The company has a wide range of products such as desktop computers, laptops, mobiles and different application software. Along with its subsidiaries the company develops and markets various portable applications as well. Some of the bestseller items of the company include portable music players, mobile communication devices and several other digital gadgets. Buzzwords such as I-pod, I-phone and I-pad are all creations of Apple. The company also has a strong presence in the field of software. The software segment includes operating systems such as Mac OS and other utility and productivity applications like Quick time player, I-work and logic studio among others (Apple Store, n.d.).
The company has a global presence and owns more than 370 stores. It has a workforce of 20,000 people. Apple mainly distributes its product through whole sellers, retailers and Apple owned exclusive stores. Hewlett Packard, Dell, Google and Research in Motion Limited are the direct competitors of the company (NASDAQ, 2012). However companies such as Lenovo, Compaq, Toshiba and Hitachi are also considered as the circumlocutory competitors of the company.
The aim of the report is to offer the domestic operations of the company. Also the report will stress on the global operational strategy of the company. In the operational strategies the report will offers insights about the way Apple markets its products. Finally the report will conclude by revealing the differences between the domestic operations and the global operations of the company. Domestic Operations of Apple Operations management can be regarded as the process in which human, material and financial inputs are transformed into output of products, service or other utilities (Pride, Hughes & Kapoor, 2006, p.279). However the actual creation of the product takes place in the mid half of the process and is referred to as manufacturing, production or the operations (Finch, 2008, p.164). In addition to that material management or logistics controls the transfer of raw materials through the process of value chain. The distribution on the other hand deals with the delivery of goods to the end customers. Finally the after sales provided by the company are known as support. Figure 1 (Source: McCubbrey, 2010) Value Chain of Apple The value chain of the company is discussed below:- Inbound Logistics Most of the essential components which are required for manufacturing Apple’s products are available from several sources. However some of the essential materials are obtained from single sources. In order to cite an instance IBM is the only supplier of G5 processor, which is being used in the products of PowerMac, while Motorola is the only supplier of G4 processor to the company. Operations The company has highly innovative products (O’Grady, 2008, p.xii). Hence the materials also need to be of high quality. Now as the raw materials are obtained the final assembly of the products is carried out in the manufacturing and assembling plants of Apple. Sacramento and Cork are the two places where the operations take place. Nevertheless the operations are also carried out by external vendors in places such as Netherlands, Korea, China and Taiwan among others (Day, 2010). In the portable category the products are assembled in Japan, China and Taiwan. Therefore from the findings it is clear that Apple only manufacture few of its products in USA and most of them assembled by third party vendors.