Questions – Part 1 (6 pages)
- (10 pts.) Several questions in this assignment require you to create bibliographic and / or in-text citations for your answer. While on the library Course Guide for BA 301 web page, navigate to the “Purdue OWL: APA Format” link under the Cite Sources tab. Please review the 9 links on the left side of that page titled “In-text Citations” and “Reference List.”
- For in-text citations, what are the APA Basic Citation rules?
- In the body of your paper, how would you cite a source which you paraphrased?
- How would you cite an electronic source with no author or date in the body of your paper?
- For purposes of this class, the phrase “Reference List” refers to your bibliography in the paper. What are the first 3 basic rules for creating your bibliography using APA format?
- In your bibliography, how would you cite an article from a magazine or business journal (the “basic form”)?
Next, return to the main “Cite Sources” link on the BA 301 Research & Analysis of Business Problems: Home page. Next click on the link “Citing Business Sources in APA Style” then “References: Guidelines and Examples” and, finally, “Examples of citing specialized/unique business sources” to answer the following questions. These questions all relate to citations in your bibliography. You may cut and paste your answers to (g) thru (j).
- Show 2 ways you might cite the 2016 10K report for Apple depending on where you found that report.
- Show how you would cite a report from IBISWorld.
- Show how you would cite a report from Mintel.
- Show how you would cite a Wall Street Journal article.
- Show how you would cite a SWOT analysis from Business Insights:Global.
Question 1: 2 pages
- (10 pts) Navigate to the Fortune 500 listing at http://fortune.com/fortune500/ Using the filters drop down list, select the drop down listing next to “Industry.” Next select “Commercial Banks” then “Apply.” You now have a listing of banks ranked in order of their place on the Fortune 500 listing. Again in the Filters, (making sure you are still only selecting Commercial Banks) now click on the “Employees” button in the “Rank” dropdown list under “Sort By” then click “Apply.” Your listing should reorder so that the banks with the largest number of employees are at the top of your list and those with the smallest number of employees are at the bottom (make sure that you have selected “View All” at the very bottom of the page if necessary).
- Using the same process, list (by name) the top three US pharmaceutical companies based on their profits.
- List the three US pharmaceutical companies with the least profits.
- Next select “Merck” and go to the company profile. What happened to Merck’s total revenues company-wide last year? In other words, how did total revenues change?
- Based on this source, what caused Merck’s global sales to grow in the past year?
- Take a brief look at the profiles for Amgen, Gilead Sciences, and AbbVie. For each company describe one fact that suggests that the company might have at least one problem based on their profile. In other words, tell me something that’s probably not going as well as the company would like. A short sentence for each of the 3 companies is all that’s required for this answer.
- Next, go to the company profile for the company you’ve selected for your term paper and answer the following questions (make sure that the name of your company is shown on each page of your project):
1. What is the Fortune rank for your company (based on revenues)?
2. How did your company’s revenues and profits change from the prior year (% change up or down)?
3 What were the company’s total profits (in dollars) last year?
Question 2: 1 page
- (6 pts) Locate the corporate website for Merck.
- What does the company say are its Mission and Vision?
- Do you believe that these statements meet the criteria for mission and vision that we discussed in class? Why or why not?
- Open the link entitled “Code of Conduct.” The site lists several key values and standards which guide their actions. What are those values?
- Looking in particular at pages 6 and 7, who do you think the intended audience for this document is? Explain.
- Show how you would cite Merck’s Code of Conduct in your bibliography if you used it in your term paper.
- Show how you would cite it in the body of your term paper if you paraphrased some information from it.
Question 3: 1 page
- (5 pts) Identify at least 5 key stakeholders / stakeholder groups related to Merck. For each, give a brief (one sentence) description of how they are impacted by the company’s actions. I am not asking you to merely repeat what Merck says about each of these stakeholder groups. I am asking you how Merck’s decisions and actions impact each of these groups specifically in your own words.
Question 4: 0.5 pages
- (5 pts) Identify at least 5 key stakeholders / stakeholder groups related to your company. For each give a brief (one sentence) description of how they are impacted by the company’s actions. On your list, do not include employees, employees’ families, management, or board members. It’s true that these are stakeholders but find some less obvious ones.
Question 5: 0.5 pages
- (5 pts) Navigate to the corporate website for Occidental Petroleum and find the link for Social Responsibility. Next locate OXY’s Social Responsibility Framework.
- In bullet form list the five pillars which reflect OXY’s commitment to CSR and, for each, give a specific tangible achievement OXY completed in the past few years which demonstrates that these pillars are more than just words or corporate hype. (Note: the brief sentence OXY gives under each pillar does not show any specific tangible achievement but if you look under “Performance” you’ll find some useful facts.)
Question 6: 0.5 pages
- (10 pts) What do we mean when we say that a given company is “public?” How can you make sure your company is “public?”
- (5 pts) Review the instructions given at the beginning of this document again. Have you followed these directions given for this assignment? (For example, is your work single-sided, etc?) Yes, I want you to answer this question.
Question 7 and 8: 0.5 pages
Questions – Part 2 (13 pages)
Before you continue with Parts 2 and 3 of this project, I suggest that you turn toward the end of Part 3 and read over question 27. Keep that question in mind as you work on these other questions so you can look for weaknesses and shortcomings your company has.
- (16 pts) Locate the 10K Report for the period ended 12/31/2017 for Occidental Petroleum (one place to find it is under SEC Filings on OXY’s main web page under “Investors”).
- Briefly (1-2 sentences), what is a 10K?
- Familiarize yourself with the information that’s included in the report. List the key contents in Items 1 and 2 of OXY’s 10K. Make sure to list each of the topics which is reflected in the table of contents for Items 1 and 2. In 1 – 2 sentences, describe the kind of information contained in these items.
- Item 1a is titled Risk Factors. In your own words, what is the first risk OXY identifies in this section? Also, list 3 of specific factors which OXY states are not within its control which impact global and local market forces.
- Item 7 is Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results and Operations (MD&A). This section can be a great help in your paper. In 2 -3 sentences, describe the type of information contained in this section of the 10K (in particular note the discussions of business strategy and segments).
- What does Occidental say its strategy is?
- What segments does Occidental break its business into?
- Show how you would cite this source in your bibliography if you used it in your paper.
- Show how you would cite the answer to question 11e above in the main body of your paper.
- Find the section titled “Selected Financial Data.”
- What has happened with Occidental’s net sales over the past 5 years (cite specific figures)?
- What has happened with income from continuing operations?
- What has happened with operating cash flow from continuing operations?
- Using any of the figures above, write a good problem statement that might be appropriate for Occidental.
- Still looking at the Selected Financial Data, did the company do better or worse in 2017 than in 2016? Explain your answer in 2 sentences.
- Page 21 includes a section which describes the financial performance of the individual business segments of Occidental. Looking at net sales, which segment(s) have grown over the past 3 years? Which segment(s) have had declining sales?
- Still looking at the segment results but now focusing on the section labeled earnings (think of earnings as profits), which segments improved their performance (i.e., they made more money) from 2015 to 2017 (cite the figures)?
- Now find the Consolidated Balance Sheet (page 38). From 2016 to 2017, OXY’s current assets fell from $8,428 million to $8,270 million. During that same period the company’s current liabilities increased from $6,362 million to $7,400 million. Recognizing that this is only a very small part of their financial picture, what does this suggest about their financial strength?
Question 9: 3 pages
- (16 pts) Locate the most recent 10K Report for your company.
- Review the Risk Factors section of the report (note, it may be titled slightly differently in your company’s report). List at least 4 risk areas your company identifies and write a sentence for each summarizing that risk (in your own words – do not cut and paste).
- Locate the Management Discussion and Analysis section of the 10K. For your paper you will want to read this section carefully. Write a 2 – 4 paragraph summary of this section. Look for what is going well for the company, what is going poorly or maybe challenging them, the future outlook for the company, their business strategy. Be specific in your discussion and give some examples from this section.
- The SEC requires that a company include a discussion of financial results broken out by the operating units of the company. This discussion is typically referred to as the Segment Analysis or Segment Results or some similar title. It may be a part of the Management Discussion and Analysis Section or it may be a separate section of the 10K altogether. Find this discussion and:
- List the operating segments of the company.
- Which segment appears to be doing best and what do you base your answer on? Note that best doesn’t necessarily mean which segment is largest. I’m asking which segment appears to be performing the best and why do you believe that.
- Which segment appears to be doing worst and what do you base your answer on?
- Review (at a minimum) the same financial information you reviewed in Question 11 for Occidental.
- Has the company’s performance improved, deteriorated, or stayed the same over the past several years?
- What has happened to the company’s financial strength over the past couple of years?
Question 10: 3.5 pages
- (6 pts) In addition to the 10K, many public companies also publish an Annual Report each year. This can be a very helpful resource as it typically includes letters from the CEO, President, or other top management representatives which discuss what’s happening with the company. Additionally, the Annual Report is frequently written more in plain language so it’s easier to read than the 10K. You can find an example Annual Report by going to the home page for Occidental Petroleum then clicking on Investors, then Financial Reports, then Annual Report.
Now locate the most recent Annual Report for your company and find the letter from the CEO included near the front of the report. If you have trouble finding the letter or the Annual Report, see if you can locate something similar in one of the company’s other published documents. If you still have trouble, I suggest you telephone the investor relations department and ask if there is a published letter from top management to shareholders available (this isn’t as hard as it might sound as the phone number is ALWAYS given and, if you tell them you’re a business student learning about their company, they’ll probably bend over backwards to try to help you). Depending on the results of your search, complete either (a) or (b) below.
- Review the information you’ve located and provide a 2 – 4 paragraph summary. Your summary should include such things as goals, company vision, strategy for the future, what went right / wrong in the past year, company values, upcoming changes in business direction, etc. Basically think about what the message the company is trying to communicate is. Be as thorough as you can in this answer in describing key aspects of the situation analysis and it can help you considerably on your paper.
- If your company does not publish an Annual Report or management letters, then search their site for press releases or news releases covering the last 6 months. Give the dates for these releases and provide a one sentence summary of each. Try to find the same types of information suggested in question (a) above.
Question 11: 1 page
- (10 pts) On August 13, 2018 Sysco Corporation conducted an earnings conference call in which the company discussed their most recent performance with Wall Street analysts and other interested individuals. Most large companies conduct similar calls regularly and they are a great way to learn about your company just by watching the recorded webcast or reading the transcript. To access the Sysco webcast, go to Sysco Corporation’s homesite, then Investors and search for Events and Presentations. Make sure you are set on Past Events since this event has already happened. From here you can watch / listen to the webcast or read through a transcript of the presentation. Frequently the most interesting part of these calls is the question and answer session at the end of the call since problem areas for the company often come up in the form of questions.
Now locate the most recent earnings conference call for your company. I strongly recommend that you listen to the whole call even if you have to register with the company to get access. At a minimum, review the transcript or slides from the call.
- What was the date of this call?
- Looking at the recent financial results, were the results generally more positive or more negative for the company?
- What reasons or factors did management indicate contributed to those financial results? Be as specific as possible.
- Looking ahead, what does management expect for the company for the future? Be as specific as possible.
- Is there a question and answer session at the end of the call? If so, briefly discuss the nature of the questions which were posed to the company. (While I’ve asked for just a “brief” discussion here, listening carefully to the whole conference call could provide some great information for your term paper. Again, I suggest you listen carefully to the whole call.)
Question 12: 1.5 pages
- (6 pts) Find a SWOT analysis for your company (note, you might locate one on the MBASkool.com web site, or using a google search or other search engine, or the Business Insights: Global database on the PSU library web site).
- In your own words, what weaknesses and threats does your company face based on this source?
- What business opportunities does the SWOT show?
- Show how you would cite this source in your bibliography.
- Now find the SWOT analysis for at least one of your company’s competitors and compare it against the SWOT for your company. Do you see any competitive advantages or disadvantages your company has compared to its key competitors? This information can be key to understanding what makes your company more or less successful than its competitors or other companies in the industry.
Question 13: 2 pages
- (6 pts) Using the PSU library collection of Databases and Articles, find the Statista database.
- Find a report on the global market for personalized medicine from 2015 to 2022 by product.
- Which segment of the personalized medicine industry is forecast to grow the most during the period covered by the report? Cite the specific growth projections in both dollars (include appropriate units) and as a percentage of the 2015 market size.
- What implications does this have for large, multinational health care providers?
- Find a report on the global net revenue of Amazon from 2014 to 2017 by segment. What was their 2017 revenue from subscription services in dollars (include appropriate units). Move your cursor over the relevant column to get exact figures.
- In 2017, which company led the online video category in terms of the best performing brands in terms of consumer engagement? What was their score?
- Find a report on the reasons US consumers break up with brands in 2017.
- List the top 5 reasons US consumers stopped doing business with a brand in 2017.
- What do you think survey respondents meant by “unknown data use?”
Question 14: 1 page
- (10 pts) Still in the Statista database, search for your company, the industry it operates in, and / or other information about the business environment which is relevant to your company. List at least 5 resources which contain information which is important to understanding the business situation or problems and challenges facing your company. (For this question, I suggest you try to focus on the problems and challenges rather than on a lot of information about positives.) For each of the five resources, list the title of the resource and give a 1-2 sentence summary of the content you believe is relevant to understanding your company.
Question 15: 0.5 pages
- (2 pts) Articles from trade journals which describe what’s happening in the industry can provide a wealth of helpful information to assist you in understanding the company’s business situation. As an example, Google the term “paper industry trade journals’ and list at least 3 periodicals that might help you understand the big picture impacting International Paper Company.
- (4 pts) Now return to the PSU library collection of databases and articles and locate the Wall Street Journal Online. Find the WSJ articles related to ice cream production in the US.
- Locate a May 2015 article about ice cream product recalls. What 2 ice cream companies were involved in these recalls?
- Search for Sysco and locate a February 2018 article which refers to Sysco and various poultry suppliers. In one sentence, what’s the point of this article?
- Return to the main WSJ search window and find recent articles on your company. Formatting your answer as you would for the bibliographic citation of your paper, list two articles which might be relevant to your company & paper.
- (5 pts) Review the instructions given at the beginning of this document again. Have you followed these directions given for this assignment? Yes, I want you to answer this question.
Question 17 and 18: 0.5 pages
Questions – Part 3 (15 pages)
- (13 pts) Using the PSU library collection of Databases and Articles, find the Business Insights: Global database and search for Merck & Company. If your search turns up a large number of results, try searching for Merck by their stock ticker symbol (MRK). Spend a few minutes looking over the various information links (under Company Information) that could help you research and learn about Merck if Merck was your company.
- Click on the name of the company to see the company profile and take a look at the Business Description. In 1 – 2 sentences in your own words, what business is Merck in according to this site.
- Near the Business Description, there are a number of links which will take you to relevant information about Merck. Take a look at the SWOT report. In bullet form, list 3 weaknesses of Merck.
- Follow the Trade Journals link and sort by most recent publications first. Name 2 trade journals which have recent articles about Merck. Name the journals (i.e. the magazine name), not the article names.
- Follow the News link. What are the titles and dates of two recent articles that might be useful if you were researching Merck (again, make sure you sort by date)? Name the articles.
- Follow the Market Share Reports link. Give the title of 2 reports you might be interested in if you were researching Merck.
- Follow the Magazines link. Give the title of 2 articles you might be interested in if you were researching Merck. Name the articles.
- Follow the Investment Reports link and select the most recent Reuters Investment Profile. In the report section Key Ratios & Statistics, Reuters lists four specific ratios for evaluating the company’s financial strength. What are the names of those ratios?
- How have the values for those ratios changed over the last 3 years? Cite specific figures in your answer.
- What conclusion can you draw from the changes in these ratios in the question above? What is happening for the company? Is it growing stronger or weaker? Explain your answer.
- Follow the Financials link to find the 2 tabs named Financial Analysis and Financial Dashboard. What kind of information do you get if you click on the Financial Dashboard link? Be specific.
- Return to the Fundamentals Analysis tab. Note that there are 4 tabs including Income Statement, Balance Sheet, Cash Flow, and Ratios available. How do you think this information might be handy for your paper?
- Click on the Ratios tab and then the “radio button” labelled “Compare to major competitors.” List the competitors which this report compares Merck to.
- Still on the Ratios tab with the comparisons, find the Financial Strength ratio section and then locate the Current Ratio (FY). Which company or companies are strongest based on this ratio? Which are weakest based on this ratio? Briefly explain your answer.
Question 19: 2 pages
- (10 pts) Now search for your company on the Business Insights: Global database.
- List the links available for your company under Company Information.
- Follow the Investment Reports link and select the most recent Reuters Investment Profile. In the report section Key Ratios & Statistics, Reuters lists several important ratios for evaluating the company’s Financial Strength. How have those values changed over the past 3 years? Cite specific figures in your answer. Are those changes a “good thing” or a “bad thing” for the company? Explain your answer.
- Still on the Reuters report, look at the ratios for Profitability. How have those values changed over the past 3 years? Cite specific figures in your answer. Are those changes a “good thing” or a “bad thing” for the company? Explain your answer.
- Look at the ratios for Management Effectiveness. What has happened to Return on Assets over the past 3 years and what does this tell you about the company?
- Looking down to the Annual Cash Flow Statement, what has happened to Cash from Operating Activities over the past 3 years (cite specific figures)? Does this tell you anything about their financial performance?
Question 20: 1 page
- (25 pts) Return to the Fundamentals Analysis tab (still in Business Insights: Global under Financials). Note that there are 4 tabs including Income Statement, Balance Sheet, Cash Flow, and Ratios available. Note also that there are several “radio buttons” labelled “Compare to prior periods”, “Compare to major competitors”, and “Compare to specific companies.” Note also the dropdown lists labelled “Reporting basis” and “Period.” Spend a few minutes exploring the various combinations of options you have with this report for finding and reviewing the information about your company.
So far in this Research Project, you have reviewed quite a few sources which should provide information on the financial situation of the company. In addition to Business Insights: Global, you have reviewed the company’s 10K, Annual Report, management communications including MD&A and CEO letters, analyst conference calls, and Reuters Investment Profile. If you’ve been thorough, you should have a pretty good idea about their financial strengths and weaknesses.
Based on all the information you’ve found, write a 6-8 paragraph analysis of the financial situation at your company. If you are thorough, your analysis will probably require more than 6-8 paragraphs and that is fine (in fact, if you are thorough, this may take 6 or 8 pages even). The more thorough you are now, the better you will be prepared for your term paper.
This analysis should cover trends in key financial performance measures such as sales, net income, debt margins, costs and expenses, cash flow and cash availability, key financial strength ratios, and any other relevant financial measures you have identified about their performance over the past 3 – 5 years. Similarly, you should compare financial strength and performance against key competitors or industry benchmarks (for help locating benchmarks, see Question 25 below). Based on this analysis, you should conclude whether the financial situation at your company is a strength or a weakness for the company. Does it impose any limitations on them or their operations? Make sure your answer includes a solid, logical explanation.
This answer should be clear and concise and well organized and written as a formal document using appropriate grammar and structure, and headings and subheadings as appropriate. You are encouraged to include charts and tables to assist in showing key figures and trends. If you do a solid job of this now, it’s going to save you time and effort later for your paper. While you will have to include citations and a bibliography for your paper, you are not required to do that for this assignment.
Question 21: 3 pages
- (8 pts) Returning to the PSU library web site locate the Databases and Articles link again then access the Mintel database of market reports (note that you will have to set up a free account to use this database). Find the July 2018 market report for Pet Food (US). Spend a few minutes reviewing the various types of information which the Mintel report covers and think about how a Mintel report could possibly help with your term paper research if your company provides consumer products or services.
- Click the link labelled Market. What was the estimated size of the US Pet Food market in dollars for 2018?
- Is the market expected to grow or shrink between now and 2023? What is the forecast size of the pet food market in 2023?
- Click on the link labeled Consumer in the Report Content. Looking at the section on Pet Food Purchase Factors Figure 19, what are the top two factors for cat owners in the 18 – 34 age range when selecting cat food? How does this differ from older (over 55) owners?
- Click on the Brand/Company link back in Report Content and take a look at What’s Working. Based on this research, do you agree or disagree with the following statement and why?
Super-premium brands of pet food have focused their sales efforts on pet specialty stores and avoided supermarkets and similar mass retail stores in recent years.
- Click on the Data link back in Report Content then find the Key Players link. According to the tables, what was Milkbone’s share of the 2018 market for pet treats (for the 52 weeks ending March 25, 2018)? What was it for the same period in the prior year?
- (3 points) Using the information in your answer to (e) above and the rest of the information the table gives about Milkbone, write a good problem statement which might apply to the J.M. Smucker Co. (Make sure that the gap is clearly stated.)
If your company operates in the consumer market selling either products or services to consumers, Mintel can be a great resource for your research.
Question 22: 1 page
- (11 pts) From the PSU library, navigate to the IBISWorld database and select the US Industry Reports (NAICS) link. Under US Industry Reports (NAICS), select Manufacturing. Next select Ice Cream Production in the US.
- Select the Industry at a Glance tab. How big is the industry in US dollars? Note that size of any industry refers to the total of all revenues generated in that industry.
- Looking at the Executive Summary, what is the forecast for the industry over the coming 5 years to 2023 and why do they project that to happen?
- What 4 companies have the largest market share and how much does each have?
- What does the report mean by the term “key external drivers”? What does the report say the key external drivers for ice cream are?
- Select the Competitive Landscape tab. List (in bullet form) the six most important factors which determine success in this industry.
- What is the most significant barrier to entry impacting new entrants into this industry?
- Follow the Major Companies link. What brand names does Nestle sell ice cream under?
- Follow the Key Statistics link. Find the section labeled Industry Financial Ratios and then locate the Operating Ratios table in this group. Is a medium-sized ice cream producer which has averaged asset turnover of 2.4 during 2016 – 2017 doing better or worse than most of its competitors? Explain your answer.
- Based on your answer in (h) above, write a problem statement which might apply to the hypothetical ice cream producer.
- Follow the Industry Performance link then find the Current Performance section. According to this report, how has slipping demand hurt smaller ice cream producers relative to larger producers with strong brand recognition?
- Returning to the About this Industry link, if you wanted to learn more about this industry, what four (specific) Additional Resources might you take a look at?
Question 23: 1 page
- (12 pts) Still in IBISWorld, search for your company and select the one or two industry reports which most closely relate to those aspects of your company that you’re interested in. Note that, if a company operates in several – or many – different industries, there will be reports for each different industry.
- Looking at the Industry at a Glance tab, describe what is happening in the industry. In a few sentences, how might changes in the industry impact your company?
- What are the key external drivers of the industry and how are those changing? How might this impact your company in the future?
- What are the key factors for success in this industry (see Competitive Landscape)? How is your company positioned based on these key factors?
- What factor(s) form the basis of competition among firms in this industry?
- Who are the major companies in the industry and what is the market share of each?
- Look at the About this Industry tab and list the Additional Resources which can help you find additional information about your company and this industry.
Question 24: 2 pages
- (9 points) Still in the IBISWorld report which is relevant for your company, look at the Key Statistics tab. All the statistics / ratios on this page are referred to as industry benchmarks and they can be used to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of companies in the industry. Select at least 3 ratios you can use to evaluate your company. For each, write 1-2 sentences which gives the benchmark value, the value which reflects your company’s performance in comparison to that benchmark, and a comment as to whether your company is doing better or worse than its competitors based on that measurement.
Question 25: 0.5 pages
- (15 pts) So far in this Research Project, you have reviewed quite a few sources which should provide information on the market situation of the company and the industry it operates in. In addition to IBISWorld, you’ve reviewed the SWOT analyses of the company and competitors, a variety of management communications about the company and its operations, and the 10K. Also, Mintel may have offered some very useful information and the Wall Street Journal online and other trade journals and magazines could be very helpful.
If you’ve been thorough, you should have a pretty good idea about their market situation and competitive strengths and weaknesses. Based on all the information you have, prepare a 3 – 4 paragraph analysis of the market and competitive situation at your company. If your analysis requires more that 3-4 paragraphs, that is fine (in fact, if you are thorough, this may take 6 or 8 pages). The more thorough you are now, the better you will be prepared for your term paper.
This analysis should include such topics as comparative strengths and weaknesses compared to key competitors, market share, industry trends and directions and future outlook, and other external environmental influences such as regulatory directions, technology developments, changes in social expectations, etc. Think about all the different factors we’ve discussed in class.
This answer should be clear and concise and well organized and written as a formal document using appropriate grammar and structure, and headings and subheadings as appropriate. You are encouraged to include charts and tables to assist in showing key figures and trends. Again, doing a thorough job of this now can contribute a lot to your paper. While you will have to include citations and a bibliography for your paper, you are not required to do that for this assignment.
Question 26: 3 pages
- (18 pts) By now you should have identified a number of areas where your company is not doing as well as it would like or as it could be doing. This, of course, is our definition of a “problem.” It could be any identified weakness or an area where the company hasn’t met its goals or targets or some internal situation the company would like to change.
As we discussed in class, you can use some judgement in this. For example, if the company’s revenues dropped or didn’t increase last year, the company is probably disappointed by that performance. As another example, if the company’s gross margin is below the average for their industry or if their labor costs as a percentage of revenue are higher than the norm for their industry, it’s safe to assume that they’d like to change that. Perhaps their staff turnover rate has increased significantly over the past 3 years. These are all examples of things you might identify as a “problem” for your company.
List at least 3 “problems” you’ve identified for your company. For each of these, write a 3-4 sentence paragraph explaining the issue. Following that paragraph, write a solid, formal problem statement which clearly identifies the gap and meets the problem statement requirements we discussed in class.
Question 27: 1 page
- (5 pts) Review the instructions given at the beginning of this document again. Have you followed these directions given for this assignment? Yes, I want you to answer this question.
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