Value Chain Analysis
To prepare, select a company with which you are very familiar or for which you can easily obtain
You may wish to use the organization you are thinking of proposing for the Sustainable Solutions Paper
(SSP), which you will complete throughout the course. This would allow you to repurpose information
from this paper for a portion of your SSP. If you wish to take advantage of this opportunity, please review
the SSP template located in this week�s Learning Resources to ensure the organization you choose for
this paper also satisfies the SSP requirements. Review this week�s Learning Resources, particularly
Exhibit 1 in Porter and Millar�s article �How Information Gives You Competitive Advantage.� You can
use this chart to guide your value chain analysis for this paper.
Write a minimum of, 3�4 paragraph response (2 pages). Briefly describe the organization you selected
and the industry in which it is located.
Explain the concept of value chain and its impact on business strategy.
Next, explain how technology impacts a value chain.
Apply Value Chain Analysis to identify strengths and weaknesses in areas of the value chain for the
organization you selected.
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Describe the linkages (relationships) between the areas, and explain the strategic significance of the
organization�s value chain in terms of the larger value system.
Value Chain Analysis
Sustainability is one of the concepts that is gaining more approval in most of businesses
across the world. Companies deal in different areas of production and they are required to
remain sensitive to the environment even as they carry out their activities to be sustainable even
in the future. The paper focuses on the Apple Inc.,. This company is in the industry of
communication technology. The pioneer of the company was Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak.
They developed their first computer in 1976 (Apple Case Study, 2012). The company continued
to expand and grow and currently it is one of the most popular brands. The company is renowned
VALUE CHAIN ANALYSIS 3
for its creative and innovation products such as iPods, iPhone, Smartphone’s and many others.
The company CEO Steve Job worked hard and remained visionary enabling the Apple Inc., to be
one of the world influential and successful companies.
Value chain is a concept that most firms employ to create value. Is the set of activities
that an entity carries out in order to create value for its customers hence, instrumental in creating
competitive advantage (Millar & Porter, 1985). The value chain consists of various activities
categorized as support activities and primary activities. The supporting activities includes
human resource management, procurement and technology development while primary activity
includes inbound logistics, operations , outbound logistics , marketing and sales and services
(Millar & Porter, 1985). These activities are important as they contribute to firms’ creation of
value. Value chain impacts on a business strategy as they provide impetus for the business to
achieve its goals (Millar & Porter, 1985). For instance, a firm is expected to carry out sales and
marketing of its products to ensure that it succeeds. Therefore, value chain acts as a catalyst in
achieving these objectives and goals. Technology has become important in the functioning and
operations of business. Technology impacts on value chain in various ways. One of the ways is
that it ensures good management and processing of information in an entity. Information is
critical as it provides avenues for an entity to improve in its operations (Buciuni & Mola, 2014).
Technology is important in protecting the knowledge base of the company as well. This is
important as it plays a key role in creating value. Technology as is also important in reducing
costs of information technology ensuring the firm stays current with advancements in
technologies and maintains technical excellence.
The company has a number of strengths as well as weaknesses. The company
understands the impact of employees. It has therefore put in place appropriate mechanisms that
VALUE CHAIN ANALYSIS 4
ensure hiring of the right employees. The HRM is up to the task as employees are treated well
and motivated contributing to its success. Teamwork and unity have helped to enhance creativity
and innovation. The company is also up to date in terms of technological advancement.
Technology has played a key role in its success. It has reduced costs of doing business. The
company has as well established infrastructure that facilitates its operations. The company as
well as values its customers and this has contributed to its success. The loyalty of its customer
has enabled it to climb to the tip (Sahoo, 2012). Some of the weaknesses are challenges in
procurement. The company faces challenges when it comes to its suppliers who are not reliable.
The source of raw materials is also higher affecting its operations.
Various areas in the organization value chain links. For instance, the shipped in raw
materials are transformed to output. The finished products are then delivered to customers.
Marketing and sales are carried out to persuade and seduce customer to buy them (Cravens,
Piercy & Baldauf, 2009). The company has put mechanisms in place to ensure that customer
receive quality products and can return defective products if purchased. This value chain
therefore is important to the organization as a whole. It has enabled the organization to expand
and be in operations in various countries. The profit margins of the organization have as well
increased tremendously over the years. The company has also managed to engage in corporate
social responsibility impacting lives of many people. Therefore, this research is important as it
enhances understanding of the significance of value chain. It as well provides insights to various
activities of value chain and how it can impact business strategy. As I finish, the question that
everyone should ponder about is, What can leadership of an organization do to ensure that an
organization promotes sustainability initiatives as they create value.
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Apple Case Study (2012). Apple Inc.: The Steve Jobs Effect. The Steve Jobs Effect, 1-16
Buciuni, G., & Mola, L. (2014). How do entrepreneurial firms establish cross-border
relationships? A global value chain perspective. Journal of International
Entrepreneurship, 12(1), 67-84.
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Cravens, D., Piercy, N., & Baldauf, A. (2009). Management framework guiding strategic
thinking in rapidly changing markets. Journal of Marketing Management, 25( ½), 31-49.
Millar, V., & Porter, M. (1985). How information gives you competitive advantage. Harvard
Business Review, 63, 149–160.
Sahoo, D. (2012). Strategic Change of Campaign at Apple Inc. The Indian Journal of
Management, 5(2), 38-48.