Operations Management Report
By I. A. D. (Uni Of Abdn)
Apple Inc. Retail Store
This report examines an Apple Retail store from an operations management perspective while also exploring some of the company’s strategies. It points out that Apple retail stores are a special breed when compared to the competition, combining good service and retail practices, in an original way, in order to achieve success. Finally, it recommends Apple’s business model as an exemplary approach to retailing electronics, which should be used by more companies.
Apple Inc. is an American multinational corporation established in 1976 with headquarters in Cupertino, California. It designs, develops and sells electronics, such as multimedia players (i.e. iPod), tablet PC’s (i.e. iPad), laptops, fixed computers and also software for all of these devices. It employs approximately 80000 people worldwide (Apple, 2014) and makes use of 423 retail stores (ifo Apple Store, 2014) to market its products. It is well known for the innovativeness and the unique, sleek design of its products. Its retail stores are no exception, being significantly different from those of its competitors, especially in terms of aesthetics and design.
This report will focus on describing and analysing aspects of one of Apple’s retail stores, based in Aberdeen, in the Union Square mall. This analysis will include the characteristics of the operation, the layout and flow, the performance objectives, the order winners and qualifiers and finally a few observations and opinions.
2. Characteristics of the operation
Operations can be conveniently distinguished by four characteristics: Volume, Variety, Variation and Visibility (Slack et al., 2010).
The volume of the Apple store retail operation is in some aspects high and in some aspects low. Given the premium priced products, and the highly customised customer experience, one would assume that the volume is low. However, when compared to other
References: A. Greasley (2009) Operations Management, 2nd edition, Wiley. N. Slack, S. Chambers and R. Johnston (2010) Operations Management, 6th edition, Prentice Hall. Apple (2014) Creating jobs through innovation. [Online] Available from: http://www.apple.com/about/job-creation/. [Accessed: 1st March 2014]. ifo Apple Store (2014) Apple store chronology 2013-2014. [Online] Available from: http://www.ifoapplestore.com/apple-store-chronology-2013-2014/. [Accessed: 1st March 2014].