Strategic Plan Signature Assignment
Product leadership has been a major advantage to the company but its focus has also been a debilitating factor because it creates a situation where Apple is over reliant on disruptive technology. A more effective strategy for Apple would be to combine its value for product leadership and to pursue a global cost leadership approach based on building the highest quality low cost computers possible. This is a hybrid cost and product leadership approach that attempts to combine the best of both strategies. This strategy would allow for Apple to take advantage of a large market that simply cannot afford its computers and phones. Because Apple is already a global company, this strategy would allow the company to actualize itself in a tremendous global market of consumers who cannot currently afford these devises.
- Produce high quality lower cost products that have less functionality than the more expensive products.
- Develop new marketing goals for increased market share
- Reduce cost of support for products.
- Promote products across global network.
- Increase employee hiring across necessary areas and develop training and professional development planning.
- Align the strategy with the vision of the company.
- Produce leadership teams that are accountable and form the backbone of the change process(French & Bell, 1990).
- Create metrics for controlling the planning and measuring accomplishments across the organization.
The following functional areas are described in terms of key activities that must be executed in order to achieve success in the strategic plan.
Large product development will require more support staff on a global level (Barrick & Zimmerman, 2000). HR will need to formulate hiring strategies and develop training and job descriptions. In particular, support for new product lines will need to be enhanced. HR will need to create a comprehensive hiring and development plan that also takes into account the large diversity of Apple (Noe, Hollenbeck, Gerhart, & Wright, 2007).
Currently, Apple manufacturing is outsourced to several companies in China (Satariano, 2016). The production levels will increase and Apple leadership will need to assess current manufacturing activities in order to determine if new facilities are needed. Production is a costly endeavor and this will need to be managed using adequate forecasting and product delivery models (Bateman & Snell, 2011). Apple must be able to control the production process and understand the costs for reaching economies of scale.
There will be increased cost associated with research and development in order to determine the best means for reducing cost of products such as removing features or creating products with limited applications. Cost of manufacturing will also likely increase. A team will need to be assigned to price development. Expansion of Apple’s products will mean new forms of budgeting and cost control models may be needed to ensure that cost is contained properly (Bateman & Snell, 2011).
Marketing will be a key feature for the implementation of the strategic planning. Marketing will need to determine the price, product, and promotion strategies for the new product lines (Bateman & Snell, 2011). There is a challenge in this area as the new product lines need to maintain the Apple quality brand but are less expensive due to reduced features.
Product Research and Development
Product research and development will also be a key functional tactic because this area will need to determine what features can be removed from products and what will reduce the cost fo the products without tampering with the quality.
Team leaders will be chosen in each of the functional tactics zones in order to report progress and to ensure that the strategy is being carried out properly. In order to facilitate the change in strategy, the company will utilize the Kotter Eight steps for change (Kotter, 2012). Kotter’s model offers a system of implementing the functional areas as well as creating a buy in with leadership that is necessary within these actionable items:
- Develop goals for each functional area.
- Develop control mechanisms such as metrics for establishing goal accomplishment
- Create timelines for change within each functional area.
Milestones and deadlines
Using Kotter’s model for change management milestones will be set in a manner that allows for maximum efficiency in the change process. This will be the roadmap for the change process.
- Announce the change in product development.
- Choose team leaders and create a coalition for change.
- Create vision, “To build high quality products for all people.”
- Announce the new vision to the organization.
- Maintain motivation through stakeholder engagement and support.
- Use the functional area goals to create objectives and milestones for completion of the strategic plan.
- As goals are met, new goals are set.
- Use control metrics to ensure that change has continued and is now fully embedded in the culture of the company.
Tasks and Task Ownership
Within Kotter’s strategy for change it will task and task ownership is accomplished through stakeholder engagement at the management level. This works by reinforcing the change process through the accomplishment of milestones within the stages. This strategy also is meant to stop resistance at each point along the change process (Bolognese, 2002). This can be seen in the second through fourth steps where networks and coalitions are created which also serves the purpose of creating task ownership (Kotter, 2012). Ultimately this task area is established within the change model and allows for both management and employees to work towards a common goal (Kotter, 2012).
All strategic planning requires the full resources of the company in order to effectively implement the strategy and make it successful. In this plan, Apple will be undergoing a massive change in product leadership which will impact every functional area of the company. Ultimately leadership must account of this and develop the change process as an organizational wide endeavor (Artley & Stroh, 2001).
As Apple follows this plan for product leadership and differentiation, the company will begin expanding it market but more importantly reducing its dependency on disruptive technology. This strategy maintains Apple’s competitive advantage strategy by offering customers a large value position than competitors (Bateman & Snell, 2011). This strategy will ultimately provide the consumers with better quality and hassle free computer systems and gain the company share of a market which PCs have dominated due to price limitations of Apple. The ease of use and user friendliness have justified Apple’s higher prices as well as its longer life, but this position is no longer sustainable as disruptive technology becomes increasingly more difficult to achieve and costly. The strategy outlined in this plan solves this issue.
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Satariano, A. (2016, January 26). Apple Falls After Forecast for First Sales Drop Since 2003. Retrieved from Bloomberg
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