's new photo-enabled iPods hold up to 25,000 digital images and feature the capability to bring in photos from a digital camera via the new iPod Camera Connector for immediate viewing and slide show playback. A 30 GB version is available for US$349, while a 60 GB version will cost $449.

Apple's new iPod mini offerings boast greater storage capacity and improved battery life. A 4 GB model will sell for $199, and a 6 GB model will be priced at $249

Analysts said the company's latest releases are part of a segmenting strategy that is proving profitable for the computer maker.

In the past year, Apple has seen revenues rocket in large part to the iPod. Apple posted a US$106 million profit in the fourth quarter of 2004, making it one of its most gainful quarters in a decade. The company credited the iPod and its halo effect.

With Apple ongoing to add new iPod varieties to its MP3 player lineup, the question becomes one of supply and demand: Do customers want all of these iPod offerings, or is Apple milking its MP3 player for more than it's worth?

NPD Group analyst Stephen Baker told MacNewsWorld that the past year proved that Apple's segmentation strategy is solid.

"The opportunity to further segment the market and provide some traces within each segment makes a lot of sense for Apple," Baker said. "These are strategies designed to drive both market share and market growth overall for Apple.

The impact of MIS at the three tiers of management should be evaluated to know how far these MIS integration has benefited the organization

Top Management: In top management although the systems are included they need not effort a lot to get the information, the reports of the business and how the business is performing could be identified simply. The top management includes the chairman and the vice chairman. The business is then segmented into region so that they can have all their regions included and get collective information which is precise. If the information is provided in time the top management won't have any problems in taking their decision. If the decision is taken in time then the business can be run smoothly. The top management doesn't need to rely too much on the middle management, since all the information is automatically updated due to the integration.

Middle Management: The orders from all the regions are put together and they are consolidated to know the overall production quantity. Based on this the information is automatically passed to the suppliers of various parts and they provide the parts, based on this the assembly is done. This could be very difficult for any other company, and this makes Apple a very profitable company and very competitive when compared to others this is impossible for other concerns like automobiles where it requires a lot of space. This helps the management n knowing where they lack the information or where they need to correct themselves so that they don't face the similar problems in future. This helps them to forecast the requirements and support the business. The integration is not only with the internal departments of the business but also with all the persons who are related with the business, like suppliers, customers, other stakeholders. Do that they provide Apple with real time information.

Lower level Management: The lower level management just need to look in to what are all the kinds of goods they need to manufacture and the other details like daily production, sales, etc. they just follow the instructions of the system and they implement it. They also feed information into the system.

The impact of the MIS in the business is very big, since its beginning in1989, the growth of the business was amazing it just grew within a short span of time. Apple created a nightmare for other large companies. All these developments were possible because Apple had a very good included system which helped Apple to compete against the other major firms.

The profits of Apple crossed from millions to billions, in a very short span, due to the ease in the management of the information, which wouldn't be otherwise possible without the integration. The integration helped them to have real time information which helped them in survival and in creating a competitive edge against their competitors which is the main aim of any business. The MIS helps in the integration of financial and accounting information, customer information, etc. (Thomas. Davenport, 1998) (21/12/2009, 1.00 PM). So, once when there is some default in any of these information they can easily sort it out and make clear for the clear functioning of the system.

Due to this the inventory turnover time of Apple is 60 days ahead of their competitors. This is really impossible by the competitors. The forecasting will also be difficult since they don't know their exact customers, which is easily done by Apple due to the direct sales. Since the customers apply online they knew what their obligation is for next week or for the next day so they can easily make and there is nothing that lay in the shelf for a long time.

The issues relating to the management information system arise from the integrated systems itself though it provides many benefits for the company and the business the issues for the integration mainly lay in the future. The question lies as to how far this integrated system is going to provide solutions for the business in the growing e-business world.

Once the system is integrated in a particular way it's not easy to change it frequently as it is costlier. But if the business needs are not met this will result in a serious issue.

Ø Since the business policy of Apple was to sell to the customers directly, it would be difficult for the persons who have less system knowledge to buy the system and thereby they loose the sales for that segment. But this is solved by Apple by doing sales in retail outlet also.

Ø The complexity in solving the problems in case of any problems in the system. This is a time consuming process, which affects the business in a large run. Since the overall business depends on the information supplied by the addition of the systems

When the management information system in the Apple is analyzed, it shows the benefits it has rendered for the company and the way it supported the development of the company. The management information system could be explained well by using Apple. The Apple is the company which ran mainly on these integrated system technology. When the other competitor company does the whole manufacturing and assembling, Apple just does the assembling part. The parts required by Apple are supplied by their suppliers. They choose the best supplier to get the best parts.

All this was possible because of the integration of the systems which the competitors found very difficult to reproduce. Since they inventory turnover time is very less when compared to their competitors. This also gives them a competitive advantage. Though it renders many benefits for the growth of the Apple, it recently created some major issues l in the company. Apple was able to overcome all these challenges and it still continues its growth towards success.