The globalization of businesses and increased level of competition has made it difficult for entrepreneurs and organizations to create competitive advantage (Kraten& Kraten, 2010). Concerning the situation and its significance for the growth and development of global business, organizations are found with considering number of elements and critical factors that are required for business planning (Abrams& Kleiner, 2003). There is considerate effect of globalization on the IT manufacturing industries, where IT manufacturing organizations are intended to face increased competition, outsource of their raw material for production, transportation and cultural differences (Zacharakis et al., 2011). Apple Inc. that is an American Multinational Corporation and manufacturer and seller of consumer electronics is greatly located affected by the globalization, as it requires such tool or approach that can help it in comprehending and managing its business effectively. (Bangs, 2002) Thus, business plan tool may offer such strategy, through which it can achieve its business goals. In this regard, business plan that is defined as set of business goals along with resources available to achieve them has been found unique, because business plan mainly offers organizations with overview of the financial condition of the company, which is considered as milestone for the successful accomplishment of any business and business project (Pinson, 2008). Considering the consequence of business plan with special reference to Apple Inc, this paper aims to evaluate the role, potential and contribution of business planning for Apple. In this respect, paper evaluates and analyzes the hard and soft system factors within Apple, which appear affecting the success and failure in the implementation and development of business plan.
Question No. 1
Critical Evaluation of the Role, Potential and Contribution of Business Planning for Apple Inc
Systematic Business Process
The role of business plan within any organization is regarded as the venture that is created to utilize a concept for achieving organizational goal (Draheim, 2010). The three basic functions of business plan constituted in the business provide with action plan, road map and sales tool. Furthermore, it works to provide the organization with analysis of resources, information and business strategy that is required to meet the organizational objectives. Objectively, business planning constitutes organization’s mission statement, history, its organizational objectives, product and service, market analysis, market plan, operation plan, development plan, and management plan and financial plan (Bider, 2005). Thus, business plan provides complete systematic business process or road map for a business by offering the proposed action plan. Apple Inc being globalized organization requires having systematic business process, through which it can execute its business activities and other operations. In this regard, the use of business planning appears assuring the improved productivity by analyzing its current business processes (Harmon, 2007). However, critical situation may occur when business planning is used for non-essentials within organization (Clair, 2005). Apple has been located with number of operational activity, where it possesses diversity in its operations; the incorporation of business planning may mislead the organization process since business planning may focus on non-essentials. Such as, it could be difficult for Apple to consider when to stop looking for information and how to use the information for making decisions (Abrams& Kleiner, 2003).
Effective Business Strategy
Effective business strategy is considered as the backbone for the success of any business, while business planning is such tool, which enables the organizations to execute effective business strategy (Briggs& Keogh, 2011). Concerning the role of business planning for Apple Inc, it can be studied from the business strategy of Apple that it mainly focuses on improving the business process so that it could serve its customers with quality product to ensure the customer retention (Computerworld, 2002). The company is also located making the use of marketing planning and marketing management to improve its business strategy, which has significant effects on the success of the business venture. Thus, different elements of business planning enable the Apple Inc to incorporate and enhance the business strategy in respect of gaining the market industry competency (Lurin, 2010).
The significant role of business planning in this regard has been deemed as source of realizing the opportunity within operational activity of the organization, as Apple through understanding the opportunity able to provide with value proposition, marketing strategy, management and other financial requirements (Draheim, 2010). Significant problem with business planning tool in respect of business strategy is that it mainly depends on the assumed or second hand data; on the other hand, Apple to gather accurate data needs to conduct proper market research, which increases its financial burden (Rogers& Makonnen, 2009). Moreover, in order to reach to effective business strategy, Apple needs to focus on more than one business plan, which points out the inability of business planning tool to be effective enough for providing with single plan solution.
With the expansion in business and large operational activity of organization, businesses are largely identified with lack of single direction for their business activity (Bangs, 2002). The implication of lack of business direction can lead the organization to face inefficiency and inconsistency in terms of achieving the organizational goal. Apple has been identified as largely expanded organization with extended organizational activity including marketing, management, operation and finance (Gardenswartz& Rowe, 1998). It mostly depends on outsourcing the material and service from third party, and in such critical situation, the company can be led to state of instability if it does not plan it appropriately. Business planning, in this way, offers evaluation of problems, through available information and environmental analysis, which helps in understanding the nature and receptiveness of environment (Rogoff& Bezos, 2007). However, not all business planning can assure organizational stability, as there are other certain factors affecting the consistency and stability of organization (Draheim, 2010). In addition to this, business planning can enable the company stable if management within organization is capable to formulate effective business planning and finance allocation (Pinson, 2008).
Competitive Advantage through Diversity
Diversity offers great deal of advantages for business in relation to providing diverse operation and production level (Cox, 1994). Diversity within organization has been related to enablers of competitive advantage in organization, because through diversity, organizations can compete in global market by implementing diverse operational process and employees (Gardenswartz& Rowe, 1998). The implementation of diversity within organization is highly associated with its business planning, because through strategic business planning, organization can recognize its goals and its required process while seeking the opportunities available in the environment (Gardenswartz& Rowe, 1998). Thus, strategic business planning is regarded as indispensable for generating a productive, diverse workforce. Apple Inc that has been expanded globally, in order to perform its major operations, it has to employ diversity within its product and workforce, which may not be possible without proper business planning. However, significant problem may occur when important elements of business planning are missed or used inappropriately. Business planning as tool might offer great opportunity for Apple Inc to incorporate diversity in its operational activity and workforce to gain competitive advantage; on the other hand, business planning may put certain load on the financial data of company, as it can possibly show wrong information (Rogers& Makonnen, 2009).
Offering Organizational Change
It is understood that every organizations exist with certain objectives, which mainly revolve around making maximum profits (Draheim, 2010). In order to achieve this utmost goal, organizations are determined to create product or services, which require organizations to generate process based on its product and services such as marketing, operation, management and finance (Abrams& Kleiner, 2003). In this regard, the role of business planning within any organization is similar to strategic planning, because effective accomplishment of these phases assures success for organization by offering change within organization (Harmon, 2007).
The critical potential of business planning within any business offers identification of long and short-term objectives of businesses along with understanding the strength, weaknesses, opportunity and threats (Harmon, 2007). In addition, such business planning by evaluating environmental analysis determines the resources available for meeting the organizational objectives (Gardenswartz& Rowe, 1998). Hence, business planning contributes in the strategic planning of business by finding, describing and refining the competitive advantage of business operation, which is important for the organizational change (Pinson, 2008). Concerning the organization change, it is located that products of Apple has been successful because of its diversity in operational and research and development process, which is owing to organizational change in the company. In this respect, Apple Inc encourages its organizational structure to broaden the area and interaction of production units. For such interaction of production units, business-planning tool offers the company to organize and manage each business unit separately. However, problem may occur when these tasks are not carried out or implemented effectively (Bider, 2005).
It is concluded that the Apple Inc., which is the manufacturer and seller of consumer electronics is greatly located affected by the globalization, as it cover effective approach that can help it in comprehending and managing its business effectively. Therefore, the business plan tool may offered such strategy, through which it can achieve its business goals. However, the business plan of the company have provided the set of business goals along with resources available to achieve them has been found unique as the business plan of the company mainly offers organizations with overview of the financial condition of the company, which is considered as milestone for the successful accomplishment of any business and business projects. The paper also reviewed the cost fully costed business plans of the company and compared with existing best practices of the plan with the effective recommendation to attain competitive advantage.
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