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Blog posts September 2016

Executive Summary

September 19, 2016

Executive Summary The purpose of an executive summary is to summarize a report. Executive summaries are written for executives who most likely do not have time to read the complete document. Therefore, the executive summary must cover the major points and be detailed enough to mirror the content yet concise enough for an executive to understand the substance without reading the entire report.

An executive summary differs from an abstract. Readers use an abstract to decide whether to read the complete document. They read an executive summary to obtain information without having to read the report in full. The executive summary should be written as a document that can stand on its own and is usually written on one or two pages, depending on the length of the report. It restates the purpose of the report and describes any results, conclusions, or recommendations made in the report so that the reader understands the reasons for the conclusion or recommendations. Acronyms, symbols, and abbreviations must be written out. Tables and figures in the report should not be referred to by number in the executive summary. The audience for an executive summary is receptive to the message, so the writer should assume that the audience wants to know and understand the message. It is written in a formal tone using an impersonal style and eliminating first person pronouns (I, we, our, etc.). Use the following guidelines when writing an executive summary: • • • • • State clearly the purpose of the report. Present the major points in the same order they are written in the report. Summarize the results, conclusions, or recommendations made in the report. Write headings, as needed, for clarity, but word headings differently from the headings used in the report. Format the executive summary the same way as the complete report.

Following is an Executive Summary of a report prepared by Sonoma Consultants for Jones Williams, a stock brokerage firm that specializes in long-term, stable investments for an upscale client base. Sonoma conducted a study of the most efficient means to recruit new investment clients to the firm.

There is no APA standard for the writing of an Executive Summary. APA is designed to prepare documents for publication, and does not provide requirements on the correct format or content of an Executive Summary. This sample is to provide basic guidelines for the writing of Executive

Summaries, and in the event that the faculty member’s standards differ from the sample, the faculty member’s own standards will always prevail. February 2006


Sample Executive Summary

Jones Williams’ stock brokerage clientele has remained static over the last few years. At Jones Williams, aggressive recruiting techniques have been viewed in the past as being unprofessional, and new clients have been obtained solely through referrals by other clients. Since two young aggressive brokers have joined the firm, it is now a good idea to implement recruiting programs to increase the client base. Sonoma Consultants has identified the problem, defined the objective, investigated alternatives, and identified the best solution to recruit new clients. The problem is how to obtain new clients, and the objective is to increase the broker commissions by increasing the client base. After reviewing the alternatives and studying the market and successful recruiting techniques of other companies, Sonoma representatives discovered that there are three choices for recruiting that could be successful in bringing in new clients: 1. 2. 3. Free investment courses to individuals Advertising in national and local publications Informational services through large companies

The first two options were rejected for the following reasons: • Providing free investment courses to individual investors could, in fact, increase the client base. However, the investor with a small salary and small percentage of income to invest would not do much to increase broker commissions. The goal is to increase the number of commissions, so the most appropriate scenario would be to attract large-scale investors.



Advertising in national and local publications might place a stigma on Jones Williams because the firm has always been identified with upscale clients and a stable investment portfolio. Advertisements in print media could belittle the image of the firm and might even cause a loss of some of the upscale client base.

Recruiting upscale clients through their companies would be the most profitable and cost-efficient method for adding individuals to Jones Williams’ client list for the following reasons: 1. These clients already familiar with the successful performance of Jones Williams because the firm manages their retirement portfolios. 2. They have more disposable income to invest. 3. They are interested in stable, long-term growth, which is Jones Williams’ area of expertise. 4. The percentage of income for executives to invest is higher than that of the small investor. Because Jones Williams currently manages multimillion dollar retirement accounts for several major national companies, providing informational services to employees of large companies where Jones Williams already has a presence would be the best option to obtain new upscale business clients. The process for recruiting this new client base is as follows: • • Develop marketing/informational tools for potential investors Provide an initial breakfast meeting for executives of the companies whose retirement portfolios are managed by Jones Williams




Present reasons why using the same broker for both investment and retirement accounts is practical and preferable to maintaining accounts with more than

one brokerage firm.



Schedule one-on-one meetings with executives to present individual investment plans.



Schedule meetings with supervisors and lower-level employees to present the same plan. This would cement a good relationship with management because all company employees would be included in the campaign. Although this approach will not provide as much commission as the largescale investors, it is a worthwhile effort to pursue to increase investors and promote the reputation of the firm as a credible and knowledgeable source in the investment world.

Using the above recruiting techniques will bring in two types of new clients: those with substantial funds to invest and those with smaller amounts to invest regularly. These new clients already have an investment philosophy that matches the firm’s objective of providing long-term, stable growth for investors.

Also you can read: http://businessays.net/the-accounting-cycle/.

Depreciation at Delta and Singapore Airlines

September 19, 2016

Introduction

Depreciation expense is the way that the use of an asset is matched with the revenue that is generated from the asset on the income statement during the time period being reported. Each asset used in a business has a useful life as disclosed by the company’s depreciation policies for each category of asset. The other piece of calculating depreciation is the assumed salvage or “residual” value. There are several different methods of depreciating an asset:

1) Straight-line = [pic]
2) Double-declining balance =
[pic]

Delta and Singapore both use “straight-line” but they assume different salvage values for their fleet as well as different useful life assumptions. This case study will evaluate the differences in their rates of depreciation and the impact on their operating income and profitability before and after they changed their methodology and depreciation assumptions in their policy.

Question One – Calculate the annual depreciation expenses that Delta and Singapore would record for each $100 gross value of aircraft:


a) a)Delta
• deprec. exp. prior to July 1, 1986: $9.00 [(100-(10%*100))/10] • deprec. exp. from July 1, 1986-March 31, 1993: $6.00 [(100-(10%*100))/15] • deprec. exp. from April 1, 1993 to today: $4.75 [(100-(5%*100))/20]

b) b)Singapore
• deprec. exp. prior to April 1, 1989: $11.25 [(100-(10%*100))/8] • deprec. exp. from April 1, 1989 on: $8.00 [(100-(20%*100))/10] • deprec. exp for used aircraft more than 5 years old at the fiscal year 1993: $16.00 [(100-(20%*100))/5]

Question Two -- Are the differences in the ways that the two airlines account for depreciation significant? Why would companies depreciate aircraft using different depreciable lives and salvage values? What reasons could be given to support these differences? Is different treatment proper?

Both Delta and Singapore airlines use the same straight-line depreciation method to account for their depreciation expense. However, the assumptions they use for the depreciation lives and salvage values are different. Oftentimes companies prefer to use different salvage values and depreciation lives when recording their depreciation expense because of the policies of their airlines or due to managerial decision-making.

Singapore prefers to pay less in taxes so they can decrease their profit by recording their depreciation expense within a short period. They benefit from following this policy, especially since their net profit is sufficient. Since there are no explicit or mandatory rules governing the treatment of depreciation, each company can decide which method they prefer for their company. Therefore, different treatment is proper as long as they follow the policy in place by their company.

Question Three -- Assuming the average value of flight equipment that Delta had in 1993, how much of a difference do the depreciation assumptions it

adopted on April 1, 1993 make? How much more or less will its annual depreciation expense be compared to what it would be were it using Singapore’s depreciation assumption?

By changing their rules for depreciation on April 1, 1993, Delta began to record $4.75 per year instead of the $6 per year depreciation expense they used to record per $100 of gross aircraft value. That results in a 21% decrease in their depreciation expense.

Had Delta been using Singapore’s depreciation assumptions, the depreciation expense would have increased from the $6 per year to $8 per year of depreciation expense per $100 gross aircraft value. That would result in a 33% increase in their depreciation expense from $679 million to $905 million or $226 million more in expenses for 1993.

You can also check delta airlines swot analysis.

Question Four -- Singapore Airlines maintains depreciation assumptions that are very different from Delta’s. What does it gain or lose by doing so? How does this relate to the company’s overall strategy?

Singapore maintains one of the youngest average fleet ages in the industry at 5.1 years old. They were depreciating their aircraft over 8 years with a salvage value of 10% up until 1989 and then increased it to 10 years and 20% salvage value. The average depreciation rate per $100 for Singapore Airlines was $11.25 prior to this change and $8.00 after, compared with Delta’s $6.00. The company is majority-owned by the Singapore government, but did not receive any subsidy from the government. Its stock is, however, followed by over 20 investment analysts worldwide. In 1993, their net profit dropped from $922 to $741 million in Singapore dollars as depreciation expense as a percent of total operating expenses had grown from 14.8% to 15.8% in one year. Staff bonuses were cut from 3.4 months of pay to .5 months of pay in one year. The other issue that that was hurting their profitability was that their strategy was not in line with their utilization rate of only 71.3%, down from 78.9% in 1989. They should have been focusing on the amount of depreciation they were paying expensing as a percent of operating expense much sooner. With profits and utilization

rates declining constantly over the last five years, a focus on the depreciation methods could have helped them reduce the decline in net profits. With an aggressive capital expansion program of $2 billion per year, they needed to figure out a way to increase net income and cash flow to fund these strategic plans. In order to reduce expenses and increase net income they needed to make a change in the way they were depreciating their fleet. If they continue to purchase new aircraft, they needed to come up with a new depreciation method or incur higher depreciation expenses as they bring on newer planes that will add more to the depreciation base of the current fleet.


Question Five -- Does the difference in the average age of Delta’s and Singapore’s aircraft fleets have an impact on the amount of depreciation expense that they record? If so, how much?

The average age of Delta’s aircraft in 1993 was 8.8 years, which was fairly young by industry standards, but Singapore’s average age was even younger at only 5.1 years. Using the formula for the depreciation cost per $100 formulaof gross value, the age does not come into play in the calculation of total depreciation since the formula includes the useful life and salvage value to calculate the rate of depreciation. The amount of depreciation left for each fleet would be impacted depending on how many of the older planes haves been fully depreciated, but not the average amount per year.

Conclusion

Changing the assumptions in their corporate depreciation policy can have a significant impact on the net income of the company. For any company, whether it is in the airline industry or manufacturing industry, managing earnings is very important to the shareholders and also to the management team and other employees who are on bonus plans. A significant increase in assets can raise the depreciation expense in any one year enough to reduce the net income from the previous year to a net loss the next year.

J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye

September 19, 2016

J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye

Holden’s Idealism:
•One of Holden’s biggest problems is his idealism. What he demands and expects of the world is unreasonable; he expects near perfection from everyone and everything and, as this is impossible, is always disappointed with the world and those around him.

•Holden rarely ever points out someone’s strengths (except their physical appearance, if they’re attractive) but can always find minor flaws and weaknesses.

•Puts far too much emphasis on people’s flaws, to an exaggerated level, says he “hates” them because of it.

• He groups nearly all forms of behaviour that bother him into “phoniness”, anything that deviates from his ideals or that seems predictable, such as selfishness, vanity, etc. •What he fails to accept is that these are simply basic human personality traits, human nature (this is why his ideals are impossible), and that even he often behaves in a manner that he would describe as “phony”. 

•Holden’s love of children, particularly Phoebe, is demonstrative of his naïve, perfectionist ideals. Holden likes children because he cannot find any “phoniness” in them. Children are not yet “tainted” with this supposed “phoniness” that inevitably becomes a part of one’s personality as they grow and that is what Holden is really rebelling against: adulthood. Holden is not ready to accept that he will have to sacrifice some of his ideals in order to survive in the adult world.

•We witness Holden trying to preserve a child’s innocence when he reacts so strongly to the words “Fuck you” written on the wall in Phoebe’s school and erases it (Salinger 201).

•However, Holden demonstrates a fair amount of kindness and compassion, such as when he says “Don’t ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody.” (Salinger 214). He is admitting that, despite everything, he feels bad for them. This demonstrates a startling level of compassion and caring, as well as forgiveness. 

•His encounter with the nuns is a good example of Holden’s innate goodness: he cannot reproach the nuns and cares about what they’re doing and even feels bad for not making an even bigger donation than the 10 dollars he does give. He could surely have found annoying characteristics about them to rant about, but he doesn’t.
 

Question # 2
•As discussed in Holden’s Idealism, Holden, like Gatsby, has an impossibly perfect vision of how the world should be. Both characters at once set themselves apart by their behaviour and reproach the world around them and yet they both desperately long to fit in (Gatsby is trying to get in with a far more specific crowd).

•However, were Holden to ever meet Gatsby, it is likely that he would call him a phony, as that is essentially what Gatsby is. Gatsby leads a double life, throws lavish parties and frequents some of the worst society around, true phonies.

•Gatsby and Holden long for a similar thing, they want to set themselves apart from the rabble (in their eyes) as well as be accepted. However, they attempt this in very different fashions and neither is likely to approve of the others methods.

Question # 3
•Like Romeo & Juliet, one of Holden’s biggest flaws is his youthful impetuousness.

•These characters don’t exert the caution and restraint that a more experienced, mature person would. Had R & J been older, their story may have ended on a more positive note.

•Whilst Romeo & Juliet truly are hated by certain adults, it is more the other way around with Holden; it is he who seems to “hate” so many people. Many adults in the story seem to pity and worry for Holden and his wellbeing.

•There are similarities with Hamlet as well. Both he and Holden face moral dilemmas, they both face their situations alone and most importantly, both characters are stalling, avoiding something extremely important that must be done.

•Hamlet finds several ways to stall and back-paddle before ultimately deciding to kill the King whereas Holden finds several ways to avoid going home and tries to shrug off the fact that he will eventually have to settle down and prepare himself for adult life.

•Both characters are reluctant to take their lives into their own hands and do what must be done.

Question # 12
•It’s too early to tell how much he has changed because he is still in the process of recovery.

•The way he writes about his feelings and thoughts, in the present tense, indicates he still thinks that way. If that’s the case, he hasn’t improved much.

•It’s hard to determine how much he has changed

because we only see things from his perspective, we don’t actually know if he’s changed. Maybe the book is extremely different from how he might have written it beforehand.

Click here to read more about hegelian idealism.

Charles Schwab Swot

September 19, 2016

The management’s constant vision of the future is made this company so successful. Schwab was looking for ways to match up and out perform its competitors and always searching and implementing new technologies. Schwab was a large company and was well known, which can be both strength and a threat. Schwab's name alone provides a certain reputation. Investors over the world have heard of Schwab and recognize their quality of services.

Schwab’s main marketing tool is to keep costs low and services high. The company wanted to reach as many clients as possible. Programs were set up such as the Client offering, which allowed investors to manage their own portfolios. The Advisor Network was set up to help their clients who wanted to have Schwab manager their investments. Schwab’s weaknesses are those that we believe many businesses face. The management of Schwab’s seemed to have switched hands many times. In 2002 the company looked nothing like they set out to be back in the 1970’s and 1980’s. The company was quick to implement new technologies, risking a huge loss if unsuccessful. They gambled with new software such as Street-Smart, Telebroker, Equalizer, Cyber Trader, and Quicken. Software like street smart was strong but its cost structure made the business unsustainable.

At one point in the earlier years of Charles Schwab, the company faced an issue with under qualified employees. Schwab will change this by hiring better qualified financial advisors and a larger number of MBA’s. The business embraced several opportunities and considered implementing them all. The largest was its success in switching over a large part of the business to online services. Charles Schwab is the largest online brokerage firm as well as the largest service provider to individual investors. Their online business cut costs enormously and created more accounts then was expected. In 2000 Schwab purchased U.S.Trust, a large and respected wealth management for high net worth investors. By 2001 the company considered the overwhelming amount of wealth the baby boomers were obtaining within the next ten years. The baby boomers require a high degree of control, wealth and are willing to embrace new technologies. Schwab faces threats in every aspect of their business. The industry segment Schwab was in was the Investment Services and everyone is a threat at this point for Schwab. Schwab is only the six largest investment finance firm in the United States.

Competitors of Schwab include Morgan Stanly, JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, Bear Stearns and E-Trade. Maybe even a larger threat is the continuous change of the financial market and economical changes. A crash in the Stock Market or an Economic downfall or even natural disaster could be devastating for any of these firms. Schwab faced many organizational issues. The structure of the company was in need of constant change in order to keep up with its competitors. Technology was always a factor. They implemented several types of software and online usage. Acquiring U.S. Trust, Schwab now widened their services to wealthier investors. Management played key roles in the success of the company as well as the constant changing of an inadequate business model.  

Mkt/421 Using Perceptual Maps in Marketing Simulation Summary

September 19, 2016

Using Perceptual Maps in Marketing Simulation Summary
In the simulation I was a marketing manager for Thorr Motorcycles. I was faced with three different situations. In order to decide on the right actions to take in the situations I had help from three co-workers; Benjamin Bao (Chief executive officer), Chris Winter (Chief engineer), and Meredith Kiligore (Vice President Brand communication). This paper will reflect on the situation individually, my decision, and the suggested advice. The simulation helped show the relationship of differentiation and positioning. Differentiation is how the product is different from their competitors. CruiserThorr is different in many ways such as price and the lifestyle that comes with that motorcycle. Whereas, positioning is how a company position itself in the market. CruiserThorr is positioned as a high class motorcycle in the market. Even repositioning the product did not change this. I thought it would stay the same or get worse. However, by providing financing and other options the CruiserThorr improved their position in the market. As shown in the three situations.

Situation one

For the first situation I had to look at different information and decided on a new marketing plan for the CruiserThorr. CruiserThorr needs a new marketing plan due to a decrease in sales because the target market is getting old and the younger target market looks for cheaper motorcycles to buy. The CruiserThorr sells for $25,800 and provides a certain lifestyle for their customers.

After looking at all the information I had to decide on four elements to apply to a perceptual map to show where the CruiserThorr is compared to the competition; Anzai, and Espritique. I first looked at the competitor product comparison which showed that CruiserThorr had superior engine design however was at the top of selling price.

Then I looked at the marketing research

which showed that the CruiserThorr was at the top on lifestyle image. However, Espritique was on top with price. That is why when I went to choose the parameters I went with lifestyle image, quality engineering, product uniqueness, and product design and styling.


The results of my decision were not totally correct. Two of the four where fundamental parameters (lifestyle image, and quality engineering) but I should have choose price and services. Price is important because it helps customers decide what to buy. Service is important because it is what customers look at to stay loyal to a brand. Below is how the perceptual map should have looked compare to what I decided.

Situation Two
After deciding on the parameters of the perceptual map I had to decide on wither reposition the CruiserThorr, or launching a new motorcycle, RRoth. I looked at all the information that was provided and decided on repositioning the CruiserThorr. Once I decided on that I had to create a marketing plan using up to thirteen million. I spent about 10.2 million on the marketing plan. The marketing plan looked like this: Positioning – provide financing options and increase services Price- maintain price

Place- dealers, and internet at the manufactures web site
Promotion – sponsor event, free test drives, publicize through Hollywood films, and giveaway merchandise Services – train dealers, customization options, and financial services
According to the performance review I choose the right variables for CruiserThorr. With providing financing it makes it an option for the younger generations to afford. In addition, not reducing the price helps keep the image string.

In this situation I was able to better see how the product life cycle is effected in the market. Product life style is how visible the product is in the market. That is why product life cycle affects the marketing strategy. If the product is disappearing then the product life is short, like floppy disk. For CruiserThorr the product life is already known in the market, so

it did not affect the market strategy. However, if I had to decide to launch the RRoth the product life would have affected the product life because of RRoth is a new product. Situation Three

For the last situation I had to take the customers surveys and create date to place on a perceptual map. After the data is plotted, the perceptual map with show if the CruiserThorr has been successful or not in the last year. For lifestyle I felt that the lifestyle was higher than then the competition so I went with an 8. Research has showed that CruiserThorr price is higher than the competition so for that I went with 5. Then for quality I went with 8 and service offerings a 6. When reviewing the information I found that lifestyle should have been 9. With the service options and the brand CruiserThorr has been able to maintain the lifestyle that was created in the start. Then service offering should have been 7. Conclusion

CrusierThorr is a well-known motorcycle that target market has been getting older causing a loss in sales. In order to gain back the sells that they have lost I had to do three situations. From those situations I saw how the CruiserThorr was doing compared to the competition using a perceptual map, and from that data I decide to reposition the CruiserThorr. A perceptual map shows a company how they are doing verse there competition. After one year I saw how the company was doing. Marketing strategy is important to help a company be successful, and this simulation helps show that.

 

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