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Donna Dubinsky and Apple Computer, Inc. (A) Case Solution

Why was Donna so successful during her first 4 years at Apple?


In July 1981, Donna Dubinsky began her profession in Apple as a customer support contact in one of the offices, answering to Roy Weaver, who was the new head of distribution, administration, and group. Weaver kept on extending her obligations, until April 1985, when she became the executive of distribution and sales management having spending plan of $10 million. Due to her diligent work and being a capable manager, Jobs attempted to hire Dubinsky for his Macintosh Introduction in 1983.

The main reasons for Dubinsky success was:  

Donna Dubinsky believed that having a proper supervisor as a mentor was imperative, as that would help her become successful. The best quality of Dubinsky was that she fought for her particular issues and also for the subordinate. Moreover, she introduced a picture of certainty and never demonstrated peer pressure at the forefront of her thoughts. Another important quality for the "Support Decision" was that Dubinsky always supported the decision of the organization even if Dubinsky did not agree with it. Regarding work assessment, she maintained good relationships with all suppliers, which was a significant factor in the industry.

Dubinsky was a risk taker, and she always fought for new challenges without any hesitation as well as he performed better than other’s expectations.

Dubinsky, in a short period of time, understood the terms of execution (marketing funnel execution). Dubinsky achieved success in a short period of time because of her hard work and coordination among subordinates, whereas in 1984, she became the U.S distribution manager for Apple, as she was assigned the responsibility of six field warehouses, sales administration, and inventory control and customer relation.

Dubinsky believed that organizational structure for distribution was simple and very effective due to her confidence among the distributors. Employees were happy with the management style of Dubinsky as well as the employees of the distribution group took pride in their system's efficiency and effectiveness.

Question # 2

Did she make any mistakes during that same period?


No doubt Dubinsky was intelligent, extrovert, and risk taker however, she made mistakes during the same period because of emotional attachment with the organization and subordinates as well as mismanagement of the issue related with Just in Time process.

The issues arose when the Chairman of Board was changed by Steve Jobs because he wanted to have direct contact between the manufacturers and suppliers. Moreover, the new proposed system (Just in time) was entirely different from the existing system where the distributors fulfilled the demands of suppliers. Dubinsky completely disagreed with the new management style, due to which she just pointed out the control regardless of clarifying the issue, and that she recommended to use more time and resources to provide the best solution for the problem. However, Dubinsky did not provide any solution for the problem and continued with the new distribution process. This unexpected delivery issue focused on those areas where Weaver was satisfied, as well as he was afraid of losing the control.

Distribution issue was a severe problem for both of them (Weaver and Dubinsky). Instead of responding to Job's challenge, Campbell and Scully called for strategy review and recommended improvement in ideas for distribution within the same distribution process. The staff members, Weaver and Dubinsky all were busy in understanding the new distribution system but still, Dubinsky was unable to highlight the issue.

Distribution was Dubinsky's duty, and she was in-charge of the new proposition and techniques, as that was the summer season, therefore everybody was engaged in work. Thus, Dubinsky was not able to allocate some people (subordinates) and hours required for a venture.

Furthermore, Dubinsky committed another mistake, which was regarding the presentation of the strategies in Pajaro Dunes, which ought to be given by Coleman rather than Dubinsky herself. In this situation, Dubinsky should give the presentation by her own and request her supervisor, Weaver, for accompanying her at the meeting. Regardless of being passionate with the staff and job duties, Dubinsky has to give effective and applicable answers to the issues.

Question # 3

Why did she react as she did to Jobs’ and Coleman’s JIT proposal?

The conflict began in September 1984 when Dubinsky and her boss, Weaver, presented the distribution services and support for the plan of 1985. Steve Jobs complained that he did not receive a good explanation for the current distribution, service and support cost levels and structure.

A few years later, Jobs met Fred Smith, who was the CEO of the Federal Express. They talked about the Just in Time inventory distribution, which was used by IBM for their computer components. Steve Jobs saw potential for reduction in cost in this system, which could eliminate the need for Apple's warehouse, carrying costs and extensive inventory, and that the supplier of Apple would report an order as it was placed, affecting the manufacturing's next assembly of the requested product...........................................

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