Value Chain Analysis of IBM

IBM (International Business Machines) is a technology American multinational company. Herman Hollerith, Charles Ranlett Flint, and George Winthrop Fairchild started the tech company in 1911. Today, we’ll discuss the value chain analysis of IBM supply chain analysis; primary and supporting activities in the process of value chain analysis Example Company. They are inbound and outbound logistics, operations, marketing, and customer service; infrastructure, HRM, technology, and procurement as an application of the value chain analysis process.

Supplies and Materials Required for Production of IBM

  • Computer hardware components
  • Software services
  • Processors
  • Circuit boards
  • Siloed data

Differentiating Areas of IBM that Add Value

  • Analytics and analytical services
  • Industry framework software
  • Research and development
  • Coalition standards
  • Business consultation and industry thought leadership
  • Cloud computing
  • Workload optimization system
  • Industry Framework

The Value chain analysis of IBM supply chain analysis would analyze the primary and supporting activities in the process of value chain analysis. They’re inbound and outbound logistics, operations, marketing, and services; infrastructure, HRM, technology, and procurement. Here’s supply chain analysis of IBM value chain analysis company example as follows;

Value Chain Analysis of IBM

Let’s discuss the primary and supporting activities involved in the process of value chain analysis of IBM supply chain analysis. It is an application of value chain analysis based on Porter’s model; some of the key elements and components of value chain analysis are as follows;

Primary Activities of IBM

Some of the five main primary activities in the value chain analysis of IBM supply chain analysis are as follows;

Inbound Logistics of IBM

I-Large Supplier Network

IBM has established a very large supplier network comprising 13000 suppliers in over 170 countries across the globe. The tech company deals with a diverse range of suppliers to ensure the smooth supply of hardware components, parts, processors, circuits, and other supplies.

II-Sustainable Supply Chain

IBM is highly cautious about sustainable supply chain processes with the objective of decreasing the carbon emission rate through its supply chain network. In fact, the company encourages and motivates its suppliers to take supply chain sustainable steps.

  • Organizing Sustainability Leadership Event annually to recognize the efforts of its suppliers
  • Setting a baseline for the shipping suppliers about the carbon intensity
  • Low carbon emission goals and objectives for the main suppliers

III-Supplier Code of Conduct

IBM has developed strict guidelines and standards to regulate the performance of suppliers. They are at the center of the company’s supply chain social responsibility program. Some of the main elements of the company’s supplier code of conduct are as follows;

  • Properly maintaining the record and bookkeeping
  • Open communication and ethical practices
  • Complying with the local country’s laws and regulations
  • Health and Safety
  • Protecting the environment
  • Freedom to join trade unions and other associations
  • Standard wages and benefits plans for employees
  • No forced and child labor

Outbound Logistics of IBM

I-Distribution Channels

IBM has established a very large distribution network and partnered up with various businesses, resellers, and retailers in different countries across the globe. The worldwide distribution network helps the company to ensure the smooth flow of computer hardware, components, and software services.

II-Cloud Data Centers

IBM has also developed cloud data centers in various regions and countries across the globe. They help the company to provide cloud services in various markets worldwide.

Operations of IBM

I-Multiple Operations

IBM engages in multiple operations ranging from computer hardware production to software development and service delivery to the end consumers. They’re like a hybrid cloud delivery model; platform-as-a-service (Paas), software-as-a-service (SaaS), and infrastructure-as-a-service (IAAS).

  • Data providing operations
  • Third-party operations
  • Member operations
  • Convener operations

Marketing & Sales of IBM

I-Marketing Media

IBM employs multiple media channels for marketing and advertisement of its products and brands. They’re like digital media, social media platforms, email marketing campaigns, billboards, sponsorships, and traditional media channels. Multiple media channels would help the company to approach the mass audience.

II-Promotional Activities

Along with marketing and advertisement campaigns; IBM runs various types of promotional campaigns and activities to attract the attention of customers. Some of the promotional activities of IBM are as follows;

  • Approaching the global audience
  • Consistency in brand image and designs
  • Corporate social responsibility initiatives
  • Community engagement to develop positive relationship with people
  • Organizing webinar and other tech events to promote technology awareness

Services of IBM

IBM offers a wide range of technology services to businesses, companies, and individual entrepreneurs relevant to their unique complicated needs and requirements. Some of them are as follows;

  • Storage services
  • Industry solutions services
  • Developer tools
  • Data sources services
  • Governance data services
  • Dashboards services
  • Analytical services
  • Artificial intelligence services

Supporting Activities of IBM

Some of the main supporting activities in the value chain analysis of IBM supply chain analysis are as follows;

Infrastructure of IBM

IBM has established a very large infrastructure of research facilities, software developers, cloud services, hardware components suppliers, and distribution channels. Well-developed infrastructure helps the company to smoothly perform its various operations in various countries and timely deliver quality service to the end consumers.


IBM has employed over 283000 employees to manage its global operations. The human resource department of the tech company plays a key role in building an innovative workplace environment; offering equal opportunities for all regardless of any differences; and implementing corporate social responsibility.

Technological Development of IBM

According to an estimate, IBM invested approximately 6.7 billion USD in research and development for innovative technology. The tech brand has a strong commitment to innovative tech, creative software solutions, and serving a wide range of customers with technology products and services. Research and development allow the company to gain a competitive edge in the market with unique and innovative technology.

Procurement of IBM

IBM is highly cautious about the ethical and sustainable procurement and sourcing of materials, components, and parts. The tech brand has developed strict regulations for suppliers to ensure that they engage in ethical and sustainable practices. In case of non-compliance with IBM’s code of conduct, the tech company would immediately terminate the contract with the particular supplier.

Conclusion: IBM Value Chain Analysis Example Company | Application of Value Chain Analysis Process 

After an in-depth study of the value chain analysis of IBM; we have realized that IBM is the world’s leading technology and software company. If you are learning about the IBM value chain analysis example company; then you should keep in mind the abovementioned primary and supporting activities. They’re inbound and outbound logistics; operations, marketing and sales, and services; infrastructure, procurement, HRM, and technological development as an application of the value chain analysis process.

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