Your assignment task is to: Evaluate Apple’s management of their ‘strategic resources’ to achieve a competitive advantage in respect to: sourcing of raw materials, global manufacturing strategy, sustainability, supply chains and logistics through to delivering goods and services to customers (ch’s 5 to 8 in particular from the text book). Researched based evidence from journal articles on supply chains and logistics, etc, is a good source of material. Additional resources can be accessed from the material in this study guide and business related sites in general.
Apple is a prominent hardware and software company best known for its development of personal computers, the iPod, IPhone and IPad that combined with innovative marketing strategies that has ensured a continuous market for its products. The company was founded by Steven Jobs and Stephen Wozniak. Jobs and Wozniak had been friends in high school and in 1975 were members of The Homebrew Computer Club, a now-legendary group where electronics enthusiasts met to discuss the Altair 8800 (the only personal computer available at the time) and other technical topics. Wozniak joined forces with Jobs to manufacture personal computers in Job’s garage. That endeavour started out as a shoestring operation, but quickly became successful. The pair introduced a relatively modern-looking computer in a plastic case in 1977 and incorporated as Apple Computer that same year (Rouse 2009).
Apple became the most valuable company in history on Monday 21st August 2012 in terms of global market capitalization. Heading into the final hour of trade, the stock had risen better than 2 percent, to give the company a market-cap of over $620 billion with shares trading over $662.00 apiece (Benzinga 2012). In 2014, Apple (AAPL) was a darling of the market all year long. Shares of the technology giant gained roughly 40% in 2014, compared to the market's 12% gain overall (USA TODAY 2015). Apple is currently the most valuable stock in the world with a market capitalisation in the vicinity of $728 billion and employee numbers globally coming in at just over 50 000 (NASDAQ: AAPL Feb 2015).