Goals of the New System
The new system help solves the problem of logistics in the company. The system aims to improve the communication between Apple’s headquarters and the regional outlets spread throughout the world. Since Apple aims to increase its sales volume in all the regions of the world, it is imperative to have a system that will streamline the logistics of the company. Customers value efficient and a reliable company that can fulfill its promises. With the launch of new models of the company’s products every year, there is an urgent need to ensure that the logistics of delivering the goods to the customers is efficient (Nagati and Claudia 8). Most importantly, customers expect Apple to have a robust information technology system to match the good image of the company as the world’s leading technology brand.
The new system intends to use information technology system to connect the customers, the retail outlets, the regional distribution hubs, and Apple’s headquarters. Any order or inquiry made by the customers is delivered through the distribution channel, and the headquarters can adjust its output from the manufacturers. Therefore, if customers from a particular region demand a specific product more than other products from the company, the system will reflect the demand and ensure the headquarters channel the products to the region. The system will ensure the headquarters has real-time demand for the specific products available for sale.
The information from the new system will not only help in improving delivery of products to customers, but will help the management of Apple to understand the demand dynamics for all its products. Having the right information at the right time is critical in making managerial decisions (Sharma and Arun 27). For instance, if a product has low demand in some regions of the world, then the management might consider redesigning the product or ceasing its production. The management will have a ready world view of how the different regions demands its products, and how each consignment moves from the manufacturer to the retail stores. The new system will calculate the time products take to reach the retailers shop. This is important for new products that have a high demand immediately after the launching.
The new system will also open up avenues for communication between the retailers of Apple products and the headquarters. The retailers can send important feedback to the headquarters that will help improve the quality of both services and products. Nagati and Claudia (9) believe that the customer experience when shopping is integral. Successful companies empower their retailers to offer the best customer experience. Consequently, when retailers have the new system, they can receive updates from the headquarters and send their feedback through the same channel. If there is a problem with certain products, the retailers can easily alert the manufacturer to avoid disappointing many customers with the faulty products.
Alternative Considered and Solution Selected
Apple considered several options as a way to improve on product logistics and communication with the retailers and distributors. The first alternative was to install Radio-Frequency Integration Technology (RFIT) devices on all the products of the company, such that it would be possible to track the physical movement of all devices from the manufacturer to the customers. However, the system proved challenging because of the privacy rights of the customers. It would be unethical for the company to track the movement of customers with the devices without their consent. Furthermore, the installation of RFIT devices would be costly for the company making the product very expensive beyond the reach of most consumers.
The second alternative was to use the company’s website and then the social media platform as the official channel of communication between the company and its distributors. However, the use of the social media platform limits the function of tracking products and their sales in all regions of the world. Despite having good communication functions, social media, and the company’s website cannot bridge the wide gap between the company and its distributors in remote places of the world (Halale 34). Furthermore, the use of social media cannot offer exclusive and customized channels of communication between the company and its retailers.
Therefore, the group settled on a customized system that uses the functions of a Smartphone as the ideal platform that could improve logistic challenges and enhance communication. The application would be available for both customers and the retailers. Therefore, retailers would have their account to communicate with the company while the customers will also have their account on the same platform. The system is affordable and easy for the retailers to access and use. The system has good security features that enable the company to pass confidential information to its employees working in the distribution channel. Issues such as the tracking of product delivery need to be accessible only to a few personnel. Apple believes that the mobile device has the capability of linking corporate organizations and their personnel on the ground.
Halale, Mahesh. Management Information System. Mumbai: Himalaya Pub. House, 2010. Print.
Nagati, Haithem, and Claudia Rebolledo. ‘Improving Operational Performance Through Knowledge Exchange With Customers.’ Production Planning & Control 24.8-9 (2013): 658-670. Web.
Sharma, Srinarayan, and Arun Rai. ‘Adopting IS Process Innovations in Organizations: The Role of IS Leaders’ Individual Factors and Technology Perceptions in Decision Making.’ European Journal of Information Systems 24.1 (2013): 23-37. Web.
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