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Business Process Assignment: Quality Management In Apple


Task: Using an organisation that you are familiar with, (this could be a current employer, past employer or an organisation you can research on the internet), carry out the following pieces of analysis and tasks-though not all of them require reference to your chosen organisation.
1. Identify and describe the approaches to quality management undertaken by your chosen organisation, compare these approaches to one other organisation and appraise the effectiveness of your chosen organisation’s quality management.
2. a) Discuss different approaches to the measurement of project success
b) Identify principles and examples of effective project management and discuss how these can contribute to different elements or definitions of project success.
3. a) Discuss different techniques with which processes within an organisation might be analysed and improved.
b) Discuss how you might apply one or more of these techniques to a process within your chosen organisation.
4. a) Discuss how aspects of the above analyses might generate opportunities for innovation and growth or any other improvements in your chosen organisation and its product.
b) Develop an implementation plan to assist your chosen organisation in benefiting from the opportunities you have identified.


1. Approaches to Quality Management
According to the investigation on business process assignment, Quality management is a business philosophy which came into existence in 1920s when business owners started relying on company statistics to determine the growth in business. But only in 1950 the leading business enterprises took into account the impact of short term initiatives in the long term success of its products and services. Quality management and control refers to a set of policies adopted by the company to supervise all operations and activities so that a desired level of performance is achieved striving towards excellence (O’Neill, Sohal and Teng, 2016). It involves all employees, directors and stakeholders in a business to come together for improvement of products, processes, work culture and services by implementation of proper planning and innovations. Herein business process assignment, we will review quality control and management with reference to Apple Inc. which is an American multinational technological corporation dealing in electronic goods, computer software’s and online services. It is one of the five technology giants in the world and sets standards for others to abide by.

Quality planning is estimating the key requirements for upholding quality in business and this includes charting of work plans and documentation. The documents considered in the business process assignment specify attainable objectives, allocation of responsibilities and resources, operation instructions, standards of inspections, audits etc. Apple’s quality planning aims at providing products and services within limited time frame to stakeholders and consumers. This has been enabling high value for money and end user satisfaction. They have strict quality standards for suppliers and a diversity programmed through they empower minority, women and veteran owned supply units. They have a separate secure online database for maintaining their supplier base (Turrini et al., 2018). Apple has robust customer interaction forums online and offline to review the reception of its products and services in the market. To continue its rich legacy of outstanding business leadership, Apple University, an exclusive rigorous training programmed for Apple employees was launched. Apple Inc. also has a number of environment friendly approaches like total usage of recycled aluminum, products that run on minimum power etc.

It is discussed in this business process assignment that quality assurance is done through setting up a network of managers who look into each step of delivery and production to ensure a threshold of acceptability is maintained throughout. It can in addition benefit profit margins by reducing waste. It deals more with the overall procedure rather product specificity. Apple’s approach towards this is to categorically eliminate competitive devices through high quality replacements rather than focus on a single problem. The quality assurance managers hired are from software, hardware, electrical, electronic and mechanical engineering backgrounds who can gauge quality at every possible level of manufacture and operation. The brand itself stands out amongst consumers; they have ISO 9000:2008, ISO 14001: 1997 and ISO 14001:2005 certifications (Chen and Ann, 2016). A structured environment management system (EMS) ensures all its products and services have minimum negative impacts. ISO 27001:2005 uploaded on cloud would remain secure and confidential.

Quality control is a set of procedures which makes manufactured products or performed services fulfill necessary criteria and meet customer requirements. It is usually product or service specific and adherence to standard protocols (internal or global) is one of the goals of all leading businesses. Apple Infinite Loop testing labs ensure products undergo stringent examination before they reach markets. Products and services are retested, designed, updated and newer versions are launched to cater to an ever expanding customer base comprising of music lovers, professionals and data driven businesses.

The Coco Cola Company explored in the business process assignment is an American multinational firm which manufactures markets and distributes non-alcoholic beverages (concentrates and syrups) worldwide. Unlike Apple Inc. quality management is multifaceted like manufacturing, bottling and delivery. Quality planning is not environment friendly as it is the largest industrial producer of plastic wastes as in addition to aluminum and glass bottles, plastic cans are used. Coco Cola Operating Requirements “KORE” governs quality management mainly during production process (Serôdio, McKee and Stuckler, 2018). Quality assurance deals with testing of supplied good (e.g. sugar), consistency of the chemical formula and speed of production to meet market demands, because unlike electronic goods, beverages are brisk business (stocking of empty bottles, refilling and distribution). Quality control is done by inspection of blowing, fill levels in the bottles, labeling and other quality checks. Constant maintenance of machinery mentioned in the business process assignment at all manufacturing units is done by skilled engineers to assure quality. Batch quantity increases every year due to large scale changes in consumption compared to Apple Inc. For instance it is unlikely a person uses 2 MacBook at the same time, but beverage consumption can be from none to a few bottles daily. Defective products reaching customers inhibited (defective bottles stocked in waiting areas to be reused or discarded). Rinsing of all machines, pipelines and equipment done before production switch over of lines (e.g. Coke to Diet Coke). Utilization of each production is optimized using a scorecard system. Quester database enables regular check to maintain the quality of hygiene and production.

1. a) What are the different approaches to the measurement of project success mentioned in the business process assignment?
The main objective of all projects is to be successful. About twenty approaches were surveyed which identified the success criteria of the project. After a thorough survey and analysis, comparison was made to select the best criteria for measurement of the success of any project. Time, quality, cost and scope are the most important and effective criteria for measurement if the success of the project though some other criteria like project goal, performance, product success, risk management etc often used to measure the success of the project. To make a project successful, a project should be completed within the specified time period (Todorovi? et al., 2015). If the project cannot be completed with a pre-fixed time period, all other factors related to the project such as performance, goal etc may be changed and the project may be unsuccessful. In this business process assignment, to maintain specific quality is another key factor of success of a project. However, quality also depends on the other keys factors such as cost, time, satisfaction etc. As cheap and quick produce low quality, quick and good are expensive quality therefore quality should be prepared and maintained properly for a successful project. Cost is another most important criteria on which the success of the project is dependable. Cost can be described as project reserves tooling, set up cost or on- going operational cash like labor cost, manufacturing cost, carrying cost etc. variation of one or more cost issues ultimately affects the entire production and thus control the success of the project. Blending of all the cost issues, which is proper balancing and effective use of off-cost and operational cost can achieve success (de Carvalho, Patah and de Souza Bido, 2015). Scope is another important reason mentioned in the business process assignment, which affects the success of the project. This is the intended result of the project, which is required to bring it into completion. All items of the scope are to be included in a project to make the project successful. Scope is supplier to the most important criteria for a successful project, which comes before time and cost.

Principles for successful project management and contribution of such elements so that the project is successful, are discussed in this essay.

b) Principles for Effective Project Management
Project objectives and goals: Before a project planning, even before it got started project manager, project planner as well as customers should enlighten project objectives and goals. Customer satisfaction, cost reduction etc are the objectives behind the project. Project is planned to deliver business benefits (Kerzner, 2017). Clear goal of the project and objectives of the project guide its members in every phase as well as during the project execution.

Time management: Project timeline is one of the most emphasized elements of project management. As mentioned in the business process assignment, it is essential to determine how and when project is delivered. To introduce the product in the market in time, project timeline is to be prepared perfectly. Project manager should do all the primary duties and responsibilities such as identify project team members, team leaders, track delivery schedule all the time consistently and regularly to make the project deliverable in stipulated time frame. The success of a product in the market as per time is given is explained like in the season of summer people have a huge demand for cold drinks and ice-creams but the same does not happens in winter. In winter people have the preference of having hot drinks like coffee. Therefore, the demand of the project depends upon the time. Whenever any product is being launched in the market, time is a key factor that must be kept in mind of the business to earn the maximum profit.

Cost efficiency: Each project requires sufficient funding. The organization on its own or its clients manage most of the funds for a project. Whoever invests his money wants to see the return of his investment that is earnings. It is advisable in this segment of business process assignment that every project should have enough fund allocation as per budget provision for the product in order to make it successful despite of risk and uncertainty of market. Tentative project cost is estimated before budgetary allocation. Project cost is to be maintained on an ongoing project to keep it within the budget provision and drive the project to make the project profitable. Sustainable profit management is also maintained by introducing this principle (Banihashemi et al., 2017). Therefore, the cost efficiency mainly depends upon the production cost. As low will be the cost of production, company will earn more profit. Suppose, the cost of a chips say lays is say 100/- , people will not get attracted to it and therefore its sale will also not be up to the mark. The demand will be less than the supply, therefore, the profit will be very less but if the market price of this packet of chips is 10/-, then there will be huge demand of the brand in the market. People will like to buy the product and therefore, profit will be earned. At this stage, supply will be less than the demand and to maintain the supply, the companies will double its production and thus the launching the product becomes successful.

Risk management: It is an important factor mentioned in this business process assignment of a project but often it is followed in a conventional way and mostly as a routine work. It should be given more importance especially for large project and all other projects where significant, financial investments are involved. Project risk management is extremely necessary for effective project management. Mismanagement faces all the market uncertainties such as price fall, fall of demand, climatic change and behavioral change of the customer for a particular product. Risk management taps opportunities, which ultimately deliver the success of the project (McNeil, Frey and Embrechts, 2015). The risk management completely depends upon the lifestyle of the people where the product is launched. Suppose the people living in an area where maximum of them does not have a good income, therefore, in this kind of place, if a company launches IPhone, it will run in loss because the people cannot afford it. Therefore, there must be specialized team to study the statistics of the market and the plan for a launch. 

Therefore, above-mentioned four elements illustrated within this business process assignment are important and used as the four pillars for success of the project management.

2. a) Business processes with techniques
Companies with an aim to outperform contemporaries often employ the concept of business transformation wherein a lot of thought is put into redesigning and radical analysis of ongoing business processes. This helps in making drastic improvements in terms of cost efficiency, profit margin, performance quality, service and delivery speed. Broadly speaking, this highlights business practices which discard old ideas to adopt to current dynamics, enter healthy competition, minimize cost of production and enhance customer satisfaction through high product value (Breuker et al., 2016). Each business process re-engineering must also accompany benchmarking, that is to assess the performance by comparisons with relevant counterparts and fill up any gaps present. So case studies are deemed necessary from time to time.

The first step outlined herein business process assignment is envisioning new processes that can be incorporated into the existing setup through strategic planning. The business process assignment examines that this is one primary business tool which has gained widespread recognition in recent times. Envisioning is always challenging because it requires unbiased research, foresight and solid ground knowledge gained from reflections. Short term goals and current success models may manage to get in the way of planning. So the simple approach to envisioning is to frame a meaningful picture of the primary objective, then set out to draft a plan to achieve it such that this achievement is a confident improvement over present state. For this one has to take time away from daily tasks to create the vision. Envisioning is an innovative creation, so it requires a blank template and also careful assessments of skills needed to achieve final goal knowledge, authority, money capital, connections etc (van Waart, Mulder and de Bont, 2016). Regular hindrances to envisioning are hierarchy, negative influences, abusive work environment etc.

Another foremost step mentioned in the context of business process assignment in business process transformation is to initiate the change within an organization with the aim of drastic improvements over current scenario and this is covered within primary activity. This initiation is pretty convenient for a start-up as the customers are not yet used to any product or service and it is relatively easy to fetch in new ideas during commencement of any business with fewer human resources (Grant, 2016). This can be challenging in huge corporate firms as people (managers, marketing team, product specialists and customers) can be satisfied with the current scheme, here there can be conflict of interest regarding long term success. If company is not particularly doing bad but not reaching its full potential, then this should be supported with research on case studies and benchmarking data.

Next in the order is business process diagnosis. This is required to assess the current scenario before initiation of any new ideas or project. This is a process which works backwards to understand poor or underperformances of any unit to reach to a cause and effect conclusion. This is important because process initiation can take off directly from the cause. So herein business process assignment customer satisfaction has to be placed at the center and all other key elements occupy the periphery. Decentralized approach is needed to involve all including the organization’s administration, management, operations and marketing team in the troubleshooting process. Firstly, the problem needs to be identified from statistical analysis of practical situation and then one has to revert back to design and planning to see what the initial aim was (Orehounig, Evins and Dorer, 2015). It can the initial goals and objectives were fulfilled but they were underestimations of the company’s full potential.

Product re-design arises from path-breaking questions that challenge conventional norms in popular business practices. For instance, the reason as to why certain refund from online purchases can take more time than offline. The answer then leads to systematic study of a set of interrelated and connected activities to deliver a certain outcome, and the efficiency and output quality can be improved by making modifications in the workflow. It is also evident in the business process assignment; effective planning always aims at customer convenience. Redesign always does in-depth analysis into the fundamentals of each business process. The common approaches to redesign are task streamlining, task re-sequencing, centralizing common activities, decentralizing authority and responsibilities and balancing resources, capacity and output (Raasveldt and Mühleisen, 2017). This has the tremendous potential to overthrow conventional practices in a jiffy and brings in system sustainability. The jobs within a company are often redesigned to provide a competitive edge over contemporaries in same market.

The evaluation of any organization from the business perspective deals with reconstruction of existing business processes. A clear action plan regarding business process distinction and delimitation criteria needs to be developed. This approach is a culmination of theory and method driven models to analyze business processes. Biphasic models with relying on input and output systems give way to a wider view where specific roles in interconnected business activities are worked upon for final action workflow. Every business process is divided into 6 phases- prerequisite, exposure and contact search, establishment of contact, contractual, fulfillment and completion phase. These phases represent groups of action and reconstruction is done keeping in mind a principal order (Page, 2015). Reconstruction and developmental plans used in the business process assignment comprise work procedure, notations and conceptual frameworks. Graphical models with defined notations are used by analysts to specify information systems in their business contexts. Any activity is formed out of performers, actions and action objects.

Process monitoring just like business reconstruction is a secondary business process. Business in the modern way is wrought with complexities as operations create different processes in diverse area of functioning. Each task needs to be organized and standardized for smooth running of establishments. Business process monitoring is mainly review and analysis of success and problems associated with each process. Usually it is done through software acting as monitoring tools. Any blockages within a process or system can be identified through functional monitoring but broader context is applied to reach a solution. Operational efficiency of software, system or equipment is assessed by technical monitoring (Everton et al., 2016). This is the most popular concept in business monitoring. Process monitoring is the overall review of the spectrum of all activities and workflow within a business. This helps in eliminating repetitive activities, performance issues and track progress. It is like a quick scan to give reports of a health check of any business.

b) Application of business techniques to improve processes within organization
Business reconstruction is the need of the hour in Apple Inc. regarding its marketing strategies. This will aim at improving bottleneck process of generating positive customer feedback regarding product update and repair of older model versions. A recent report utilized in the case of business process assignment came wherein Apple had to pay approximately a settlement of $500 million as it lost a lawsuit accusing the firm of intentionally lowering performance of older phones to push its newly launched models. The settlement covers all U.S. owners of iPhone 6, 6 plus, 6s, 6s plus who claim software updates forced them to go for new purchases or reinstall fresh batteries. Also repair of Apple products in local shops is rendered impossible, raising costs on part of customers. A thorough action plan developed within this business process assignment regarding customer services and updates of older versions of product or services needs to be built to add to limited services currently on offer (Gazova, Papulova and Papula, 2016). To regain its credibility regarding product sustenance, Apple’s primary focus should be shifted from manufacturing durable products to offer cheap repair options for marginal damage to products (e.g. screen breakage, wiring issues, touch disablement in iPads, MacBook, iPhone etc.)

Product (service) redesign is another business process reengineering technique to be taken up by Apple Inc. regarding benchmarking Apple App Store against Google Play Store (Android). The app developers worldwide do not consider Apple as their first option as they charge a hefty $99, Google Play has a one-time fee of $25 and Windows is the cheapest option at $12. But the revenue sharing is 70% for the developers for all the platforms. So, pricing strategy regarding software service supplier’s needs reconsideration. Android has already launched an app iTunes App Store Explorer which allows Android users to browse through the entire Apple App Store, and search for Android alternatives in the same category. Many iOS applications are accessible only on iPad tablets, restricting user base. Overall, it is mentioned in this business process assignment that Google Play is both user and developer friendly though App Store is safer. Apple Inc. should consider service redesigning to overcome all the above limitations. Redesigning should aim at developing user convenience through enhanced interfaces, search options and updates. Also relationships with app developers should be strengthened, this can be through providing assistance in case of app upload rejection, extra added features, and lucrative app based revenue sharing and customisations as per devices. 

3. a) Generation of new innovative opportunities and growth on basis of above analyses
Business process reengineering (BPR) can be productive only when there is proper evaluation of a company’s strength, limitations and opportunities. A brief discussion of these with regard to Apple Inc. is necessary before any innovative ideas directed to its growth or improvement can be discussed within this business process assignment. Apple has revolutionized the world of electronic gadgets with its cutting edge technology and sleek innovative products like iPad, iPad tablets, iPods, HomePod, iPhones, MacBook, Apple TV, smart watches etc. They have a diverse customer base with all groups included (25 to 33 year olds comprise most of Apple Music customers and 35-44 make up for most of the smart watch purchases). There are however major limitations. Apple exercises a lot of proprietorship controls and never outsources hardware development skills leading to its limited adaptation. Secretiveness of CEOs sometimes moves the overall company development. Apple has been in news for denying paying dividends to its shareholders (Vorkapi?, ?o?kalo, ?or?evi? and Beši?, 2017). Apart from these aspects discussed in this business process assignment, their marketing strategies make use of people’s frustrations over other hardware but at the same time dig a hole in the pocket. Their product line is expensive and zero repair or replacement policy aims at pushing the existing users towards far-fetched models.

In this business process assignment, Apple Inc. has a hierarchal approach to management of its human resources. The control freak and demanding attitude of higher authorities make business deals with developers and suppliers difficult, pricing strategies stringent and create a less motivating work environment. Many of these issues can be solved through adoption of Hammer’s process centring policy. Process centred organisations divide their employees into process performers and process professionals. This system makes each employee aware of his contribution to company progress through their tasks which works as integrated system. Aim is at achievement of a result not the task itself. Performers dealing with daily tasks comprise the surface system, whereas the deep system comprises process professionals who bring about drastic transformations through learning (research), redesign and transition. Experts known as reengineers are hired to help facilitate the changes in deep systems like privacy policy, relationship with stakeholders, absorption of old products to revamp the customer feedback system etc. These will provide extra edge over competitors in the electronic goods market and cater to growing demands.

b) Implementation plans for benefitting from identified opportunities
Kotter’s 8 steps mentioned in this business process assignment processes for leading business process changes find a wide acceptance worldwide. The success factors from leading businesses were combined to form this methodology to bring transformation in strategies. Here the possible implementation steps for Apple Inc. for making the best use of opportunities in accordance with these 8 step process is discussed. The first opportunity examined herein business process assignment is to hold on to its customer base, here high price and weak repair services present the most barrier. This can be overcome by adopting the 5th step. Low price alternatives and repair through a network of mechanics can help. The 4th principle is to build an army around a common opportunity which turns a project into a movement. This can be mastered through Apple’s dedicated team of researchers, developers and product specialists. They can convert customer demands into new technologies (Galli, 2018). 2nd principle states the need for coalition which provides guiding light. In Apple’s business context this can mean the expansion of its network of distributors. Apple has very limited collaborations in this regard and it keeps the growth minimal. Vast expansion of distribution services along with edgy promotions and marketing plans will increase company sales and revenue manifold. This is against the aggressive control exercised by Apple regarding propriety rights. But the minimal growth witnesses currently should create this urgency to change its policy (1st principle).

Apple Inc. although uses renewable sources of energy in most manufacturing units yet are far behind in developing products and services which rely on green energy. The implementation or participation in creating sustainable technology to reduce carbon footprints is in accordance with 8th principle (institute change). Incorporation of this into existing product line through modification will enhance eco-friendly attitude and improve credibility. Smart wearable technology is soon to take the world by storm (Schanes, Giljum and Hertwich, 2016). Apple can expand their products in this direction as their reach is limited to AirPod and smart watches. This involves acceleration of growth in promising avenues (7th principle). Lastly, it is noted in this aspect of business process assignment that Apple has to optimize the use of artificial intelligence to revamp software user opportunities (envisioning future, 3rd principle). Apple has already taken baby steps towards this initiative. In 2017, Apple got hold of Regaind (French artificial intelligence start-up) and Deskconnect (an artificial intelligence tool). Both help users to search for and arrange app features in the App Store. This will definitely make the interface more user friendly and bridge the existing gap with Google Play in this regard.

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