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BUS SCE Revised 2/2/17 1


Senior Capstone Experience Guidelines 2017-18

Table of Contents

Overview ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 2

Business Plan Capstone ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 2

ABSTRACT ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 3

CHAPTER 1: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY …………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 3

CHAPTER 2: GENERAL COMPANY DESCRIPTION ………………………………………………………………………………… 3

CHAPTER 3: PRODUCTS AND SERVICES ………………………………………………………………………………………………. 3

CHAPTER 4: MARKET RESEARCH …………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 3

CHAPTER 5: MANAGEMENT AND ORGANIZATION ……………………………………………………………………………… 6

Special Topic Capstone ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 6

Strategy Capstone ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 7

ABSTRACT ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 7

CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 8

CHAPTER 2. ANALYZING THE INDUSTRY ……………………………………………………………………………………………. 8

CHAPTER 3. ANALYZING THE FIRM ……………………………………………………………………………………………………. 10

CHAPTER 4. RECOMMENDATIONS ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… 13

Research Ethics …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 14

Managing Your Research ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 14

Charts, Images, and Supplementary Material …………………………………………………………………………………………………… 15

Draft Chapters …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 15

Final Chapters ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 15

Grading the Capstone …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 15

Writing Guidelines …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 19

DOCUMENT FORMAT: APA………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 19

STYLE DO’S AND DON’TS ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 20

General Timeline ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 21

APPENDIX A: Business Management Student Learning Objectives …………………………………………………………………. 22

APPENDIX B: Sample Cover Page ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 23 BUS SCE Revised 2/2/17 2


One of the defining elements of a Washington College education is the senior capstone (officially, the Senior Capstone Experience, SCE). The SCE in Business Management is an intensive individual project that requires extensive research, thoughtful analysis, and clear writing. There is no set length, but most capstones are at least 40 pages long (longer is not necessarily better). Because each student may choose (in consultation with a professor) his or her own capstone topic, the capstone gives you a chance to gain expertise and skills in an area of business or management of your choice, from marketing to finance to information systems.

Beyond research and knowledge, the capstone is an opportunity for you to exercise and display your thinking and communication skills—skills that are highly in demand from employers. A 2010 American Association of College and Universities survey found that 84% of business leaders want college students “to demonstrate a significant project before graduation, to demonstrate their depth of knowledge and a passion for a particular area, as well as their acquisition of broad analytical, problem solving, and communication skills.”

So the capstone is more than a graduation requirement: it’s one of the best ways to help you embark on a career.

Capstone tracks. There are three tracks for the senior capstone in Business Management: (1) the Business Plan

Capstone, (2) the Special Topic Capstone, and (3) the Strategy Capstone.

Course registration, grading and alignment with departmental student learning outcomes. The capstone counts as a course, BUS SCE. Students are enrolled in the 4-credit BUS SCE course in the senior year, usually in the final semester, by the Department Chair. The capstone receives a mark of Pass, Fail, or Honors. Grading is aligned with several Business Management student learning outcomes: managerial knowledge, critical thinking, communication skills, and ethical awareness. Global awareness is incorporated in all Strategy capstones and many other capstones depending on the nature of the topic chosen. Collaboration skills are not an element of the SCE.

Double majors. Most double-major Capstones will fall into the Business Management Department’s ‘special topic’ track (see below), which provides considerable flexibility in designing, researching, and writing the Capstone. The Department encourages double majors to write a single integrated Capstone that can be submitted for both majors. . When faced with timelines from two departments, students should expect earlier ones to take precedence. Double majors can only earn 4 total SCE credits, even if they write two Capstones.

Application and timeline. The first step in pursuing your Senior Capstone is to complete the SCE application form found at http://bit.ly/2j2k2sr. Please see the last page of this document for due dates.

Business Plan Capstone

Students interested in learning what goes into starting a business can get a head start on launching their own enterprises by writing a Business Plan capstone. Students interested in this track should take BUS 320

Entrepreneurship. It is also recommended but not required that students interested in the business plan track take

BUS 212 Managerial Accounting.

Students desiring to pursue this track must meet these initial eligibility criteria:

 WC GPA of at least 2.75

 BUS GPA of at least 3.00


Students interested in the Business Plan capstone will indicate their business idea on the SCE application and follow up by submitting a complete application a neat, well-written, double-spaced proposal that includes the following elements.

  1. a) the business idea (description of the products/services)
  2. b) pertinent current trends in the industry/business; growth potential
  3. c) description of your core competencies that will support the business
  4. d) description of what makes your idea/business unique

BUS SCE Revised 2/2/17 3


This track is limited to a maximum of 10 students who will be accepted based on the quality of their proposals. Students who are not accepted to write a business plan capstone will write a strategy capstone instead.

The purpose of business plans are to serve as a roadmap for the entrepreneur to follow in establishing his or her business, to determine if the proposed business will be profitable, to identify strategies to minimize risk, and to provide required information for applying for bank financing of the enterprise. The business plan will consist of the following sections:



The abstract comes first but gets written last. It is a summary of what you did and what you found: your argument in a nutshell, in 150 to 250 words. The abstract is the only part of your capstone that most people will read if you choose to have the library archive your work, so write it with care.



This section should be written next to last and not exceed two pages. It should include everything that would be covered in a brief interview with prospective financial backers:

 Name

 Location

 Description of product or services

 Target market statement

 Legal structure

 Differentiation from competition

 What does the future hold for your business or industry?

 Business goals: include measurable short term (1 year) and long term (3 year)




This section examines the nature of your firm and the environment in which you will compete. It should include:

 Mission Statement

 Company goals: where do you want your company to be in one year, in two years?

 Company objectives: what are the progress markers to reach each goal? How will you know when you have reached each goal? How will you measure each goal?

 Business philosophy: what is important to you in the business?

 Describe your chosen industry.

 Describe your target market.

 What are your company core strengths and competencies?

 What will be the legal form of the business? Why did you select that form over other recognized forms?


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Describe in depth your products and/or services. What factors will give you competitive advantages or disadvantages? Include pricing, fees, leasing structure, etc.



Include both primary and secondary research. Primary research consists of gathering your own data (ex. traffic count, focus groups); secondary research is gathered from published information (ex. demographic profiles, trade journals, literature review). Address the following elements. BUS SCE Revised 2/2/17 4


Economics. Facts about your industry.

 What size is your market?

 What present share will you have?

 What is the current demand in the target market?

 What are the current trends?

 Growth potential

 What barriers to entry will you face (ex. high capital costs, training/skills) and how do you overcome these barriers?


Products/Services. In your earlier description of products/services, you described your products and services as you see them. In this section, describe them from your customers’ point of view. For each product or service:

 Describe the most important features. What is special about the product/service?

 Describe the benefits. What will the product/service do for the customer?

 What after-the-sale services will you provide (ex. delivery, warranty, follow-up)?


Customer. Identify the most important groups and for each group, construct a profile that includes:

 Age

 Gender

 Location

 Income level

 Social class/occupation

 Education

 Other (specific to your industry)


For business customers, factors might include:

 Industry

 Location

 Size of firm

 Quality, technology, price preferences

 Other (specific to your industry)


Competition. What products/companies will compete with you? List your major competitors (provide names and addresses). How will your product/services compare with the competition? Include a short paragraph stating your competitive advantages.

Niche. In one short paragraph, define your niche, your unique corner of the market.

Strategy. Your marketing strategy should be consistent with your niche.


 How will you get the word out to potential customers?

 Advertising: what media, why and how often?

 What image do you want to project? What plan do you have for graphic image support (logo design, letterhead, brochures)?

 Should you have a system to identify repeat customers?


Promotional Budget. How much will you spend on items listed above before startup and on an ongoing basis?

Pricing. Explain your method of setting prices. Compare your prices with those of the competition. Are they higher, lower or the same? Why? What will be your customer service and credit policies?

Proposed Location.

 Is your location important to your customers? If yes, how?

 Is it convenient?

 Is it consistent with your image?

 Is it what your customers want and expect?

 Where is the competition located? Is it better to be near them or distant?

BUS SCE Revised 2/2/17 5


Distribution Channels. How will you sell your products or services?

 Retail

 Direct (web, mail order, catalog)

 Wholesale

 Your own sales force

 Agents

 Independent representatives

 Bid on contracts


Sales Forecast. Monthly projection based on historical data, marketing strategies you described, market research, and industry data. You may want to include a “best guess” scenario and a “worst case” scenario that you are confident you can reach no matter what happens.

Operational Plan. Explain the daily operation of the business, equipment, people, processes, and surrounding environment.

Production. Explain your methods of:

 Production techniques and costs

 Quality control

 Customer service

 Inventory control

 Product development


Location. What qualities will you need in a location? Describe the type of location you will have including physical requirements and access.

 Construction: costs and specifications

 Cost: rent, maintenance, utilities, insurance, initial remodeling

 What will your business hours be?


Legal Environment.

 Licensing and bonding requirements

 Permits

 Health, workplace and environmental regulations

 Special regulations covering your specific industry of profession

 Zoning or building code requirements

 Insurance coverage

 Trademarks, copyrights, patents


Personnel. Facts about your industry.

 Number of employees

 Type of labor (skilled, unskilled, professional)

 Where and how will you find the right employees?

 Pay structure and benefits

 Training methods and requirements

 Who does which tasks?

 Do you have a schedule and written procedures prepared?

 Have you drafted employee job descriptions for each position?

 For certain functions, will you use contract workers in addition to employees?


Inventory. What kind of inventory will you keep? Will you need seasonal buildups? Lead time for ordering?

Suppliers. Include names and addresses, type and amount of inventory furnished, credit and delivery policies, history and reliability

Credit Policies. Do you plan to sell on credit? Explain.

Financial. Prepare a start-up financial profile (monies needed to get the business going before you have sold anything). Include: BUS SCE Revised 2/2/17 6



 Cash – initial amount and sources

 Capital expenditures

 Debt incurred and projected repayment schedule

 Needed ongoing monies to meet fixed and variable expenses until the business begins to generate a profit

 Length of time you believe it will be until the business generates a profit: best and worst cases (be realistic)


Pro formas. Prepare 1 year, 2 year, and 3 year financial projections for the business including:

 Income statement

 Balance sheet

 Cash flow projection

 Debt reduction statement

 Additional anticipated capital expenses based on market/product expansion




Who will manage the business day-to-day? What experience does that person bring to the business? If you will have more than ten employees, create an organization chart. Include position descriptions for each employee and function, and if you are seeking loans or investors, include a resume for key employees.

Professional and Advisory Support.

 Board of Directors

 Management Advisory Board

 Attorney

 Accountant

 Insurance Agent

 Banker

 Consultant as needed

 Mentors/Key advisors


Special Topic Capstone

The Special Topic capstone is a research-oriented project reflecting the student’s interests and collaboration between the student and faculty advisor. Topics might include an integrated capstone (for double majors), a series of interviews in a particular industry or career path, a research study of a selected business or management topic, or empirical research tied to presentation at an academic conference. Students desiring to pursue this track are encouraged to directly request a business management faculty member to serve as capstone advisor well before the SCE application due date.

Students desiring to pursue this track must meet these initial eligibility criteria:

 WC GPA of at least 2.75

 BUS GPA of at least 3.00


Students interested in the special topic capstone will indicate their topic on the SCE application and follow up by submitting a well-written, one-page project description along with an outline of chapters and a reference list consisting of at least three credible, preferably peer-reviewed, sources that provide background and insight into the topic chosen.

Final determination of the student being able to pursue this track will be made upon review of the proposal. Students who are not accepted to write a special topic capstone will write a strategy capstone instead. BUS SCE Revised 2/2/17 7


Strategy Capstone

The Strategy capstone is the most popular track. In it, each student makes an intensive study of the recent activities and business results of one publicly traded firm, studied in its competitive environment, its industry. The Strategy capstone provides an excellent synthesis of all the major elements comprising the business management major: facility with statistics and financial analysis, ability to read financial statements, understanding of key business areas like marketing, information systems, organizational structure and leadership, the legal environment, and strategic management.

The Strategy capstone presents research, analysis, and recommendations on a firm’s operations and strategy. In other words, in this capstone the student studies what a firm tries to do within its competitive environment, what it actually does, and how successful it is. There are restrictions on what firms may be chosen for the Strategy capstone. Firms must be publicly traded, to ensure there will be sufficient financial information available, and firms studied within the recent past may not be chosen.

Any business management major may pursue the Strategy capstone. You may request a particular faculty member to serve as capstone advisor; if you do not, an advisor will be assigned to you. However, it is required that in your SCE application, you submit your first three choices for the firm that you will study (be sure to select companies that are not on list of ineligible firms provided). Mrs. Christy Rowan, the department administrative assistant, will confirm which firm you will study; in the event that none of your choices are available, you will be required to submit two new choices. When choosing firms, it can be helpful to think first in terms of industry sectors that you find most interesting (and perhaps may be pursuing a career in) and then identify major players.

The first assignment for students pursuing Strategy capstones is to read your firm’s most recent annual report, concentrating on the written essay generally found at the beginning of the report, and skimming the rest of the report to identify financial and other information included. You will submit a written reflection of the information found in the annual report, identifying at least ten significant things you learned. For instance, you may learn who the firm considers to be its major competitors, or what market opportunities are thought to be most promising for the future.

The Strategy capstone is not a defense of the firm. Students researching a firm sometimes make the mistake of thinking they are an advocate for the firm. This is not an appropriate perspective. Your role is to be an independent, objective source of information for senior management and/or investors. If you see problems, it is your duty to point them out. In fact, in the world beyond college, courage in calling out underperforming companies is a valuable and sought-after quality in business analysts. More broadly, moral courage, which includes the willingness to point out difficult truths and rely on your own honest judgment, is one of the College’s and Department’s core values.

The intended audience for the Strategy capstone is the audience for any similar analysis of a firm and its industry: potential investors, either individuals or institutional investors. What do potential investors want to know, and what do they need to know, to make an informed investment decision about the firm? Similarly, if making recommendations for senior management, think in terms of what they need to know in order to improve the performance of the firm. Keep your intended audience in mind as you write your capstone.

The Strategy capstone draws primarily on research and analytic techniques students have learned over the course of the major. It draws on material in the core BUS courses: BUS 112 (reading financial statements), BUS 202 (marketing analysis), BUS 109 (or MAT 109) (managerial statistics), BUS 209 (analyzing financial data), BUS 210 (management information systems), BUS 302 (organizational dynamics and leadership), BUS 303 (legal environment of business), and BUS 401 (strategic management). In addition, good capstones should draw on knowledge gained from meeting the Global Learning requirement to view all of the above through an international perspective.

The Strategy capstone consists of four chapters, plus an abstract, references, and optional additional material.



The abstract comes first but gets written last. It is a summary of what you did and what you found: your argument in a nutshell, in 150 to 250 words. The abstract is the only part of your capstone that most people will read if you choose BUS SCE Revised 2/2/17 8


to have the library archive your work, so write it with care.



Chapter 1 tells the reader what you’re studying and provides useful information on how you did your research. Since

it provides an overview, you will write it when you’ve written the rest of the capstone.

Topic. What you studied. A Strategy capstone typically studies the past five years of a company’s operations within

its industry setting.

Assessment. How you define the firm’s strategic success. To gauge the effectiveness of your company’s generic and corporate strategies, you need a clear measure of assessment to apply against your company’s performance. Hard numbers like net profit, earnings per share, and market share tend to be the best bottom-line assessments, especially when put in comparative perspective. If you wish to use an alternative metric or technique, for instance, a balanced scorecard, please explain.

Methods. How you conducted research. What sources did you use? (SEC.gov, S&P, Hoover’s, business periodicals, etc.). Did you employ any unusual methods, like interviews or attending trade shows?

Industry Benchmark. The industry benchmark is the quantitative heart of your strategic analysis. It provides key data for measuring and evaluating the performance of the industry, and how your firm compares to its competitors. The point is that numbers without a basis for comparison don’t tell much, whereas a sensible comparison with relevant firms and a good benchmark provide lots of insight into a firm’s strategic success.

The benchmark consists of a weighted average (weighted by sales) of key firms in the industry (weights adjusted for each year of data). In particular, the benchmark will include the three or four competitor firms, as well as your chosen firm. The benchmark should be calculated over a four- or five-year period (four years is the minimum amount of data you need: to compute a three-year Compound Annual Growth Rate [CAGR], for instance, you need four years of data). Later on, when you compile these and other numbers, you probably won’t wish to display more than one, or sometimes two, decimal places. Your detailed financial ratio analysis, which draws on the benchmark, will occur in chapter 3. You should complete your benchmark data gathering by the fall deadline; this will give you more time in the spring to analyze your data.

Here, in this initial section in the first chapter, your job is simply to tell the reader how you constructed the benchmark. That means identifying the firms you chose. For each firm, you should include a short (20 to 50 words) snapshot that provides key business information, and helps make clear why you chose the firm. In addition, you should briefly describe the process of constructing the benchmark, drawing on and perhaps expanding the explanation above.

If you excluded any major competitors from the benchmark (for instance because it is a privately held company or its stock is not traded in the United States), explain why you did so.

Key Findings. A summary of your key findings and recommendations. A good plan is to provide a paragraph summary for each chapter, or you may make use of bullet points, if convenient.



As you learn in BUS 401, there are two fundamental levels of strategic analysis: industry-level analysis and company-level analysis. In other words, business strategists and observers study a firm and its competitive environment. Chapter 2 explores the competitive environment in detail. This includes more than the industry itself—it covers everything in the firm’s environment that affects its operations, from the economy and politics to the physical environment, technology, and demographics. But the focus is the industry, and you are expected to develop a good understanding of the industry your firm is in.

Industry Background (SIC, NAICS, or GICS data; industry definition; history; current snapshot; recent changes or highlights) BUS SCE Revised 2/2/17 9


It is recommended that you include one or more snapshot or trend charts here to help make sense of the industry. These charts can quickly provide an understanding of key metrics like overall industry size, revenues, key competitors, and trends. There is no required chart, but it is likely that well-designed visual presentation of quantitative data will help you get your story off to a strong start with your reader.

Ethics and Current Events

A summary or selection of popular-press coverage over the past three to five years, with special attention to ethical issues. Choose topics that pertain to your key insights about the industry, rather than just a grab-bag. In strong capstones, the topics covered in this section relate to the key points about the industry and are woven into a narrative that organizes and clarifies the key points.

Stock Summary

One significant source of finance for publicly traded firms is the issuance of stock. Your research should include answers to the following questions for your firm and its benchmark competitors for the most recent year common to all firms for which data is available:

 What is each company’s stock trading symbol?

 Where is the stock listed?

 How many shares of common stock are outstanding?

 What is the market value of common equity?

 What’s the beta coefficient of the company stock?

 Did the company pay a dividend in the past year? If yes, what are the dividend yield and payout ratio?


Since this section on stock financials includes lots of numbers and not a lot of text, you may find it convenient to present this section as a table rather than as a written narrative.

Sales and Market Share Growth Rates

You’ll use benchmark data to construct sales and market share growth rates. For most firms, the most recent available data will follow this 3-year CAGR formula for sales:

(2016 revenue ÷ 2013 revenue)⅓ -1

PESTEL (or similar framework)

The PESTEL analytic framework encourages a strategic overview of external environment characteristics. It covers six analytic areas:

 Political analysis

 Economic analysis

 Sociocultural analysis

 Technological analysis

 Environmental analysis

 Legal analysis


You don’t have to follow this exact PESTEL format. As long as you cover these broad areas, you may organize this material as you wish. It’s common, for instance, to combine political and legal analysis.

Porter’s Five-Forces Model

Prof. Michael Porter’s famous five-forces model helps identify the forces that determine the basic competitive structure of an industry:

 Rivalry

 Threat of entry and exit barriers

 Supplier power

 Buyer power

 Threat of substitutes


Strategic Group Map

The Strategic Group Map is an optional element of the strategy capstone. It is a two-by-two graphical representation of industry competition, including your firm and key competitor firms. There is no one right way

to do a strategic group map. It is important to choose metrics for the x-axis and y-axis that help convey important competitive information about competition among these key firms. BUS SCE Revised 2/2/17 10


It is especially important to avoid choosing metrics for both axes that measure, directly or by proxy, size. If you do so for both axes, you’ll end up with a strategic group map or graph that slopes neatly at 45 degrees; this will most likely tell us nothing interesting about the industry or the firm. (Suggestion: For firms in an industry with global competition, one useful metric for the x-axis is often percent of sales outside of the United States.)


You should end up with a few key points about the company’s external environment. Since you should be repeating, for emphasis, points you’ve made earlier in the chapter, you don’t need to cite them as if they were

new information. We recommend that you organize your summary in terms of key opportunities and threats or

challenges facing companies in the industry. These will set the stage for the SWOT analysis you’ll present in

Chapter 4.


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Chapter 3 focuses on the firm itself. This includes the firm’s history, leadership, structure, and operations. (Style note: remember that a firm is singular, not plural. Don’t use “they” or “their” when talking about your company; use “it” and “its.”)

Company Background (history, vision and mission, highlights, snapshot of current operations, and key recent events). The background provides a quick, concise overview of the company’s history, key moments in its life, a snapshot of current operations (here’s a good place for a table that summarizes key numbers like sales, units sold, key markets, etc.), and key recent events, like a concise mention of a leadership change. The vision and mission are included here to capture the firm’s statement about what it does and how it does it; you will refer back to them in your analysis in subsequent sections of this chapter. This is really an introduction to chapter 3,

so your main job is to set up the rest of the discussion. It is likely that you’ll come back and rewrite this opening bit after you’ve written the rest of chapter 3.

Ethics and Current Events

A summary or selection of popular-press coverage over the past three to five years, with special attention to key

ethical issues. The topics you choose to cover should relate to your key points about the firm (you’ve already covered ethics and current events for the industry in general). In a good capstone, this should not be a random list of articles, but rather, a well-informed narrative. That means that you should read extensively, and pull out a few key issues, rather than listing many minor stories or events.

Now we get into the analytical heart of chapter 3. You’ll recognize that the following sections draw on topics and learning from previous classes in the major:

Organizational Analysis

This section provides information on the company’s organizational structure, leadership, and organizational culture.

Structure. What kind of organizational structure does the firm possess (functional, divisional, matrix, or something else)? How does the firm explain the logic of its organizational structure? Include a formal organizational chart showing the firm’s formal organizational structure.

Overall, is the firm’s structure typical of its industry? Has it recently reorganized or announced a reorganization? Is so, why? What was or is the strategic intention of the change?

What is the firm’s corporate governance structure (Board of Directors)? Provide an overall assessment of the board—its size, stability, and effectiveness. How does it compare to industry norms? Is its board viewed as effective by industry observers?

Have outsourcing, alliances, joint ventures, or informal partnerships with other firms, suppliers, or customers been strategically significant for the firm? If so, concisely describe them.

Leadership. How stable has senior leadership been in the years covered by your research? Who are the key executives? Provide snapshots of CEO, COO, CIO, and any other key senior executives who you determine play a significant role in guiding the company’s strategic operations. If the firm is facing a likely leadership change in the BUS SCE Revised 2/2/17 11


CEO position soon (within three years), what succession planning, if any, is being done?

Culture. Along with structure and leadership, culture helps hold organizations together. What kind of culture does this firm possess? Some firms may have extensive press coverage that sheds light on their culture, but for many firms there will not be very much news coverage of their culture. In such cases, useful sources of information within the firm are likely to be departments of Human Resources and Investor Relations. In addition, speeches by the CEO or other senior leaders may be good sources of information about the firm’s culture. Websites like Glassdoor.com provide rich if unverified sources of information on company cultures from an employee perspectives; as long as these are treated cautiously, they can shed a lot of light on what a company’s culture ‘really’ feels like to workers.

Here are key questions about your company’s culture you should consider: What are the firm’s core values as articulated by its vision or mission statement? How stable has the culture been? Is the organization’s culture similar to industry norms, or distinctive? Have there been recent changes or tensions about culture (especially likely in cases of merger and acquisition)? Keep in mind that what a firm claims as its formal, “espoused” values may not be exactly the same as what employees within the firm perceive as the daily reality. Ideally, your job as an analyst is to try to look beyond the “espoused” surface and see more deeply into the heart of the organization you are studying. Summing up this analysis, do you think its culture is a distinctive strength, or a weakness?

Marketing Analysis

Use the four P’s of marketing (product, place, price, and promotion) to assess the company’s marketing performance. Note: If the firm you are studying is a conglomerate with products in different markets (as will be the case for many firms studied in strategy capstones), with different approaches to marketing for different products and product lines, it is suggested that you pick one product area and focus on it. If you do so, please

note this so your reader understands what you’re doing.

A purely narrative discussion is not acceptable: select useful quantitative measures to buttress your analysis of these specific points:

 Has the company segmented the market? If so, how? Why? Multiple segments? Are the segments growing? Contracting? Stable?

Product: What is the product, really? Who buys it? Does the product possess brand equity?

Place: What are the distribution channels? Direct to consumer? Opportunity for new channels by your company? By a competitor? Multiple channels? Who has the channel power? Retailer? Manufacturer?

Price: Skimming? Penetration? Value? Low? High? Differential?

Promotion: What is the unique selling proposition (USP)? Brand promise? Channels?


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Management Information Systems Analysis

This section provides an understanding of information systems key to the firm’s success. Management information systems is defined as the ethical use of information systems to help organizations achieve their goals and objectives.

Which corporate goals and objectives are supported by the firm’s use of information systems? Does the use of information technology reflect the firm’s vision, culture and ethics? How does the firm distribute power among stakeholders through the use of information systems?

What are the key business processes within the firm? For these key business processes, what transactional systems (such as ERP) does the firm employ? Does the firm compete on analytics as well as on operations? How does the firm use analytics as a competitive tool?

Since information systems are internal to the corporation, it may be difficult to obtain this information. One way to peer into the inner workings of the firm is to look at job postings for information systems positions on sites such as Monster.com; many times these postings, will reveal which systems the firm uses, giving you a starting point for your research. High-profile firms may also be used as case studies by information systems firms promoting their technology products and services.

Financial Analysis

The section on financial analysis is one of the most challenging—and important—parts of the strategy capstone.

First, you must gather extensive amounts of financial information and derive pertinent ratios that help tell the story of BUS SCE Revised 2/2/17 12


your company. Second, you must think about how best to present that information to help your reader gain insight. Third, you must analyze and reflect on this extensive amount of information to draw key lessons about your firm’s successes and challenges, as compared to its industry benchmark. Your analysis should include graphs and charts as appropriate, showing how the firm’s financial performance compares to the benchmark (your designated proxy for the industry average); a company’s financials by themselves, without the context of competitive comparison, don’t carry much meaning.

In some instances, your analysis may be complicated by anomalies or data gaps, where a corporate merger or privatization or other one-time event makes gathering data complicated or even impossible. There are no easy rules about how to deal with these complications: expect to consult with your faculty advisor on how to handle problematic cases.

Financial Ratios: Using your weighted benchmark, compare company performance to benchmark ratios over a four- or five-year period. Ratio analysis should include these elements, where pertinent:

  1. Liquidity Ratios: These ratios measure the firm’s ability to pay off its short-term debt.

 Current Ratio = Current assets/Current liabilities

 Quick (Acid-Test) Ratio = (Current assets – Inventory)/Current liabilities


  1. Activity Ratios: These ratios measure the firm’s ability to use its assets to generate sales.

 Total Asset Turnover = Sales/Average total assets

 Inventory Turnover = Cost of goods sold/Average inventory


  1. Debt Ratios: These ratios measure the firm’s ability to raise and pay off long-term debts.

 Debt Ratio = Total debts/Total assets

 Equity Multiplier = Total assets/Total equity

 TIE (Times interest earned) Ratio=EBIT (Earnings before interest and taxes)/Interest


  1. Profitability Ratios: These ratios measure the firm’s ability to generate profits.

 Net Profit Margin = Net income/Sales

 ROE = Net income/Total equity

 For firms that produce and/or sell a tangible product, it’s also useful to compare gross profit margin, operating margin, and net profit margin.


  1. DuPont Identity: The DuPont Identity analyzes ROE as a product of three other ratios identified above: operating efficiency (Net Profit Margin), asset use efficiency (Total Asset Turnover), and financial leverage (Equity Multiplier). The DuPont Identity is expressed like this:

ROE = Net Profit Margin × Total Asset Turnover × Equity Multiplier

Use the DuPont Identity to analyze how the ROE of your company has been affected by its three components over the past three to five years.

Critical Reflection: Along with presenting your ratio data in the form of tables and/or charts, you are expected to analyze and reflect on what story or stories the ratios tell, to shed light on the financial and strategic situation of your particular firm. After presenting and discussing your ratios one by one, you should step back to consider three big questions at the close of this section on financial ratios:

 Has the company’s financial performance been good or bad?

 Is its financial position sufficient to fulfill its mission and goals?

 How does its financial position compare with industry benchmarks?


Concisely justify your answers to these questions.

Business (Generic) Strategy

Identify the firm’s chief business (sometimes called generic) strategy for its lead products. How stable has this strategy been? Compare the company’s generic strategy with industry norms, and assess its effectiveness. Note: you should tie this effectiveness of the firm’s generic strategy to the success measure presented in chapter 1. This helps tie your analysis together. In practice, since you’ll write chapter 1 after you’ve worked up the analysis here, that means that BUS SCE Revised 2/2/17 13


your analysis of the generic strategy here will help you select an appropriate success measure in chapter 1.

Corporate Strategy

Corporate strategy is often misunderstood, and a good capstone will distinguish itself by getting corporate strategy right. Corporate strategy is different from business strategy, which centers on how to do one thing really well. Firms that only do one thing (for example, Living Essentials, which makes and markets the 5-Hour Energy brand) don’t face the challenges of diversification, and thus of corporate level strategy. But most publicly traded firms studied in strategy capstones have become complex and diversified enough that they do face the challenge of corporate strategy.

A firm’s corporate strategy refers to how to do many things in an optimal fashion. As successful firms grow, they tend to diversify—entering new markets, taking on new activities, and facing new choices about how to allocate resources. Corporate strategy refers to this juggling act, the challenge of making decisions about what portfolio of assets to hold.

If this is relevant to your firm, identify its corporate strategy or strategies. How does its approach compare to industry norms? How stable and effective has its corporate strategy been? What kinds of acquisitions has it made, and have they been effective? What is likely to lie ahead?


You should end up with a few key points about the company’s operations. Since you should be repeating, for emphasis, points you’ve made earlier in the chapter, you don’t need to cite them as if they were new information. We recommend that you organize your summary in terms of the firm’s key strengths and weaknesses. These will set the stage for the SWOT analysis you’ll present in Chapter 4.



Chapter 4 begins by summarizing your research in a SWOT analysis, then looks to the future.

SWOT Analysis

SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) is a powerful clarifying tool for strategic analysis. And the good news is that you’ve already done the analysis! At the end of Chapter 2 you presented key opportunities and threats in the company’s external environment. At the end of Chapter 3 you presented the firm’s key strengths and weaknesses. All you have to do now is put them together in a simple two-by-two matrix, like this: Positive Negative
Internal Strengths Weaknesses
External Opportunities Threats


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Assignment 1 BUSI 3308

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 Assignment 1 BUSI 3308

Section 2

Due: September 27 by 6:00pm

You are required to submit Question 1 as a Word document and Question 2 as an Excel spreadsheet.

Please submit both files together to Moodle before the above due date and time. This assignment is

worth 10%

Question 1

Reflect on what you know about Wal-Mart, which is considered one of the world’s largest retailers. It

may also be helpful to review their website (walmart.ca). Think about the variety and number of

products and services offered, checkout lines, store locations, shipping and delivery, etc., and answer

the following four questions.

  1. What type of Customer Benefit Package (CBP) do you think Wal-Mart offers? Briefly describe

your answer.

  1. Choose any three key activities that operation managers perform on page 4 of your textbook.

How might they relate to Wal-Mart’s operations processes?

  1. A critical component of Wal-Mart’s operations management includes their i.

warehouse/distribution center’s locations and ii. retail locations. What process-thinking

variables do you think Wal-Mart needs to take into consideration when deciding on each of

those location types?

  1. Identify and briefly present 4 preproduction and 4 postproduction services that may form part

of Wal-Mart’s value chain.

Word count for Question 1: 550-700 words.

Make sure to use the correct sentence structure, grammar, and spelling.

Question 2

Please answer the following questions in Excel. Make sure to include all formulas.

  1. Compute a 5-period moving average forecast for December using the following actual data:

Period Actual

June 10

July 20

August 30

September 40

October 50

November 60

  1. Using the following data, use a smoothing constant of 0.2 and determine the adjusted forecast

for period 7 by applying simple exponential smoothing.

Period Actual Forecast

1 80

2 202

3 200

4 300

5 303

6 306

  1. Using the following data, use a smoothing constant of 0.5 and determine the adjusted forecast

for 2005 by applying simple exponential smoothing.

Period Actual Forecast Adjusted Forecast

2001 101 120

2002 134

2003 135

2004 178

  1. Using the linear trend equation method, calculate the forecasts for years 2015 and 2016 using

the following data:

Year Demand

2010 100

2011 105

2012 107

2013 110

2014 112

Bonus points: Calculate R2 using the above information. What does the result tell you about

the data?

  1. Car Inc. has presented you with the following information consisting of the forecasted demand

and actual sales for their latest sports car. Use the following information to calculate the mean

square error.

Period Forecasted Demand Actual Demand

1 50 63

2 70 65

3 40 44

4 80 72

5 96 100

Bonus Points: Using the information in part (e), calculate the MAD and MAPE.

  1. A local factory has been purchasing a particular spare part from a manufacturer in Alberta. In

order to better budget their financials, they want to know what is the likely per-unit price of the

spare part in 2018 based on previous prices.

Using y=a +bt, compute the forecasted price for 2018.

Year Price/Unit

2013 $3.24

2014 $3.25

2015 $3.65

2016 $3.60

2017 $3.88

2018 ?

  1. Company Y produces chocolate bars. The following data represents the production inputs and

chocolate outputs for Year 1 and Year 2.

Year 1 Year 2

Cost of Raw Materials $20,000 $41,000

Electricity Cost $6,000 $7,300

Labor $200,000 $412,000

Miscellaneous Input Costs $5,000 $7,000

Number of Chocolate Bars Produced 120,000 units 230,000 units

Using the above data, has productivity increased or decreased from Year 1 to Year 2?

  1. Using the appropriate formula, calculate the Value of a Loyal Customer using the following


Customer purchasing pattern: One unit every 5 years

Price of unit paid by customer: $200

Gross margin per unit: 70%

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BMO5574: Supply Chain and Logistics Management SAP-SCM Assignment

BMO5574: Supply Chain and Logistics Management

SAP-SCM Assignment

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Due                : Wed 13 Sept (Wk 8)

Weight: 30% (individual assignment)


Students need to illustrate their knowledge of SAP-SCM module gained in series of hands-on workshops using the Global Bike Company (GBC). This is an individual assignment requiring each student to submit the written assignment for assessment. Failing to do so will fail in the unit.


You can complete the assignment as you progress in your tutorial exercises. It involves capturing selected screen shots while working on the exercises. I would suggest to going through the questions below and copying the required screen shots to your assignment Doc file as you progress. Alternatively, you can complete the whole workshop and then work on your assignment.

Importantly, students need to illustrate that they have a full understanding of the SCM module, and the way it relates to theories discussed in the lecture.

Written Report and Submission:

Each student is required to present an individual written assignment, with each question being clearly labeled. Make sure that it is written in your own words and Harvard referencing is used as appropriate. The header sheet for this assignment includes:

  • Your name
  • Your student VU ID
  • Your unique SAP-APO Log in ID: SCM-xxx


Submission requirement:

Submit one hardcopy to your tutor, and electronic copy to VU collaborate (no turnitin requirement). Your ID will be locked soon after you hand in the assignment not allowing you to work further during the assessment. It will be released once the marking is complete.


IMPORTANT: Each question requires specific screenshot. No mark will be given for any irrelevant screenshots.


1.          Create a forecast [5 marks] – refer Tut 1 (All screen shots should have a brief explanation)

  • What is demand planning? Why is it an initial important step in any supply chain planning? [1 mark]
  • How did you create the demand for finished bike FG-10 and ridge front bike FG-11 in SAP-ER2 system? Explain the demand forecast process using ER2 and SCM7. Attach screenshots.                                     [1 mark]
  • Provide screen shots of planned independent requirement (PIR) for your finished products FG-10 and FG-11 in USA plant (XXX1) using SCM7. Compare it with the initial input values of demand information.[2 marks]

Note: No more than 1 screenshot for each product be submitted. Screenshot must be readable and complete up to show all data.

  • Provide BOM (Bill of material) diagram for FG-10 and FG-11 using the following information in ER2? Explain how these two BOMs are different from each other.

T.code to be used in ER2: CS11, material: FG-10-XXX, plant: XXX1, Alternative BOM: 1, BOM application: PP01.                         [1 mark]

2.          Supply Chain Model & means of transportation [5 marks] – refer Tut 2 (All screen shots should have a brief explanation)

NOTE:  Screenshots must be readable and complete up to this level only.

2.1       Provide a screen shot displaying all of the supply chain location objects clearly displaying plant, distribution centers (DC), customers, vendors and transportation zones. Briefly explain what role each one has in a supply chain.                                                                                                     [1 mark]

2.2       How many vendors and customers are located in USA? Provide the names and where they are located? Who is the immediate partner of a vendor in a supply chain?                                                                            [1.5 mark]

2.3       Produce a screen shot of ‘assignment of means of transportation’ between a plant and two customers for finished goods FG-10 ONLY.            [1 mark]

2.4       What means of transportation (i.e. either truck or ship), duration (hours) and distance (Km) are used in above 2.3? Suggest other suitable means of transportation that could be used for the above (i.e. 2.3) transportation. Give your reasons.                                                                            [1.5 mark]

3.          Supply Chain Model [5 marks] – refer Tut 3 (All screen shots should have a brief explanation)

NOTE:  Screenshots must be readable and complete up to this level only.

3.1       Using the supply chain engineer (SCE) produce the screen shot(s) of the supply chain network diagram among the objects. The network diagram should display all the objects and transportation lanes with clear labeling.                                                                                                                  [2 mark]

3.2       What “resources” are used in the USA plant? Expand and explain the use of all the production resources.                                                         [1 mark]

3.3       Double click on a lane between the plant and a customer in the SCE diagram. Display and explain the screen shot clearly.                    [1 mark]

3.4       Repeat the above procedure in 3.3 for a lane between a vendor and plant.                                                                                                                        [1 mark]


4.          Inbound quota for external supply of materials- [5 marks] – refer Tut 4 & 5 (All screen shots should have a brief explanation)

NOTE:  Screenshots must be readable and complete up to this level only.

4.1       Attach screen shot for ‘total inbound quota arrangement’ displaying all raw materials to be supplied by vendors to the plant. Show clearly the vendor location and their quota allocation.                                          [1.5 marks]

4.2       How do you get the same screen shots of ‘total inbound quota arrangement’ through supply chain engineer model?                                         [1 mark]

4.3       Using the SCE model display the means of transport from the menu option.                                                                                                          [1 mark]

4.4       Using where-used list, attach the screen shot showing the means of transport XXXUSA, its start and destination location.                    [1.5 marks]


5.          SNP Heuristic run at plant and DC level [5 marks] – refer Tut 6&7 (All screen shots should have a brief explanation)

NOTE:  Screenshots must be readable and complete up to this level only.

5.1       Using planning book, produce a screen shot of the monthly forecast values for finished products FG-10 and FG-11 together.                        [1 mark]

5.2       Run the location heuristic for FG-10 at plant location (XXX1), produce screen shot(s) of the planning book showing row values for production (planned) and ATD receipts. How these two figures are related? [1 mark]

5.3       Run the multilevel heuristic together for finished products (i.e. FG-10, FG-11). Provide the screenshot showing demand and receipts rows. [1 mark]

5.4       With multilevel heuristics in 5.3, switch to semi-finished product SF-0040, then produce screen shot of the planning book displaying the rows for production (planned) and dependent demand.                                 [1 mark]

5.5       With multilevel heuristics in 5.3, switch to raw material RM-0130, produce screen shot of the planning book showing Distribution Receipt (planned) and Purchasing Requisition orders.                                         [1 mark]


6.          SNP planning and Capacity check [5 marks]- Refer Tut 7& 8 (All screen shots should have a brief explanation)

6.1       Explain with the help of SNP planning book screen shots (e.g FG-11) the effect of various time buckets (e.g. 9AMONTHS and 180 DAYS) on production lead-time.                                                            [2.5 marks]

6.2       Produce screen shots of DS Planning Board in monthly and weekly view and explain the board with respect to a finished product FG-10.

[2.5 marks]


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—–Good Luck—–

Business Finance_http://customwritings-us.com/orders.php

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Focus and write an Business Finance Related Issue related to a currency, company or a commodity.
Possible Topics:

Arizona Mexico Border Financial Issues which affect Arizona or International Business

  1. The Emerging International Financial Markets in the SonoranPlain including Arizona.
  2. A Financial Business Plan for a New or Improved Business(Ready to Submit to a Venture Capitalist
  3. Financial Impacts of Food Safety Issues on the U.S. Mexico Border
  4. The financial challenges of the TPP(Transpacific Partnership) and Arizona Business*
  5. The Financial Impacts of Mexico U.S. Trade in Perishable Products including Fruits, Vegetables and Meats
  6. Business and Market Trade Instruments and Financing Options with NAFTA and FTAA countries including Mexico.*
  7. The Cash Flow Cycle and a business
  8. Financial Bankruptcy and its impact on Arizona Business
  9. International Water Management Finance in Arizona and the SonoranPlain
  10. International Financial Breakevenfor Business and development of Sustainable Bio fuels for Arizona. Do Wind, Solar and Biofuels make business sense for Arizona? **
  11. What international business means for the Arizona and the U.S.  International Business for one country—India, Indonesia, Philippines, China, Mexico, and Malaysia. Look at both Imports and Exports**
  12. Sustainable International Business Investments in the NYSE Stock Market.
  13. International Financial and Business Services from Arizona for the Global Marketplace**
  14. The cost of New Technologies of Transporting Fruits and Vegetables in International Business—“Cold Supply Chains”**.
  15. International Finance and Business in Water Management between Mexico’s Six Border  States and Arizona, New Mexico, California, and Texas**
  16. Financial Changes in Global Air Cargo  with the Pacific Rim within Arizona and America’s Southwest
  17. The Financial Impact of America’s Foreign Trade Zones in Arizona**
  18. Offset Trade with Arizona Companies and Others
  19. Expansion of finance and trade for one of the following Countries—India, Philippines, Iraq,  Indonesia, India,  China, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Mexico, Ukraine, or Korea
  20. European Business and Real Estate Financial Investments in Arizona
  21. Expansion of Finance, Trade and Service Opportunities with one of the following regions, FTAA, Merosur,  CARICOM, ASEAN,
  22. Brazil and FTAA Food Safety and Security Business Opportunities and Risks with Arizona
  23. Financing the Future of Biofuelsin the Sonoran Plain-
  24. Hispanic Market for a Commodity or Product-
  25. BREXIT and US and Arizona Trade Impacts
    ** Ten Extra Points for these topics and try to publish them at IAM, EMI and PRRC


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  1. Discuss any managerial discretion available to the enterprises when devaluing/revaluing the non-current assets? (about 300 words)
  2. Name two types of firms that are more likely to choose to revalue the non-current assets and why they choose to revalue and provide example. (around 300 words).


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Assignment help_Operations Management and the Supply Chain 2016-2017



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MODULE:  Operations Management and the Supply Chain    2016-2017

Module Code Level Credit Value Module Tutor
BUS3008 6 20  


Assignment Brief

 Assignment title:

  Supply Chain  Design – Timber


60% of overall assessment


24th March
Feedback and Grades due:


21st April
Resit Date 14th July



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Purpose of the Assessment


The purpose of this assignment is to test your ability to apply operations management thinking to a real world problem, in order to identify practical and implementable steps that balance the differing needs of multiple stakeholders.

 Assessment Task

Boughton Green is a long-established building products company with its headquarters in Northampton. The principal activities of the company concern the operation of a number of retail superstores.

The company’s operations are presently concentrated in the East Midlands. The majority of stock is held in the superstores themselves; there is one central distribution facility in Northampton.

The company has been approached by one of its suppliers with a proposal to develop a range of sustainable timber products for the wider UK construction market. The proposed products (roof trusses, etc.) are not suitable for transport with the company’s existing stock; a new logistics solution is required.

You are to prepare a report outlining the potential impact of the new product line on the distribution footprint of the company.

Deliverables and Assessment Breakdown

You have been provided with a set of sales data identifying the geographical distribution of historic sales of the new products. You are to analyse the data, identifying the concentration of likely customers, and propose a supply chain network to serve them.

(a) Develop a Problem Statement and state your Solution Design Principles     (10%)

(b) Use a Territory Design tool (Open Door Logistics is recommended) to identify the suitable depot locations to serve the anticipated market.

Consider a centralised solution (1-2 depots) and a decentralised solution (5-7 depots). What are the advantages and disadvantages of each?                                   (40%)

(c) Explore the practical options for siting warehouses/depots in the locations identified by the modelling exercise. Present your final site selection, explaining the reasons for any changes from your initial result.                                                   (20%)

(d) In your view, what strategies should the company follow to ensure that the supply chain solution is as sustainable as the products themselves?                          (30%)

The maximum permitted word count for this assignment is 2500 +/- 10%. Tables, figures and references are not included in the word count.


Assessment Submission

To submit your work, please go to the ‘Submit your work’ area of the Module NILE site. It is important that you submit your work to the correct module NILE site, and that your work is submitted on time.

Assessment Guidance

Familiarise yourself with the data provided. Identify the key information within it. The data manipulation involved is not hard – though you will need to learn new digital skills.

The key is to find a simple but effective way of representing the analysis. Whilst the exercise can be undertaken using a simple spreadsheet, you will find the capabilities of specialist software to be much more powerful, especially in terms of mapping.

We will explore one such package – Open Door Logistics – in our seminars.

Any literature search should be up to date. Unless a reference is absolutely seminal, I would not expect material over eight years old to be included.

Academic Practice

This is an individual assignment, in that the final submission will be made individually. However, group discussion of the solutions to the various sub-questions is encouraged. In practice, this means that you will be able to work together to build the models required.

The University of Northampton policy will apply in all cases of copying, plagiarism or any other methods by which students have obtained (or attempted to obtain) an unfair advantage. Support and guidance on assessments and academic integrity can be found from the following resources

SkillsHub: http://skillshub.northampton.ac.uk

CfAP: http://tinyurl.com/UoNCfAP


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Learning outcomes

The learning outcomes being addressed through this assignment are:

Knowledge and Understanding


a)       Analyse the purpose and value of operations management in the logistics context.


b)       Compare and contrast the key operations management concepts.


Subject-specific Skills


c)       Apply and reflect critically on the Operations Management Models as a basis for effective resource management.


d)       Distinguish between and apply key concepts and techniques for controlling and planning operations including the principles of Lean Management.


e)       Interpret and synthesis the various definitions of quality in an operational context and justify the effectiveness of measuring operational performance and identify opportunities for improvement.


Key Skills


f)       Use IT to apply statistical techniques to solve operational problems.


g)       Select an appropriate format for effectively presenting written work.


h)       Identifies key elements of operations management problems.


i)        Develops autonomy with individual study tasks.

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Assignment help:Assignment 1 (Report) CIS5200_http://customwritings-us.com/orders.php

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Assignment 1 (Report) CIS5200
Due date: Refer to Study Desk
Value: 20%
The assignment’s overall objective is that the students should acquire an overview of principles, methods and techniques of systems development, and gather experience from a development project in which a specific development method is used. On successful completion of this assignment students should be able to:
1. Define and explain the fundamental concepts methods and techniques used in information systems analysis and design.
2. Apply contemporary information systems analysis and design methods and techniques to real world case studies.
3. Apply systems analysis and design concepts, modelling and project management techniques to real-world case studies.
4. Effectively communicate systems analysis and design methods and techniques to real world problems.
This assignment must be all your own work. It is acceptable to discuss course content with others to improve your understanding and clarify requirements, but solutions to assignment questions must be done on your own. You must not copy from anyone, including tutors and fellow students, nor allow others to copy your work. All assignments will be checked using collusion monitoring tools to ensure that each assignment is the original work of the submitting student. Assignments that do not adhere to this requirement will be deemed as being the result of collusion or plagiarism. This may lead to severe academic penalties as outlined in USQ Policy Library: Academic Integrity Policy and Procedure. It is your own responsibility to ensure the integrity of your work. Refer to the USQ Policy Library for more details:  Academic Integrity Policy
 Academic Integrity Procedure
Assignment 1 Details
Students are expected to identify their “real-world” organisation. If some students do not have access to a “real-world” organisation, a fictitious organisation based on a real world organisation will be acceptable.
Finding a “real-world” organisation:
 If you are linked to an organisation (government or private organisation for an example) ask what the need for improving the performance level or the process flow (for example; sales, order, or payment process), choose the highest priority and work around that.
 Do you have any family or friends involved in the business organisation, or do you know anyone with a business organisation? Ask them about the performance level or the process flow type that they need (keep it simple).
 Otherwise, do you have any friends with ideas for a business organisation? What would be the major performance level or the process flow type that they need for this organisation?
 Do not try to solve all the problems for the organisation in the few weeks you have and just focus on one problem.
 TASK 1: Organisation Background
Briefly introduce your chosen organisation in terms of name, the industry it operates within, products and services, clients, major competitors and competing for products/services, major processes, ownership, key personnel and key issues/challenges.
 TASK 2: Time Management Plan
Students are required to provide an effective time management plan that will lead to successful submission of your assignment 1 (Report), and the completion of the required activities that included in this assignment.
 TASK 2.1: Work Breakdown Structure
Develop a work breakdown structure (WBS) for your project with date, and summary of project activities. Use a table with columns for activity number, start date, finish date, activity name, activity description, planned action, status, and any other notes. The purpose of WBS is to identify each task in your project and include an estimated duration.
 TASK 2.2: Task-Sequencing Approaches
After work breakdown structure (WBS) has been designed, students need to present the project details that are mentioned in the WBS using one of the following Task-Sequencing Approaches:
 Network Scheduling
 PERT Chart
 Gantt Chart
 TASK 3: Fact-Finding
Develop a fact-finding for planning and analysis in order to determine improvements in organisational processes. This fact-finding plan should include: interviews, documentation review, observation, questionnaires, and research.
 TASK 4: Organisation Chart
Review and draw the organisation chart for your chosen organisation. Then, list the individuals (working at various levels of organisational structure) and their roles for those who you would like to interview. Prepare a list of objectives for each of the interviews you will conduct.
 TASK 5: “AS IS” Process
Provide an “AS IS” process diagram by using Business Process Modelling Notation (BPMN) or Unified Modelling Language (UML) notation. The “AS IS” diagram should explain the process flow of your chosen organisation. Then, explain which process flow in this diagram that you want to improve.
 TASK 6: Report to Top Management
Assume you have completed the planning and analysis phases of your project for your chosen organisation. Write a report to the top management (CEO). This report at a minimum should include the objectives, background, processes undertaken, scope, and recommendations to the top management (CEO).
 TASK 7: Presentation/Report Structure
This task includes providing a cover letter and title page in your report and writing up your report with clarity and professionalism.
 TASK 8: References
All documents cited in your assignment must list in a single alphabetical list at the end of the assignment. The following USQ Library Resources to assist you with referencing correctly using the Harvard Referencing System: https://www.usq.edu.au/library/referencing/harvard-agps-referencing-guide. Endnote Bibliography Software for managing referencing is available to you for free as a USQ Student: https://www.usq.edu.au/library/referencing/endnote-bibliographic-software
Finally, there is no word limit for this assignment. We are looking for the quality, not for the quantity.
 Submission Requirements
You need to submit your assignment 1 via the assignment 1 submission link on your CIS5200 Study Desk.
Do not email your work to the course leader. If you are unable to upload, notify the course leader of the issue so that it may be resolved for you to upload the assignment.
Note: You need to use Microsoft Project and Visio that provided by USQ to create your business models. Assignments that did not use this software will not be accepted. Also, you need to submit your assignment in one file (Word or PDF). Assignment with separate different files will not be accepted.
Please note that:
 The following is the USQ Assessment – Assignment (Late Submission) and Compassionate and Compelling Circumstances procedure that relate to Extensions and Late Assignments. They can be found under the following links:
 Assessment – Assignment (Late Submission) Procedure: http://policy.usq.edu.au/documents.php?id=14749PL#4.2_Assignments
 Assessment of Compassionate and Compelling Circumstances Procedures: http://policy.usq.edu.au/documents.php?id=131150PL
 Students seeking extensions for any Assignment work must provide appropriate documentation to support their request before the due date of the assignment (see points 4.3 and 4.4 in the Assessment of Compassionate and Compelling Circumstances Procedures above to see what is considered as Compassionate and Compelling reason for an extension and the level of documentation that will be needed).
 An Assignment submitted after the due date without an approved extension of time will be penalised. The penalty for late submission is a reduction by five percent (5%) of the maximum Mark applicable for the Assignment, for each University Business Day or part Business Day that the Assignment is late. An Assignment submitted more than ten (10) University Business Days after the due date will have a Mark of zero recorded for that Assignment.
 The StudyDesk Assignments submission tool will accept late assignments up until 23:55pm on the 10th University Business Day after the due date.

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Assessment 1

This assessment is worth 20% of the module marks.

By 1200 on Monday 28th February 2017 you make an e-submission of your interim report. This will contain:

  • an introduction to your dissertation
  • a draft version of your literature review
  • an outline of the methodology and research methods
  • A research timetable or Gantt chart with planned milestones
  • A completed ethics form

Length: 3,000 words.

Your work must have a title page with your name and the name of your supervisor.

This work is the first draft of the early chapters of your final dissertation. You do NOT need an abstract or executive summary. You will need a list of contents and list of references, which do not count towards the word limit.

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Assessment 1 Marking Criteria

Introduction (20 marks)

  • With the help of your supervisor, you have identified an appropriate research problem
  • You have a clear research aim and objectives

Literature review (25 marks)

  • You have collected and evaluated information from a variety of academic and valid sources, to survey the literature in your chosen area of study

·         You have synthesised the information in that literature into a summary, presented as an argument not a list or bibliography

·         You have critically analysed the information gathered by identifying gaps in current knowledge; by showing limitations of theories and points of view; and by formulating areas for further research and reviewing areas of controversy

Research methodology (25 marks)

  • Your explain and justify your research methodology, and demonstrate an understanding of appropriate research theory
  • You describe your proposed data sampling and data gathering strategies
  • You describe your proposed method(s) of analysis

Report writing (20 marks)

  • Your report is an effective piece of communication; clear, structured and written with good UK English grammar and spelling
  • Your work is fully referenced and exactly follows the appropriate referencing convention (Harvard system or legal referencing for legal research)
  • You keep between the maximum and minimum word limits

Planning and presentation (10 marks)

  • You have a title page with your name and the name of your supervisor
  • You have planned your research timetable and presented this in an appropriate format.
  • You include a signed PDF of your completed ethics form


Maximum marks: 100

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Assessment 2

This assessment is worth 80% of your module marks.


By 1200 on Tuesday 24th April 2017 you must submit oNE comb bound copy of your final dissertation and a CD with your dissertation saved in two different formats: a single MS Word file containing the whole dissertation, and a pdf file of your dissertation. The bound copy is to be covered with BLUE card and should include your name on the cover. Use the template provided for your cover and title page.

This work is based on assessment 1 and it should repeat and extend it.

Assessment 2 (Dissertation) Marking Criteria

Abstract and Introduction (20marks)

  • Your abstract is a short, accurate overview of the work and the key findings
  • You have an appropriate research problem
  • You have a clear research aim and objectives
  • The reader is fully informed of the nature and structure of the dissertation

Literature review (20 marks)

  • You have collected and evaluated information from a variety of academic and valid sources to survey the literature in your chosen area of study

·         You have synthesised the information in that literature into a summary, presented as an argument not a list or bibliography

·         You have critically analysed the information gathered by identifying gaps in current knowledge; by showing limitations of theories and points of view; and by formulating areas for further research and reviewing areas of controversy

Research methodology, data gathering and analysis (20 marks)

  • Your research approach and design is theoretically justified in the context of your research philosophy and the aim of the study
  • You use initiative and personal responsibility to gather valid  data
  • You accurately analyse your data
  • Your research is ethical

Discussion and Conclusion (20 marks)

  • You summarise, appraise and evaluate the results of your research
  • You demonstrate the achievement of the aim of the research and propose answers to the research problem
  • You make recommendations for the application of your findings and/or further research

Report writing (10 marks)

  • Your report is an effective piece of communication; clear, structured and written with good UK English grammar and spelling
  • Your work is fully referenced and exactly follows the appropriate referencing convention (Harvard system or legal referencing as appropriate)
  • You keep between 9,000 and 11,000 words in the main body of text

The dissertation (10 marks)

  • You demonstrate systematic understanding of specialist and current knowledge
  • You have achieved a major piece of academic work that is coherent and resolved
  • You appreciate the uncertainty and limits of present knowledge and the possibility of new knowledge

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Buy Assessment 2_MBA-FP6008

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inter 2017 – Section 02

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Growth: Economic Analysis 2
In 3–4 pages, analyze economic growth and its impact on a nation, the concepts of gross investment and
net investment, economic discrepancies between countries, and the factors that can result in recession and
economic expansion.
By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the following course
competencies and assessment criteria:
Competency 1: Analyze the economic environment and the role of the federal government in establishing
fiscal and monetary policies.
Analyze the economic discrepancies between countries.
Explain how a financial crisis can lead to a recession.
Explain how a major new invention can lead to economic expansion.
Competency 2: Analyze the impact of macroeconomic principles, theories, policies, and tools in real world
business situations.
Analyze the impact of a high rate of growth on a nation.
Use the concepts of gross investment and net investment to explain differences in specific economies.
Explain how it is impossible for gross investment to be less than zero.
Competency Map
Check Your Progress
Use this online tool to track your performance and progress through your course.
Gross domestic product (GDP) is one measurement of the well­being of a nation, but it is not the only one.
GDP consists of what consumers buy, what businesses buy, what the government buys, and what is either
imported or exported. On the other side, everything a nation produces must be paid for, which represents
the national income—wages for labor, rents for land owners, and interest or return for capital owners.
Business cycles are the ups and downs of an economy, both nationally and globally. For example, we
recently experienced something called the Great Recession. Many jobs were lost. This followed a period of
economic growth. Global business leaders need to understand the factors that contribute to business
cycles, along with how the federal government manages business cycles through the use of taxes, debt,
and spending.
Questions to Consider
As you prepare to complete this assessment, you may want to think about other related issues to deepen
your understanding or broaden your viewpoint. You are encouraged to consider the questions below and
discuss them with a fellow learner, a work associate, an interested friend, or a member of your professional
community. Note that these questions are for your own development and exploration and do not need to
be completed or submitted as part of your assessment.
Attempt 1
Assessment 2 – MBA-FP6008 – W
inter 2017 – Section 02
Why do you think macroeconomics focus on just a few key statistics when trying to understand the health and
trajectory of an economy? Would it be better to try and examine all possible data?
Suggested Resources
The resources provided here are optional. You may use other resources of your choice to prepare for this
assessment; however, you will need to ensure that they are appropriate, credible, and valid. The
FP6008 – Global Economic Environment
can help direct your research, and the Supplemental Resources
and Research Resources, both linked from the left navigation menu in your courseroom, provide additional
resources to help support you.
Internet Resources
Explainity. (2014).
Economic growth easily explained
[Video] |
. Retrieved from
Romer, P. M. (2008).
Economic growth
Library of Economics and Liberty: The Concise Encyclopedia of
Global Finance School. (n.d.).
Gross investment and net investment
. Retrieved from
Bookstore Resources
These resources are available from the
Capella University Bookstore
. When searching the bookstore, select
“FlexPath” in the School category, and then select this course from the list.
McConnell, C., Flynn, S., & Brue, S. (2015).
(20th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw­Hill
Chapter 6, “An Introduction to Macroeconomics,” pages 135–147.
Chapter 7, “Measuring Domestic Output and National Income,” pages 150–168.
Chapter 8, “Economic Growth,” pages 172–192.
Chapter 9, “Business Cycles, Unemployment, and Inflation,” pages 195–214.
Assessment Instructions
This assessment examines national economics, economic growth, and financial crisis. The ability to analyze
these topics allows global business leaders to make sound economic decisions.
There are four parts to this assessment. Be sure you have completed all four parts before submitting.
Part 1
Consider a nation in which the volume of goods and services is growing by 5% per year:
Analyze the impact of the high rate of growth on the nation.
Explain how the high rate of growth is likely to affect the power and influence of the nation’s government
relative to other nations experiencing slower rates of growth.
Explain how the 5% growth is likely to affect the nation’s living standards.
How does economic growth affect population growth?
Will living standards necessarily grow by 5%, given population growth?
Part 2
Use the concepts of gross investment and net investment to explain the differences between an economy that has a
rising stock of capital and one that has a falling stock of capital.
Assessment 2 – MBA-FP6008 – W
inter 2017 – Section 02
Explain how it is impossible for gross investment to be less than zero, even though net investment can be positive,
negative, or zero. What real world examples can you provide?
Part 3
Analyze the economic discrepancies between countries.
Explain why some countries today are much poorer than other countries.
Based on what you know and have learned about macroeconomic principles, are today’s poorer countries
destined to always be poorer than today’s wealthy countries?
If so, explain why.
If not, explain how today’s poorer countries can catch up to or even surpass today’s wealthy countries.
Part 4
Explain how, in general, a financial crisis can lead to a recession.
Explain how, in general, a major new invention can lead to an economic expansion.
Organize your assessment logically with appropriate headings and subheadings. Support your work with at least
3 scholarly or professional resources and follow APA guidelines for your citations and references. Be sure you
include a title page and reference page.
Additional Requirements
Include a title page and reference page.
Number of pages:
3–4, not including title page and reference page.
Number of resources:
At least 3 scholarly or professional resources.
APA format for citations and references.
Font and spacing:
Times New Roman, 12 point; double­spaced.
Assessment 2 Example
See a successful example of this assessment.
How to use example assessments
Growth: Economic Analysis 2 Scoring Guide
View Scoring Guide
Use the scoring guide to enhance your learning.
How to use the scoring guide
[U02a1] Growth: Economic Analysis 2
In 3–4 pages, analyze economic growth and its impact on a nation, the concepts of gross investment and net
investment, economic discrepancies between countries, and the factors that can result in recession and
economic expansion.
Submit Assessment
This button will take you to the next available assessment attempt tab, where you will be able to submit your
U02a1:Growth: Economic Analysis 2
U02a1:Growth: Economic Analysis 2: Revision 1
U02a1:Growth: Economic Analysis 2: Revision 2

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In week 3, the assignment is to compare and contrast two articles in Unit Three of Business Ethics. Since the authors deal with different topics, focus on their approaches, attitudes, or values. There is no expectation for you to do any research outside of the articles. Length should be approximately 3 pages.


Organizational Expectations

The paper requires the following elements:

-Title page

-2-3 page essay, including introduction and conclusion paragraphs

-Reference page if you reference any outside sources, including our Teoro text.


Technical Expectations*

-Use a 12 point Times New Roman Font, double space, and 1 inch margins.

-Include APA formatted Title and Reference pages.

-Include APA formatted page headers and page numbers.

-Write with complete sentences, paragraph structure, and formal grammar, spelling, and punctuation.


* APA formatting guidelines can be found in the APA Style Manual (6th edition), either hard copy or online.


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