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Unit 3 Project: Consulting Report

Your Unit 3 Project should include:

  1. Section 1: Organisational Issue: An organisational issue you identified
  2. Section 2: Internal Environmental Analysis: A SWOT analysis of your selected organisation
  3. Section 3: External Environmental Analysis: A PESTLE analysis and additional external analysis of the organisation, with explanation of how external analysis can help you understand the organisational issue you identified
  4. Section 4: Resource Allocation: An explanation of how the identified organisational issue can be addressed through better resource allocation

Organise all of the above into a coherent report you could submit to a CIO, CTO, CEO or COO. Your Unit 3 Project document should be approximately 3,000 words.

Section 1: Organisational Issue

Whether large or small, every organisation will at some point encounter issues that might be challenging. Take for example the global franchise Cold Stone Creamery. Several years ago, Cold Stone Creamery franchises were rapidly expanding, and it seemed there was one on every corner. They had a unique product: high-quality, hand-crafted ice creams with a bevy of toppings and flavour combinations. Cold Stone became trendy and began expanding at an extremely fast pace. Soon, franchises started opening too close to one another and were hurting each other’s sales. As fast as franchises were opening, they were closing as well. This is a perfect example of an organisation that encountered the issue of expanding too quickly.

In this section of your Unit 3 Project, you will identify an organisational issue that will serve as the basis for your Unit 3 Project and to which you will return in Unit 5 Project.

To prepare for this section of Unit 3 Project:

  • Review the Learning Resources from Unit 1 focusing on organisational issues.
  • Identify an issue in the organisation you selected. Organisational issues may include ethical problems, understaffing or overstaffing, overuse or underuse of resources, lack of communication between teams and stakeholders, lack of innovation, decreased profits or other problems or challenges faced by the organisation. The issue should be of strategic importance, with a demonstrable impact on organisational performance.

To complete this Section of Unit 3 Project:

  • Describe the organisational issue that you have identified.
  • Explain the scope of the issue.
  • Explain how the issue you identified may impact the organisation from an internal perspective.
Section 2: Internal Environmental Analysis

Organisations can face a multitude of challenging issues that need to be addressed. One effective tool an organisation can use to self-evaluate and determine potential issues is a SWOT analysis. A SWOT analysis can help in the decision-making process for new strategies or ventures. In addition to facilitating analysis of the organisation’s internal characteristics, SWOT analysis also introduces the notion of external environmental analysis, which you will explore in more depth in the next module.

To prepare for this Section of Unit 3 Project:

  • Review the Learning Resources from Unit 1 focusing on SWOT analysis; use these as a basis to identify one to two additional scholarly sources on internal organisational analysis.

To complete this Section of Unit 3 Project:

  • Perform a SWOT analysis on the organisation you selected and analyse the results.
  • Provide two to four questions you might need to ask key stakeholders in the organisation in order to obtain additional information that would help in refining your analysis.
Section 3: External Environmental Analysis

In order to be successful in a business environment, you must acquire tools that can help you analyse various environmental factors and situations. One useful tool to analyse external environmental factors is the political, economic, social, technological, legal, and environmental (PESTLE) analysis. The PESTLE analysis is used to view the external environment from many angles in order to make strategic decisions. The political component analyses the extent to which the government regulates the industry.

For example, the hardware industry may have little or no government regulation, while the firearms industry has intense government regulation. The economic component analyses how the economy can affect an organisation or industry. For example, a weak economy may see an increase in budget-friendly stores like Tesco where more upscale stores like Harrods could see a decline in sales. The social component analyses factors such as trends and demographics; the technological component addresses the impact of innovations in technology; the legal component analyses the legal factors that can affect how an organisation operates or the demand for its products; and the environmental component looks at natural resources and other elements of the natural environment. By using the complete PESTLE analysis, you can enhance strategic decision-making and recognise factors you may have not otherwise considered.

This Section of Unit 3 Project will allow you to practise applying two analytical tools, the PESTLE analysis and one additional analysis method of your choosing, and continue working towards your Unit 3 and Unit 5 Project.

To prepare for this Section of Unit 3 Project:

  • Review Learning Resources from Unit 2 about PESTLE and other external environmental analysis tools and methods; use these as a basis to identify one to two additional scholarly sources on external environmental analysis.
  • Select one external analysis tool or method other than PESTLE to use in this assignment.

To complete this Section of Unit 3 Project:

  • Apply a PESTLE analysis to the organisation you selected.
  • Apply the second external environmental analysis tool or method you selected to the organisation.
  • Compare the results of each analysis and critically evaluate the strengths and limitations of each analytical method. Justify your answer; provide support for your arguments with citations from the literature.
  • Explain whether PESTLE and other external analysis tools are useful in understanding the organisational issue you identified in Section 1, and if so, how.
  • Provide two to four questions you might need to ask key stakeholders in the organisation in order to obtain additional information that would help in refining your analysis.
Section 4: Resource Allocation

Imagine for a moment you are in charge of a manufacturing company with two locations of operation: Location A and Location B. Location A is overstaffed, space is limited and the equipment is very old. Location B is understaffed and cannot keep up with the amount of product their brand-new equipment is producing. Your budget has been increased, and you have permission to hire 20 new employees. You could assign the extra funds and employees to Location B, which would solve their staffing problem, but the funds might be unnecessary since they have brand-new equipment. If you assign the extra funds and employees to Location A, they would have the money to buy new equipment and possibly expand their space, but they would be adding employees to an already over-employed location. What do you do? There is no right or wrong answer. Deciding where to appropriately distribute funds and employees is a difficult decision. This is what is called ‘resource allocation’.

Resource allocation is not only limited to funds and employees but also includes intellectual property, inventory and facilities. Every organisation will have different resources to allocate. If resources are allocated inappropriately, inefficiencies can undermine the organisation; but if resources are allocated appropriately, an organisation might run more efficiently and optimise organisational performance. This Section of Unit 3 Project allows you to consider ways in which better resource allocation could address the organisational issue you identified in Section 1.

To prepare for this Section of Unit 3 project:

  • Review the organisational issue you previously identified.
  • Review Learning Resources from Unit 3 that focus on resource allocation; use these as a basis to identify one to two additional scholarly sources on resource allocation.
  • Think about how resource allocation is related to organisational issues.

To complete this Section of Unit 3 Project:

  • Explain how resource allocation can impact an organisation.
  • Explain two ways how the organisational issue you identified could be addressed through better resource allocation in the organisation.
  • Provide two to four questions you might need to ask key stakeholders in order to obtain additional information that would help in refining your analysis of organisational performance and resource allocation.

Submit your Project in one Word document. Be sure to include references to all sources, including your Learning Resources, in Harvard Referencing Style.

Word count: The suggested word count for this assignment is 3,000 words.

Advice on word count: Submissions that range from 10% below to 10% above the recommended word count are acceptable. Students should recognise that assignment submissions that fall outside these parameters may be marked down. This restriction encourages the development of a concise writing style, as assignment quality is likely to suffer given the potential for overly verbose submissions. The policy is available to review on page 16 of the University of Roehampton Online Policies document, which can be found here.

Assessment and Grading

This Project submission accounts for 50% of your grade for this module. Review the Project Rubric for information on how your assignment will be graded.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Consulting Report – Part 1:  LEGO Group

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table of Contents

Introduction.. 1

Lego: Background information.. 1

Organisational Issue. 2

External and Internal Environment Analysis of LEGO Company. 3

SWOT Analysis. 4

PESTLE Analysis. 7

Political Factors. 7

Economic Factors. 8

Social Factors. 8

Technological Factors. 9

Legal Factors. 9

Environmental Factors. 10

Porter’s five forces. 10

Buyers bargaining power. 10

Suppliers Bargaining Power. 10

Threats of substitutes. 11

Threats of new entrants. 11

Competition rivalry. 11

Resource Allocation.. 12

Conclusion.. 14

References. 15

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introduction

The current report explores the issue of declining profits for LEGO Inc. in the past two years. In so doing, the report scans the internal and external environments in a bid to establish how environmental factors have impacted the business and the implications of the impacts on resource allocation towards solving the problem of declining profits. After giving LEGO’s background, the report analyses the internal environment (SWOT Analysis) and external environment (PESTEL and Five Porters Forces) followed by prescribing resource allocation to address the issue of declining profits in the context of the environment.

Lego: Background information

Founded by Kirk Kristiansen in 1932, Lego Group is a renowned multinational Danish toy manufacturing company with its headquarters in Billund (LEGO, n.d.). The family-owned company that began at a carpenter’s workshop, producing wooden blocks with 7 employees, has grown to become one of the largest global toy makers in the world employing about 19,000 people globally by 2017. LEGO’s most important toy is the plastic interlocking blocks launched in 1958 that have now been improved to come in different shapes, sizes, colors and formations (LEGO Group, 2017). The name LEGO is derived from the Danish phrase “Leg godt” which loosely translates to “play well” (Hatch & Schultz, 2010) By 2015, LEGO had outsmarted the historically leading toy manufacturers Mattel and become the market leader as well as largest toy maker by revenue (LEGO Group, 2017). Over the years, the company has innovatively expanded to china and other countries as well as introducing such new revenue sources as their globally distributed amusement parks branded LegoLand, games, competitions and supporting movies. Its corporate strategy has consistently placed it as one of the most reputable organizations in the globe.

The Mission of LEGO is to motivate and motivate ‘children to think creatively, reason systematically and release their potential to shape their future – experiencing the endless human possibility.” LEGO’s unique selling point (USP) is the manufacturing intrinsically detailed construction toys that can be disassembled and reassembled infinitely, with thousands of combinations and permutations available thus enabling the development of creativity and innovativeness in their target clientele (ages 3-15 years).

Organisational Issue

Since 2017 through to 2018, LEGO Group has been registering a decline in its profitability (Annual Report, 2017; Annual Report, 2018). Although LEGO still remains generally profitable, this decline is disturbing because it is the first time LEGO is registering a decline in sales and profits since 2004 (14 years ago) (Peltz, 2017). In 2017 annual revenues dropped by 8% from the 2016 revenue DKK 38 billion to DKK 35 billion. Subtracting the influence of foreign exchange the revenue drop comes to 7%. Operating profits for 2017 decreased by 17% from DKK 12.4 billion to DKK 10.4 billion while the net profit dropped from DKK 9.4 billion to DKK 7.8 billion (Annual Report, 2017). While this decline would partially be attributed to inventories clean-up across value chain, this would be experienced in 2018 as well. In the first half of 2018, LEGO continued to see a drop in profits, registering a net profit decline of 10% compared to the first half of 2017 (Annual Report, 2018). Interestingly, Lego faced this decline in 2017 and 2018 when its Chinese market saw a double-digital growth. LEGO saw a substantial decline in market share in Europe and North America, two of the most important markets contrary to a stagnation in North America alone in 2016. In 2018, apart from the Chinese market that continued its double digital growth, the rest global markets faced either a decline or stagnation of LEGO’s market share and revenue (Neate, 2018).  This shows a slow spread of the discontent of LEGO’s products and the need for the organization to act with speed. The declining profit is already impacting the internal environment of LEGO. Early 2018, LEGO Group announced its plan to retrench 1400 workers due to redundancy. It has also tried to focus on newer markets and increasing the organization’s focus on the production of more supporting movies that are aimed at painting Lego as the ultimate toy destination. From the retrenching news it is evident that declining profits stimulate the revisiting of resources, streamlining them and reallocating these resources in a way that ensures the overcoming of the challenge.

External and Internal Environment Analysis of LEGO Company

The current business environment is constantly changing due to the increasing globalization and advancement in technology. The changes results in intense competition in the business market putting pressure on organization to always work towards enhancing their competitiveness. Formulation and implementation of effective strategies is a sure way of assisting the company accomplishes an enhanced competitive advantage to remain in business. An understanding of the internal and external environments of the business is a major prerequisite in the formulation of such strategies. The environment of a company affects its operations including the supply chain, marketing and sales operations making it an important factor to be considered in the formulation of strategies. SWOT analysis is a tool used in the analysis of the internal environment of the company. To understand the happenings in the organization’s external environment, tools such as PESTLE and Porter’s five forces model are used. Focusing on SWOT the tool is used to identify the strengths and the weaknesses of the company, as well as the threats and opportunities of the company (Bhasin, 2017). On the other hand PESTLE tool is adopted in the analysis of the macro-environment of the company. It focuses on understanding the political, economic, social, technological, environmental, and legal environment that is likely to affect the operation and success of the company (CIPD, 2013). Porter’s five forces model is employed to understand the forces that influence competition in the specific industry of the company (Porter, 2008). The three tools are used in the analysis of the internal and external environments of LEGO Group Company.

 

 

 

SWOT Analysis

Strengths

·                     A strong brand name

·                     Unique and creative toy building concept

·                     Integration of information technology in its operations and designs

·                     Strong association with top movie stars

 

 

Weaknesses

·                     Failure in understanding the changing needs of customers

·                     Negative influence of some products on children

·                     Premium pricing in relation to other players

 

 

 

 

 

 

Opportunities

·                     Vast opportunity on media platforms

·                     Expansion into the global market

 

Threats

·                     Intense rivalry from competitors producing similar products

·                     Threat from counterfeits toys and cheap imitations

 

 

 

 

 

Lego Company enjoys a strong brand name and reputation in the manufacture and supply of learning and creative toys across the world. The company products are sold in more than 140 nations. The creative and unique concept employed by the company in the manufacture of the toys is a strong growth factor. Also, the integration of information technology in its operations has resulted in the release of quality and safe toys (Bhasin, 2017). Lego Company adheres strictly to the set global quality and safety standards, an approach that has ensured it reports zero product recalls.

Despite the strengths identified, Lego Company has some weak spots. The organization charges a premium price for its toys making it only affordable for individuals in the high-end and upper classes in the society. The company has also failed to keep up with the changing trends in the consumer needs, leading to some of its products being faced out (Peltz, 2017). The negative effects associated with its products such as the video games that are believed to derail the brain development of children have not only affected the reputation of the company negatively, but has also adversely affects its financial performance. Lego has maintained an increase in its sales volume for some time now, however, in 2017; the company reported a significant drop in its sale volume, owing to its weakness in meeting the varying and changing needs of the customers.

The threat of intense competition from other players in the industry has also resulted in the lower sales reported by the company in the last two years. Lego Company faces stiff competition from smartphones and other digital technology platforms that supports kids’ games. The threat from counterfeits products offered at lower prices has also had negative impacts on the sales volume of the company.

Regardless of the threats and weaknesses that have contributed to the reduction in the company’s revenue in the recent past, Lego can still use its strengths to explore the various opportunities present in the market for its further growth. The company has an opportunity of expanding its global presence to several other nations. Lego brand has immensely remained popular thus a suitable strength that can be employed by the company to access other markets across the globe (Reed, 2018). The company also has an opportunity of emphasizing parental focus on its creative toys. The approach will enhance the preferences for their products that will mostly support skill and brain development of the child (Peltz, 2017). Lego also has an opportunity of engaging in the manufacture of activity driven learning toys that are highly acceptable in schools. Since Lego’s strong brand name and reputation has remained immensely popular, the company can exploit the identified opportunities to overcome its weaknesses and manage the threats, to consequently report a higher level of performance.

PESTLE Analysis

Political Factors

European Union regulation for toy manufacturers is one of the political factors that influence the operations of Lego Company. The “Toy Safety Directives” are regulations set by the EU to regulate the activities of the manufacturers and to ensure that all toy companies comply with the recommended safety standards (Beh, n.d). The political environment of the nations where Lego operates also influences its operations. The company’s host nation is Denmark, nevertheless, a significant volume of its sales are obtained from Western part of Europe and North America. The political climate in these regions is overly stable limiting the exposure of the company to political instability. As the company plans to expand its operations in other parts of the world, it is likely to face some political pressures. In addition, the company is distributing its products to other nations, thus there operations are likely to be influenced by the political decisions in those regions.

Economic Factors

Economic parameters such as global financial crisis, hedging currencies, debt crisis amongst other financial decisions are likely to impact on the operations of Lego. Changes in these economic parameters have adverse implications on the on the sales of the company, its revenue and overall business performance. The financial crisis witnessed in 2009 caused a significant drop in the market performance that impacted negatively on the performance of the company. Lego however managed to pull through and report an increase in its performance in the year 2010 (Beh, n.d). Lego receives revenue inflows in different currencies, as such; the organization is faced with the risk of currency hedging. Conversion of the different currencies to home country currency is likely to affect negatively the profitability of Lego. Other economic risks such s debt crisis also impact negatively in the profitability of the company. As such, exposure to a high debt as evident in its Southern Europe market contributed to the lower amount of revenue reported form the region in the recent past.

Social Factors

The preference for toy products is continually changing. The needs and wants of the previous kids are vastly different from the current children. The latter group focuses more on technology-based technology or digital platforms to access different kinds of toys or games. Lego faces significant challenges to keep up with the changing needs and the rejection of the traditional toys by most children (Reed, 2018). However, the company has embarked on the production of toys that are not only for recreational purposes but also encourage learning, to empower the children.

Technological Factors

The increase in the use of the internet, presents the need for producers to offer their products through a web platform. Lego has to be innovative and make products that can be released through the web. The digital transformations also instill pressure on the company to come up with highly creative toys (Tsang, 2017). Moreover, the company has to embark on extensive research and development to come up with unique products to meet the changing technology needs. Lego have to put in place sufficient resources in research and development, as well as possess the desired competencies to manage the challenge of advancement in technology and its resulting effects on demand and preference for the toys.

Legal Factors

Copyright law is the major factor that influences the activities of Lego Company. The poor copyright law in most regions of its operation is a major challenge to the company. Lego is required to abide by all the copyrights laws to enable the company operate smoothly in the regions. Despite the strict copyright laws enforced in different nations Lego group has been unable to preserve its patent, giving room for other players to produce counterfeit goods (Peltz, 2017). The implications are intense competition and threats from other toy manufacturers thus negatively impacting on the overall performance of the company. Lego needs to device strategy of preserving its patent to address the issues of duplication and counterfeits.

Environmental Factors

Lego has focused on conserving the environment through different strategies. Responsible sourcing of raw materials and reduction in carbon emissions are the approaches that have been employed by Lego to conserve the environment. The company become a signatory of the United Nations Global compact and has been working towards accomplishing its goal of using 100% renewable source of energy (Reed, 2018). Lego group is required to come up with raw materials that will ensure that the desired level of environmental conservation is accomplished.

Porter’s five forces

Buyers bargaining power

The buyers in the case of Lego toys have a high bargaining power. This is due to the fact the switching cost from one company to the next is minimal. Also, the presence of many substitute products such as video games enhances the bargaining power of the buyers (Tsang, 2017). Lego thus has to focus on identifying the needs and preference of the customers and work towards accomplishing them.

Suppliers Bargaining Power

Suppliers have an average bargaining power. The toys offered by Lego are mostly made from chemicals and plastics that are readily available. However, as the company contemplate adopting environmentally friendly products the power of suppliers is likely to increase (Reed, 2018). In addition, the company’s desire to focus on electronic games, films and other digital gadgets will lead to an enhanced bargaining power of the suppliers.

Threats of substitutes

There is a significant high threat from substitutes that are equally offered at a relatively lower price. Lego generally focus on providing entertainment to children, this is a sector that is overcrowded by other players offering near similar products that can be easily substituted (Peltz, 2017). As such, the threat from substitutes is high since consumers can easily choose from other types of toys.

Threats of new entrants

The high level of investments needed for one to enter the industry has made the threats of new entrants low. Extensive research and development is also required for a manufacturer to come with creative and unique toys, making it difficult for various companies to access the market. Lego has also build a strong brand overtime thus new entrants cannot pose significant competition threat to the company.

Competition rivalry

Lego group operates in an industry that is characterized with intense competition. The many players in the sector and the emergence of near similar products at relatively lower prices have intensified the competition in the industry. Large companies from the electronic industry also compete with the Lego (Tsang, 2017). This intense competition has contributed to the reduction in the amount of revenue reported by Lego in the last two years. The company needs to device strategies that can be employed to counter the competition from other players in the industry.

 

Resource Allocation

Resource allocation is the most challenging yet vital means of increasing organizational profitability. According to Hall and Andriani (1998) an organization must be able to use its capabilities in a way that not only drives profitability but also ensures the sustainability of the profiteering of the firm. Capabilities in this context are viewed to cover both the organizational resources and the firm’s competencies. These resources can either be tangible or intangible. Hall (1993) notes that since tangible resources such as capital, machines, human resource are transferable and easy to acquire, the do not form the aspect that ensures competitiveness but the intangible. The intangible resources such as brand reputation, knowledge base, organizational culture etc are the aspects of an organization that differentiates towards a competitive advantage (Levinthal, 2017). As such, the value of any organizational resources is not in its ownership but the manner in which the organization deploys it.

Traditionally, an apt deployment or allocation of resources ensured the creation of a competitive advantage that gave an organization an edge over its competitors. This competitive advantage would be created in a red ocean market. The red ocean is a market is one that is rout with competition within which the organization must exploit the existing demand perfectly to ensure he beats competition often through making value cost trade-offs. In the read ocean, the firm must align its operations either with a low cost or differentiation strategic choice. Nevertheless, resource allocation can also be done with an aim of creating a blue ocean where competition is rendered irrelevant through the creation of uncontested market spaces as well as creating and conquering new demand without any value cost trade-off. According to Kim and Mauborgne (2004), the employment of the blue ocean strategy is a sure way of increasing profitability in a sustainable manner. Indeed, it is through the exploration of a blue ocean that LEGO saved its brand from a near collapse after the 2003 crisis when the company was at the brink of financial collapse. Apt resource allocation saves an organization time and enables a significant reduction in costs. According to Barney (2000) the allocation of both intangible and tangible organizational resources in tandem with the blue ocean strategy ensure rapid growth and profitability that can be sustained.

For LEGO to overcome the problem of declining profits, it must allocate sufficient amount of resources in areas that already show signs of sustainable growth and the creation of a blue ocean in the areas where sales are declining. From the analysis presented herein, LEGO can create a Blue ocean by allocating more resources to marketing where it targets the parents and grown-ups who used LEGO toys while young in the tradition markets (Europe and North America) that are experiencing declining sales. This is a deployment of brand which is an intangible resource to drive more sales in stale markets. LeGO can also redeploy the resources allocated to the poorly performing theme parks and board games and instead use them to create a learning brand identity as its mission states. The creation of this learning identity can include creating the toys in a manner that fits the elementary school curriculum as well as creating branded or franchised learning center. This will be a blue ocean because while it will remain within its mission of “learning in play” will be a new market where competition is irrelevant. Instead of the parks, which do not carry the mission, learning centers may be better. While doing so, the company may also consider reducing its dependence on licensing, especially from Disney and use other options like Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network.

Questions to Ask Stakeholders:

Customers

  1. What do you like or hate about our theme parks?
  2. Between the theme park and a learning center, which one would you want us to focus on?

Management

  1. What is the economic value of the theme parks? Are they sustainably profitable?
  2. Should we consider the company’s licensing policy?

Conclusion

LEGO has seen a decline in profitability for the first time between 2017 and 2018 since 2003. This issue calls for the need to review both the internal and external organizational environments to evaluate the best way to conduct a resource allocation process. From the review it is evident that Lego operates in a highly competitive market in a volatile business macro environment. As such, instead of continuing to allocate resources within the read ocean, LEGO should try to allocate resources in a way that ensures the creation of a blue ocean that ascertains rapid and sustainable growth across markets in a bid to overcome the declining profits.

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Annual Report (2017) LEGO Group

Annual Report (2018) LEGO Group

Barney, J. (2000) Firm resources and sustained competitive advantage. Journal of Management 17(1) pp.99-120.

Beh, J (n.d). Lego group PEST analysis. Available at: https://www.academia.edu/14293283/Lego_Groups_PEST_analysis (Accessed 1/1/19)

Bhasin, H. (2017) SWOT analysis of Lego.  Markrting91. Available at https://www.marketing91.com/swot-analysis-lego/ (Accessed: 1/1/2019)

CIPD (2013) Factsheet: PESTLE Analysis. Available at: http://www.cipd.co.uk/hr-resources/factsheets/pestle-analysis.aspx (Accessed: 30/12/18).

Hall, R. & Andriani, P. (1998) Analysing intangible resources and managing knowledge in a supply chain context. European Management Journal. 6(6) pp.685-697.

Hall, R. (1993) A framework linking intangible resources and capabilities to sustainable competitive advantage. Strategic Management Journal. 14(8) pp.607-618.

Hatch, M. J., & Schultz, M. (2010) Toward a theory of brand co-creation with implications for brand governance. Journal of Brand Management17(8), 590-604.

Kim, W. C. & Mauborgne, R. (2004) Blue Ocean Strategy. Harvard Business Review. 82(10) pp.76-84. Available at: https://cb.hbsp.harvard.edu/cbmp/pl/51500629/51500684/ef514f12aeace0a1065e69929543744e (Accessed: 29/12/18).

Lego Group (n.d.) About Us. https://www.lego.com/en-us/aboutus/lego-group/the_lego_history. Accessed on 1/1/19

LEGO Group. (2017) The LEGO Group responsibility report 2016. Mars.

Levinthal, D. A. (2017). Resource allocation and firm boundaries. Journal of Management, 43(8), 2580-2587.

Neate R. (2018) Lego reports first sales fall in 13 years, saying ‘there is no quick fix.’ The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2018/mar/06/lego-sales-fall-growth-job-cuts. Accessed on 2/1/19

Peltz J.F. (2017) After Lego sales drop for first time in 13 years, the firm plans to cut jobs and ‘reset the company.’ Los Angeles Times. https://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-lego-cuts-20170905-story.html. Accessed on 2/1/2019

Porter, M. E. (2008) The five competitive forces that shape strategy. Harvard Business Review. pp.24-40. Available at: https://cb.hbsp.harvard.edu/cbmp/pl/51500629/51500700/8bede817dfe255a5de8d59692cdd3d87 (Accessed: 1/1/19).

Reed, S. (2018) Lego Wants to Completely Remake Its Toy Bricks (Without Anyone Noticing). The New York Times. Available at: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/31/business/energy-environment/lego-plastic-denmark-environment-toys.html (Accessed 1/1/19)

Tsang, A. (2017) Lego Will Cut 1,400 Jobs as Profit Dips, Despite Big-Screen Heroics. The New York Times. Available at: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/05/business/lego-sales-toys.html (Accessed 1/1/19)

 

 

Current Event Paper

Throughout the semester, we will apply sociological concepts to new items in order to better understand the world around us and to improve our sociological imaginations. This assignment will help you hone your sociological imaginations and demonstrate your understanding of course material through the examination of a news article of your choice.
For this assignment you are to analyze a current news article about a topic or concept related to or directly discussed in the realm of this course (from a reputable source, this includes, newspapers, online news, magazines, etc.) in sociological terms. Find a story that intrigues you about an issue pertaining to our class discussions and/or readings. Critically analyze the article using the concepts we’ve discussed in class. Be sure to discuss how the article frames the issue. Although the first part asks for a brief summary of ‘the facts’ this is the least important part of the assignment. The most important part is the questions that follow! Do not forget to answer all of the questions for full credit and answer them with knowledge gained from this course(you need to demonstrate your understanding and application of course material). Be sure to include the following points in your summary:

Identify the following basic information from the article to place in the summary:
• Who is involved?
• What happened?
• Why did it happen?
• Where did it occur?
• When did it occur?
• What issue(s) are being addressed?
Be sure to thoroughly answer the following questions:
I. How can the issue in question be explained using our course concepts?
II. How (if) could this issue be resolved in this situation?
III. Be sure to clearly state how the groups or people involved are invested in the problem (either in resolving it or perpetuating it).
IV. Was this incident an isolated case or is this an example of a larger issue? Explain.
V. Be sure to apply a sociological theory(select one theory-conflict, structural functionalism, symbolic interactionism- to explain the issue in combination with any applicable key concepts or terms) correctly!
VI. Finally, how is the topic framed in the news source? Why? What impression does the reader get?(look at the phrasing, tone of the story, word choices by the outlet, etc.) Is the author balanced or biased? Explain
Required Format: Follow directions in this prompt and syllabus. This is a minimum three full page, double-spaced, Times New Roman size 12 font, one inch margin paper. Citations should be in ASA, MLA, Chicago or similar format for the article and any course material that you utilize in your explanation.

Your paper should be presented as an essay (not a bullet point list) and should be free of major spelling and grammar errors. Make sure you reference the article you chose.
1. The first part of your paper should be an introduction to the topic or issue that you will be discussing. This is where you state the purpose of your paper for the reader
2. The main portions or the body of the paper should focus on explaining those main points and on answering the questions I have asked you to elaborate on.
3. The last part of your paper should be the conclusion. This is the time to recap your ideas, thoughts or ways of preventing/dealing with the issue. Go back and read your paper and make sure any point you might have brought up has been resolved, discussed, or critically questioned.

Strategic Analysis of Post Holdings buying Weetabix

Present a critical strategic analysis of the current Strategic Change within the following case:

Post Holdings buying Weetabix

You are required to cover the following topics as it relates to the above task:

Strategic Position of the company

Stakeholder Analysis

External Analysis

Industry Analysis

The following structure is required for the submitted report:

Introduction to the report

An evaluation of the relevant levels of strategy

A critical evaluation of the key stakeholders

External Analysis – using PESTEL to identify and explore key trends

Industry Analysis – using 5 Forces to critically analyse the relevant industry factors.

Maximum of 3000 word counts

Conclusion

Post Holdings buying Weetabix

Alan Tang

Advanced Marketing Study

(Project)

Module Code: 300 MKT

Lang Phyu

Febuary 12nd 2018

Abstract

Academic achievements serve as the key qualitative indicator for the competitiveness of educational institutions. Accordingly, measuring or investigating the constructs of this particular indicator tends to facilitate the institutional strategies of enhancing their competitive position in the market. Undoubtedly, the aim is to satisfy the unique needs of the students in an efficient and effective manner. The research has focused on investigating the influential factors of University facilities, Teaching quality, and Students’ satisfaction as the key constructs of the overall academic performance of the university students. Primary qualitative and quantitative data has been collected across the sample size of 200 from Myanmar Imperial College. Besides, certain recommendations have also been presented in terms of adding generalizability to the findings of the research phenomenon.

Table of Contents

Abstract ii

CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION.. 1

1.1      Background. 1

1.2      Research Aim & Objectives. 2

1.3      Research Questions. 2

1.4      Rationale of the Study. 2

1.5      Structure of the Study. 3

CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW… 4

2.1      Students’ Academic Performance and Factors Affecting the Students’ Overall Academic Performance. 4

2.2      Impacts of University Facilities on Students’ Overall Academic Performance. 6

2.3      Impacts of Teaching Quality on Students’ Overall Academic Performance. 8

2.4      Relationship between Student Satisfaction and Overall Academic Performance. 10

2.5      Theoretical Perspectives. 12

2.6      Research Hypotheses. 13

2.7      Conceptual Framework. 14

2.8      Summary. 14

CHAPTER 3: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY. 15

3.1      Research Philosophy. 15

3.2      Research Approach. 16

3.3      Research Design. 16

3.4      Sampling Approach. 16

3.5      Research Setting & Selected Instruments. 17

3.6      Ethical Considerations. 18

3.7      Summary. 19

CHAPTER 4: ANALYSIS & FINDINGS. 20

4.1      Identified Factors in relation to the Overall Academic Performance of the University Students  20

4.1.1      Qualitative Analysis – Semi-Structured Interviews. 20

4.1.1.1      University Facilities. 20

4.1.1.2      Teaching Quality. 21

4.1.1.3      Students’ Satisfaction. 22

4.1.2      Quantitative Analysis – Survey Questionnaire. 23

4.1.2.1      Demographic Analysis. 23

4.1.2.2      T-Test 28

4.1.2.3      Correlation Analysis. 30

4.1.2.4      Regression Analysis. 32

CHAPTER 5: CONCLUSION & RECOMMENDATIONS. 34

List of References. 38

Appendices. 43

Appendix I – Qualitative Survey –Guidelines for Semi-Structured Interview.. 43

Appendix II – Quantitative Survey – Questionnaire. 44

 

 

CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION

1.1         Background

The recent incessant trends of developments across the business and technological domain have affected the educational domain as well. The need of competitive edge is widely recognized even across the educational institutions since the entire domain has turned into a service-oriented domain that eventually determines the success of the organization. Students are the potential customers of these educational institutes who are increasingly obsessed with the service quality of these institutions. Thus, determining their perceived preferences of selecting the institutes for their educational needs is vital to the universities in terms of their marketing campaigns, administrative planning and policies formation. In response to this increasing competitiveness, the universities are more concerned with the satisfied learning experience of their students that is for sure reflected in their academic performance. Therefore, there is a notable increase in institutional efforts to determine the constructs directing the satisfied academic experiences of students.

 

Numerous studies indicate that the factors of university facilities and teaching quality have significant association with the expected learning experience of the students (Clark, and Latshaw, 2012; Calisir, Ecem, and Sevinc, 2016; Sulaiman, and Mohezar, 2006; Stump et al. 2011; Zineldin et al. 2011; Clotfelter, Ladd, and Vigdor, 2010; Johnson, Kraft, and Papay, 2012; Coskun, 2014). However, these two determinants are extensive in nature, which in turn affect the insights into the research phenomenon. The significance of this particular study lies in the fact that the researcher has investigated the most influential prospects of university facilities and teaching quality; thereby, ensuring a focused research that contributes the research paradigm.

 

1.2         Research Aim & Objectives

The study aims at investigating the factors affecting the overall academic performance of university students. Accordingly, the researcher has formulated the following objectives,

  • To explore the major factors affecting the overall academic performance of students
  • To examine the influence of university facilities on overall academic performance
  • To examine the influence of teaching quality on overall academic performance
  • To investigate the relationship between student satisfaction and overall academic performance

 

1.3         Research Questions

The current study explores the following research questions,

Q1: What are the factors that contribute to the academic performance of university students?

Q2: How does the factor of university facilities impact the overall academic performance of university students?

Q3: How does the factor of teaching quality impacts the overall academic performance of university students?

Q4: How do the factors of university facilities and teaching quality influence the satisfaction of university students?

Q5: What is the impact of students’ satisfaction on the overall academic performance of the university students?

 

1.4         Rationale of the Study

In relation to the increasing competitiveness across the educational sector, particularly across the developing nations, universities are in need of significant strategic approaches to attract and thus retain their students. In this regard, it is imperative that the students’ expectations/perceptions must be assessed towards the facilities and services of the universities/colleges. By means of presenting the relevant findings across Myanmar Imperial College (MIC), the study intends to serve the administration of MIC and other institutions to better devise their policies, educational environment, and thus, their competitiveness across the sector.

 

1.5         Structure of the Study

The study follows the structure as below,

 

 

CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW

It is critical to conduct a literature review when instigating a particular study, as it provides insights into the phenomenon being studied. Besides, it assures the study to be directed towards the scope of the study. In relation to the objectives of the current study, the literature offers an extensive amount of data since students’ satisfaction and academic performance has long been studied. However, different studies have investigated different factors regarding the performance of students at an academic level. Accordingly, the section below presents relevant literature that would facilitate the accomplishment of the objectives of the current study.

 

2.1         Students’ Academic Performance and Factors Affecting the Students’ Overall Academic Performance

The literature based on examining students’ academic performance presents a continual interest of the researchers, while it is notified that the interest has acquired more relevance towards the quality assurance. Meanwhile, it is also noted that the phenomenon of investigating the academic performance of the students is equally challenging since it is influenced by numerous factors (socio-economic, environmental, psychological, etc) that have varying impacts across different students.

 

The study of Bangchang, (2015) has analyzed the impacts of demographic and socio-economic factors on the academic performance of students. The author has used Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) as the dependent variable of the study among 300 undergraduate students. Using Ordered probit model, the author has presented the findings that the employed students have better academic performance as they are increasingly responsible and have efficient time management skills. Besides, the impacts of university facilities have also been noted to be significant, in terms of comparing students’ residence in university dormitory and private dormitory. Moreover, the factors of quality of education and teaching patterns have also received significant interest with respect to the study objectives.

 

Clark and Latshaw, (2012) have assessed academic performance of the accounting students. The process of learning is not a uni-directional process but multi-directional; therefore, analyzing the relevant influential factors is not an easy task. The authors have used Onion model in this regard while taking 11 independent variables in relation to the academic performance of accounting students. More specifically, the research has presented the findings that the impacts of teaching styles are not interlinked with the improvement in academic performance. In other words, it can be stated that the relationship between the teaching styles and academic performance of the students is not insignificant. However, the results are specific to the accounting area of studies that brings to notice the potential efficacy of sensing and reflective learning among the students. Besides, a significant contribution of students’ efforts and attendance has also been observed in relation to the study objectives. However, the smaller sample size of 77 students becomes the potential limitation of the study.

 

Another study has analyzed the performance of university students, particularly for engineering management. The authors Calisir, Ecem, and Sevinc, (2016) have explored the factors of demographic attributes and admission requirements towards the academic achievements of the sampled participants. Using the stepwise method of logistic regression, the authors have presented no significant impact of gender and demographic attributes on GGPA of engineering students. In the same manner, the studies of Stump et al. (2011), and Sulaiman, and Mohezar, (2006) have also presented the similar findings with respect to the insignificant impacts of gender on the academic performance of the students. However, the study of Sheard, (2009) has concluded the similar phenomenon differently, as the impacts of gender on the academic performance of the students have been observed to have significance.

 

Duggal and Mehta, (2015) have also investigated the contribution of academic performance of the students as the prime objective of educational institutions. Stress, learning facilities, regularity, study patterns, guidance, and examination performance, have been noted as the influential factors towards the academic performance of the students. Besides, the study has also presented the significant impact of age factor on the academic performance of students. In essence, it is noted that the influential factors of academic performance have been diverse with respect to different research settings. In this current study, the researcher has focused the factors of University facilities, Teaching Quality, and the respective satisfaction of the students towards their academic performance. The section below presents the relevant findings from the past studies in this regard.

 

2.2         Impacts of University Facilities on Students’ Overall Academic Performance

In general, the academic performance of students at the institutions is greatly affected by the facilities rendered by the place. In more precise words, it eventually directs the satisfaction of the students towards their study experience. This particular factor has extensively been adopted across past studies in relation to assess the academic performance of students (Bangchang, 2015; Nisachon, & Kannat 2016; Duggal, and Mehta, 2015; Zineldin et al. 2011; Bean, 1980; Hoffman et al. 2002; Cardak and Vecci 2013; Marks, 2010; Azoury, Daou, and Khoury, 2014; Siming, 2015; Khosravi, et al., 2013; Gruber, et al., 2010).

 

Duggal and Mehta, (2015) have explored the antecedents of college students’ academic performance. It is noted that the identification of these influential factors serves the institutions, students, and their parents as well, in terms of providing opportunities for improving the quality of education. Besides the factors of age, gender, and others, the authors have identified the significant impact of learning facilities in relation to the academic performance of the study participants. In particular, the facilities of libraries, laboratories, rooms, and college building are referred as crucial to the qualitative education. Accordingly, these facilities are assessed both-way; provided by the university and actually used by the students.

 

In accordance with the study findings of Owoeye and Yara, (2010), the importance of appropriate learning facilities is undeniable with respect to governing the academic performance of the students. Another study has also assessed the performance of students in terms of behavioral dimensions. Using the model of five quality dimensions as 5Qs, the study authors have presented credible findings regarding the implications of university attributes, focusing the assurance of quality management of education (Zineldin et al. 2011).

 

Hoffman et al. (2002) have studied the similar phenomenon of academic performance of students in terms of their sense of belonging towards their institution. In other words, the factors contributing to the students’ sense of belonging towards their learning place have been investigated. The study has focused the approaches to retention programs to mitigate the risky behavior of students in relation to their stay at the campus. The study presented the students’ perceived importance of feeling valued and involved at the campus that determines their likely retention at the institute.

 

Siming, (2015) has stated that the role of institute or university towards the satisfied academic performance of students is critical to the phenomenon. Besides other factors, students tend to perceive the credibility of the university in terms of fulfilling their personal needs at the campus, which eventually shapes their academic performance. In the same manner, the study of Khosravi, et al., (2013) has also favored the findings of Siming (2015), in terms of extracting the factors of campus facilities, and the effectiveness of financial aid towards the improved academic performance of the university students. In essence, it is determined that the educational institutions are also expected to be obsessed with the students’ needs; thus, the institutions can ensure enhanced performance of the students that serves the image of the university.

 

2.3         Impacts of Teaching Quality on Students’ Overall Academic Performance

According to the study of Marks (2010), the impacts of students related predictors are significant on their academic performance. It has been noticed that schooling induces effectiveness to some extent, but the socioeconomic aspects have no contribution towards the academic performance of students in Australia. Accordingly, the impacts of teaching quality have been validated, particularly in terms of the determinants of teachers’ shortage and efficacy of teachers as the significant ones. It is therefore contended that the role of teachers is crucial towards determining the performance of students. Likewise, the study of Khosravi, et al., (2013) has observed significant impacts of teaching quality on the performance of the students at university level, besides the campus related factors. It is contended that students’ perceive academic advising influential to their performance. These findings are also supported by Siming (2015), in terms of investigating the impacts of student-teacher relationship on their academic performance.

 

Clark and Latshaw (2012) has employed Cury’s Onion model to assess the factors affecting the academic performance of accounting students. It has been contended that the typical notions of regarding the impacts of learning styles of students need to be manipulated, as there are significant other factors that affect the performance of the students, either positively or negatively. The significance of the study is associated with its focused investigation of the interaction between students and teachers with respect to their learning and teaching styles. The results of the study affirmed that the students tend to perform better if the teachers satisfy their expected educational needs (Johnson, Kraft, and Papay, 2012; Clark, and Latshaw 2012). As a result, the overall academic performance of the students depends on the credibility of the teachers within the specified discipline (Clotfelter, Ladd, and Vigdor, 2010).

 

In this regard, it has also been reported that the experienced teachers contribute considerably to the educational environment of their students (Darling-Hammond, 2010; Al-Agili, Mamat, Abdullah, and Maad, 2012; Duggal, and Mehta, 2015). The educational settings of diverse disciplines are characterized based on their unique prospects that present challenges to the students. Students require guidance regarding their course goals, objectives and learning outcomes for their academic success (Broder, and Dorfman, 1994; Mushtaq, and Khan, 2012). Duggal and Mehta, (2015) has presented the most influential factor of teaching quality in terms of guidance, approachability, and discussions (feedback) in relation to the improved performance of students.

 

The study of Price, Arthur, & Pauli, (2016) has investigated the phenomenon across the online learning platforms. The factor of teaching quality finds great significance across the prospects of course clarity, participants’ interaction and learner control, leading to greater performance of the students (Aman, 2009; Price, et al., 2016; Biggs, 2011; Carrell, and West, 2010; Sampson, Leonard, Ballenger, Coleman, 2010). Coskun, (2014) has emphasized the needs of interactive learning environments with supportive teachers and staff over the typical efficacies of the technology-oriented educational environment. Accordingly, it has been contended that these factors if considered tend to lead the institution towards a competitive landscape.

 

2.4         Relationship between Student Satisfaction and Overall Academic Performance

According to the study of Azoury, Daou, and Khoury, (2014), the satisfaction of the students at the university level is equally affected by the determinants specific to the university, like facilities provided by the university or the image of the university among the students. With respect to the perceptions of students regarding the university’s credibility, the students feel protected at their university, particularly when the educational setting is supportive to the unique needs of students. Accordingly, the students having satisfaction with respect to the faculties and services of the university tend to represent productive performance in academic content. It leads to the assertion that the factor of students’ satisfaction cannot be overlooked when assessing their performance level (Aman, 2009; Coskun, 2014; Johnson, Kraft, and Papay, 2012; Khosravi, et al., 2013; Price, Arthur, & Pauli, 2016; Sampson, et al., 2010; Styron, 2010; Zineldin, et al., 2011).

 

In relation to the objectives of this current study, it has been observed in the literature that the motivation and satisfaction of the students at academic level vary from student to student. Therefore, different factors would determine satisfaction of different students, particularly in terms of their perceived determinants. However, significant amount of literature is observed of the view that the impacts of learning styles are not as significant as compared to the factors related to the institution and instructors’ credibility (Duggal, and Mehta, 2015; Owoeye and Yara, 2010; Hoffman et al. 2002; Siming, 2015; Marks 2010; Khosravi, et al., 2013; Clotfelter, Ladd, and Vigdor, 2010; Johnson, Kraft, and Papay, 2012; Clark, and Latshaw 2012; Coskun, 2014). Studies of Siming, (2015), Marks (2010), Salanova, et al., (2010), and Khosravi, et al., (2013) have examined the impacts of approachability of teachers, availability of financial aid, accessibility of course related assistance and content, and guidance and feedback from the teachers as the most importance factors of satisfied academic performance of the students.

 

Gruber, et al., (2010) has presented the findings leading to the satisfaction of the students during their learning experience at the institute. It has been affirmed that quality instructors are the key assets of an institute, particularly in terms of competitive educational needs. In the similar context, Salanova, et al., (2010) have contributed to the literature with their unique approach to assessing the phenomenon under study. The authors have investigated the psychosocial (facilitators and obstacles to performance) and psychological (engagement and burnout) prospects in relation to the satisfaction of the students. Accordingly, the construct of students’ GPA was used for exploring the objectives of the study. It has been commended that the psychological considerations of students tend to improve their performance; meanwhile, the impacts of past performance are also significant on their future academic results.

 

Styron, (2010) has related the satisfaction of students at the academic level to their likely retention at the educational institute. The author argues that retention of the students is simply related to their level of engagement and involvement in the learning settings. It eventually correlates to the academic advising and university facilities offered at the campus. Therefore, the satisfaction of the students has been validated to be really important for expecting the enhanced academic performance of the students. If the teachers are incompetent towards the particular discipline, or the educational environment lacks in an interactive student-teacher relationship, the system cannot expect satisfaction of the students. Besides, if the university facilities are not aligned with the unique needs of its students, the competitive position of the institute is quite uncertain (Aman, 2009; Azoury, Daoum and Khoury, 2014; Coskun, 2014; Johnson, Kraft, and Papay, 2012; Price, Arthur, & Pauli, 2016; Sampson, et al., 2010; Siming, 2015; Zineldin, et al., 2011).

 

2.5         Theoretical Perspectives

Reviewing the literature focused on the interlinked phenomenon of satisfaction-performance of students at the academic level, the current study has employed the non-recursive model of Bean, and Bradley, (1986) (figure below). It is stated that the academic performance of the students tends to potentially improve in relation to the quality of services and educational opportunities at the campus.

 

Figure 1: Theoretical Framework

 

It is notified here that the satisfaction of the students at educational institute determines their likely academic achievements. Therefore, the importance of students’ satisfaction is undeniable. Accordingly, the contribution of students’ cognition or perceptions regarding the academic situation that involves facilities offered at the university and the credibility and competence of the instructors at the campus is extremely significant to their academic performance.

 

2.6         Research Hypotheses

In relation to the identified factors affecting the overall academic performance, following hypotheses are developed,

H1: There is a significant relationship between university facilities and overall academic performance of university students.

H2: There is a significant relationship between teaching quality and overall academic performance of university students.

H3: There is a significant impact of university facilities and teaching quality on students’ satisfaction.

H4: There is a significant relationship between satisfaction and overall academic performance of university students.

 

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Advanced Marketing Study (Project)

Coursework 3 of 3 (75% of total module mark): Final Report

 

Word Length; minimum 7,200 maximum 7,500, excluding word count for references

 

Submission Due Date: 18 Oct 2019 for FT students and 20 Oct 2019 for PT students

 

Overview:

The final report is the culmination of your independent research study.  This assessment item follows through from the first piece of assessment, taking the proposal to its logical conclusions with you actually carrying out the research, interpreting and discussing the data collected, and drawing conclusions.  It should incorporate your abstract, introduction, updated literature review, methodology, findings, analysis and conclusions.  It should be fully and accurately referenced in Coventry University Harvard Style and should include your research instruments (e.g. questionnaire) and other relevant documents.

 

The aim of Coursework 3 is to produce a ‘mini research thesis’. Thus the final report will include refined versions of material submitted for Coursework 1 and 2.  Although these sections would contain similar information, they should NOT be copied and pasted into Coursework 3, albeit improved where necessary according to the feedback provided. However, these sections are not reassessed, and therefore do not count towards the marks for Assignment 3. The content of each project may vary slightly. However, the general structure of all reports will be the same and should adhere to the following guidelines.

 

Submission of your project will be online via Turnitin on the module web.

 

Credits/Weighting:

This assessment contributes 75% to total module mark (15 credits). The final complete project will incorporate your literature review from CW2 but it is expected that this work will have been developed and refined from the earlier version submitted for this stage. You should incorporate any developments in your topic area right up to your final project submission date and you should also use the feedback you received from CW2 to enhance your submission here.

 

To pre-empt any misunderstanding the mark awarded for your literature review chapter will contribute towards the 75% of credits available for CW3, it will not change your previous mark for CW2.

 

The Brief:

Your final complete project should include the following sections:

 

  • Abstract/Executive Summary (~200 words)
  • Introduction (~500 words)
  • Literature Review (~1700 words)
  • Methodology (~2100 words)
  • Analysis/ Results (~2000 words)
  • Conclusions (~1000 words)
  • References (not incl. in word count)
  • Appendices (not incl. in word count)
  • Might also want to include Acknowledgments, Limitations and Implications for Future Research

 

More detailed descriptions of each chapter are provided below.

 

Abstract/Executive Summary

 

The abstract is a brief overview of what your project is about and to provide a taster of what is to come.  You can get an idea of different styles and forms of abstract from any of the journal papers that you have read for your project.  Similarly, executive summary is a summary of the problem, your methodological approach to it, your results, and some of the implications. It is crucial that this reads well. One should not reveal everything. It should entice the reader to read more. It should orient the reader as to what the report is about. If done well, it helps the reader enjoy the reading of your report. Note, this should not be longer than one page.

 

Typically this is framed around the following questions:

  • What were my research questions and why were they important?
  • How did I go about answering them?
  • What did I find out in response to my research questions?
  • What conclusions did I draw regarding my research questions?
  • Don’t give it all away though!

 

Introduction

The introduction should provide a lead into your project including the background of the industry, product, company or issue you are researching, explain the gap in the existing research and guide the reader through the rest of your project. You may find that some of the introduction to your original literature review can be incorporated here now that the lit review forms part of a larger document.  Typically this is framed around the following sections:

 

  • Central issue of your research
  • Why it was worth researching?
  • Background on the theoretical/academic basis of your research
  • Brief background about company/market if relevant?
  • Brief background of the research setting
  • Route map for the rest of the project
  • Rationale for your research
  • Your research aims and objectives

 

Literature Review

 

The literature review should provide the theoretical foundation for your study. It should include all the relevant theories and models relating to your research study and should provide a framework for your methodological design and analysis. As it is now part of a complete project there is less need for a detailed introduction as it will follow on from the chapter before, however the work should still be coherent, well-structured and have a clear storyline. In addition it should be an updated and improved version of the lit review that you submitted for CW2. Any new developments in your topic area should be incorporated and you should also use the feedback you received from CW2 to enhance the quality of your chapter generally. Typically it addresses the following purposes:

 

  • Set your study within the wider context
  • How it supplements previous work on the topic.
  • May inform research questions
  • Develop hypotheses
  • Suggest a methodological approach
  • Show how the academic theories discussed underpin your research project
  • The title should reflect content of chapter.

 

Methodology

Your methodology should explain and justify your chosen research philosophy (e.g. positivist/interpretivist, inductive/deductive etc…). You should explain why it is your preferred philosophy in terms of the way that you view knowledge and why it is the most appropriate approach for your particular research questions/objectives. The second part of your methodology should outline your research design, sampling approach, research setting, research instrument (e.g. questionnaire, interview questions), any ethical considerations and the validity, reliability and generalizability aspects.

 

 

Analysis/Results

 

Your findings/analysis/results/discussion can be structured in a number of ways depending on what works best for your particular project. Quantitative and qualitative analysis chapters will tend to differ quite significantly from each other. Again you can get ideas by looking at some of the journal articles that you reviewed in your lit review.

 

Some general rules are that for quantitative results you should make the best use of tables, charts and diagrams to present your analysis. You are likely to have developed some hypotheses for testing and the results of these are quite often summarised in one overall table as well as individual tables generated from SPSS/Excel. The most important tests/analyses may be included in the body copy of the chapter and less important tests in the appendices. Quantitative analyses often report the findings first and then include a follow-up chapter to discuss the findings (called Discussion). This is sometimes incorporated into Conclusions also.

 

For qualitative analysis it is usual to present your analyses in themes, outlining the crux of each theme in your own words and supporting your arguments with verbatim quotes (from your participants). You may include full transcripts in your appendices however it is preferred for you to include your analyses output such as ‘large sheet of paper’ in the appendices and it is good practice to include a profile table analysis of your participants. In both qualitative and quantitative you should compare your findings with those of previous studies so refer back to your literature review and reference those comparisons.

 

As a general rule you should follow the guidelines below:

 

  • Report the facts that your research discovered
  • Include tables/graphs
  • Include verbatim quotes from participants
  • Include narrative accounts of observations
  • Purpose is to present facts – not comment
  • Structure clearly and logically

– Correspond with research objectives

– Thematically

  • Compare to previous research
  • Be selective – important parts

 

Conclusions

 

This is your final chapter and if you have conducted your study well you should have sufficient knowledge and evidence to express your opinion so finally your chance to put your head above the parapet (although still in the third person). The conclusion should be selective and pull out the most important and significant aspects of your findings. It MUST answer all of your research questions/objectives and it should compare your findings with previous literature and theories and show where you have extended knowledge (found new things).

 

In comparison to your findings/analysis it should draw implications and make judgments about your study and in some cases make recommendations to the company or industry concerned. You may wish to include a discussion section in here or implications for Marketing Managers, and it is good practice to acknowledge the limitations of your study (e.g. small sample) and to make recommendations for future research.

 

References

 

Your project should be fully and accurately referenced in CU Harvard Style (guides can be found on the 300MKT module web). Ensure that any direct quotes are properly referenced to avoid plagiarism charges and make sure that you reference your paraphrased content too (they are still someone else’s ideas!).

 

Appendices

 

Be selective here. Do not include everything just in case. Consider whether each item is really necessary. Ensure that it is referred to somewhere in the main body of the report otherwise there is no point. Ensure that you do include:

 

  • Research instrument e.g. blank questionnaire, interview questions (discussion guide)
  • Ethics documentation

– Participant info, informed consent form, etc

– Proof of ethics approval

  • You do not need to include completed questionnaires though!

 

Intended Learning Outcomes

 

  1. Take responsibility for the identification, planning, research and writing of a major written project.
  2. Apply appropriate research methods in the investigation of a business issue
  3. Identify and critically review relevant business concepts and theories from the available academic literature
  4. Draw conclusions based on the analysis of evidence collected
  5. Communicate research findings in an effective manner.

 

N.B.

 

  1. Please note that work submitted late (where an extension/deferral has not been granted) will automatically attract a result of 0%. This will count as a failed attempt, and may result in you failing the module overall. You may be eligible to resit the failed assessment(s), subject to the University’s regulations on reassessment. The maximum module mark that can be awarded for resit work is 40%.
  2. Extensions will be in accordance with University and Faculty policy.

 

Submission Information

 

Submission of your project will be online via Turnitin on the 300MKT module web. Submit by          to the CW3 icon. You may submit more than one draft in order to check your Turnitin plagiarism score (although only one per day). The submission uploaded at the deadline date and time will be the version marked.

 

Checklist:

 

– 7,500 word report (+/- 10%)
– Double/ 1½ line spaced
– Arial/Times New Roman font size 12
– Referenced in CU Harvard style
– Include Cover sheet (Appendix 1), Submission Form (Appendix 2) and Ethics Approval Certificate plus associated documents (if any)
– Include Contents page
– Include page numbers on every page

 

Students MUST keep copies (electronic file if done on computer) of their assignment.

The electronic version of your assignment will be used to enable checks to be made using antiplagiarism software and approved plagiarism checking websites.

 

There will be a penalty of a deduction of 10% of the mark (after internal moderation) for work exceeding the word limits by 10% or more.

 

Marking Criteria

 

A copy of the marking scheme and feedback for this coursework is attached. The final report checklist explains what assessors are looking for when they mark your work.

 

How to submit your assessment

 

The assessment must be submitted by (given date).  No paper copies are required. You can access the submission link through the module web.

 

  • Your coursework will be given a zero mark if you do not submit a copy through Turnitin. Please take care to ensure that you have fully submitted your work.
  • All work submitted after the submission deadline without a valid and approved reason (see extenuating circumstances below) will be given a mark of zero.
  • Extenuating Circumstances – The University wants you to do your best. However we know that sometimes events happen which mean that you can’t submit your coursework by the deadline – these events should be beyond your control and not easy to predict.  If this happens, you can apply for an extension to your deadline for up to two weeks, or if you need longer, you can apply for a deferral, which takes you to the next assessment period (for example, to the resit period following the main Assessment Boards). You must apply before the deadline. You will find information about the process and what is or is not considered to be an event beyond your control at https://share.coventry.ac.uk/students/Registry/Pages/Deferrals-and-Extension.aspx

 

 

Plagiarism

 

As part of your study you will be involved in carrying out research and using this when writing up your coursework. It is important that you correctly acknowledge someone else’s writing, thoughts or ideas and that you do not attempt to pass this off as your own work.  Doing so is known as plagiarism.  It is not acceptable to copy from another source without acknowledging that it is someone else’s writing or thinking. This includes using paraphrasing as well as direct quotations. You are expected to correctly cite and reference the works of others. The Centre for Academic Writing provides documents to help you get this right. If you are unsure, please visit www.coventry.ac.uk/caw.  You can also check your understanding of academic conduct by completing the Good Academic Practice quiz available on Moodle.

 

Moodle includes a plagiarism detection system and assessors are experienced enough to recognise plagiarism when it occurs. Copying another student’s work, using previous work of your own or copying large sections from a book or the internet are examples of plagiarism and carry serious consequences. Please familiarise yourself with the CU Harvard Reference Style (on Moodle) and use it correctly to avoid a case of plagiarism or cheating being brought.  Again, if you are unsure, please contact the Centre for Academic Writing, your Academic Personal Tutor or a member of the course team.

 

 

Return of Marked Work

 

Marked work will be available online in Turnitin. You can expect to have marked work available to you by about 2 – 3 weeks after the submission date. If you fail this coursework you must contact your supervisor asap and arrange a meeting to discuss what you need to do to bring your work up to a pass standard.

 

Note:

 

Please make sure that your name, ID number and the module number appear on the actual coursework assignment as well as on your cover sheet.

 

In addition indicate on your cover sheet your supervisor’s name to ensure that your assignment goes to the correct person for marking.

 

 

 

 

 

300MKT DISSERTATION FINAL REPORT CHECKLIST

The following checklist is for the guidance of students, supervisors and markers in judging the merits of each section of the dissertation report.

 

Overall Outcomes:

Focus on a specific marketing issue.

Formulate a marketing issue into a set of specific research objectives.

Critically analyse the literature relating to a marketing issue.

Apply appropriate research methods in the investigation of a marketing issue.

Analyse valid and reliable evidence to draw valid conclusions.

 

Abstract/Executive Summary

How well has the complete report been summarised?

Introduction

How well does the background set the scene?

How clear is the rationale for the project?

How clear and realistic are the research objectives?

 

Literature Review How widely/deeply has the student read the subject?

Have the key seminal texts been mentioned?

Have the most relevant theories been covered?

Has there been critical analysis of the literature?

Is there a theoretical framework?

Is there a clear and logical need for the research proposed?

To what extent is the text adequately referenced?

 

Methodology

Has the student justified their research plan in terms of perspective, design and data collection and

analysis?

Have the issues of validity, reliability and generalisability been addressed?

Have the data collection methods been fully explained?

How sound is the sampling method and make-up of the sample?

Have ethical issues been fully addressed?

 

Analysis/Results

How successful was the data collection?

Has the data been analysed using appropriate techniques?

Is the data clearly and accurately presented in an appropriate format?

Is there a transparent link between the data and the findings?

Has the student attempted to apply the theories discussed to their findings?

Are the research findings synthesised?

How well does the analysis address the research objectives?

 

Conclusions

Are the conclusions consistent with the analysis?

How closely do the conclusions address the objectives?

Has knowledge been extended?

How appropriate/feasible are any recommendations made?

Has the need for any further research been addressed?

 

Overall

How structured, presented, integrated, logical and coherent is the dissertation?

How clear and persuasive is the dissertation?

How well does the dissertation flow?

How well are issues argued?

Quality of references, accuracy and format

 

Individual Asset Allocation Exercise

Individual Asset Allocation Exercise

This exercise involves an analysis of general economic conditions or systematic risk, i.e., the risk that affects all industries and companies, in the U.S. economy. You are asked to determine in percentage terms an optimal allocation of $1,000,000 among the following three asset classes: U.S. equities, U.S. Treasury bonds, and cash. The goal is to maximize your expected return over the next 12 months. You are asked to write a 1-2 page paper providing your analysis of the asset classes’ return prospects and your justification of your allocation of monies among them.

First, consider historical returns on various asset classes in the U.S. Look at Figure 10.4 on p. 298 of your textbook. Also, in Table 10.2 on p. 305 you can see that historically equities outperform bonds in terms of average return but they also carry more risk as defined by their standard deviations. These historical results show that on average the return on equities is highest but in some specific years this may not be true. For example, look at Table 10.1 on pp. 302-303 and you can see that in three out of the five years from 2000 to 2004 the annual return on large-company stocks (defined in the text as the S&P 500)[1] was negative.

In this exercise your investment horizon is one year. In considering your allocation among U.S. equities, long-term Treasury bonds, and cash to maximize your prospective return over the next twelve months, we might next more precisely define these asset classes. We can define U.S. equities as the Standard and Poor’s (S&P) composite index [“At present…includes 500 of the largest (in terms of market value) stocks in the United States.” (p. 304)]. More detailed information is available directly from Standard & Poor’s:

http://us.spindices.com/indices/equity/sp-500

Excel spreadsheets of Index returns dating from 2009 back to the late 1980’s are available to download at

http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/SP500/downloaddata

 

 

Web-based finance sites also customarily carry data on the S&P 500. For example,

–at CNNMoney.com: http://money.cnn.com/data/markets/sandp/?

–at Bloomberg: https://www.bloomberg.com/quote/SPX:IND

–at Yahoo! Finance: http://finance.yahoo.com/echarts?s=%5Egspc+interactive

 

We can define long-term Treasury bonds as 30-year U.S. government bonds. Historical data on yields on debt claims are available from the Federal Reserve via  http://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/h15/data.htm. For historical daily rates on the 30-year T-bond, defined as “Market yield on U.S. Treasury securities at 30-year constant maturity, quoted on investment basis” go to

https://www.federalreserve.gov/datadownload/Preview.aspx?pi=400&rel=H15&preview=H15/H15/RIFLGFCY30_N.B

 

Long-bond Treasury rates are also available from the following sites:

http://www.ustreas.gov/offices/domestic-finance/debt-management/interest-rate/yield.shtml

 

http://www.bloomberg.com/markets/rates/index.html

The third alternative is cash. Assume no return on that share of your monies held in cash.

This analysis necessarily involves your assessment of systematic risk, i.e., the risk that affects all industries and companies, in the U.S. economy over the next twelve months. Let’s more fully define systematic risk. According to the textbook, systematic risk “…influences a large number of assets, each to a greater or lesser extent…[and is] sometimes called market risk…Uncertainties about general economic conditions, such as GDP, interest rates, or inflation, are examples of systematic risks. These conditions affect nearly all companies to some degree” (p. 340-341). Your task is to consider your investment alternatives in light of systematic risk expected over the coming year.

Your considerations about investing in U.S. equities will thus involve your determination of the near-term prospects for the U.S. economy and the implications of these prospects for U.S. equities.

A useful site for recent and upcoming U.S. macroeconomic data releases is https://www.bloomberg.com/markets/economic-calendar . Click on the highlighted report or “Consensus” next to any particular report to get data (either recently reported or the near-term consensus, respectively), the schedule of future data releases, and a definition. More generally, many other sites provide information on macroeconomic data, such as:

http://info.wsj.com/classroom/Indicators/guide.html

http://www.bea.gov/

https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/browse/collection.action?collectionCode=ECONI

https://fred.stlouisfed.org/

 

Finally, the decision to invest in 30-year U.S. T-bonds importantly involves expectations about future inflation and the term structure of interest rates,  i.e., “the relationship between short- and long-term interest rates” (p. 158). On p. 155-156 of the textbook the distinction is made between “real” interest rates and “nominal” interest rates.  “Nominal” interest rates are the rates that are quoted in the financial press; they are the rates at which we borrow and lend. Per the approximated Fisher equation (Eq. 5.4 on p. 156), the nominal rate includes the so-called inflation premium, h, so that the higher the expected inflation, h, the higher the nominal rate, all else equal. In considering longer-term T-bonds one must also be aware that, in addition to expected long-term inflation, there is greater interest rate risk: “…longer term bonds have much greater risk of loss resulting from changes in interest rates than do shorter-term bonds” (p. 158). Specifically, should interest rates increase, the market value of 30-year bonds will fall and the fall will be more dramatic for a 30-year T-bond than for a 10-year Treasury note. Conversely, price gains from any drop in rates will be more dramatic the longer the term to maturity on a bond. One should also keep in mind that while in general longer-term rates are typically higher than short-term rates for the same level of overall risk, there have been occasions when the reverse is true, and the term structure of interest rates is inverted. (Please see Figure 5.5 on p. 157 on the historical relationship between long-term and short-term U.S. interest rates.) Finally, in finance we assume that there is no credit or default risk on Treasury securities. It is assumed that there is no risk that the U.S. government will fail to meet its outstanding debt obligations. This is, of course, not the case for corporate issuers.

Finally, what are the implications of interest rate changes for the equity market? Here is one response to this question: http://www.investopedia.com/articles/06/interestaffectsmarket.asp

Here is another: https://www.tiaa.org/public/pdf/C37368_impact_of_rising_int_rates_on_equity_markets.pdf

 

Questions for Individual Asset Allocation Exercise:

1.      Allocate your fictional $1,000,000 among the following three asset categories:

AssetU.S. EquitiesU.S. 30-Year Treasury BondsCash
                      Allocation 

 

                    100%

2.      Justify your allocation based on your outlook for systematic risk in the U.S. economy over the next year.

 

 

Amount available for investment is $1,000,000, and it can be allocated to the equity, US 30-year Treasury bonds, and cash. There are various factors that influence the allocation of funds.

Asset

U.S. Equities

U.S. 30-Year Treasury Bonds

Cash

Allocation

70%

20%

10%

100%

 

GDP forecast for 2015 is expected to be about 3%. Various sources predicted the GDP of US is expected to increase due to the economic stability except for United Nations forecast all forecasted that GDP of US will be greater than 3% from the current level of 2% to 2.5% (Lapitskiy, 2014). Inflation rate of US is expected to increase slightly from the current level which cannot expect to have any adverse impact over the economic growth (Knoema.com, 2014).

But the great advantage for the country is the continuously reducing unemployment rate. About 5.7% to 6.05% is the expected unemployment rate which decreased from about 7.4% during 2013 (Knoema.com, 2014). This clearly indicates that the overall growth in the economy will be beneficial. Any investment made at this point of time will be beneficial for the investor. It indicates that the overall productivity and industrial growth will be high. It will have a direct impact over the stock price of the company. If overall stock price increases, then entire stock market will improve and get stabilized.

Overall there is expected increase in the current account deficit balance of US (Knoema.com, 2014). It indicates that economy will spend more and will require more time to get stabilize. But only with this balance one cannot predict the performance of the economy. US economy is growing, and the amount of availability of skilled labors is increasing in the market. There are some structural difficulties faced by the country, but it is not expected to have an adverse impact over the entire economy (Conerly, 2014). US stocks are expected to beat the global equity market the overall increase the stock index was 11% when compared to 7.4% of Japan and 3.2% of Europe (Wang, 2014).

Let us take for example growth in health care industry is tremendous and is creating 25,000 jobs per month, and it indicates a significant growth (Diamond, 2014). Investing in this industry will provide a higher return. This enables in making a decision of investing 70% in stocks. US 10-year Treasury yield is expected to reach about 3%  which is at current level of 2.35% it is implied that there will be either increase or will remain constant for the 30-year Treasury yield (Wang, 2014). It is the reason for allocating about 20% of the portfolio in the Treasury bonds.

US dollar is expected to remain stronger in the future; it is clear from the level of expected growth in GDP and decrease in the unemployment rate. When the economy grows, it indicates that the exchange rate of the country will remain stronger (Wang, 2014). Mostly it is expected to strengthen against yen and euro. Thus, only 10% of the portfolio is held as cash.

Expected growth rate and historical growth rate indicates about the future performance of the stock market. Stock market return is expected to be good in the coming year which enable in allocating 70% of the funds in the equity investment. In the case of 30-year Treasury bond, there will be either no change or increase in the yield is expected which enable in allocating 20% of the funds. Finally, 10% is expected to maintain as cash as US dollar is expected to strengthen.

 

 

Appendix:

Source: Yahoo Finance, 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reference

Conerly, B. (2014, January 22). Economic Forecast 2014-2015: Looking Better With Help From Oil And Gas – Forbes. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/billconerly/2014/01/22/economic-forecast-2014-2015-looking-better-with-help-from-oil-and-gas/

Diamond, D. (2014, June 6). Since Obamacare Passed 50 Months Ago, Healthcare Has Gained Almost 1 Million Jobs – Forbes. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/dandiamond/2014/06/06/since-obamacare-passed-50-months-ago-healthcare-has-gained-almost-1-million-jobs/

Knoema.com. (2014). US Inflation Forecast 2013-2015 and up to 2060, Data and Charts – knoema.com. Retrieved from

http://knoema.com/kyaewad/us-inflation-forecast-2013-2015-and-up-to-2060-data-and-charts

Lapitskiy, I. (2014). US GDP Growth Forecast 2014-2015 and up to 2060, Data and Charts – knoema.com. Retrieved from

http://knoema.com/qhswwkc/us-gdp-growth-forecast-2014-2015-and-up-to-2060-data-and-charts

Wang, L. (2014, November 20). Goldman Sachs Sees ‘Low Return World’ in 2015 With Stocks Rising – Bloomberg. Retrieved from

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-11-19/goldman-sachs-sees-low-return-world-in-2015-with-stocks-rising.html

 

Yahoo Finance. (2014). ^GSPC Historical Prices | S&P 500 Stock – Yahoo! Finance. Retrieved from http://finance.yahoo.com/q/hp?s=%5EGSPC&a=11&b=5&c=1980&d=11&e=5&f=2014&g=m

[1] For a brief history of the S&P 500 see https://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/041015/what-history-sp-500.asp

 

Introduction to computing skills

Word processors, presentation and spreadsheet software

Questions 

Your assignment consists of two tasks
Task 1
A. To calculate the total marks for English Maths and ICT
B. To calculate the average marks for each student and state! whether they
received a pass or fail
Task 2
To describe some benefits and features of word processing spreadsheet and
PowerPoint presentation software in a report format

Answer 

Task 1

Task 2

1.0. Introduction

Word processor, spreadsheet and powerpoint presentation are the major software in a computing system used for the restoration, retrieval, analysis, and presentation of data. The current paper presents the description of the three software (word processor, powerpoint presentation and spreadsheet), as well as explores the key features and benefits of each to provide a better understanding, which will consequently lead to improved data productivity and enhanced quality of data and information management.

2.0. Word Processing Software

2.1. Description

Word processor performs the function of composition, formatting, editing, and printing of documents. The word processing software also has a function of correcting the spelling and grammar in the documents. According to Patterson and Hennessy (2013), there are different kinds of word processing software available for users worldwide. The most common type is the word that forms part of Microsoft office. WordPerfect, OpenOffice, and Pages are other word processors that are availed by Corel Corporation, Apache and Apple respectively (Mossoff, 2014). As much as there might be vast differences between the different kinds of word processors, they actually have the same functions and accomplish the same task of document creation, formatting, and printing.

2.2. Key features

Basic command features-this feature supports the operations that make it necessary for the document to be viewed, saved, printed or to close the document. Common basic command feature include open, save/save as, print preview, print, and close (Preacher & Selig, 2012)

Editing features the editing features of a word processor allow the users to locate, correct, revise, or rearrange texts within the document. Features such as copy, cut, find, paste, replace, select, redo, type over, undo, and spell check allows for the proper editing of the word document (Patterson & Hennessy, 2013).

Enhancement Features-the enhancement features of the word processor are adopted to emphasize the important words or sentences within the document. This feature also assists in improving the appearance of the document. Features such as borders, bold, bullets, drop cap, font italic, underline and change case accomplish the aforementioned functions of the enhancement features (Mossoff, 2014).

Formatting Features-this feature supports the change in the arrangement of pages or layout. These features include text alignment (left, right, center, justify), hyphenation, indent, line spacing, page break, and text wrapping.

Graphics-the word processor supports the insertion of smart art, clip art, and pictures to a document. These features exhibited by the processor contribute towards the graphical improvement of the document. Other available graphic formatting options are wrapping and cropping.

Other Features-other word processing features include, grammar checking, spell checking and collaborative editing (review and track changes) that allows two individuals to work on a document and shows areas where editing has been made.

2.3. Benefits

Time saving-word processors allow the users to create a document within a limited time since words can be typed faster than can be written using a pen

Clarity-the font features of the word processor assist in making the document clear and easy to read

Spell checking-the spell checking feature assist in the elimination of errors and correction of grammar. This, therefore, improves the quality of the document that can be produced through a word processor

Synchronization-word processor support synchronization that is beneficial to the users since it allows two users from different locations to create and edit a document almost simultaneously.

3.0. Presentation Software

3.1. Definition

Presentation software is used for information display in the form of a slide show. Microsoft powerpoint presentation is the most commonly used presentation software

3.2. Key Features

Clip arts-presentation software have pre-designed images that makes them capable of importing graphic images

Plugin-this feature of the presentation software is useful in enhancing the capabilities of the program. For instance, the feature can be used in the export of a PowerPoint presentation as a PDF document or as a Flash animation

3.3. Benefits

PowerPoint is known as the most accessible and useful way to create and make a presentation. The presentation software is beneficial since it is easy to create using attractive designs. The presence of standard themes and templates makes it easier for the users to modify the presentation contents as opposed to the difficulties observed in the modification of other visual aids such as charts.

The presentation software also makes it easy for the users to make a presentation to a large audience eliminating the need for handouts for the audience to follow up the message.

4.0. Spreadsheet Software

4.1. Definition

A spreadsheet is a computer program that is used for the analysis and storage of data in table form. The software allows for data to be entered in columns and rows to facilitate their manipulation and analysis using mathematical formulas, graphs, and charts (Zhu, 2014). Microsoft Excel is the most commonly used spreadsheet in data entry and analysis due to its accessibility and ease of use (Alexander & Walkenbach, 2013).

4.2. Key Features

Functions-the excel spreadsheet has mathematical and logical functions needed for the analysis of the data entered in the spreadsheet

Sorting and Filtering-this feature allows for sorting and filtering of data to remove any repetitive or redundant data easily

Charts and tables-this feature allow for clear representation of data and other information in the spreadsheet

Data validation-this feature is used for the consolidation of data in the spreadsheet

4.3. Benefits

Data analysis-excel spreadsheets enable users to analyze large volumes of data. The spreadsheet can store huge amounts of data up to 16000columns by a million rows thus making it possible for the users to handle large data volumes (Zhu, 2014).

Formulas-the formulas featured by the spreadsheet allow the users to perform numerous calculations from basic ones such as multiplication and addition to more complex ones such as inventory management and salary tax reduction (Reed, Kaplan & Brewer, 2012).

Collaboration-the excel web app enables the users to maintain a worksheet in an updated manner. This is due to the fact that the web app allows for simultaneous access and edit of the spreadsheet.

5.0. Two commands on Microsoft 2010

Track changes-is a command in the standard toolbar of the Microsoft 2010 word processor. The command allows for tracking all the changes made to the word document including the deletions, insertions and formatting changes made. The tracking command is suitable in editing especially when the user wants to distinguish between correction and comments.

Text highlight color-this is a command on the formatting toolbar that is used for highlighting the selected text. This command is necessary for making a certain part of the sentence visible to the readers.

6.0. Recommendations

  • Users of the three discussed software should learn and be conversant with all their features for better analysis, processing, and presentation of information and data
  • Spreadsheets, word processor and presentation software should also be used constantly in an organization to reduce the workload and enhance the quality of information and data management and communication within the organization

7.0. Conclusion

Presentation, spreadsheets, and word processors are software used for the management of information and data, and the presentation of the same to the targeted audience. This software has unique features as identified above that enable them to accomplish the function of data and information management. Apart from enhancing the quality of information and data, the use of the software also leads to an improvement in data and information productivity, hence should be used more often in the processing and management of data.

8.0. References

Patterson, D. A., & Hennessy, J. L. (2013). Computer organization and design: the hardware/software interface. Newness

Mossoff, A. (2014). A Brief History of Software Patents (And Why They’re Valid). Arizona Law Review Syllabus, December, 14-41

Zhu, J. (2014). Quantitative models for performance evaluation and benchmarking: data envelopment analysis with spreadsheets (Vol. 213). Springer

Reed, D. D., Kaplan, B. A., & Brewer, A. T. (2012). A Tutorial on the Use of Excel 2010 and Excel For Mac 2011 For Conducting Delay‐Discounting Analyses. Journal of applied behavior analysis, 45 (2), 375-386

Alexander, M., & Walkenbach, J. (2013). Excel Dashboards and Reports. John Wiley & Sons.

Preacher, K. J., & Selig, J. P. (2012). Advantages of Monte Carlo confidence intervals for indirect effects, Communication Methods and Measures6(2), 77-98

Team Work in Health and Social Care

Sample Paper 

Teamwork is an essential component of any workforce in an organization. Focusing on the case of health and social care organizations, teamwork amongst the employees is vital in ensuring that accuracy and reliability within the workplace in terms of providing health care services to the employees. A number of researchers have indicated that the collaborative nature of the teams within any health and social care facility influences the nature of the services that they can offer (Valentine, Nembhard & Edmondson, 2015). Moreover, their effectiveness in communication with each other within the teams also influences their ability to offer quality services to the patients (Weaver, Dy & Rosen, 2014). There are a number of studies that have focused on the influence of teamwork on the quality of care within the health and social care sector. Carayon et al., 2014) focused on the influence of teamwork amongst the nurses within the intensive care unit in the provision of quality care within the pediatric department. Most of the studies have also focused on the importance of teamwork amongst the care nurses in the general wards in different hospitals within the UK and in other regions across the world.

Teamwork is associated with quality in health and social care; however, this has only been limited to the teams of nurses within the social and healthcare facilities. Minimal research has been conducted on the influence of the healthcare assistance teams on the quality of services they avail to the patients and other individuals under their care. According to Price et al. (2014) as much as these individuals work under the nurses their contribution towards the provision of care cannot be underestimated. Since teamwork has been associated with success in the provision of care services amongst the other care services, mostly nurses, it is necessary to determine the influence of the healthcare assistance teams on the quality of care within the social and health care facilities (Hicks, Rosen, Hobson, Ko & Wick, 2014). The proposed study will, therefore, determine the influence of the healthcare assistance teams on the quality of care provided to the individuals living in the selected residential homes in London. The proposed study will look at the nature of teams observed within the different residential homes as well as the quality of care services offered in the different homes.

Study Problem / Purpose

Teamwork in any health and social care facility has been associated with the provision of quality services that translates to quality care being received by the patients. However, it is not a guarantee that every team within the facilities is likely to offer quality services to the individuals in need (Kalisch, Aebersold, McLaughlin, Tschannen & Lane, 2014). According to Valentine, Nembhard & Edmondson (2015), the nature of the teams also influences the kind of services that they can avail. Only teams with appropriate communication strategies, a high level of collaboration and good interpersonal relationships are likely to offer quality care services to the patients. It is therefore important that the nature of the teams observed within the workplace be determined to ascertain whether they are capable of providing quality care services and to offer suitable recommendations for further improvements. It is also evident that most of the studies that have determined the relationship between teamwork and quality care have focused on the team of nurses working within the hospitals and various health care facilities (Price et al. (2014). Minimal evidence is available on the influence on the healthcare assistance teams on the quality of the services and cares that they avail to the persons under their care. It is important to analyze the influence of the health assistance teams on the quality of care since they also play a significant role in the provision of health care especially in the care homes (Weaver, Dy & Rosen, 2014). The proposed study will, therefore, determine the impacts of the health care assistance teams on the quality of health and social care within the selected residential/care homes in London. Emphasis will be on the nature of the teams observed in these places and the level of care that has been received to establish the effects of the different kinds of teams on the quality care received by the individuals living in these residential homes.

Study Relevance

It is evident that there is limited information on the influence of the health assistance teams on the quality of care. Since these individuals play a significant role in the provision of care within the workplace, the nature of the services that they avail to the patients under their care will equally have significant effects on the perceived quality of care offered by the health and social care facility under which they work. Teamwork has been associated with quality care in other contexts, it is therefore important that a study is carried out that will determine the influence of teamwork on the quality of care focusing on the context of healthcare assistance. This information will be relevant to the health and social care organizations that work with the healthcare assistance in identifying the nature of teams that are capable of offering maximum quality care to the individuals living within the care homes.

Research Objectives

Main Objective

The main objective of the proposed study will be to determine the influence of teamwork on the quality of health care focusing on the case of health assistance teams working in the selected residential homes in London. To achieve this broad aim, the following specific objectives will be explored

Specific objectives

  • To identify the nature of teamwork observed within the selected residential homes
  • To establish the influence of the teamwork on the safety of the patients
  • To establish the influence of the teamwork on the reliability of the health care assistance in the provision of care
  • To establish the influence of the teamwork on the satisfaction of the patients with the health care offered to them

Research Question

  • What is the nature of the teamwork observed in the selected residential homes?
  • What is the impact of teamwork on the safety of the patients within residential homes?
  • What is the influence of the teamwork on the reliability of health care assistants in the provision of care?
  • What is the impact of teamwork on the satisfaction of the patients with the health care that they receive?

Brief Review of Literature

Teamwork

There is a consensus in the literature that a team consists of two or more individuals who share a common goal, have specific tasks to perform and are adaptable in nature. According to Humphries et al (2014) in order for a team to work effectively, the team members must have certain skills, attitude, and knowledge needed in executing the roles or tasks assigned to them. Based on the aforementioned definition of a team, it is obvious that a team is critical for the delivery of health and social care services. Weaver, Dy & Rosen (2014) has pointed out that physicians, nurses, technicians, and other health care professionals need to coordinate their activities to offer safe and efficient care to the patients.

Despite the important role of teamwork in health care, the nature of the teams within the health care unit is also important in the evaluation of the quality of care that they can deliver. According to Figueroa, Sepanski, Goldberg & Shah (2013), there are critical components of teamwork that indicate the possibility of obtaining quality care. Extensive research on teamwork has highlighted the interdisciplinary role of health care professionals and their distinct duty to the patients. However, it is reported that despite the difference in the qualifications and the role of the different health care practitioners, their working as a team is essential in improving the safety of the patient. Weaver et al (2015) have indicated that when a surgeon, a nurse, and physicians all work as a team in the provision of care to the patient, then the possibility of reporting a high level of patient safety and satisfaction is higher. Teamwork is therefore critical in promoting patient safety and satisfaction with the care provided.

Teamwork is also likely to be beneficial in cases where health care professionals have a common duty to the patient. For instance, teamwork amongst the nurses is essential in ensuring that the patients receive quality nursing care. As much as the role is similar and can be executed by a single person, working as a team reduces the workload on an individual and provides an opportunity for consultation amongst the workers. As such, teamwork is equally visible amongst the health care practitioners with a common role in the provision of health care services to the patients.

From a different perspective, Blumenthal, Song, Jena & Ferris (2013) have looked at the characteristics of an effective team in the health and social care sector. According to him, teamwork cannot lead to the provision of quality health care when the teams involved are not effective. In his analysis, he pointed out that there must be a high level of collaboration amongst the members of the team for their teamwork to be effective. Moreover, teams whose members share common commitment levels towards the attainment of the organizational goals are likely to perform better. Al Sayah, Szafran, Robertson, Bell & Williams (2014) have also pointed out that the effect of the communication process amongst the team is also likely to influence its effectiveness. The communication process within the teams must be effective and the team members must be able to understand each form of communication adopted by the team members. An effective communication process will enhance the effectiveness of the teamwork that can be offered by the different team members.

Regardless of whether the team has consistent membership or not, when the team members have a good interpersonal relationship at any particular time, they are likely to offer quality services. This kind of good relationship allows the team members to perform all the tasks without any form of complaint or difficulty. In addition, the team members are able to interact freely with each other enhancing their ability to offer quality services through the sharing of knowledge and ideas.

West (2013) has also pointed out that the competencies of the team also influence their ability to offer quality care. It does not matter whether there is a different level of competency of the members of the team, but as long as the team members work together, they are capable of attaining a high level of competency in the services that they offer. As such, the team must be competent enough for it to offer quality services to the patients. As such, teamwork is not capable of offering quality care unless the teams are highly competent, there is a high level of collaboration amongst the team members, good interpersonal relationships and they equally have an effective communication process.

Quality Health Care

Quality of care can be measured based on different kinds of parameters. Mitchell et al (2012) have indicated that quality can be measured based on the effectiveness of the intervention strategies adopted in treating the patients. This is the nature of the process as well as the quality of the drugs and therapies used for treatment. Hartgerink et al (2014) have pointed out that apart from the quality of the intervention processes adopted in health care, the quality of the health care services offered by any health and social care facility can also be determined by the nature of the outcome reported. According to Sacks et al (2015), the level of patient safety and the number of patients recovering from different forms of illness can be used in judging the quality of care offered by the health care practitioners working within a particular facility. Moreover, the satisfaction levels of the patients with the services they receive within the health care facility can also be used in determining the quality level of care that is offered by the health care practitioners.

As much as some people may rely on the quality of the process and intervention in evaluating the quality of health care provided, Hojat, Louis, Maio & Gonnella (2013) have indicated, that the nature of the outcomes is the most reliable parameter in evaluating the quality of care to the patient. It is expected that some intervention may be considered poor from the perspective of different individuals; however, as much as the process is capable of offering positive outcomes, the health care services providers are believed to have provided quality care to the patient. On the other hand, as much as the process/intervention may be of higher quality if the outcome is unpleasant than the care provided cannot be regarded as quality. It is, therefore, more reliable to determine the quality of care provided by the health care practitioners based on the outcome of the care services provided.

Teamwork and quality health care

A number of researchers have associated teamwork with quality care. According to True, Stewart, Lampman, Pelak & Solimeo (2014) teamwork within health care promotes the sharing of roles that allow for quality services to be offered to the patients. Cunningham (2012) has also pointed out that working as a team allows the health care practitioners to share knowledge and information on the tasks to be handled thereby ensuring that the patient receives quality services. As much as teamwork is associated with quality within the workplace, True et al (2014) have ascertained that unless the teams involved are effective in nature, the attainment of a higher level of quality is impossible. As such, the teams must be effective for them to offer quality services to the patients (Figueroa, Sepanski, Goldberg & Shah, 2013). As indicated above, effective teams consist of those teams where the team members have a higher level of collaboration, have an effective communication process, have a higher level of competency and have developed a good interpersonal relationship amongst them. Unless the teams in place are effective, their ability to offer quality health and social care are limited. Based on the above review of literature, it is hypothesized that there is a positive relationship between effective teamwork and quality health and social care.

Leveraging M-Commerce and mobile strategies

Question

You are a CIO for an organization that is considering transitioning and expanding into a mobile market.  The organization that you are the CIO for is a retail organization selling to business and consumers, YOU can define what type of retail market they are in (i.e. selling software, selling traditional retail goods, selling services, etc.).  The organization currently has an e-commerce and brick/mortar presence.

The organization is getting pressure to expand into the mobile market and simplify the purchasing of its services.  You have been asked to:

  1. Evaluate what aspects of a mobile e-commerce strategy would be beneficial for the organization competitively. Consider some of the following…
    1. How does this simplify a consumer experience?
    2. How would this allow the organization to expand into new markets?
    3. How would this allow the organization to drive profitability?
  2. Evaluate what aspects of mobility would impact or would be liable to impact the existing IT infrastructure and/or operations of the organization. Consider how this would impact…
    1. business workflow (how does this change the interactions with your CRM, SCM, ERP and other systems?)
    2. culture (how is this going to change the culture of the organization?)
    3. management structure (think about how you would manage this transition…. how would you change the organization?)
    4. ….. (what other aspects may impact this transition?)

As part of this mobile transformation, the organization has asked how you can improve its online presence.  Consider how you…

  1. Would manage the organization’s online reputation and how it would change (or if it would change) by deploying a mobile strategy.
    1. How would you use advertising and mobile strategies to improve your communication with customers?
    2. How would you improve management in a mobile review-based environment?
    3. ….. (what other aspects would you need to manage?)

In your own words describe how you would solve the situations presented to you.  Do some research and find organizations that draw parallels to the above questions and how they leveraged the mobile market to improve their competitive position and how they used technology to manage their online reputation.

The deliverable is for you to provide a cohesive solution to the situations presented to you.  You should minimally have 3 sections to your solution.

Use your research to draw parallels to support your assertions.  Generalize each of these instances as far as you consider reasonable, and explain how IT needs to prepare for a transition to the mobile market.  You will want to do wide-ranging reading to refine, justify, and back up your generalizations.  If you like, categorize them.

This assignment reminds me of a situation that happened to me a couple of years ago…

I remember a time where we had an organization come to our executive board meeting where I work.  The organization was purchasing more equipment from us, and I was meeting with the CIO.  The CIO was telling me a story about how they were moving to a new mobile strategy for their retail organization.

The organization spent about 2M purchasing new equipment to roll out the mobile e-commerce strategy.  The organization rolled out the mobile e-commerce application and within 3 months began to run into scalability issues.  The organization went back to their IT department and was told they would need to spend another 1M to purchase new hardware and about 3 months to get the equipment up and running.  This was too much time and money for the CIO to spend.

The CIO needed another solution.  He called Amazon and within 72 hours had the additional resources he needed to scale his new e-commerce application.  Many people in his IT department, who were against this move, quit, and the remaining helped to manage the relationship with Amazon.

This was a very good decision for the CIO, he met his financial, time, and scale goals for his business.

Your assignment should be about: ~8 pages, single-spaced of 12-point type excluding appendices, title pages, etc

Sample Paper

Dundex Company is a retail organization dealing with the sale and distribution of open-source domestic assistant devices to consumers in different parts of the word. The companies are headquartered in the UK and operate other subsidiaries in India, Japan, and China. Dundex operates an e-commerce platform as well as physical stores in the identified areas. From its good reputation in the e-commerce sector and a well-defined workforce, the company has managed to achieve most of its goals. To further enhance its competitiveness in the sector, the company seeks to venture into the e-commerce platform to improve the convenience of its services and reach more customers. This report is an evaluation of the M-commerce strategies that can be adopted by the organization to enhance its competitiveness in the M-commerce sector. Specifically, the paper explores the

Assumptions

Dundex currently operates physical stores that are mostly situated in large stores dealing in the sale of electronic devices. The company does not operate in smaller stores in various locations in their country of operation.

HomeAssistant operates an e-commerce platform that is only accessible to PC users. The company also relies on Paypal and Visa cards to process customers’ payments.

  1. Mobile M-commerce Strategies Competitiveness

The advancement in technology has brought in new ways of communication and doing business over the internet. M-commerce is one of the approaches that have been supported by the new technology to improve the business experience and outcome through the internet. According to Tan & Teo (2002), mobile commerce refers to the process of selling or buying goods and services through mobile apps. The use of such technology in e-commerce has grown significantly following the wide adoption of mobile phones. It is reported that smartphones are indispensable items in the lives of humans owing to the fact that they are used in solving nearly every problem (Tan & Teo (2005). The wide use of smartphones makes it a suitable platform for supporting online transactions between producers and consumers in various settings.

 

The simplicity and practicality of smartphone use in e-commerce have also enhanced its adoption in the retail sector. According to (Tan & Teo, 2005) smartphone is simple to use and supports a number of systems that can be easily integrated into the M-commerce platform. Also, smartphones have an enhanced level of practicality and convenience in reference to online retail marketing since they allow customers to have access to various featured by just a few clicks. This explains the wide use of the M-commerce platform and its significant benefits in supporting online retail activities.

M-commerce is a form of e-commerce that is increasingly growing and is reported to have attained a 6% growth in the recent past. This type of e-commerce is expected to account for nearly 53% of all the sales made from the e-commerce platforms. As indicated in figure 1 below, M-commerce has reported a significant growth in recent years and is expected to have significant contributions towards the sales of an organization. As much as a company focuses on building a strong e-commerce platform, it is important that it invests in an M-commerce platform to further enhance its overall performance and profitability.

Figure 1: The percentage increase in the use of the Mobile app in e-commerce

References

 

  1. Tan, C. N., & Teo, T. W. (2002). From e-commerce to m-commerce: The power of the mobile Internet. In Internet management issues: A global perspective(pp. 27-53). IGI Global.
  2. Tan, C. N., & Teo, T. W. (2005). Mobile Telecommunications and M-Commerce Applications. In Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, First Edition(pp. 1984-1988). IGI Global

 

Theories and leadership strategies in healthcare

QUESTION

Report on an interview you have conducted with a health care professional. You will identify an issue from the interview that could be improved with an interdisciplinary approach, and review best practices and evidence to address the issue. Use the Interview and Issue Identification Template [DOCX], which will help you to stay organized. As you complete the template, make sure you use APA format for in-text citations for the evidence and best practices that are informing your plan, as well as for the reference list at the end.

Additionally, be sure to address the following, which corresponds to the grading criteria in the scoring guide. Please study the scoring guide carefully so you understand what is needed for a distinguished score.

Summarize an interview focused on past or current issues at a health care organization. Identify an issue from an interview for which an evidence-based interdisciplinary approach would be appropriate. Describe potential change theories and leadership strategies that could inform an interdisciplinary solution to an organizational issue.

  1. Describe the collaboration approach from the literature that could facilitate establishing or improving an interdisciplinary team to address an organizational issue. Communicate with writing that is clear, logically organized, and professional, with correct grammar and spelling using the current APA style. Length of submission: Use the provided template. Most submissions will be 4 pages in length. Be sure to include a reference page at the end of the plan. The number of references: Cite a minimum of 3 sources of scholarly or professional evidence that supports your central ideas. Resources should be no more than 5 years old. APA formatting: Make sure that in-text citations and reference lists follow the current APA style. Demonstration of Proficiency Competency
  2. Explain how interdisciplinary collaboration can be used to achieve the desired patient and systems outcomes. Summarize an interview focused on past or current issues at a health care organization. Describe the collaboration approach from the literature that could be relevant in establishing or improving an interdisciplinary team to address an organizational issue. Competency

 

  1. Describe ways to incorporate evidence-based practice within an interdisciplinary team. Identify an issue from an interview for which an evidence-based interdisciplinary approach would be appropriate. Competency

 

  1. Explain how to change management theories and leadership strategies that can enable interdisciplinary teams to achieve specific organizational goals. Describe change theories a leadership strategy could help develop an interdisciplinary solution to an organizational issue. Competency 5: Apply professional, scholarly, evidence-based communication strategies to impact patient, interdisciplinary team, and systems outcomes. Communicate with writing that is clear, logically organized, and professional, with correct grammar and spelling, using the current APA style.

SAMPLE

Interview summary

The interview was conducted with a psychologist on the issue of depression amongst teenagers in the US. Based on the interview findings, the mental health of teenagers is a major issue of concern in the USA. The depression rates are alarming and the number of deaths as a result of suicide is on the rise. One major cause of depression as reported by the health care practitioner is life stresses that teenagers are exposed to. It is reported that the current school environment and the harsh living conditions pose significant stress on teenagers. Also, in an era where parents are always busy, proper guidance is not offered to the teens further exposing them to some form of stress. Substance and drug use is also on the rise, contributing to the high levels of depression reported amongst teenagers.

The effects of depression on an individual, the family and the society as a whole are adverse. Apart from resulting in poor health, unnecessary deaths and loss of learning time for the teams, families also suffer serious damages when they are faced with a case of a depressed teenager. Social and economic losses have been reported that are not only detrimental to the growth of the family but may also result in some form of conflict. To society, depression is a menace that has serious consequences in terms of social relations and economic development. As such, it is important that the issue of depression amongst the teen is addressed.

Collaboration approach in the management of depression

A Collaborative Approach in the management of depression entails the inclusion of the patient, health care practitioners, and a system-level component to manage the chronic illness. These individuals work in collaboration in multidisciplinary primary care teams to assist in the delivery of evidence-based treatment.

Previous studies have reported that collaborative care is effective in the management of depression and lowers significantly the symptomatology of depression. It is also reported that a multidisciplinary approach in the management of depression results in a more rapid and sustained improvement in the mental health status of an individual compared to a single approach. A vast amount of evidence indicates that teamwork between primary care providers and mental health specialists are likely to improve the treatment of depression treatment and offer maximum support needed for the affected persons

Case study Data Sanitization

Case Study

A few key concepts:

  • Buy and sell:

Buy rates are a freight forwarder’s cost to procure space on the vessel (container on a ship or space on an airplane) and move cargo on shipments.

Sell rates are the prices we charge our customers to move those shipments.

  • Air cargo comes in many shapes and sizes and in order to move freight most efficiently, it’s best to have a mixture cargo density. The buy costs and sell rates are $/kg where kgs are“chargeable weight.”
  • Note: We only expect you to use information provided within this document and the data set given (No external trend analysis or market knowledge is required).

Summary:

The excel spreadsheet attached describes Air shipments from a client 9 and also quote data (won and lost) and aligned pricing. Task here is to build a model using the data provided, assess future pricing for 2018 and present findings / proposal in the form of a PowerPoint presentation. Below we have described assumptions to take into consideration when doing this analysis. For the Data Sanitization & Model exercises please keep all formulas / state how the data has been sanitized so we can see how you arrived at your results. Please complete tasks in Excel. If visualizatoins would like to be presented by other means that is ok.

Note:

You are expected to complete all tasks(1, 2, 3, 4) in the below exercise but when prioritizing time please make sure a good attempt is made at Task 3.

Assumptions:

Data Set

Every row of the data set signifies a shipment.

All procurement costs and revenue are stated per shipment.

Client Volumes

Client’s expected Air Chargeable Weight will grow by 30% from 2017 to 2018.

2018 expected Chargeable Weight per shipment = Average of 2017 chargeable weight per shipment.

Expected Market Procurement Buy Rate (Task 1 & 2)

Air

Model general Air Freight Rate trend for 2018 on Procurement Buy Costs from Jan 2016 – July 2017. Expectation is that Air Freight Buy rates will be 20% higher in 2018 than 2017. For 2018 we have a discount on our Buy rate (30% benefit) if shipments are volumetric (volumetric nature > 0%). Also note we did not have any discount in 2016 / 17.

e.g. Shipment Profile: Chargeable Weight = 1500kgs; Actual Weight = 1000kgs ->

Volumetric Nature = (1500kgs – 1000kgs) / 1000 = 50%

Buy Rate (pre-discount) = $3.00 per chargeable weight kg (1500 kgs)

Discounted weight =1500kgs – (1500kgs – 1000kgs) x 30% = 1350kgs

New Revenue at discounted weight = 1350kgs x $3.00 =$4,050

Buy Rate per chargeable weight kgs achieved =$4,050/1500 =$2.70

Buy Rate (post-discount) = $2.70 per chargeable weight kg (1500 kgs)

 

Quoting process and Market Data (Task 3)

Quotes are sent to a client and either won or lost. A won quote turns into a shipment.

Data has been provided stating the buy cost per shipment & per kg. This is not shown to the client.

A market buy rate (indicator of what rate level other freight forwarders can buy in the market). This is not shown to the client.

The sell rate to the client per shipment & per kg. This is seen by the client at time of quoting.

Assume that all quotes lost in this exercise are due to price.

 

 

Task 1: Data Sanitization (Data: Fixed – Client 9)

  1. Populate ‘origin’ and ‘destination’ for Air shipments with relevant 3-character airport codes, using

information in column ‘consolidated location’.

  1. Origin is from SZX.
  2. Destination location is one from the airports stated in 2. a.
  3. For destination location if more than one within the string, assume the final one is the

required destination code (only from 2. a.)

  1. Use the below classification for destination ports for East Coast and West Coast and generate a

new column for this:

  1. Air – Airport Code: PHX, LAS = West Coast ; MIA, BOS, DFW = East Coast
  2. Shipment ID’s should be either 5 or 6 numeric characters long. There are non-numeric

characters in the data. Can you remove these and generate a new column with only the 5 or 6

numeric characters long Shipment ID.

  1. Remove all rows with a blank ‘cost’.
  2. If ‘air_volume_chargeable_weight’ is blank, increase the actual weight of the shipment by 15% and set that as the ‘air_volume_chargeable_weight’.
  3. Store this sanitized data set in a separate tab.

Please make sure that you are leaving all formulas/process you have used for this exercise. Parts of this exercise that have only ‘hard coded’ values and no explanation will be assumed to have been done manually and these will be negatively marked.

 

Task 2: Model – Fixing rates (Data: Fixed – Client 9)

 

Historical

  1. Generate a dashboard highlighting the metrics below for the time period stated below:
  2. Month by month; Time period: Jan 2016 – Sept 2017
  3. Air: Revenue, Procurement Cost, Chargeable Weight, Average Buy Rate per chargeable

weight kg, % Margin, Volumetric nature

  1. Add any other metrics within this dashboard that you deem important.
  2. Which day of the week do the most Air shipments depart in 2017?

 

Future

  1. Base Buy Rate Forecast – Using the assumptions above generate a forecast of expected Air

Buy Rate ($ per kg) for 2018.

  1. When doing this look at rates at destination regional level (East / West Coast).
  2. Base Volume Forecast – Using the assumptions above generate a forecast of expected Air

(Chargeable Weight kgs), and No. of shipments for 2018.

  1. Volumetric nature is the same as 2017.
  2. State 2 pricing options that you believe to be reasonable to propose to the client 9 for 2018.

Why might you recommend them? Why might a client prefer one over the other? (Make sure at

least 1 case has a Fixed Sell Price for the year)

  1. We are looking to generate the same % Margin in 2018 for the client as we did in 2017

 

Future.

  1. Using 2018 Yearly Fixed Sell Price Case, 2018 Base Buy Rate Forecast, 2018 Base Volume

Forecast complete the below:

  1. Before 2018 starts, you want to sensitize your Fixed Yearly Sell Price to a potentially

more expensive Q4 2018. If the Air Buy Rate for the West Coast in Oct, Nov, Dec

increases 10% higher for those 3 months than Base Buy Rate Forecast what Fixed

Yearly Sell Price should be set to keep the same overall deal % margin.

  1. Generate a table where Air Buy Rate % increase for the West Coast in the 3 months of Oct, Nov, Dec starts from 6% up to 30% in increments 4% and output what Fixed Yearly Sell Price should be set to keep the same overall deal % margin. Example of Table below (in blue required outputs – Yearly Fixed Sell – Air West Coast).

 

% Increase Buy Rate

for Oct, Nov, Dec – Air

West Coast

Yearly Fixed Sell – Air West Coast
6% 
10% 
14% 
18% 
22% 
26% 
30% 

 

  1. Make table in b. dynamic where ‘% increase starts for the West Coast in the 3 months of Oct, Nov, Dec from A% up to B% in increments C% to keep the same overall client % margin. Ability to amend A, B & C and the model will output what Fixed Yearly Sell Price should be set at each increment.
  2. If the Air Buy Rate for the West Coast in Oct, Nov, Dec increases 10% higher for those 3 months than Base Buy Rate Forecast & Volumetric nature is 15% less than expected what Fixed Yearly Sell Price should be set to keep the same overall deal % margin.

 

Task 3: Model – Pricing Sensitivity (Data: Pricing Sensitivity)

For this exercise please use the data in tab ‘Price Sensitivity’

  1. What is the quote conversion % rate for each of the port pairs?
  2. What insights can you drive about the price sensitivity from this with respect to %

margin, buy rate per kg & market buy rate per kg?

  1. What lanes do you think we have good/strong buy rates on?
  2. Why do you think this?
  3. Looking into SZX -> PHX: Assuming the % margin is kept static for all quotes.
  4. For SZX -> PHX, estimate the ($ per kg) amount we need to reduce our buy rate cost by to increase our conversion by 5%?
  5. What increase or decrease of revenue would be generated by actioning 3.a. on port pair SZX -> PHX?
  6. Do you think this is a logical action to take? Please state reasoning and methodology.

 

Task 4: Presentation

  1. Draw up a presentation (no more than 5 slides, excluding cover) explaining the analysis that you

have done.

  1. Touch on the topics highlighted below & others that seem relevant
  2. Task 1 & 2: Client 9 – Fixed pricing
  3. 2018 Buy Rate & Volume forecasts and methodology.
  4. 2018 Pricing options for Client 9.
  5. Task 3: Pricing Sensitivity insights