Apple Inc's Total Quality Management & TQM Analysis
Background of Apple Inc.
Apple Inc. is a multinational technology company in America that develops, modifies and sells the consumer software, consumer electronics, and online services. The Headquarter of the company is in Cupertino, California. The strategic plan and objective of the company have a major emphasis on social and quality responsibilities through the standards of an adequate management system. The core principles of the strategic process of the company are based on vision & mission, objectives, strategy formulation, strategy implementation, and strategy control.
The mission statement of Apple
"Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, I Life, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App store, and is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices with iPad."
The vision statement of the company is to provide safe working conditions, treat the employees with respect and dignity, integrate health and safety management practices, provide the technological innovative products/services and to bring out the best computing experiences to educators, students and consumers all over the globe.
Total Quality Management
The concept of Total Quality Management was developed by William Deming. TQM is the process that detects and reduces the errors that arise in the process of manufacturing. It ensures the activities of employees, improves the experience of customers and streamlines the supply chain management. The aim of Total Quality Management is to ensure the internal guidelines and standards that help in reducing the errors and flaws. The main aim of this process is to focus on the activities that help in improving the quality of the organizational outputs and internal practices of the business. In all the organizations, every member is committed to maintain a high standard of work. Thus, TQM is adopted by every organization to maintain an end-to-end process of management. It has also been noted that the objectives of Total Quality Management in the manufacturing industry are different from the objectives of TQM in the consumer goods sector.
Total Quality management of Apple
The main aim of Apple Inc. is to offer high-quality products to its customers. Apple Inc. uses the system of Total Quality Management (TQM) to keep the employees satisfied and motivated. The great source of motivation among the team is the communication at the public forums and effective meeting among the employees. The company uses four basic tools of TQM such as – Control chart, Pareto chart, cause and effect diagram, and Histogram. TQM enables the company to bring all the stakeholders together. There are various organizational factors of Apple that influence Total Quality Management. The senior management of Apple believes that communication is an important key for the implementation of TQM system. The principles of the system enable the company to establish an open culture of innovation and trust. By implementing the system of TQM, Apple Inc. has succeeded in reducing the wastage of the whole supply chain management. The company is able to make a balance between the responsiveness and efficiency by taking into consideration the principles of TQM.
Segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning of the brand
Apple Inc. segments people into different categories. The company generally targets the urban population as they have enough buying power for the Apple brand products. These people are the initial adopters of the brand but with the brand equity of the company, many others have also started using its products.
The company has segmented its products on the basis of three broad categories of consumers:
- The main target is on the people who love and like to hear music with iTunes and iPods.
- The company targets teenagers and professionals who use MacBook, Tablets and many such gadgets.
- The third category comprises the set of consumers who use other products and services of Apple such as Apple I-watch, Apple TV etc.
This brand creates a topmost position by being the No. 1 brand in the world. Whenever someone talks about buying laptops, tablets, smartphones or any other electronic gadget, the first brand that comes to their minds is Apple.
The Competitive Advantage of Apple
At the company level, there are very few competitors of Apple, but, at the product level, there are many competitors in line. iPhone faces competition from Android-based smartphones and IPad faces competition from Samsung Tablets. Apart from this, there are many competitive advantages of Apple over its competitors such as:
Superior technology products: I Watch and MacBook are considered as the leaders in their market space due to the technology and OS they use.
Revenue over time: Because of its high margins, Apple has very deep pockets.
Research and Development (R&D): The amount of money it invests in the R&D can be considered as the major competitive advantage. Further, it can definitely be beneficial in the near future.