Apple Winners and Qualifiers

3393 Words Mar 20th, 2011 14 Pages
APPLE TEACHING NOTE
The Apple case can be used to illustrate the issues of make or buy and managing the supply chain. It is best used in the middle part of an operations strategy course. It not only introduces the issues of managing suppliers but also affords the opportunity to reinforce other key topics, including developing an operations strategy, designing products, and managing lead times and inventory. Questions similar to the ones below have been found adequate to bring out the key issues in the case study. 1. How does Apple compete in its major markets: Macs, iPods and iTunes? 2. How has operations designed its supply chain to support these markets? 3. What must Apple do to maintain its competitive position in the future?

1 How
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However, unlike Macs, these are not niche products as their market share has fallen from a high of 97% to its current 62%. Although the MP3 player market is maturing, Apple is still seen as the market leader with technically superior products to its competitors.

Essential Operations Management Lecturer Resources © Alex Hill and Terry Hill 2011

b) How it competes in this market The order-winners and qualifiers are similar to those for Mac products as shown in TN/3: • Order-winners – Product design – the form and functionality of iPods have been critical to their success. They look good and are easy to use Technical support – unlike Macs, iPods are seen to have only a limited life (2 to 3 years) before they stop working. Therefore, technical support is not as

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