The purpose of this study was to evaluate the role of strategic planning, management, and leadership in enhancing Total Quality Management (TQM) and customer satisfaction at the Apple Company. Total Quality Management (TQM) refers to the systematic method, policies, and procedures used to ensure that goods and services are produced with an appropriate level of quality that meets the specification or the needs of the customer.
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Strategy is a plan to achieve the set firm’s goals. These give a firm the platform to meet the needs of the customers and thus draws them from the competitive firms in the industry. The main focus on the satisfaction of the customer is achieved by quality production in the goods and services that are produced in the firm. Customer’s attention can easily be withdrawn from the competing firm by the quality of goods and services that are produced.
Since the Company’s main objective is always to maximize profit, it is of merit to the firm that uses Total Quality Management in the running of its business. The scientific approach used by the Apple Company has helped to bring about many modern management techniques. Its influence has been seen in the task specialization, where employees focus on one part of the production. The findings of this study will hence be a useful contribution to the corpus of knowledge in the on-going study on total competency.
Strategic management may be defined as the process set by the top management to determine the Company’s fundamental aims or goals to be able to make decisions (David, 2005). The decisions focused on the achievement of these aims in the long term and short term, while strategic leadership is directing the actions of others towards the accomplishment of the set objectives. Practicing “transformational leadership” in business is an effective approach. Individuals or companies who practice transformational leadership embrace integrity. They share in the inspiration of a great future. Such leaders set clear goals motivating people towards them, managing delivery, and communicating well with their teams.
Steve Jobs set the pace and demanded high standards from everyone, which led to high productivity and profitability. He was a charismatic leader and commanded great influence on the followers. He followed an unstructured, open, dynamic, and flexible approach in problem-solving and practiced other forms of leadership, which has highly contributed to the success of the company (Collins, 2001).
Positive leadership is a strategic management method. The leaders at the Apple Company ensure that they exercise their potential in line with the strategic plan and management. The Company focuses ahead and anticipates success in all of its operations by establishing the state of the industry. Company leaders monitor and evaluate market trends in advance to ensure that they are standout. They do this through a thorough and thoughtful strategic planning (Thompson et al., 2012). There is rising competitiveness, and only the foresighted leaders can gain the client and the customer advantage.
Substantial Growth of the Company
The Apple Company’s work is recognized in the way it tends to improve the quality of its products and has a strong customer base. A 30% growth has been experienced in the last quarter (Collins, 2001). The scientific approach used in the management has largely improved the efficiency in the production process. Since time is very critical in any business, it should be given more consideration. With this approach, efficiency has been improved, and it has helped in the control of customers’ preferences in the goods and services produced.
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This management method reinforces the noble idea that optimization of how people work is more efficient than just making people work. The Company has set scientific working principles to enhance job productivity, after the realization that when workers are left to work alone without incorporation with the manager, their work was unproductive. Employees work better when they are well paid (Banks, 1997). Money was, therefore, the motivating factor in improving their productivity. Every individual is rewarded according to what he or she has worked for, giving him or her the drive to put more effort into their respective roles.
The management of any firm that does not use the scientific approach always lags behind the other competing firms in the industry; hence must strive hard to meet the standards (David, 2005). The implemented strategic plan merges with the total quality management to help the Company focus on the growth and take advantage of the industry towards customer service. The advantage of promotion of the worker and other methods that can improve their morale and help in the production process is encouraged. Total Quality Management is a way to show that any work can be improved through a systematic method, and it thus improves the productivity of the firm.
Designing “SMART” Objectives for Personal and Professional life
The Apple Company is working towards expanding the scope of success and is considering employing new strategies in the business. An operation model may be adopted. One of the proposed models is the “SMART” model.
‘SMART’ stands for specific, measurable, achievable and time-bound. This model highlights on objectives that give a clear picture of the expected results (David, 2005). It becomes easier to demonstrate success with those five factors. The specific part tells the specific expected result and its effect as well as how the change will be implemented.
Measurement can be defined as the ability to quantify an activity, or it is the result of a particular activity. Data collection, measurement, management and analysis must be accurate. The Apple Company ensures that the program set for data is feasible. A baseline is, therefore, required in the documentation of change. A consideration should be made to ensure that change is measured in a meaningful manner, and can be easily interpreted. The measuring tools should be accurate.
Another important factor is achievability or attainability of the set objectives and goals (Male, & Langford, 2008). By identifying the most important goals, one can plan ways to achieve them. An individual can, therefore, start developing attitudes, skills as well as capabilities. The most preset goals can be attained when an individual plans wisely within an established time frame. Goals become easily achievable as an individual expands and grows.
An individual’s self-image is built by listing the goals, and the traits and personality are portrayed. A goal or objective should be realistic and represent something to work towards. An individual should, therefore, make sure that every goal listed represents a substantial amount of progress. Most of work based objectives are designed to support the achievement of the required standard activities while personal development objectives are normally designed to support a person in enhancing the development of their career or role. Personal development objectives should also be based on personal qualities exhibited.
Banks, L. (1997). Motivation in the workplace: inspiring your employees. West Des Moines, Iowa: American Media Pub.
Collins, C. (2001). Good to great: why some companies make the leap–and others don’t. New York, NY: Harper Business.
David, R. (2005). Strategic management: concepts and cases. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.
Male, S., Langford, D. (2008). The firm and the strategic management process. Washington DC: Wiley press.
Thompson, A., Peteraf, M., Gamble, J., and Strickland, A. (2012). Crafting and Executing Strategy: The Quest for Competitive Advantage. New York, NY: McGraw Hill Irwin.