Duque Papetiers Gros

Donald Duque owns a small family stationery business in Northern France. By his own admission, Donald “knows next to nothing about business data analysis and how it affects small business” but he does realise that he needs to use analysis as an aid to better decision making.
You are a student at the University of Roehampton who has obtained a summer placement with Duque Papetiers Gros. You are keen to do well in this placement as it could lead to a permanent post at the end of your degree course.
Duque do not sell stationery items directly to the public. The business has built a customer base over more than fifty years, comprising wholesale trade with other businesses in Northern France. Currently, Duque does not sell across the French border.
The customer base can be categorised into small shops, local schools and small offices.
The product base can be categorised into printer cartridges, general office supplies, low-cost printers, office furniture, shredders, paper-based supplies and writing/drawing materials. Currently, Duque does not sell computers.
Although there are other wholesale stationers in Northern France, Duque has established itself as a trustworthy, reliable and prompt supplier. Any product that is not in stock can normally be obtained and supplied within 48 hours of the order being placed. Furthermore, Donald is well known as a businessman who gives generously to local charities in the region, particularly those relating to primary schools.
Donald would specifically like to understand better the annual spending on writing/drawing materials per capita in European countries and potential areas of expansion for his France-based business into neighbouring countries, including Germany.
You have been set a number of tasks which should be presented in report format (word length 2000 excluding graphs/figures/references) and written in English for the management of Duque. These tasks are detailed in the following pages and generally concern:
• Summary information
• Product information
• Customer information
• Recommendations for expansion
• Financial Information
Task 1
Using relevant sources of information, you have been asked to write an overview of the wholesale stationers market in Germany, including in your discussion a brief explanation of trends in this area. In researching the topic, you have identified a good reference (MGCC Perspectives – A Chamber of Commerce magazine, pp. 7-8, which is available in Moodle). Prepare your overview and include a list of additional references in Harvard style (including the MGCC reference) at the end of your report. Note that you should not copy verbatim the overview and trends contained in MGCC, 2016 report (10 marks)

Task 2
Using an EXCEL spreadsheet, produce an appropriate graph to represent annual spending on writing/drawing materials per capita in precisely seven European countries in 2015, two of which should be France and Germany. You can use some of the data for twelve countries shown in MGCC, 2016, p. 8. (10 marks)

Task 3
Having gained a better understanding of the wholesale stationery market in Europe, you decide to start analysing Duque’s last three financial years of sales data (2015-2017). Although incomplete, the sales data (see figure T3) does provide some basic data including sales (€) of printer cartridges, general office supplies, low-cost printers, office furniture, shredders, paper-based supplies and writing/drawing materials.
Product item 2015 Sales (€) 2016 Sales (€) 2017 Sales (€)
printer cartridges 25000 26000 22000
general office supplies 25000 27000 23000
low-cost printers 15000 18000 18000
office furniture 25000 25000 27000
shredders 25000 29000 29000
paper-based supplies 25000 27000 27000
writing/drawing materials 25000 30000 32000

Figure T3. Product item sales by Year (2015 to 2017, inclusively).

a) Using an EXCEL spreadsheet, adjust the above table by appending a Total Sales (€) row. Include a table printout or screenshot as an appendix to your report. You must also show in your appendix, the formulae behind your columns. (5 marks)
b) Using an appropriate mixed pie chart, represent the 2016 and 2017 sales (€) by product item. (5 marks)
c) By representing Total Sales (€) and Year in an appropriate scatter diagram, find the associated correlation coefficient and write down your resulting interpretation. (5 marks)
d) Using the same scatter diagram, forecast the total sales for 2018 and 2019, assuming continuing sales trends. (5 marks)
(Task 3 total: 20 marks)
Task 4
Currently, all of Duque’s operations are carried out in Northern France. The business has never operated across the border in Germany. In order to initially answer Donald’s question “Should I expand my business to Germany”, you have decided to use a ‘pros and cons method’ table (see figure T4).
Should I expand my business to Belgium & Germany?
Pros Score/10 Cons Score/10

Total Pros Total Cons
Average Pros Average Cons

Figure T4. A ‘pros and cons method’ table for expanding to Germany & Belgium.

a) Complete the table. (10 marks)
b) Many of the business activities carried out by European companies need to comply with international standards. Research and list a few of the international standards that apply to Duque’s activities. You can use information contained at www.iso.org. (5 marks)
(Task 4 total: 15 marks)
Task 5
If Donald does decide to expand, he knows that the extended internal operations will require improved facilities and, as it happens, a highly-suitable building is available for sale nearby. He always has been averse to interest-only mortgages and would only realistically consider a repayment mortgage. Also, he thinks that the asking price of €220,000 might be negotiable closer to €200,000.
a) Calculate the monthly cost of a 30-year repayment mortgage of £200,000, where interest is applied to the loan outstanding at the beginning of each year and the mortgage rate is 10% per annum. (5 marks)
b) Re-calculate the monthly cost assuming that the interest is applied to the loan every month (12 times a year. Hint. Use APR in the place of r). (5 marks)
(Task 5 total: 10 marks)
Task 6
Donald believes that the mean value of orders received by his firm is about €240. Since his accounts office receives hundreds of orders each month, there is insufficient time to check every one. The accounts office decides on a strategy of randomly selecting a sample of 50 accounts and finds a sample mean of €230 and sample standard deviation of €43. Does this evidence support his belief? Assume a 5% significance level. (10 marks

Sample Answer (Graphs and diagrams not included)

1.    Introduction

Dugue Papetiers Gros is a company that deals with the distribution of stationary within the global market. The company does not deal with the final consumer within the market. Instead, its market comprises of small retailers within northern France. Its operation within the market for a total of 50 years has managed to create a large customer base that has given the company a perfect competitive advantage over the competitors. The product that it distributes includes office furniture, paper supplies, shredders, printers that are low cost, office supplies, and printer cartridges. The activities of the company have led to the creation of a positive brand name in the market.

2.    Analysis of Issues for Duque Papetiers Gros

2.1 An Overview of the Wholesale Stationers Market in Germany

The operations of the company over the last three years plays an effective role in explaining the future direction of the company within the global market. It is essential to understand that several factors are involved in the creation of the appropriate goals. The sales that the company made on printer cartridges in the year 2015 and 2016 was quite positive. The company made a profit. However, it recorded a loss in the year 2017 (Cocheo, 2017, p. 151). The sales on the general office supplies is a key issue that requires a broader line of understanding it made a significant profit in the first two years and incurred a loss in the last year. A look at the cost of low-cost printers explains a steady profit that the company made during the year. The sales of the office furniture are suite positive based on the fact that the company recorded no loss and the sales increase in 2017. The cost of shredders was steady in 2017 as it remained constant after making the initiation sales which is an essential practice of the company based on the high number of complications involved in the story (Sungau & Ndunguru, 2015,p. 187). It is essential to understand that numerous complications are involved in the creation of a steady income. The sales of the paper-based supplies were also stable as the company recorded positive incomes for the past three years. The sales for the drawing materials was positive based on the fact that the company maintained the positive and increasing sales over the past three years.

2.2 Annual Spending on Writing/Drawing Materials per Capita

The total spending of the customer amounts to 35.2 euros that are linked to the writing and drawing material. Countries such as Denmark, Bulgaria, Austria, Belgium, and Cyprus are the ones that led to the conclusion of the mentioned set of figures for the research. The second position belonged to Germany as France retained the fourth position. The collection of the product by the supermarkets is a common occurrence based on the fact that they are the leading distributors in the countries. The customer awareness is a key issue that leads to the promotion of the sales, and it has affected the buyer purchasing decision in a positive way. Continuous product advertisement has positively played out in this case as the buyers continue to increase.

The regular use of the internet has also had a positive implication in the market. It enables the company to market its products through the digital platform in the most effectual manner which is beneficial to the overall set up of the company. Today, the majority of the customers use the online platform to initiate the sales. Statistics indicate that 17% of the store owners apply the method in the marketing of their products within the industry. it is a common industrial trend that needs to be given a broader consideration based on the skeptics involved in the process.

2.3 Analysis of Duque’s last three financial years of sales data (2015-2017)

The operations of the company over the last three years plays an effective role in explaining the future direction of the company within the global market. It is essential to understand that several factors are involved in the creation of the appropriate goals. The sales that the company made on printer cartridges in the year 2015 and 2016 was quite positive. The company made a profit. However, it recorded a loss in the year 2017. The sales on the general office supplies is a key issue that requires a broader line of understanding it made a significant profit in the first two years and incurred a loss in the last year. A look at the cost of low-cost printers explains a steady profit that the company made during the year. The sales of the office furniture are suite positive based on the fact that the company recorded no loss and the sales increase in 2017. The cost of the shredders was steady in the years as it remained constant after making the initiation sales which is an essential practice of the company based on the high number of complications involved in the story (Scholten, Rothstein, & Baumhauer, 2014, p. 35). It is essential to understand that numerous complications are involved in the creation of a steady income. The sales of the paper-based supplies were also stable as the company recorded positive incomes for the past three years. The sales for the drawing materials was positive based on the fact that the company maintained the positive and increasing sales over the past three years.

Product item2015 Sales ()2016 Sales ()2017 Sales ()
 printer cartridges250002600022000
general office supplies250002700023000
low-cost printers150001800018000
office furniture250002500027000
Shredders250002900029000
paper-based supplies250002700027000
writing/drawing materials250003000032000

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