a) Operational Balanced Scorecard: Apple, Inc.
Increasing customer expectations and a rapidly changing market are continually putting pressure on Apple to maintain a balanced scorecard. From the information reviewed, it is evident both financial and non-financial measures of Apple operations constitute the management of their strategic decisions and evaluations of the cost of quality measures. Using the balanced scorecard approach to define the financial positioning of Apple creates a clear picture as to what they can and should measure to balance the financials accordingly. It is a management system that enables them to illuminate their corporate strategy, mission, and vision—and put them into action, while providing current feedback for improving performance and results. The Learning and Growth Perspective
In today’s fast-paced world of swift technological change, the level of knowledge and training held by Apple’s employees is imperative to their ability to remain a key competitor in a highly competitive market. Yahoo! Finance Investor Relations illustrates some qualities of the non-financial measures of Apple’s balanced scorecard in respect to the Learning and Growth perspective. It is necessary for employees to be in a continuous learning mode, and it is evident through Apple’s recent investments in training their rapidly growing number of employees. As of 2010, Apple Inc. employed 49,400 employees on a full time basis. That number has risen 34.2% from 2009, a clear reflection of company efforts to foster formidable growth through innovations, development, and market ability. Employee satisfaction is also relatively high at Apple. Their “Think Different” philosophy is evident through all levels of operations, from product development and marketing, to the corporate culture amongst employees. According to PC Mag, “Steve Jobs has passed away, but Apple employees will remember him fondly. When Jobs left Apple in August, he had one of the highest approval ratings for a chief executive by his employees, as documented by Glassdoor.com. Employee empowerment at Apple creates an opportunity for Apple employees to express their creativity through innovative design and foster continual improvements on a business process, customer, and financial measures perspective. Apple’s success is heavily reliant on the intelligence and abilities of their employees. It is imperative Apple continue to promote employee empowerment, boast low employee turnover, and generate high employee satisfaction, as the Learning and Growth perspective establishes the foundation of a balanced scorecard. Continually improving performance in the Learning and Growth perspective will enable Apple to improve its Internal Processes, and therefore increase customer satisfaction, and generate better financial performance. The Business Process Perspective
Internal business processes are imperious in Apple’s ability to evaluate their business and understand whether they are meeting and exceeding their customer expectations. In July, 2011 Steve Jobs said “We’re thrilled to deliver our best quarter ever, with revenue up 82 percent and profits up 125 percent”. Considerable growth and record profits are a clear indication that internal processes at Apple are working effectively. Apple’s ability to conform to customer requirements at an internal level are illustrated through their success and double-digit revenue growth.
The Customer Perspective
Apple operates in different market segments with their multiple personal computing products, mobile communication and media devices, and portable digital music players. The customers are at the heart of Microsoft’s operations. From reviewing Apple’s 2011 third quarter results, it is clear from increased revenues in three out of four of their market segments are reporting growth in revenues. Although revenue growth is not the sole indicator of customer satisfaction, it is clear their good...