1.    Introduction – Management Information System

The organizations need to work harder for years in order to become the king of the market, there is no organization in the market who has got the success within few years of its working. A better planning and market strategy are the backbone for any organization if they aim to achieve the success and compete other organizations in the market and stay on top as well. There are different factors that are involved when the organization or the company is able to achieve a success that it has always been aiming at. Only spending more and more money in the organization does bring success over night, a perfect strategy is always required. Looking at the organization and their work we come to know that there is no organization who had gained success without the adoption of an amazing strategy that later became an example for other organization who have been following the set examples. In order to find out the strategy or a set or strategies that the organization mostly adopt in order to stay in the market or compete others, we have a theory presented by Porter who has presented a model. He believes that there are most commonly used three basic strategies by most of the successful organization are Differentiation, Cost Leadership and Focus. Apple the technology leader in today’s market has been working hard for years in order to survived and make its appropriate place as well that it deserves. In this paper we will be discussing about the strategies adopted by Apple in order to capture the customers and the market. Apple is famous for its tremendous products offering flawless features and captivating designs that attract the customers beside the factor that its products are mostly costly as compared to the products available in the market produced by the other manufacturers (Mercury, 2012). Apple provides products to its customers that are technology products ranging from the entertainment to professional use including the computers, laptops, mobiles and iPod. This paper will also focus on the management information system in Apple and how it is helping the organization as well. The management information system also plays a vital role in the achievement of the competitive advantage of the organization. We will also perform value chain process on Apple and see how it is performing in the domain marketing and analyze it using Porter’s five forces analysis. The results obtained from the analysis will be used in future in order to find out the efficiency of the business and the suggestions that the business can be improved in the coming times of the organization. Apple has been the best as it also follows the Porter’s generic strategies in order to bring newness and innovation in the business and inspired more and more customers with the its competitive advantage and differentiation advantages. In simple words it can be said that this paper will provide an analysis that how Apple has been able to achieve the competitive advantage over the other organizations using competitive advantage.

2.    Apple Products

Apple is one of the leading information technology company in the world that holds the status of premier products for their performance and price. Apple produce the products that are related to the information technology covering wide range of the personal computers that have been designed for personal use and professional use. Moreover Apple also produces the gadgets like iPod, iPad and communication devices covering mobile phones as well. Apple also produces the software products for its hardware and other utilities as well that also add to its revenue. Apple has been following the Porter’s generic strategies in order to obtain the market status as one of the leading IT Company. The Porter’s strategies has main three blocks that are, Cost Leader, Differentiation strategy and focus strategy. Apple was not best at the cost leadership that means to produce the products at the lowest cost than any other organization in the market. However, the products of the Apple were produced at lower prices as compared to other products considering the features and quality of products as well. It is the main thing that made the Apple products adopted by huge number of customers. Apple was able to invest capital and produce its products. Apple focused on low cost production and adopted the outsourcing for the production of its products from other countries. The second strategy that Apple adopted can be considered to be more important in regards of becoming successful. Differentiation strategy can be taken as the core strategy for Apple and one of the Porter’s generic strategy (Kishore, 2010). This strategy gives the competitive advantage to the business in the market domain. Apple focused on producing the products that no other company was able to produce with the perfection and according to the requirements and needs of people at that time. This strategy also gave Apple and edge to keep the price factor aside and innovate something that the customers do not bother while buying the product. The organization was able to cash out this strategy only by the innovative ideas and capturing the customers by getting deep into the wants of customers. Apple was also able to overcome the drawback of this strategy as the innovative products of the companies are copied by the passage of time. Apple has been successful to go through this hurdle by believing in innovation. Apple did a study on the usage of the computer systems by the users and modeled the computers according to the needs of the users and divided into the normal users and the professional users. It also let Apple to introduce the less expensive computer systems that could also give a best user experience that customers have been looking in other computers. This was another differentiation strategy that was adopted by the organization and gave an edge over the other organization. The third strategy adopted by Apple according to the Porter’s generic strategies was the focus strategy in which the low cost production of the computers that could provide ease of access to Apple computers that also meets the requirements of the customers as well as compared to the server computers.

3.    Main Divisions of Apple

Apple is one of the leading company in the market of technology and computer systems. The organization has not only one specific domain for the manufacturing of computer systems only, however it covers the wide range of technology products including personal computers, mobile phones, music players and other such gadgets. The organization has been successful for its innovative products and its adaptability is however seen from very less number of the customers. The reason is that the products of Apple are bit expensive as compared to the products from the other manufact6urere. However the products are much liked by the customers because of its user experience is much like wide range of the customers. The organization is not focusing on its one of the domain, it has number of domains that are concerned with the production of technology products. The main domains of Apple are divided into four categories that are

  1. Management Information System
  2. Personal Computers
  3. Music Products
  4. Videos and Sound
  5. Wireless Network

Before the introduction of mobile phone, the personal computer domain was considered to be the main division of the organization as it has always the first motive of the company and its dream about the availability of Mac on every bench (OXLearn, 2009). With the launch of mobile phone by the organization there was increase in the revenue generation and iPhone contributed 40% of the revenue generation within 3 years of its launch in the market. This innovative product gave a new name and charm to the organization and attracted large number of the customers that other domains of the organization were failed to attract. The company again adopted the focus strategy on its differentiation advantage as it developed a product that was never introduced in the market. The organization focused on the innovation and did not bother about the price of the product. This focus strategy was helpful as the company’s aim was to attract the customers with its innovation and differentiation strategy and provide the user experience that they always had been thinking about. The most important division in Apple is the management information system that is helping the organization in managing its resources and the employees in the best efficient manner. The management information systems is quite like the computer system that is utilized by the organizations using the hardware, software, procedures, people and the information. This division of the organization is helpful for it as it lets the achievement of the competitive advantage by offering the chances for the management to take decisions based on the strategic analysis of the organization and the market.

4.    MIS in Organizations

The management information systems are being adopted by most of the organization during these days as it can be considered to be the basic necessity for them as it provides the effective data that can be used for the decision making by the managers in the future. The organizations have been relying on the information being collected from the environment in which it exists consisted of the customers who have been the main focus of the organization. The management information systems have become the backbone for the organizations as it helps in taking decisions for the organization and using the focus strategy before the implication of any plan or production of new product. The management information systems has got a wide range of its applications in organization and companies that is used to collect the data and information, manipulate that information and present the information to the managers who could take decisions on the stats. The same is being done by Apple as it is focusing on the customers’ feedback and the market trends, and analyzing the demands of the customers. Apple has been surviving the market for its innovation in the products, every new product by the company is innovative and is liked by the customers as well. The reason for the production of such successful products is that Apple relies on the management information system that lets the company find out what the customers are looking for and what is the trend of the market as well. This also lets Apple to focus on the products that will be successful rather than investing time and money on the products that are not liked. Innovation has always been a competitive advantage for the company but it is not all, focus on the innovation and the management information system also helps a lot.

5.    Value Chain and Porter’s Five Forces Analysis

The value chain within an organization involves the chain of activities that it has been operating in order to produce a final product to be used by the end consumer. In other words it can be said that it is the process view of the organization that how the inputs are transferred into useful products to be provided to customers with the involvement of forces including money and labor. The value chain of the organization is very important in different aspects as it counts for the cost reductions in the manufacturing process having an effect on the profit of the finished products. Porter’s value chain activities are divided into four categories that are inbound logistics, operations, outbound logistics and sales and marketing (VanBruaene, 2012). Considering the inbound logistics, most of the components for the production of products by Apple, the material is obtained from different resource that comprise to the completion of the final product. Hardware products are also manufactured by the third party. The raw material of the company is also obtained from the third party, but the material is also checked for its quality. It is to ensure that the best quality material is obtained for the Apple products to provide better user experience to the customers in terms of hardware as well. The materials are also received with the help of automated system to avoid wastage of time. The operations of the organization are also quite clean as is uses the elements that are from any sort of toxic and the material is mostly used as the combination of aluminum that can be recycled easily. While the outdoor logistics is concerned, the company prefers to have its retails stores in different corners of the world so that the customers. On the other hand, Apple also takes the help of online store, carriers and the whole sellers as distribution channels making the availability of products quite easy and fast. The products are also packed in slim pattern in order to ensure the safety of the product and the reduction of emission as well. Sales and marketing of the company are very strong because the company always tries to introduce its new product at affordable prices so that maximum number of customers could get access to it. Apple also focuses on the retail stores so that it is easy for the customers to buy the product.

It is also important to find out the ability of the organization that either it is able to maintain the competitive advantage over the other organizations or not. Porter’s has also presented its five forces model that are to find out the organization’s competitive intensity to stay in business and ahead of its competitors. There are five forces or threat to the organization for its competitive advantage. In this case we will be analyzing the Porter’s five forces on Apple that either it is able to cope with those threats or not. The first threat to the organizations is the new entrants in the market. Every new entrant in the market always brings some new ideas and products for the customers that can be a threat to the existing organizations. Apple is famous for its innovative products and it already dominates the electronic market. The reason is that the organization is always focused on its research and development to present something new and innovative. Apple has been producing new and unique products reducing the threat of the new entrants. The second threat to the organizations is about the rivals, however Apple has exceeded the other organization as compare to other organization because of introduction of some of its best products including iPhone and iPads. The third threat to any organization about competitive advantage is the substitute products, Apple has also taken care of this threat already. There are many alternate products like MP3 players by Samsung but products of Apple like iPod surpass the user experience and quality of those alternate products. Its brand image also take care of such threats as it has won the trust of customers by providing best quality. The supply power is also a threat to the organization as the quality of the product is dependent on the quality of the material being provided. The last threat the organizations face is the buyer power. Apple seems already taken care of this threat as its products are expensive as compared to other products and it has already millions of products. Apple has customers who belong to middle or high class which means an increase in its prices will not bother its customers.

6.    Measuring Efficiency and Effectiveness

The efficiency and effectiveness of the organization are important in respect to the available resource and the quality of the finished products by the organization. However the measures may vary from organization to organization, while we will be measuring the efficiency and effectiveness of Apple. We have a plan for measure both these quantifiable objects. In order to measure the efficiency of Apple products we will be focusing on finding out some of the sub entities that are cycle time, per unit cost, backlog, response time, staffing ratios, per unit equipment utilization and per unit full-time equivalents. In order to find out the efficiency of the organization we need to know that how much time is consumed in the production of one unit of apple product that can be a mobile phone or any other gadget. The second thing that we will find out that what is the cost of each finished Apple product. All these measures will contribute the efficiency of the organization. On the other hand in order to find out the effectiveness of Apple we need to find out accomplishment, quality, coverage and the satisfaction. Once these measures will be obtained from the organization then utilized in the management information system in order to find out the effectiveness and the efficiencies of the organization.

7.    Conclusion

The management information systems have become one of the most important aspects in the organization as they are ones that can be a positive help for the success of the organization. The information provided to the managers is really helpful as they are able to take decisions on the basis of the results provided by MIS. On the other hand, Apple has been able to survive in the market following the Porter’s generic strategies. It has also been able to survive in the market because of its innovation in ideas and the products. The company knows best how to survive in the market and what changes they could make with the help of their innovation and stay on competitive advantage.

8.    References:

Kishore, N. S. (2010, 12 24). Managing Information Systems by Apple. Retrieved from Scribd: http://www.scribd.com/doc/45851282/Managing-Information-Systems-by-Apple

Leyens, W. (2011, 4 7). Generic Strategies-Porter’s Business Strategy Proposition as a “Way of Competitive Advantage”. Retrieved from Strategic Management: http://workshop-strategicmarketing.blogspot.com/2011/04/michael-e.html

Mercury. (2012, 7 24). MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEM Apple Inc. Retrieved from Slide Serve: http://www.slideserve.com/mercury/mis-750-management-information-system-apple-inc

OXLearn. (2009, 1 1). Porter’s Generic Strategies. Retrieved from OXLearn: http://oxlearn.com/arg_Marketing-Resources-Porter’s-Generic-Strategies_11_33

Systems, I. (2014, 1 1). How the Manufacturing Industry Benefits from Customer Feedback and Data Management:. Retrieved from InSite Systems: https://www.insitesystems.com/community/industries/manufacturing.html

VanBruaene, M. (2012, 2 20). Performance Measures – Guidelines For Developing And Using Them. Retrieved from http://www.advancingyourorganization.com/?p=1596: http://www.advancingyourorganization.com/?p=1596

Wan, S. (2013, 10 3). Porter’s 5 forces model and value chain. Retrieved from Slide Share: http://www.slideshare.net/shahirwan82/porters-5-forces-model-and-value-chain