Month: May 2018

How Managers Can Please Stakeholders While Still Remaining Ethical

Write a 2 page or more, double-spaced essay regarding: How can managers please stakeholders while remaining ethical? Answer the following questions related to your essay.

  • Explain the importance of ethical responsibility.
  • How do stakeholders impact decision-making?
  • How can a leader be profitable and ethical if the competition is not?
  • Give an example of a company that has been unethical and the consequences of that action. See: Eight Important Business Ethics Cases.
  • Give an example of a company that remained ethical and the consequences of that action.

Write in APA format. Include an introduction, body and conclusion. Cite consistently throughout your work in APA format.

Toro Company S’No Risk Program Case Study

Assignment Instructions

Review the case study “The Toro Company S’No Risk Program” by David E. Bell (1994)

In the mid-eighties, the Toro company launched a promotion in which snow blower purchasers could refund a portion of their purchase if the next winter brought modest snowfalls. The amount of their refund was tied to snowfall amounts and so, the program was prey to certain risks and uncertainties. You will explore those risks and choices from a variety of perspectives.

Analyze the risks of the program from the following points of view:

  1. Toro
  2. The insurance company
  3. The consumers

Write a 6–8-page analysis paper that addresses the following:

  1. Why did the insurance company raise the rates so much? How would you estimate a fair insurance rate?
  2. From the perspective of the consumer, how were the paybacks structured and how might they be restructured to entice you at an equal or lower cost of insurance? How does the program influence your decision to purchase?
  3. What are the common decision traps which each group in point (2) is susceptible to? Develop a matrix or decision tree in order to compare the groups. How does the program impact the consumer’s “regret”? (Hint: Map the possible outcomes for the consumer.)
  4. From either Toro’s or the insurance company’s perspective, how would you frame your argument to achieve your desired objective?
  5. Was the program successful? Why or why not?
  6. If you were Dick Pollick, would you repeat the program? Assume you manage the Toro Company S’No Risk program and argue your case. To what biases are you susceptible in this case?


Sample Answer

Why Insurance Company Raised the Rate

In the beginning of the campaign, the American Home Assurance Company offered the company a premium of 2.1% of the retail value of snowthrowers sold but later increased this to 8%. The main reason for this change is due to the fact that the insurance company payout approximation in the first case was much less than the actual payout made or was supposed to be made based on the past statistics. In the year 81/82, the company total sales for the covered equipment was 30024217, the 2.1% of this was 630508.56. According to the exhibition 6, the total payout that the insurance company could have made to refund customers experiencing snow average of 50% as per the company provision was 3790509, which is about 12.6% of the sales and not 2.1%. This simply means that the insurance company was making a huge loss with the initial premium. The change of premium was founded on average payout that could have been done in a period of four consecutive years (Bell, 1994). According to Susan’s calculation, the actual payout from 1980 to 193 could have been 4%, 8%, 1%, and 19% whose average is 8%. This ensured that the insurance company did not run a risk of absorbing losses. It could have also given the company an opportunity to recover from the losses recorded in its first year of contract with Toro Company. Susan anticipated that there would be heavy snow in the year 1984, meaning the insurance company refund payout would be minimal. The sales were also anticipated to be high due to high equipment demand in heavy snowing seasons. Thus, Toro sales risk transfer would have minimal and hence with 8%, the company could have managed to recover some of the losses it registered in the 1983 deal (Bell, 1994).

In my opinion, a fair insurance rate needs to be based on previous statistics. The insurance company should not take advantage of the covered company and neither should it take the liability of the company risk that is beyond the company’s premium. In this case, a balance must be reached where by an average value is settled on. In case the yearly payouts goes below the average estimated rate the insurance company should enjoy the profits, while being ready to cover extra payouts in case the liabilities goes past the set rates in the future (Vanderhoof& Altman, 1999).

Customer’s Perspective

The current arrangement provides no risk transfer to the consumer at all rate. Consumers purchase the equipment due to their personal needs. They are added the advantage of guaranteed money back in case the product did not do the intended purpose as perceived by the customers due to weather aspects; something that is beyond the seller’s control. The guaranteed money back is offered while having an assurance of keeping the product for future use. This is like a double win to the consumers. Actually, the consumers would prefer the worse-case scenario where they purchase the product and it does not snow at all. They even go for the most expensive or the largest equipment to ensure that they benefit maximally in case the set refund conditions happen. The paybacks were structured such that in case the customers region snow below 20% of the average they were to get all their money back and retain the item purchased. In case the snow rate was less that 50% the customer will get a refund of (100-snow rate)and retain the product (Bell, 1994). This was a great arrangement. However, they might be restructured to a fixed refund cost of (100-snow rate) for all values below 50%, rather than offering a special offer of 100% for below 20% of the average. This will still entice the customers and reduce the insurance cost. The arrangement completely eliminates the risk of having unnecessary expenditure by purchasing expensive equipment which is not put into its use effectively or satisfactorily. The elimination of dead investment will entice customers to purchase more, especially the thought of having expensive equipment at half or less than half price or for free based on weather condition encourages people to purchase even more.

Common Decision Traps

Consumers’decision is highly susceptible to decision traps. Customers are highly likely to experience plunging in trap where they make decision based on the available information, without making critical evaluation on various aspects that influence purchase such as the need for the product to the buyer. The over estimation of lack of heavy snowfall compared to previous years, increasing the chances of getting a refund is likely to sway buyers decision. In this case, there are high chances for customers facing prospect theory pseudo certainty impact where he or she is either risk-acceptant or risk-averse founded on the patterns of snowfall. In this case the program provides no risks to customers and the chances of double advantages increase chances of purchasing. Others in risk-averse situation may lower the chances of light snowfall and opt out of the deal (Hammond, Keeney& Raiffa, 1999).

Consumer Regrets

The program in this case eliminates consumer regrets. The consumer benefits either way. Purchasing the snowthrower and experiencing heavy snow give appropriate use to the purchased equipment and an easy life for the customer to survive the winter season. Purchasing and experiencing low snowfall gives the buyer a chance to receive the refund and to keep the equipment. Thus the customer benefits either way. However, based on the fact that the tool can be kept for future use, most customers would prefer a situation where you make a purchase and the snowfall gets lighter for a refund. This gives the consumer a tool to use in the future at a reduce cost or no cost. Thus, a heavy snowing season would be less fulfilling to the consumer who made a purchase to benefit on the provided offer.

Program Success in Toro’s Perspective

Based on the case study, Toro Company had experienced a period of about three years of sales stagnation. During this time, the company’s distributers were not able to clear their inventories and the company experiencing downtime. This made the Toro Company to consider the insurance option, a choice that brought great onetime success to the company. In this case, Toro management only wished to come out of this stagnation and experience sales growth. The growth should also take place at a reduced operation cost possible. Thus, if working on behalf of ToroCompany, I would focus on obtaining the best possible deal that would bring positive change at the lowest cost possible. In this case, I would first base my argument on mathematical computation. In case the deal demonstrates chances of high benefits I would accept it. If the deal demonstrates chances for minimal benefits I would focus on pushing to increase winning possibilities. For instance in this case, I would restructure the refund structure to push the insurance company into reducing the premium rate. The restructuring would still be attractive to buyers. I would also consider arguing based on possibilities of no or a very minimal liability since snowing is a season that is hardly to be missed in most regions and hence the chances of having extreme refund cases is minimal.Based on the analysis the program was successful to Toro Company. The company was able to sell all it inventories and to manufacture 2500 more units to address the demand. In addition, the company was able to substitute the 10% discount costs with 2.1% insurance costs which offered 7.9% benefits from the first arrangement (Bell, 1994). The company was therefore able to make a high profit.

The main objective of any company is to maximize on the profit. Toro transfers its liability to the American Insurance Company. However, the company should carry the responsibility and ensure its profitability. In this case, I would argue based on the possibilities of having a light snowing season where more customers would come demanding for a refund. I would either work to increase the premium to ensure a worse-case scenario is covered or to change the compensation structure to minimize the number of beneficiaries (Kahneman& Tversky, 1984).The insurance company demanded a premium of 2.1% which was very low compared to the payout it had to pay in refund. The company managed a loss of about 10% by carrying Toro liabilities. This demonstrates that the program was not successful to the American Insurance Company. This is because the company recorded a huge loss.

Program Repeat

Repeating or not repeating this program will be determined by a number of factors. One of the main factors is the increase in the premium demanded by the company. The American Insurance company demands a premium of 8% in the future involvement. A survey to other insurance companies shows two more company one offering a rate of 6% and the other one at a rate of 10%. This means there is a company with better rated that the American Insurance (Bell, 1994).  Hence I would not consider repeating this with American Insurance since there are considerably expensive. Another factor to consider is the possibility of making high sales even without any marketing program in the following year. More snow is anticipated in the following year, meaning that more people will need snowthrower due to the situation. This means, they do not need to be persuaded too much to make purchases, but they will be forced by the condition. In this regard, I would postpone the program and reconsider it in a different time period. Another aspect to consider is that most people did unnecessary purchase due to offer. The company products are not highly perishable or weak to break easily. This means, with good maintenance, one may use it for a number of seasons. Thus there is a chance that too much sales will results to market saturation and making no difference in terms of level of the sales even with advertisement. For these reasons, I would consider not repeating the program for a certain period to observe the situation.

In case I was to argue my case to the manager, the most possible biases that I would susceptible to would be the currently recorded profits. The company managed to get out of three years of sales stagnation due to this program. Thus, it would be hard to convince the director that the program should be postponed. More biases would be shown in case the new rate of 8% would still demonstrate high profits and increased sales to the company based on the current computation.

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Impact Of Hybrid Cars on Environment

Assignment Instructions – Hybrid Car Research Paper

A hybrid car is a motor vehicle that uses two or more different sources of power. In most hybrids, you will find an internal combustion engine in addition to an electrical motor. Depending on how the vehicle is driven and the availability of power, the car uses gasoline and battery power alternately. In this assignment, you will research five different hybrid cars and evaluate their impact on the environment.

Using the readings for this module and the Internet, do the following:

  • Identify the top five most popular choices of hybrid cars. Analyze the advantages and disadvantages of each car’s technology, price, manufacturing, and impact on environment. Include the scientific principles involved in the technology.
  • Determine which type of car would work best for you and your family. Justify your decision based on your analysis of the five hybrid cars.
  • Explain the impact these cars will have on the United States’ economy. Consider the following issues in your analysis: consumer buying, sustainability, recycling, and fuel economy.
  • Evaluate the impact that hybrid-car technology has had or could have on the United States’ political relationships with oil-producing countries. Be sure to include an analysis of economic issues such as production, supply, and trade.
  • Describe how this technology will influence world politics. Include an analysis of economic issues such as production, supply, and trade.

Support your statements with examples. Use a minimum of six reliable references, two of which should be peer-reviewed articles.

Handling Mentally ill Violent Offenders – Assignment Instructions

You are part of a fact finding panel for your state court system. The court has a concern over the methods in which persons who are mentally ill violent offenders are handled. You are charged with selecting a modern court case (past 30 years) in which a sanity issue arose regarding a violent offender. The case may involve a Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity Plea, or it may involve a directive by the court for a sanity hearing. You may also select a case with a court consideration of idiot status was determined.

You must prepare a briefing report on the methods that were used to assess the defendant by the court in the case you selected. Discuss the outcome of the case and the mechanism that resulted in the defendant’s evaluation for sanity.

In a 3–5 page position paper, respond to the following:

  • Articulate the mental disorder(s) being considered by the court in the case that you selected, and why this disorder would make the defendant unfit for trial.
  • Explain the relationship between the actions and behavior that would cause the court to remand the defendant for a mental evaluation.
  • Evaluate the outcome of the case you selected in terms of the defendant, the victim, and the community.
  • Critique the court’s decision in the case you selected. Choose 1 of the following:
    • Support the court’s correct decision.
    • Challenge the court’s decision with your supported reasons.

It is critical that, when you make a statement of fact in your presentation, you cite the reference that you used to obtain the information from. Do this in the text of the paper, and then include the reference in your References page. As always, your paper will be submitted in the current edition of APA format. No abstract is required because this is a short-position paper, but a title page, reference page, and appropriate running header with page numbers are necessary.

Hewlett-Packard Case Study Analysis

Hewlett-Packard Is Counting on Organization Change to Boost Revenue Growth

Meg Whitman became CEO of Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP) in 2011. Since the time HP’s revenue peaked in 2011 at $127 billion, it has dropped every subsequent year. On the positive side, the company had two consecutive quarters of growth in 2014. HP also is trying to right-size and reduce costs by planning to lay off 16,000 employees. HP earlier decided to lay off 34,000 people, resulting in a total reduction of 50,000 employees.100

Whitman described the job cuts “as an opportunity to streamline the company further and make it more nim- ble. An expected $1 billion in cost savings in fiscal 2016 would allow HP to invest in new technologies and skills to revive growth.” Others, like UBS analyst Steven Milunovich, believe that these job cuts will erode employee morale and may lead to increased turnover.101

“But fixing the world’s biggest tech company—with $120 billion in annual revenues and 330,000 employees— is a herculean task. Bloated by more than 70 acquisitions in the past 15 years, HP isn’t just sprawling and stalled out; it may actually be running in reverse.”102

Whitman decided to change the organizational structure to fuel growth. She created two clusters of businesses. One focuses on corporate technology customers. This group, which sells servers, storage, and networking, delivered 43% of the company’s overall operating profits according to Forbes. Unfortunately, the software and services that accompany all this hardware have not been as successful. HP tried to build the software side of the business via acquisitions, which according to Forbes have not been very successful. The magazine noted that “when it comes to software acquisitions, Autonomy [HP’s enterprise software company] was merely the most high-profit misstep. All told, over the past decade HP squandered nearly $19 billion to buy myriad outfits that contribute only 7% to overall profit. The services unit, which staffs other companies’ tech projects, is barely at breakeven.”103 HP is currently “looking for small to midsize acquisition candidates in cloud computing, security, and analytics software.”104

The second structural cluster sells printers, PCs, laptops, and mobile devices to people worldwide. This segment of the business contributed 29% of operating profits in 2013. The problem here is that the lucrative printer business is shrinking. Technology is simply moving more toward ink-free photo and document sharing, which benefits companies like Google, Face book, and Dropbox.

Strategically, HP also is trying to get back into the fast-growing tablet market. The company attempted to gain entry in this market in 2011 with the TouchPad model, but it was a failure. Since February 2013, the company has introduced new models, and they are being well received in the market. In a similar vein, HP has created an overall vice president for design. This was done to create a strategic focus on product development.

H-P didn’t stop at just a reorganization or a new tablet strategy, according to Forbes. A survey of the company’s 20,000 salespeople revealed that employees rated the internal sales tools a mere “7” on a scale of 1 to 100. For example, it took HP as much as three weeks to prepare a sales quote, when competitors could do it in a matter of days. The company decided to upgrade its sales process by using new tools from

Whitman also took to the road to reassure custom- ers that HP was doing the “right things.” In the last year, she conducted “305 one-on-one meetings with customers or sales-channel partners, aides say, as well as another 42 roundtable chats with small groups” around the world.

It did not take Whitman long to realize that the organizational culture also needed to be changed to foster consistency between the company’s strategies and culture. According to Forbes, she eliminated the barbed wire fence and locked gates that separated parking lots for the executives and the general employee population. “We should enter the building the same way everyone else does,” she said. She also decided to work from a cubicle, like most employees, instead of from a larger, more private location. She keeps a picture of her mother in her office. She also role models when she travels by staying at more modestly priced hotels.

While HP is positive about the changes taking place, some analysts are more skeptical. Bill Shope, an analyst from Goldman Sachs, concluded that “serial restructuring cannot solve HP’s secular challenges, particularly following years of underinvestment.” He forecasts that HP’s revenue might fall to $107 billion in fiscal 2015.

Case Analysis Questions

Answer the following in up to 175- words each:

  1. Describe super trends that are driving HP to change.
  2. Assess which forces for change are causing HP to undertake major organizational change.
  3. Recommend how Meg Whitman could use Lewin’s and Kotter’s models of change to increase the probability of achieveing positive organizational change.
  4. Determine how HP is following the four steps for fostering innovation.
  5. What has happened with HP since this case was written? Determine whether the implementation of these changes has been successful. Explain what could have been done differently.

B6025 Finance Course – All Discussions With Sample Answers

B6025 Week 2 Discussion

Cialdini (2001) provides many compelling insights into how choices  are influenced. Even though marketers are barred from outright  deception, you can still find examples of information or promotions  designed to lead customers in a direction that may not be in their rational best interest.

Some theorists suggest that rationality only plays a part in  one’s decision toolkit. Outside influences (one such example is  authority figures hawking goods or services) bear upon the choices you  make. It is a susceptibility to these outside pressures and social  constructs that may lead you, as a decision maker, away from  well-reasoned optimization. The ability to manipulate an individual  along these lines leads to the use of nonrational techniques, which are recognizable in the marketing efforts that can inundate your life.

Review the article “Harnessing the Science of Persuasion” by R. B.  Cialdini (2001) from this module’s assigned readings. Consider  Cialdini’s insights on nonrational techniques.

To access the following article follow the steps listed below:

Cialdini, R. B. (2001). Harnessing the science of persuasion. Harvard Business Review79(9), 72–79.

  • Launch the Online Library
  • Click on the Find Articles and More button on the library homepage
  • Next, click on the link for Business Source Complete
  • Enter in the complete title of the article with quotation marks into  the search box and then click search (i.e. “Harnessing the science of  persuasion”)
  • Click on PDF Full Text to read the article

Respond to the following:

  • Consider the last two major purchases you made, and list the  techniques that may have swayed your choices. Why do you think these  techniques impacted your decision?
  • What would you do in the future to avoid these psychological pitfalls?

B6025 Finance Course – All Assignments With Sample Answers

B6025 Week 2 Assignment

Sometimes social influences and societal pressures can influence  decision making for the better and sometimes for the worse. In addition  to these pressures, there are risks that need to be evaluated and  measured when making decisions. In this assignment, you will reflect on  decisions you made using social influence, persuasion, and risk taking  that went awry.

Examine a time when you were involved in decision making that went  awry as a result of protocols, social norms, or persuasive techniques.  If you do not want to use an example from your business or personal  experience, you can select a journal article on which you can base your  assignment. Here are some key words to help you find an article for this  assignment:

  • Decision making
  • Risk taking
  • Persuasion
  • Social heuristics

Write a 3–5-page paper in Word format that addresses the following:

  • Describe a decision-making scenario using your business experience,  personal decision making or cited journal article; include an example of  the decision-making process, describe the risk, and whether persuasion  was used. What were the social heuristics?
  • Explain the incentives in this scenario. Were they effective?
  • Identify the risks and the potential decision biases in your  scenario. Propose the corrective steps that should have been taken to  overcome these biases. If a risk assessment was conducted how did this  affect the decision-making process?
  • Analyze your scenario for what happened in terms of social  heuristics. Explain how decisions were made and the social factors that  shaped the decision-making environment.
  • Discuss the greatest challenges to sound decision-making in your scenario.
  • Critique the decision-making process used by the sponsor(s) and  leader(s) of the decision. Identify the mistakes made by the sponsor(s),  leader(s), and team members or others impacted by the decision during  the implementation of the decision.

Support your statements with scholarly references and appropriate examples. Apply APA standards to citation of sources.

B6025 Week 2 Assignment

How Information Systems Affect The Firm’s Strategic And Competitive Position

Apple Inc. is known for its state-of-the-art designs for products  such as the iPhone, but most are unaware that Apple has used technology  to streamline its supply chain management and operational systems to  provide competitive pricing. This use of technology has allowed the  company to under price its competitors and yet maintain a 25 percent  margin on their products. The use of IT has provided Apple with a  strategic and competitive position which most of their competitors find  difficult to match or exceed.

Using your company or a real-world example from your research,  analyze how information systems affect the firm’s strategic and  competitive position.

Using the assigned readings and the Argosy University online library resources, explain how information technology:

  • Impacts competitive rivalry, such as pricing, promotion, and distribution
  • Enables or dissuades new entrants
  • Enables customers to achieve greater bargaining power
  • Enables suppliers to gain more bargaining power
  • Gives rise to substitute products or services that threaten the existing market

Can Xerox Corporation Survive ?

With the advent of scanners and the universality of the portable document format (PDF), the market for optical copiers is shrinking rapidly. Can a company such as Xerox Corporation survive? In this assignment, you will address this question.

Research the issues faced by Xerox Corporation from 2000–2010 and the solutions found using the assigned readings, the Argosy University online library resources, and the Internet. Specifically review Xerox Corporation’s annual reports

Respond to the following:

  • Identify multiple business pressures on Xerox Corporation.
  • Describe some of the company’s response strategies.
  • Identify the role of IT as a contributor to the business technology pressures (for example, obsolescence).
  • Identify the role of IT as a facilitator of Xerox’s critical response activities.
  • Support your positions with reasons and examples based on your research.

Write a 3–5-page paper in Word format.

Final Research Paper – Project Management And How It Relates To Project Management Maturity Model

Research Paper Instructions

This final research paper must demonstrate the understanding of new learning in the field of project management and how it relates to the Project Management Maturity Model.  This is an assignment with a length of 10- to 15- pages (not including title and reference pages) that should integrate the reading, multi-media and class discussion boards.  It is mandatory to have research from the classroom text, as well as at least 4 sources from the internet or online library to support your views.  A minimum of 2 of these sources must be from the Online Library.

Consider the validity of your resources carefully before using them in academic papers.  It is recommended to use examples from your professional experience where possible, or build from your learning in the discussion boards.  Use at least one project you have been a team member or a project manager as an example to discuss each of the following topics:

  • The definition of the Project Management Maturity Model and how organizations can increase their overall productivity using the model.
  • The importance of organizational strategy and how project management needs to link to objectives to achieve results.
  • Project communication methods including who the stakeholders are and why they are important to the project manager.
  • The use of project quality, including earned value analysis, and examples of successful and troubled projects.
  • A conclusion to describe how the probability of success can be found with an organization that is able to reach maturity in terms of project management.

Analysis of How To Ethically Guide Your Life

It is obvious that, objectively speaking, there is no ethical bright line test for society to follow. Whether dealing in Business, Law, Journalism, etc. no two realms have the same ethical guidelines. What is accepted in one faction of society is not always accepted and/or ethical in another faction. Moreover, what is accepted in one situation is not always then again accepted in a subsequent similar situation. What then is the bottom line? The bottom line is – there is no accepted bottom line. We all come to our own ethical make-up based on the positions we hold, the religions we hold ourselves out to be and the experiences we have live through. What is your ethical make up?

In a 2-3 page paper, analyze how to ethically guide your life. Do so through determining a set of standards to live by. Furthermore, differentiate where those standards derived from. Finally, conclude how you know these standards are right and/or wrong.

Please be sure to give at least five examples of ethical standards in which everyone should live by. Be sure to use proper APA formatting including a cover page.

Strategic Business Plan Outline

Part I – Feasibility Study

  1. Cover page
  2. Table of Contents
  3. Executive Summary
  4. Summary of Strategic Direction [Module 1]
    • Vision
    • Mission/ Corporate Values
    • Goals
  5. Stakeholders Interest/ Needs
  6. Analysis of the External Environment [Module 2- Part 1]
    • Results from Scanning
    • Results from Monitoring
    • Competitive Environment
    • Strategic Challenges/ Issues facing the Industry
  7. Internal Environment Analysis [Module 2 – Part 2]
    • SWOT Analysis
    • Value Chain Analysis
      • Primary Activities
      • Secondary Activities
      • Resource Based Analysis
        • Internal
        • External
        • Achieving Sustainable Competitive Advantage
      • Financial Ratio Analysis/ Five year period
  8. Strategy Analysis [Module 3]
    • Cost Leadership Strategy
      • Identify elements that could lead to sustainable advantage
      • Advantages/ Disadvantages of this strategy
    • Differentiation Strategy
      • Identify elements that could lead to sustainable advantage
      • Advantages/ Disadvantages of this strategy
    • Focus Strategy
      • Identify elements that could lead to sustainable advantage
      • Advantages/ Disadvantages of this strategy
    • Combination Strategy
      • Identify elements that could lead to sustainable advantage using several of Cost/ Differentiation/ Focus
      • Advantages/ Disadvantages of this strategy
    • Industry/ Firm Life Cycle
      • Strategic implications of each stage analyzed
  9. Corporate Level Strategy [Module 3
    • Identify consequences of Diversification
      • Economies of Scope
      • Revenue Enhancement
      • Market Power
    • Identify unrelated Diversification
      • Financial Synergy
      • Parenting
    • Methods of achieving Diversification
      • Mergers & Acquisitions
      • Strategic Alliances/ Joint Ventures
      • Internal Development
    • Corporate Ethics in Value Creation
  10. Feasibility Study Summary
    • Conclusions
    • Recommendations
  11. Appendix

Part II – Strategic Plan

  1. Cover page
  2. Table of Contents
  3. Executive Summary
  4. Global Economy/ Factors Affecting Global Economy [Module 4]
    • Motivations/ Risks
      • Motivations for Expansion
      • Risks in Expansion
    • Competitive Advantage in Global Markets
    • Entry Strategies for Global Expansion
    • Internet Approach/ Strategy
      • How the Internet adds value
      • Internet Business Models
      • Competitive Strategies
      • Leverage E-Business Capabilities
  5. Corporate Leadership [Module 5]
    • Direction Setting
    • Organizational Design
    • Organizational Culture
    • Leadership Traits
    • Ethical Organization Characteristics
      • Identify elements
      • Identify missing elements
    • Learning Organization Characteristics
      • Identify elements
      • Identify missing elements
  6. Strategic Plan Summary
    • Conclusions
    • Recommendations
    • Implementation
    • Risks
  7. Appendix

Strategic Plan and Self-Reflection Summary Assignment And A Sample Answer

Review the initial scenario and the Strategic Business Plan presented in Module 1 to make sure that the requirements of the Board and the Part II Strategic Plan are met. In order to meet the requirements of the Board, you will prepare the final Strategic Business Plan—Part II—Strategic Plan to the Executive Board. Ensure your strategic plan is thorough, succinct, and complete. Challenge yourself to link the targets to specific initiatives you have identified in the Strategic Plan you are developing.

Your written report should include a title page, table of contents, executive summary, and each of the following sections in an 8- to 12-page report:

  1. Part I: Global Economy & Factors Affecting the organization
    • Identify the organization’s Motivations & Risks
    • Motivations for Expansion
    • Risks in Expansion
    • Explain organization’s competitive advantage in Global Markets
    • Determine and explain entry strategies for global expansion
    • Recommend an Internet approach/strategy for organization
    • How the Internet adds value
    • Internet Business Models
    • Competitive Strategies
    • Leverage E-Business Capabilities
  2. Part II: Corporate Leadership
    • Develop the following: Current Direction Setting
    • Organizational Culture: In addition, evaluate the culture at the organization and define what attributes you think team members should possess in reaching the business goals set forth by the organization. If you were part of the management team at the organization, what motivational techniques would you implement to make these teams successful?
    • Organizational Design: As you have been completing the Strategic Business Plan, the management at Harley-Davidson has decided to take a team-oriented approach in various departments rather than the traditional, functional structure. Based on your knowledge of different types of teams and their focus, suggest what kinds of team strategies should be applied to each department. Be sure to explain your recommendations in detail.
    • Leadership Traits
    • Ethical Organization Characteristics
    • Identify elements
    • Identify missing elements
    • Learning Organization Characteristics
    • Identify elements
    • Identify missing elements
  3. Part III: Strategic Plan Summary
    • Conclusions
    • Recommendations
    • Implementation
    • Discuss how you will implement your strategic plans, including how teams should be implemented in each department
    • Develop a brief roadmap for implementation
    • Identify the primary benchmarks to assess success or failure
    • Risks
  4. Part IV: Self-Reflection Summary
    • Self-reflection is the key to good leadership and good management. Reflect on what you have learned in this class and on what you gained from your Bachelor of Science program. Based on your reflections, discuss the following:
      • Five or six key “lessons” learned from the textbook and the content that will help you in your career.
      • Consider what you have learned throughout this program. Discuss career opportunities that interest you in business.
      • Include what you have learned about yourself.
      • Evaluate how your personal biases and assumptions have affected your work in the past and how you plan to manage them in the future.


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Project Management Final Research Paper Instructions

Final Paper

The final six to eight page paper must demonstrate understanding of new learning in the field of project management. It is mandatory to have research from the classroom text, as well as five sources from the internet or online library to support your views. It is recommended to use examples from your professional experience where possible, or build from your learning in the discussion boards. (Suggestion: use at least one project of which you have been either a team member or a project manager as an example to describe the topics below):
The following topics must be reviewed in order for the paper to be complete:

  • Define project management and explain its importance to the business world.
  • Explain project life-cycle management and the benefits of project management to an organization.
  • Explain the concepts of planning in the project life-cycle and how research and critical thinking is mandatory in planning.
  • Explain project organizations and the importance of leadership and sponsorship.
  • Explain project team building, including techniques of successful team building.
  • Explain how to create a work breakdown structure and how a project manager breaks down the overall project into packages.
  • Explain the need for project management software in large integrated programs and the benefits to the overall project management organization.

Writing the Final Paper

The Final Paper:

  • Must be six to eight double-spaced pages in length and formatted according to APA style as outlined in the approved APA style guide.
  • Must include a cover page that includes:
    • Student’s name
    • Course name and number
    • Title of paper
    • Instructor’s name
    • Date submitted
  • Must include an introductory paragraph with a succinct thesis statement.
  • Must address the topic of the paper with critical thought.
  • Must conclude with a restatement of the thesis and a conclusion paragraph.
  • Must use APA style as outlined in the approved APA style guide to document all sources.
  • Must include, on the final page, a Reference Page that is completed according to APA style as outlined in the approved APA style guide.

Business Disputes And Political Risks Assignment Instructions

A contract or agreement does not have to be between two companies. Another example of a dispute can be that of companies producing similar products and determining who has the rights to it. In determining a resolution, political risks must be considered. Conducting an assessment of the risk in order to determine the impact (macro- or micro-political) is important.

With this in mind, create a 1-2 page response to the following:

  1. Research an international dispute
  2. Describe the dispute and political risk
  3. Analyze the situation
  4. Conclude a possible way to avoid the dispute or risk OR a possible resolution

Your final assignment should be proofread for correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation.

Case Study Shelterbox : A Decade of Disaster Relief – Questions And Sample Answers

Operations management and Supply Chain management Case study

Case Study Shelterbox : A Decade of Disaster Relief

In the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake in 2010, UK-based disaster relief charity ShelterBox deployed the largest response in the organisation’s ten-year history. The charity’s mission, “to rapidly provide emergency shelter and vital aid to stabilise, protect and support communities overwhelmed by disaster and humanitarian crisis,” is met by a global team of volunteers, affiliates and staff.

Initially, a local Rotary club millennium project, ShelterBox has been able to utilise the global network of Rotary clubs to meet the ever-increasing need for humanitarian assistance.

However, the journey from local project to global humanitarian provider has been anything but straightforward and episodes of incremental growth have been met with numerous complex strategic and operational challenges.


At 16.53 on January 12, 2010, a 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck beneath the Caribbean nation of Haiti. The epicenter was situated near Léogâne, 25 kilometers southwest of the capital city Port-au-Prince. The earthquake caused extensive and catastrophic damage to the entire area including many of the capital’s principal buildings, residences and commercial properties. Figures released by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), stated that 180,000 homes were destroyed, 230,000 people were killed, a further 300,000 people were injured, and a population of half-a-million people was displaced. The earthquake lasted 40 seconds.

Twelve minutes after the earthquake struck, UK-based international disaster relief charity ShelterBox initiated their response to the disaster and 900 boxes of aid were quickly dispatched. The scale of the situation quickly became apparent to the aid agencies and military representatives on the ground. ShelterBox realized this would become the greatest test facing the charity so far, surpassing the response required in the aftermath of the Asian tsunami, which struck on Boxing Day, 2004.

Once ShelterBox had mobilized all of its available resources a dedicated fundraising campaign for Haiti was initiated and in the twelve months following the earthquake the charity’s income doubled to £16.2 million. A total of 28,417 ShelterBoxes were delivered providing emergency shelter and survival equipment for more than a quarter of a million internally displaced people (IDPs).


Rapid response is vital in the aftermath of rapid-onset disasters to assess and support the immediate needs of displaced people who can often be forced into very challenging, uncertain and vulnerable circumstances. Accurate preliminary assessments enable the ShelterBox Response Team members (SRTs) to feedback information regarding the in-country situation to the charity’s headquarters, triggering the assembly and deployment of additional aid for those found to be most in need.

The sheer scale of the Haiti disaster tested the capabilities of the SRTs, as well as the wider volunteer network and the ShelterBox management team, led by Director of Operations John Leach. Initial aid reserves were quickly depleted both at the UK base and the strategic global pre-positioning sites. 1

In the days immediately following the Haiti earthquake ShelterBox received some of the largest financial donations in its ten-year history, with some single donations in excess of £100,000. Contrary to the customary policy of declining earmarked donations, and in order to meet the demands of the situation in Haiti, these large donations were gratefully accepted enabling the procurement of vital equipment required to fulfill the charity’s objectives.

Nonetheless, the question of how long access to Haiti would be granted or whether there would be sufficient time for the procurement of equipment and shipping of ShelterBoxes remained at the forefront of John’s mind. How should consignments be forwarded? By sea or air, scheduled or charter. With costs ranging from £25,000 for scheduled air freight, to as much as ten-times this amount for chartered air freight John knew that this presented the charity with a dilemma between balancing the needs of the operation with the perception of value for donors.


ShelterBox is a UK-registered charity based in Helston, a small market town 300 miles southwest of London, UK. Since the charity’s foundation as a local “Rotary Millennium Project” disaster responses have been deployed to every continent across the world fulfilling the charity’s mission “to rapidly provide emergency shelter and vital aid to stabilise, protect and support communities overwhelmed by disaster and humanitarian crisis.” Responses have assisted beneficiaries following all types of natural and manmade disasters including earthquakes, flooding, volcanoes, tsunamis, hurricanes, landslides, typhoons and conflict.

In an interview, for Time magazine, former Royal Navy Search and Rescue diver and Rotarian Tom Henderson, OBE, recalled that he had watched a disaster unfold on the TV news one evening in 1999. Watching as aid workers threw bread to the ground for victims to be able to grab what they could, he recognised the void in the type of support offered by existing humanitarian aid organisations. Henderson turned to his wife and asked why those people, having just lost everything, were being denied their dignity and self-respect?

Pondering this question Henderson imagined what things would be needed after a natural disaster, concluding it would be shelter, warmth, comfort and dignity. And so with this inspiration in mind the ShelterBox concept was born.

What started as a modest project—by researching the origin of an idea and sourcing a few materials – ShelterBox grew in the Rotary community with the support of its local club to eventually become the largest club project in its 100-year history. ShelterBox was eventually designated a ‘Global Rotary Club Project’ in 2009; in 2012 it became Rotary’s first ‘International Project Partner’ signifying that aid equipment may be endorsed with the Rotary designation.

Rotary support initially contributed around 50 percent of all donations by supporting ShelterBox through the many thousands of local Rotary clubs worldwide. However, on-going support for ShelterBox now goes well beyond Rotary support with many thousands of volunteers from all walks of life supporting essential operations by undertaking deployments as SRT members, volunteering at the UK HQ, conducting worldwide fundraising events, raising awareness through public events and even providing essential back-office administrative and managerial support.

Project work with The Scout Association has also been instrumental in building global partnerships and awareness and in 2007 ShelterBox appointed The Duchess of Cornwall as the charity’s president.


A standard ShelterBox consists of a range of equipment including a custom-designed ShelterBox tent, groundsheets, blankets, cooking equipment and basic tools to provide warmth and protection, as well as children’s recreational and educational materials. Described by the charity as “essential life-saving and life-changing equipment,” and capable of sustaining an extended family in the aftermath of a disaster, the cost of standard ShelterBox is £590. 2

The concept is adaptable to meet the immediate needs of the conditions on the ground and so SRTs must quickly ascertain what equipment could perform a useful role, and what may hinder the long-term redevelopment effort. 3 For example, after the Javanese earthquake of 2006—when buildings were extensively damaged and people were heavily displaced—shelter was the immediate priority. Enough resources were available or salvageable locally to justify sending two tents per box, therefore withholding other valuable materials which may otherwise be discarded during the relief phase.

Once aid is supplied in-country SRTs work quickly to introduce a “train-the-trainer” ethos in the construction and maintenance of shelter and equipment. This helps to promote self-sufficiency and independence within communities as quickly as possible and forms a part of the conditions under which beneficiaries are granted aid to sustain temporary replacement communities.


The charity’s ability to respond to disasters grew significantly during its first decade of operations. In January 2001, a 7.9-magnitude earthquake occurred at Gujarat in western India—the largest for 200 years to strike the country—an estimated 20,000 people were killed with one million buildings destroyed. At the time ShelterBox was able to send 143 boxes.

Responses made to subsequent disasters of all types, and on all continents, substantially raised the public’s awareness of ShelterBox. Consequently financial donations grew increasingly in the first three years making it possible for 2,600 boxes to be dispatched to sixteen major disasters around the world during 2004. Yet the greatest challenge to face ShelterBox was about to occur. On December 26, 2004, an earthquake struck off the coast of Sumatra, Indonesia, causing a series of tsunamis to strike the coastal regions of fourteen countries bordering the Indian Ocean.

The sheer scale of the disaster was matched by the immense force of the 9.0-magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunamis which killed 150,000 people in the first few hours and displaced over 1.5 million people. This brought about a major change in the way ShelterBox could respond to disasters: inward donations increased radically and ShelterBox was able to ramp up operations to a scale inconceivable only six months earlier.

Larger financial donations and additional committed volunteers enabled ShelterBox to respond with 22,000 boxes in 2005, not only to tsunami survivors in Southeast Asia, but also to those left homeless by other disasters the same year including Hurricane Katrina in the USA and the magnitude 7.6 earthquake that struck the Kashmir region of Pakistan. This was a tenfold increase on the total number of boxes sent in the previous three years.

In the three-year period following the events of 2004 and 2005 the charity once again witnessed a period of incremental growth in both the organisation’s financial resources and in its capabilities. Average income in the three years to 2009 was still below £4 million and the average number of ShelterBoxes sent was around 7,500 per year.

The Haiti earthquake of 2010 led to a considerable spike in financial donations which far exceeded previous income, even surpassing that of 2004/5. Total donations in the financial year 2009/10 almost trebled the previous year’s total income at just under £18.9 million 4 ( Exhibit 1 ).


ShelterBox maintains many global third-party supplier relationships with the manufacturers and logistics organisations needed to equip and distribute ShelterBoxes.

Central to the ShelterBox strategy is the tent: large, durable and custom-made it is capable of withstanding high winds, strong UV light and heavy rain for at least six months. AMG Group, parent company of the Vango brand, works closely with ShelterBox to continually innovate and manufacture the tent design which must be able to withstand the extreme conditions faced by its many users. AMG Group also works to train the SRTs in the rapid assembly of the ShelterBox tent and is just one example of the various supplier relationships that have been established to develop and deliver robust and reliable products and services. 5

ShelterBox aims to assemble a sufficient inventory of equipment at its UK base in readiness for dispatch. Through its supply network of products and services the charity understands that delivering value for its stakeholders is vital as well as the importance of becoming an influential and reliable buyer. According to ShelterBox’s Director of Operations, John Leach, this enables ShelterBox to state what is required from suppliers via strong transactional relationships rather than becoming dependent on unsolicited donations or goodwill to ship materials or source products. To seek only gifted materials would, in Leach’s opinion, diminish the charity’s significance as a purchaser and eventually lead to the charity’s needs going unnoticed by its suppliers.

The issues facing the operations team continue to be multifaceted and the challenges do not end with inbound supplies. Logistics presents the charity with ample downstream problems, not least the issue of customs clearance. Despite SRTs ability to make sound judgments about the appropriate equipment to deploy—and to which families—they are frequently prevented from easily transferring materials across some international borders.

Across the world humanitarian aid relief work would not be able to progress without efficient customs clearance procedures and ShelterBox, whose time on the ground is relatively short by comparison, distinctly recognises the time taken to obtain customs clearance is all too often too valuable to waste. Any delay may, in the event that national governments reject further international assistance, result in the prevention of any emergency relief aid reaching the point where and when it is needed.

Relief aid attracts import duty at undetermined rates that vary by country and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) such as the ICRC, Médecins San Frontières or Oxfam, whose work on the ground can last many years, are nonetheless required to obtain appropriate clearances as an essential prerequisite of their work.


Increasingly—and in particular since the Haiti response in 2010—ShelterBox notes that future large donations may also be earmarked. Following some earlier large-scale disasters donors frequently earmarked donations to state where their money should be spent, resulting in some large donations being reluctantly refused. This prerequisite is in contrast to ShelterBox’s ‘Track Your Box’ policy, whereby individual donors can freely trace their funded box to its final destination, wherever that may be.

In a recent meeting of the management team aspects of the charity’s current operating capabilities were included on the agenda. In particular ShelterBox’s ability to build inventory, the traceability of individual donations, and the issue of customs clearance were marked for discussion that day.

But well before the meeting was concluded GDACS, the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System, alerted the management team to an earthquake in the Japan. Additionally SRTs were already deploying over 7,000 ShelterBoxes in response to flooding in Pakistan, and more in Columbia, Brazil, Niger and other regions. John’s thoughts turned quickly to the possibility that this incident would require another 28,400 ShelterBoxes, or perhaps more.

Could the charity cope with a large response? What would need to be done to ensure the response was appropriate? What challenges lay ahead for John’s operations team? What strategies should John put in place to meet future challenges?

Discussion Questions

  1. What are the key operations and logistics issues faced by ShelterBox?
  2. Discuss the Global Sourcing concepts at work in this case? Are there inefficiencies, efficiencies, opportunities, etc…?
  3. Based on our reading what concepts are discussed and what concepts aren’t discussed but they should be? Please explain.
  4. Think about the inventory practices discussed in this case. How are they doing? Is there room for improvement? What inventory concepts from our text are related to this case? Explain and provide details.
  5. Discuss forecasting as it relates to this case. Can forecasting be used by any approaches her? Are there too many unknown unknowns to do it effectively? Please explain and provide details.
  6. How is Supply Chain Management involved in this case? Please explain and provide details. Is Quality a factor? If not should it be? Regardless of your response make sure you explain your thinking.

Yield Management Application In A Barbershop And A Soft Drink Vending Machine

Yield management occurs when a firm adjusts the price of its product or service in order to influence demand. Usually, it is done to make future demand more predictable, which can be important to successful sales and operations planning. This practice is commonly used in the airline, hotel, casino, and auto rental industries, for example. Policies that involve overbooking, requiring deposits, and no-show or cancellation penalties are coordinated with the differential pricing scheme.

  • How would you apply yield management concepts to a barbershop?
  • How would you apply yield management concepts to a soft drink vending machine?

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Porter’s 5 Forces Analysis

Michael Porter introduced a model that defines five forces that influence the industry. It’s a strategic business tool to analyze your competitive environment, and it improves the understanding of your business and the industry context in which a company operates. According to Porter, the five forces are the threat of new entrants, the threat of substitutes, supplier power, rivalry and buyer power.

The first step in performing an industry analysis is maybe to assess the impact of Porter’s five forces. This standard industry analysis tool helps individuals use a time-tested management procedure to generate an intelligent business analysis that among other things will help determine the ultimate profit potential in the industry as well as find a position in the industry where the company can best defend itself against competitive forces or influence them in its favor. In the porter’s model, the five forces that shape industry competition are:

  • Bargaining power of suppliers. This force is used to analyze how much power a business supplier has and how much control they have the potential to raise prices which consequently leads to reduced business profitability. It also explores the availability of suppliers. The higher the number of suppliers, the better the business is placed in that industry.
  • Bargaining power of the buyers. This force explores the power that the consumer has to affect pricing as well as quality. Powerful buyers can actually exert pressure on small businesses by demanding lower prices, higher quality or additional services or even playing competitors off one another.
  • Threat of new entrants. This force examines the ease or difficulty with which a competitor can join the marketplace in the industry under question. Barriers to entry could include economies of scale, access to inputs, absolute cost advantages as well as well-organized brands. Usually, the easier it is for competitor to join the marketplace, the greater the risk of the business market share been depleted (Brunner, 2010).
  • Threat of substitute products or services. This force looks into how easy it is for consumers to switch from a business’s product to that of its competitors. It examines how many competitors there are and how their prices and quality of products compare to those of the business under examination (Puravankara, 2007).
  • Competitive rivalry. This force studies the intensity of competition that is currently in the marketplace, which is determined by the number of existing competitors and what each is capable of doing. With high rivalry competition, advertisement and price wars ensue, which are not good for any business. This rivalry is quantitatively measured by the concentration ratio (CR), which usually refers to the market share owned by the four largest firms in the industry.

Coca-Cola Company BCG Matrix

Cash Cows

They are the business products which usually bring a significant amount of income to the company. The products can be able to generate enough sales which are capable of gaining a significant share in the market that it specializes. The Coca-Cola Company has a particular line of products, and these are beverages, and this industry has significantly matured over time and various companies who are now selling their brand of cola. The Coca-Cola brand has been operating as a cash cow because this brand is being sold in 200 countries in a mature beverage company (Arnett, 2016). The industry is mature, and the company requires just little effort to keep sales high


Star products have a high market value than the other products produced by the same company. Star products are in a market that is in the development phase, and further addition of market share is possible. Bottled water produced by the Coca-Cola Company is the star because mineral water industry is evolving all over the world attracting more customers (Arnett, 2016).

Question Marks

Question marks products have a dubious future market, and they cannot be easily evaluated and understood. These types of products are already in the market although they have not established themselves like the star products and therefore they aren’t recognizable as stars. Although the market has their growth opportunities, these products have not yet taken the benefits of these opportunities in an efficient manner. Minute Maid product from the company is one of such products (Arnett, 2016). Although in some places it has high sales volumes it is not widely spread like coke.


This category of products consists of products that are part of the mature industry, but they have a small feasibility to the company because they generate very minimal revenues. The company is forced to take minimum efforts towards their sales and Coca-Cola’s product in this category is Coca-Cola life which has not yet gained the expected market share (Arnett, 20116).

Alamo Group SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis

The activity of strength, weakness, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) analysis constitutes and imperative strategic planning tool that the mangers of Alamo Group Inc. can use to perform the firm’s situational analysis. It is possible that this company has maintained its leading position in the market because of its ability to critically analyze and review the SWOT analysis. Thus, Alamo’s weaknesses, strengths, threats, and opportunities are discussed below.


Since Alamo Group Inc. is among leading firms in its industry, it has several strengths which enable it to survive in the competitive business environment. The first strength has been realized in the financial analysis where Alamo has been found to have high revenues and profitability. One of the reasons behind this success is that the organization has good returns on capital expenditure. The company has been successful in executing new projects, which have, in turn, yielded good returns on capital expenditure through the creations of new streams of revenue.


The strategy of Alamo entails making choices, where weakness comes in as the areas in where firm needs to improve and thus making SWOT analysis a useful tool. The company’s understanding of it weaknesses helps it focus on its strategic positioning as well as competitive advantage. One of the greatest weaknesses that Alamo has is its cost structure in future. This situation may arise due to several factors such as the existence of the gaps in the range of the products sold by the organization.


The existing categories of the products of Alamo Group Inc. may be adversely affected by new regulations about the environment under Paris agreement (2016). Additionally, the company is exposed to currency fluctuations in the various nations where it is operating, especially where there is the volatile political climate in some markets worldwide.


As mentioned earlier, Alamo depends on technology (Alamo Group Inc. 15). Thus, the new technology will offer an opportunity to this firm to meet the varied demands of the customers in the new market. This strategy will also enable the company to increase its profitability.

External Environment Analysis for Alamo Group

Alamo consists of a group of companies which are primarily focused in design, manufacture, distribution, and service of world-class equipment used in the agricultural and infrastructural sectors. With its headquarters in Seguin, Texas, the brand has operations in US, England, France, Canada, and Australia and employs over 2340 people. Alamo group is a respectable brand due to its world-class operations in different lines of productions.

The use of innovative technology and methodologies has enabled businesses to produce innovative products to its vast clientele for over four decades. The expansion strategy for this business is purely on merger and acquisitions of more than twenty-five businesses within its line of operation. So far, the company is well established.

1. Demographic and Economics

Demographic factors are those traits that influence the behaviors or preferences of consumers. When venturing into businesses most businesses consider the taste and preferences of their target market to maximize on the sales and profits. The economic factors are concerned with monetary value of a company. Alamo Group is influenced to a greater extent by these factors. Some of the demographic factors include income, age, and geographic region.

a) Income

Income is one crucial demographic factor that dictates the spending habits of a target market. The target market for Alamo Group is that of medium and high-income earners. The brand produces high-end products d that are only affordable to middle and high level class. The machines for agriculture are expensive but not entirely out of reach for the farmers because the company allows anyone to rent them for a specific duration they need them. Additionally, the cost of maintaining and servicing the machines is not low. The fact that the business is able to quickly adapt to technology and innovation makes their products and services valuable to their customers.

b) Age

Well, not everyone is cut for the farm because it requires a lot of labor and hard work. The age factor is very critical to this business. However, the tools of trade makes it easy and less tedious for those clients involved in various agricultural and safety businesses. The group is able to cater for young people and the elderly because of the diversity in the products and services manufactured at the firm. Additionally, homeowners who largely constitute the elderly require mowing services among others to keep their homes clean. Young people are energetic and very keen on how their homes look like. Therefore, they are a good target for Alamo Group. When selecting a good market for its merchandise, the company is likely to market them to the youthful age bracket. Besides, when people advance in age, especially after they retire, they are likely to stay at their homes. This category is also a significant target market for Alamo.

c) Geographic Region

Another critical demographic factor that is affecting the sales of the Alamo Group is the geographic distribution of its customers. For example, in the U.S region the group makes higher sales because the company can meet the demands of the customers here unlike in other areas. Although the business in Canada is growing, the growth is minimal compared to other regions. Further, the business is entirely well distributed to serve the specific demands of the people within its areas of operation hence making it convenient for both the customer and the firm to make more profits.

The macroeconomic environmental factors such as inflation, interest rate, foreign exchange rate, and economic cycle determine the aggregate demand and investment in any economy. The industry competition culture also determines the strategic position the business chooses in order to gain a competitive advantage. For the Alamo Group, the firm can use the country’s economic factors such as inflation, growth rate, and industry economic factors such as Farm and Construction Machinery growth rate, consumer spending, among others to predict the growth of the business and compare its performance to that of the competitors in the industry. Some of the economic factors affecting this firm include;

a) Government Intervention in the Free Market and Related Industrial Goods

Considering the different countries the Alamo Group operates in, it is evident that government policies in the host countries affect their operations. For instance, with a hope of lowering the production costs, the various governments might choose to subsidize the cost of agricultural machines through partnerships with the firm(s) in the agrarian sector hence reducing the profit margin of the companies. Additionally, the government can influence the currency value of the host country through currency inflation which ultimately lowers the cost of the currency making operations in the nation unbearable for investors.

b) Exchange Rates and Stability of the Host Country Currency

Multinational companies use the currencies of the countries they are situated in. Alamo Group is a multinational corporation with operations in several states, and this makes it susceptible to exchange rate effects. High exchange rate for the local money means the company will spend more to convert the money to dollars, which is an expense to the company. The vice versa is true, which ultimately adds to the profit margins of the corporation. Exchange rate differences also have an impact on job prospects. Falling domestic currency boosts economic growth through making imports costlier but exports cheaper. In such an occurrence, consumers will opt to go for locally produced commodities due to their low prices. Such a scenario is likely to spur growth of Alamo Group and enable it to employ more employees. A strong domestic currency will curtail employment prospects by making lowering the rate at which the economy is growing.

c) Efficiency of Financial Markets

The corporation enters new markets through mergers and acquisitions a strategy that enables the business to lower the impact the financial markets would have assuming the company was to raise capital through the public issuance of shares in the capital market (Erramilli 264). This factor does not affect this business to a greater extent. However, it cannot be ignored nonetheless its subtle impact.

d) Infrastructure Quality in Farm and Construction Machinery Industry

Infrastructure is a critical factor for companies in the farm and construction industry because the machines will require moving from one area to another to help serve different clients within different geographical distributions. For instance, the cost of servicing and maintaining the tools is high in areas where the road network is sparse, and hence the client bears the final costs as the firms transfer these extra costs.

e) Skill Level of Workforce in Farm and Construction Machinery Industry

Areas where the skill level of the workforce is low, the firm spends additional resources to train the workers, and this process consumes time another resource the business may not have in their budgets. However, before establishing the firm in an area, it is essential that the firm research the clientele so that they know if they will require new skilled workforce to help in the machine operations in their preferred areas of the establishment (Nahmias & Olsen 29). A business entity such as Alamo Group prides itself in skilled workforce and invests heavily on training of its employees so this factor may not heavily weigh in on the firm.

In conclusion, demographic and economic factors play a major role in the growth of a business. Factors such as age, income, and geographic region determine the kind of clientele the business acquires and if the business will be in operation for a long time. People with low income are very sensitive to prices unlike those with a high disposable income. The age bracket also determines the spending habits of the consumers. The Alamo Group has a broad age distribution clientele because anyone can choose to venture into agribusiness and other agricultural related activities despite their age. Economic factors such as inflation, interest rates, and government interferences among other factors also directly affect the management decisions to venture into new horizons. Taxes imposed on manufactured and processed goods and services can negatively or positively influence the profit margins of the business making it favorable or not. Therefore, it is important that businesses do thorough research before going to international frontiers.

2. Political and Legal Environment

Political factors often play a critical role in determining the factors that directly influence Alamo Group in terms of long-term profitability in their specific country or market of operation. Operating farm and construction machinery in so many countries, the firm exposes itself to different forms of political environmental system risks. One advantage of such operations however, is that the business achieves diversification of these risks. Some of the political factors that businesses such as the Alamo Group should consider include;

Political stability and importance of Farm and Construction Machinery sector in the country’s economy. The agricultural sector is a critical part of any country’s economy because every government endeavors to feed its population. Therefore, the political stability of the country will attract more investors into the sector to help in production of adequate food supply to the population. An unstable political climate raise the concerns for investors and most shy away because the country is considered very risky (Gupta 13).

Bureaucracy and interference in Farm and Construction Machinery industry by the government of the host country may influence the operations of the business either positively or negatively. Most firms do not want to invest in countries where the government often interferes with their activities by imposing too many regulations. While some processes are easy to follow others, make it hard for investors to venture into the market. A simple, straightforward bureaucratic system encourages more firms to enter the industry raising the level of competition, which ultimately guarantees consumers quality products and services.

Trade regulations and tariffs related to industrial goods can be a turn off for corporations such as Alamo Inc. too many tax charges and trade laws restrict the operations of the business and do not offer a thriving environment for businesses. For instance, cases, where the trade laws discourage mergers and acquisitions, would make it difficult for Alamo to venture into various countries because purchases are their entry strategy.

The legal framework for contract enforcement that controls the minimum wage and overtime employee payments and other employee benefits may not favor the business. In regions where companies spend so much on labor, the industry discourages growth and investor relations are weak. While the employees should be compensated adequately for their skills and time, most firms would prefer to operate in countries where such agreements are open for negotiations between the firm and the employees instead of the government imposing such contract terms to them. To foster loyalty on the employees, a corporation such as Alamo has invested in several employee growths benefits a factor that makes the company successful.

Industrial safety regulations in the industrial goods sector may be too stringent for companies to adhere negatively affecting the relationship between the government and the company. Every firm involved in manufacture and production of industrial products and services is required by the federal law to have some specific measures of safety in place for both the society and its employees. Laws that safeguard the environment against pollution among other negative influences should be taken seriously. Product labeling and other requirements in Farm and Construction Machinery are different vital rules that businesses within this sector should put in place to safeguard the stakeholders.

Legal factors influencing a firm’s decisions of operations include all regulatory and law determinants that can affect the results of market actions and decisions of the management. In most of the countries, the legal framework and institutions are not as robust as investors would want them especially in matters of protecting intellectual property rights of an establishment. Firms should therefore carefully consider before venturing into such markets as it can cause legal constraints on the overall competitive advantage of a company (Ho 6480). Factors such as anti-trust laws in Farm and Construction Machinery industry, discrimination law especially during the recruitment process of employees, consumer protection and e-commerce, employment laws, health, and safety law, data protection laws, among others are critical for the overall operations of a business such as that of Alamo Inc.

It is critical that a business willing to expand its operations understand the necessary legal requirements from governing authorities to avoid legal suits that can be derailing and costly to the establishment. Accounting laws, for instance, vary from country to country among other issues. The management should be aware of the tax requirements for both the company and the employees, the general economic policy of the state, and all the laws and regulations connected to employee protection.

As seen from the above discussion on the legal and political factors, it is very crucial that businesses understand the impact these forces will have on their companies before venturing into new markets. Some of the legal issues such as accounting requirements can bring a business to its knees if the financial statements do not adhere to the laid down procedures and a legal suit is filed against the firm. The political environment is another major factor that an investor such as Alamo Group should consider. A politically stable country encourages international investors as they offer a stable economy for businesses to operate and grow unlike areas frequently hit by army invasions.

3. International Environment

Alamo Group, being a multinational company, is affected by international factors. According to Jankovic, Mihajlovic, and Cretkovic, the success of a company is determined by how well it adapts to the environment which it operates in (32). The authors continue to give a scenario of successful companies having the ability to adjust to changes in government policies (32) quickly. Alamo Group has a global presence as it has multiple plants spread globally in North America, Europe, Australia, and Brazil. Reuters reports that by December 31, 2016, the total number of plants in the regions mentioned above totaled to twenty-four. Alamo sells a majority of its products through dealers in the agricultural sector and other contractors. Various marketing organizations are tasked with the critical role of marketing the products. They include Terrain King, Schwarze, Henke, Bomford, Twose, and Rivard trademarks, among a host of other trade names. Throughout its international operations, Alamo Group is affected by several global factors.

a) Trade Barriers

Many countries impose trade barriers on imports while trying to regulate trade or cash in from global business. Some countries try their level best to protect their local industries by imposing heavy tariffs on imports. The agricultural sector has quite a good number of players producing commodities such as machinery to increase productivity. In the quest to acquire as many clients as possible, Alamo Group has to deal with many barriers such as high tariffs, ban on importation of certain commodities, and other policies which are a hindrance to international trade. Raising of tariffs affects profitability level of a company. At times, when the duties are too high, there is a high likelihood that a company will make losses. Alamo Group has an objective of maintaining its growth pattern through selling its machinery in nations which offer incentives and have favorable trading policies. Trading blocs are increasingly changing the volume of global trade. They also affect Alamo Group’s operations since they shape the trade patterns among member states and in the long-run, the result in controlling the import of agricultural and industrial merchandise from non-member states. The United States of America is not a member of all trading blocs in the world. Therefore, Alamo’s products are taxed higher in countries where the country is not a member state in an attempt to regulate the flow of international trade.

b) Technological Advancement

Currently, technology is evolving at a faster rate. Some machines are becoming obsolete within a couple of years due to the rapid advancement of technology. For instance, the construction industry is rapidly changing as newer and more efficient ways to build are being developed. Technology is also evolving at different rates among countries. China economy has been growing tremendously since the Asian nation revamped its technological stock. Other Asian economic giants such as Japan are also coming up with newer inventions in some of the areas where Alamo Group engages in. For example, to keep up with the ever-changing building industry, Alamo Concrete Company has to keep on reviewing its technological capability such as inventing more efficient construction machinery. The same case applies to the agricultural sector. Alamo Group has to keep abreast with the changing technology by being more aggressive on innovations and inventions mainly due to the immense competition it faces from other developed countries. Technological development has a strong influence on international trade as it affects the business compatibility through the usage of different technologies such as accounting systems.

c) International competitiveness

Developed countries in Europe and America are a threat to Alamo’s operations as their industries have world-class status. These companies produce superior products that match the quality delivered by Alamo, and in several instances, surpassing it. The competitiveness of these products is very high in the international market and only companies that are quick to satisfy their customers are in a position to withstand to maintain their sales volumes. Alamo Group has no choice rather than improve the quality of its products and master its marketing tools. This external factor has forced the company to change its production strategies to suit the global market trends. Competition in the international stage ensures that only the most suited companies survive and to tolerate it, Alamo has been forced to spend large sums of money to make its production lines more efficient.

d) Emerging Markets

Inarguably, globalization has led to international commerce. Nowadays, most business operations are becoming more virtually interlinked. The result of this interlinking has led to an immense force of force of a huge borderless market. More businesses are gaining global foothold leading to contradictions. For instance, as financial constraints reverberates in certain regions of the world, there is a potential being created on the other end. Such scenarios have been compounded by emerging markets. The number of manufacturing industries is on the rise. Besides competition for customers, these emerging firms also have to compete for raw materials for their industries. Alamo Group is facing this challenge of emergent firms in its lines of production. For instance, the increasing number of food seasoning companies has led to Alamo Cattle Company innovating ‘a special formula’ after years of mixing and re-mixing ingredients, to remain top of other companies (Alamo Cattle Group). An increase in competitors has led to Alamo Group facing stiff competitors for materials used in the manufacturing of industrial goods for the agricultural market.

e) Sustainability and the Environment

The world’s advocacy for environmental conservation is gaining foothold each day. Many environmentalists are coming out strongly to push for zero emission of carbon by firms operating worldwide. The ‘Go Green’ campaign is coming at a cost to companies such as Alamo. This is because the companies are being forced to abandon production techniques which degrade the environment through adoption of newer efficient methods which come at a cost. Alamo is spending a sizeable amount of money through funding the Sierra Club which is concerned with protecting endangered species, air quality, and transport sprawl (Sierra Club 2).

4. Social and Cultural Environment

The most successful of the businesses are aware of the changes in the tastes and preferences of its clients. Society and culture are dynamic, and companies must adapt to this dynamism to stay ahead of their competitors and remain relevant in the minds of the clients. In creating a marketing strategy for any business, it is very critical that the managers consider the social-cultural factors. These factors often interlinked although albeit different influence on the buying behaviors of the target market. Additionally, they significantly influence the buyer preferences and choices of the products. Alamo Group is no exception when it comes to the above factors impacting on its operations.

a) Education and Language

Consumers’ interests and sophistication is significantly affected by the level of education of people in a specific society. For instance in areas where the high level of prospective customers has some form of post-secondary education; businesses will use more details and explanations during advertising and promoting their products and services (Iles, and Sutherland 91). The case of Alamo Group is such that a diversified investor who understands these needs and demands of its clients. Most of the customers for this business are homeowners who want to design their homes in a certain way, probably according to a new trendy design in the market. Therefore, the company does not require investing so much in advertising various configurations but promoting the machines and tools; they can avail to the customers to achieve the design of their interest. This capability of understanding the sophistication demands of their customers is what has made Alamo group expand its business.

A brand such as Alamo Group uses different languages in advertising for their services because the style of the community is a critical factor for decision-making. It is vital to consider foreign language skills in the society when making marketing strategies and plans. Additionally, advertising in a language people relate to makes the prospective customers had better understand the services, mission, and vision of the business. Therefore, they want to associate with “their” company.

b) Social Organization

Social organization is mainly concerned with how a group of people considers kinship, status system, social institutions, and interest groups (Doole, Isobel, and Robin Lowe 71). For instance, in some societies, it is the role of women to make decisions regarding shopping and kitchen matters. Therefore, when a marketing manager and the strategic management team of Alamo companies meet, they have to keenly consider that fact when developing an advertising and marketing strategy. Groups of interests such as oil companies in Australia can also influence the society.

The social organization in the areas of operation of Alamo Group is one where men are more involved in farming, construction among other “men” activities. If the marketing and strategic planning departments of the corporation were to gain market share, it would be prudent to build its advertising strategy on men, a specific group of interest, or a leader with a massive following in the community. Due to population growth, the land for agriculture is no longer big as it used to be in the past. As a result, Alamo Group’s team would consider partnering with the local community to avail land, and they provide the machines. This kind of partnership can only happen through understanding the social organization and set up in the local society.

c) Reference Group and Family

Naturally, people are social beings, and chances are almost everyone has that one person who influences their decisions. This fact plays a crucial role in buyer preferences and tastes too. The family plays a critical role in the way members of a group adopt certain behaviors. Family members have varying needs and necessities. It is therefore crucial for the business to understand these dynamics if they are to make successful business plans and market their products.

A sophisticated family will want to reflect their lifestyle on the environment they stay and hence giving Alamo Group an edge in selling their products. Old people want to feel a sense of relaxation and tranquility as they probably enjoy their retirement days. Alamo Group knowing this can capitalize on that to offer this group a right environment through their mowing services and help in building them relaxation areas in their compounds. However, the management should be careful because these preferences vary from family to family as already put above. Ensure they discover the critical reference groups or family structure in a community so that they build marketing strategies on them.

d) Role and Status in Society

Purchasing patterns are influenced by the role and status that a person has in the society that they live in. Everyone plays a significant part in the community depending on his or her groups of association. High income earners are likely to spend more money on luxurious products to maintain their social status. On the other hand, it is highly probable that the low income earners will spend their earnings on fulfilling their basic needs. According to Ahmed, Khan and Samad, “Some consumers like spending all of what they earn without considering any critical event in mind, while on the other hand some consumers plan ahead and try to remain prepared for any critical event that may arise at any time in life” (6681). Essentially, knowing the income information of potential buyers gives the company an added advantage hence allowing it to implement successful marketing strategies

Corporations such as Alamo Group use income data for their potential clients to define their target market and make marketing strategies that include everyone within the group. For instance, the high-income earners want something that reflects prestige and luxury while those of lower incomes can only afford the basics. It is, therefore, the role of the company management to know and understand the different demands of their prospective clients when making advertisements and tailoring various services and products. A farmer who has invested in a greenhouse farm should be assisted based on their needs and not those of the large-scale open land farmer.

In conclusion, Alamo Group has to deal with the external factors which have a great on the company. These factors have a significant effect on its growth and profitability patterns. The demographic trends have a substantial impact on market size; the legal considerations are more concerned with laws that may positively or negatively promote the company. The social and cultural factors affect the business operations through affecting the target market consumption behaviors. Since Alamo is an international company, it cannot efficiently shield itself from international factors affecting businesses.

Organizations Comparison – Assignment Instructions

Using your current work organization (or an organization of interest) and a second organization in the same industry as the subject matter, research the elements of business, compare and contrast the two selected organizations, and prepare an APA formatted paper that:

  • Analyzes the basic legal, social, and economic environment in which the organizations operate
  • Analyzes the managerial, operational, and financial issues impacting the organizations including:
    • Company Culture and Performance
    • Promotion Policies
    • Strategic Decisions Making
    • Decision-Making Style
    • Management Style
    • Leadership Style
    • Communication Style
    • Use of SWOT Tool
    • Operations Strategy Framework
  • Assesses how the overall management teams perform in terms of the four functions of management.
  • Identifies and explains the strong points of the managers.
  • Identifies and explains areas in which improvements are needed.

Be sure to use a minimum of 5 external sources to support your analysis.

MGMT 345 Course – All Discussions With Sample Answers

MGMT 345 Unit 1 Discussion Questions – Operations Management

The line managers in the production department have heard a lot of good things about value chain management. They heard that you have done considerable research on this topic. They have come to your office today to discuss value chain management with you. Complete the following:

  • Summarize 3 examples of how value chain helps companies become more competitive. You are presenting these to the administrative team from the production department.
  • Discuss how value chain management helps companies create and build value for their clients and partnering organizations by answering the following questions:
    • How do you believe value chain management works?
    • How do you think value chain management can help companies be more competitive?
    • How do you think value chain management helps companies create and build value?

Be sure to include your references, and format your submission in APA format.

MGMT 345 Unit 2 Discussion Questions –  Supply Chain Design

Using what you learned in the game module, please explain the following aspects of a production process:

  • Provide an overview of what a manufacturing process is and how it is organized.
  • Explain the concepts of setup time, utilization time, production scheduling, and bottlenecks in a simple manufacturing process and what the role of the operations manager is.

MGMT 345 Unit 3 Discussion Questions –  Resource Management

There are many reasons why a company should pay attention to their reputation as it relates to their future vendor relations and product supply costs and availability. Complete the following:

  • Discuss why it is important for organizations to manage their reputation by answering the following questions:
    • What impact could a poor quality product have on a company?
    • How does reputation help a company to be more competitive?
    • How do you think a company can improve their vendor and customer relations?
    • Summarize 3 examples of what goes into the reputation of a company.

MGMT 345 Unit 4 Discussion Questions – Operations Scheduling

Through improved financial strategies and data management, the supply chain of a company can improve their customer experience, business efficiencies and overall financial performance. By collecting data, improving customer intimacy, establishing financial strategies, and through the use of analytics, organizations can embark on new opportunities and stronger financial futures. Complete the following:

  • Discuss why it is important for an organization’s supply chain to include the management of their data and financial strategies by answering the following questions:
    • What types of supply chain tools help a company collect data? Please describe two types of tools.
    • How does supply chain management help a company to improve efficiency and effectiveness?
    • How does contract bidding improve a company’s financial outcome?
    • Why is forecasting demand important?

MGMT 345 Unit 5 Discussion Questions – Quality Assurance

Please provide the warehouse manager a summative report of the main points of focus you wish to communicate regarding the module experiences you just encountered. What realizations did you come to and when?

Please respond with 200–300 words to the following questions:

  • When scheduling production of your products, what were the key factors considered?
  • Why is the reputation of an organization so important?
  • How do your customers differ from one another?
  • What are holding costs and why is it important to manage them?
  • Based on your overall performance, what are your thoughts on your overall experience of the simulation program? Did application of the skills you have learned help you to maximize your ability to meet your customer needs?


SEC 315 Course – All Discussions With Sample Answers

Sec 315 Security Assessment And Solutions

SEC 315 Week 6 Discussion Questions

Evidence Collection

Please respond to the following:

  • As a  security administrator, if you believe that suspicious activity may be  taking place, explain at what point you become concerned about the chain  of custody for potential evidence.
  • Describe the approach  necessary to ensure that all evidence is gathered properly and that the  chain of custody has been maintained. Then, evaluate which step in the  outlined approach is the most likely to be skipped or not executed  properly.

Communication Dilemma

Please respond to the following:

  • As  an employee, you receive an email that was misdirected. The content of  the email implies that the sender of the email is involved in criminal  behavior involving your company. Explain how you would you go about  communicating this email, and to whom you would report to. Speculate the  implications of simply ignoring the email and determine how this might  impact the process of investigating security incidents.
  • Interpret  this situation from a security point of view and outline the process  you would follow in collecting evidence while investigating this case.

State of Social Entrepreneurship – Powerpoint Presentation

You will produce an information-rich PowerPoint Presentation on the state of Social Entrepreneurship in a country in either Asia, Latin America or Africa.  A suggested outline for the project might be as follows:

  1.  Brief country presentation (PEST in no more than 2 slides)
  2. Definition of Social Entrepreneurship and the key stakeholders (Ecosystem)
  3. Major campaigns, goals & targeted areas (Education, Health, etc).
  4. Main activities of the leaders: Individuals, NGOs, Corporations (domestic & International)
  5. Examples of successful programs, strategies, outcomes.
  6. Conclusion: overall impact on business, development, quality of life going forward.