Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Estimate the Cost of a Project Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 500 words

Estimate the Cost of a Project - Essay Example For each itemized activity also, a very detailed consideration is made with regards to the duration that the project members had to take to complete the activity. It is for this reason that a decomposed version of the work breakdown structure would be used. It is also important to note that before the final values of costs were reached, a comprehensive cost management plan was put in place to ensure that the final values are the best market values available. From the cost estimation, it can be seen that the present project is a high risk project in the sense that it involves a lot of cost. To mitigate the possible scenario of higher cost, it is admonished that the procurement stage, which entails the highest cost should be deprived of sole sourcing. The company ought to open up a public procurement bidding process to ensure that the company gets very good value for the project. It is also admonished that as much as possible, the company should depend on internal labor instead of external labor. This will actually go a long way to ensure that non-monetary costs are cut

Monday, October 28, 2019

Internal External Balance Essay Example for Free

Internal External Balance Essay When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Bernard Baruch In review of trade policy best suited for our Nation it is time for an overhaul and start developing a more complete toolbox. As Kevin Kaiser so poignantly stated in his article in CNN Money: â€Å"The economists that make the worlds crucial monetary policy decisions are the same economists who authored most textbooks in use. While superficially appealing, their theories lack empirical evidence, are riddled with internal inconsistencies, and are based upon tenuous assumptions. Specifically, their models are built on downward sloping demand curves, upward sloping supply curves, perfect competition, rational consumers, benevolent dictators, and general equilibrium; there is no dynamic analysis, no consideration of disequilibrium, and no role of private sector debt† (Kaiser, 2011). The policy cross as shown to the left indicates that as e increases m decreases, and current account improves. To offset this, an increase in g is required. The EE curve is positively sloped in the (e,g) space. An internal equilibrium is attained when the output is at the full employment level thereby raising the interest rate. Moreover, because the economy is fully employed, real output cannot increased beyond a point. Thus, an increase in inflationary pressure occurs, thereby raising domestic price, which shifts the LM curve to the left. Thus, along the IE curve, government spending and interest rate are directly related. As a Post Keynes-Industrialist, the tendency to lean towards comprehensive human market behaviors and interdependent structural issues makes developing a one-size-fits-all policy, such as the policy cross, for internal and external balance a challenge. This is particularly true when evidence for any one theory to-date has not proven to be exact and reliable. Capitalism is fickle, and doesn’t follow slopes as neatly as theorists would like and the global shocks being felt around the world are keeping the economic status of all countries anything but predictable. Paul Krugman wrote an article for The New York Times that explained, â€Å"at the heart of the profession of economics’ failure has been its emphasis on rigor, rather than relevance—that is, economics had been weakened by the desire for an all-encompassing, intellectually elegant approach that also gave economists a chance to show off their mathematical prowess. He offered two recommendations in addition to again making the case for renewed attention to Keynes: scholarship that questions the efficient-market view of the financial sector, and research that incorporates the realities of finance into macroeconomics† (Krugman, 2009). For the purposes of this paper however, it would be recommended that a floating exchange rate be proposed for the following reason: The challenge of fiscal and monetary policies to keep equilibrium could be comparative to eyeballing mass versus weight of internal and external spending and determining which is more relevant at any given time. While a cleanly floating exchange rate assures external balance, it does not assure internal balance and changes in the rate to achieve external balance may exacerbate and internal imbalance. Government monetary and fiscal policies may be used to address internal imbalances at this point with a floating rate structure. â€Å"The following graph can assist in understanding the impacts of booms and recessions on internal and external balances.†(Johnston, M. 2011). For example, the bottom left-hand shows the effects of exports being less competitive, which reduces the number of exports and induces a current account deficit and lower aggregate demand. Currently, the US has a well-known financial problem with a large trade deficit every year. â€Å"It seems many ignore this issue since our debts tend to be denominated in our domestic currency, the dollar.† (Kling, A. para 6). The most recent news release for second quarter 2012 on the Bureau of Economic Analysis states, â€Å"the US current-account deficit decreased to $117.4 billion (preliminary) in the second quarter from $133.6 billion (revised) in the first quarter. The decrease in the current-account deficit was accounted for by a decrease in the deficit on goods and an increase in the surplus on income.†(, Sept 18, 2012 ). This would indicate a small shift in the left lower quadrant just slightly contracting, but very little overall. However damning the current financial situation is, the floating exchange rate remains the better choice as argued in Global Business Today, â€Å"Under a fixed system, a country’s ability to expand or contract its money supply as it sees fit is limited by the need to maintain exchange rate parity, leading to high interest rates† (Hill, 2011). â€Å"Another reason is the because the real exchange rate fundamentals including terms of trade, import tariffs, technology progress, composition of government expenditures and revenues, real interest rate and capital controls are always in flux† (Wong, C. p. 7). When the exchange rate is flexible, in fiscal expansion either government expenditure increases or tax cuts raises output, but worsens current account balances. Conversely, fiscal contraction improves current account balances, but lowers output. If the economy attempts to attain both internal and external balance it could consider expenditure switching, but alone this will be inadequate. â€Å"For example, if an economy is at the full employment level, i.e., internal balance is already attained, but if it is running current account deficits, policy makers in the economy could devalue its currency so that net exports rise. However, the improvement of current account balances would lead the economy to experience over-heating so that internal balance would disappear. If an economy is experiencing an inflationary gap, or over-heating, while maintaining balanced current account, a revaluation policy may reduce total expenditure back to the full employment level, but lead to current account deficits† (, para 5). Therefore, changing how we currently think may be necessary to achieve both internal and external balances. Economics has been referred to the dismal science but as Kaiser states, â€Å"True sciences expand and evolve: genetics, psychology, quantum mechanics, astronomy. Economics defends itself – it is an ideology. What we need is an economic theory that is more relevant to a modern capitalist economy – one that embraces uncertainty and disequilibrium, is grounded upon realistic assumptions, is judged by the accuracy of its predictions, and where debt and money are implicit, important factors.† (CNN Money, 2011). References Hill, H. (2011). Global Business Today. New York: New York McGraw-Hill Kaiser, K. (December 16, 2011) Its time for economic theory to evolve. CNN Money. Retrieved on December 14, 2012 from Johnston, M (October 8, 2011). AS and A2 Macroeconomics: Internal and External Balances. Econofix. Retrieved on December 12, 2012 from Kling, A. (2004). The trade balance. Retrieved on December 13, 2012 from Krugman, P (2009). â€Å"How Did Economists Get It So Wrong?† The New York Times, September 2. Retrieved on December 14, 2012 from News Release: US International Transactions. Retrieved on December 14, 2012 from Wong, C-H. Adjustment and the Internal-External Balance. Retrieved on December 14, 2012 from World Economy Expenditure Changing Retrieved on December 14, 2012 from

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Ronald Reagan Essay -- essays research papers fc

Reckoning with Reagan:   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ronald Reagan was more than a president. He was a phenomenon. Since he left office in 1989, many authors have tried to effectively identify who this man really was. He was an icon to some, and an enigma to others. He stood up to the worst economic, domestic, and international threats of the time and yet, took naps in the middle of cabinet meetings. At the height of his popularity in 1986, he had, as Time magazine put it, â€Å"found America's sweet spot. â€Å" Reagan had ideals of what he felt America should be like, and made it his number one goal to share his unrelenting optimism with every person in the country. He pledged to bring Americans a â€Å"little good news.† and created a strong bond with the public. Throughout his eight years in office, he continually motivated and energized his supporters while at the same time, confounded and mystified his detractors. Reagan stood tall among the thirty-nine presidents that preceded him, and was one of the most popular leaders of the twentieth century. In his book, Reckoning with Reagan, Schaller attempted to reconcile the facts and myths that surrounded Reagan during his entrance into public service, his back to back terms as governor of California, and his eight years as President of the United States. Although, he briefly outlined Reagan's earlier years as a Hollywood actor, corporate spokesperson and motivational speaker, Schaller concentrates on the presidency and how Reagan impacted America to such a degree, that it would be felt for years to come. And for the first time since Kennedy, an era would be defined by a single man: Ronald Reagan.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Though he would stop short of saying that he was born in a log cabin, Ronald Reagan grew up in humble beginnings. The son of an alcoholic father whom couldn't hold down a job and a religious mother, Reagan was encouraged at an early age by his mother to act in school plays. An activity in which the young Reagan showed much promise. Because of a difficult home life, Reagan created a distance between the reality of his troubled surroundings and the fantasy of how things should be. Many believed that such mental redirection at this early age played a big role in his vision and ideals for America years later.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  After he graduated high school in 1932, Reagan went to wor... ...le of a charasmatic leader in that he remained above the fray. That ability was not so much due to his personal political saavy, but rather, the public's refusal to allow him to be portrayed in any negative light, similar to a famous movie star or professional athelete caught in a compromising situation that would spell disaster for the average citizen. Instead of public outrage, the celebrity is met with sympathy and understanding as well as an odd public comdemnation of his or her accusors. As Schaefer charasmatic authority, he defined Reagan. â€Å"Charasmatic authority is derived more from the beliefs of followers than from the actual qualities of leaders. So long as people perceive a leader as having qualities setting him or her apart from ordinary citizens, that leader's authority will remain secure and often unquestioned.† (p. 431). Bibliography   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   Shaller, Michael. Reckoning with Reagan: America and Its President in the 1980s. Oxford University Press: New York, 1992. Shaefer, Richard T. Sociology, Eighth Edition. McGraw-Hill: New York, 2003

Thursday, October 24, 2019

History of the Soft Drinks Industry Essay

Introduction Soft drinks, more popularly known as sodas, are not exactly referred to as items of necessity. People can live without sodas. In fact, people might be safer if they don’t drink soft drinks so much. And yet, soft drinks somehow make it to the top of the list of items bought by the average consumer. Why is this, exactly? Well, for one thing, sodas are delicious. They stand between liquor and juice. Those who are too young to drink beer but think that fruit juice is too juvenile can order sodas. Those too old and are putting their health at risk by drinking hard drinks can enjoy soft drinks and no one would think any less of them. In short, sodas have a mass appeal. They carry an image with them; an image of a person with a comfortable lifestyle. This report will take a look at the soft drink industry as a whole and particular industry’s leaders, brief history and description of the industry; will show industry characteristics, trends, changes, and competitive factors; will give recommendations for the companies within the industry. My experience of the consumer and the seller of the soft drinks, allowed me to say, that the soft drinks industry deserves attention. It is one of the biggest, fast growing, perspective, and profitable industries in the world. It takes a big place in our life as consumers. Soft drinks, and such big companies as Coca – Cola or PepsiCo, are widely spread everywhere and available in any country in the world. I decided to choose the soft drinks industry, because it illustrates the great production and distribution; and important business innovations, such as product development, franchising, and mass marketing, as well as the evolution of consumer tastes and cultural trends. History of the soft drinks industry. The soft drink industry began in the mid-1880s with the creation of syrup that was mixed with carbonated water and served at drug store lunch counters. During the early years, soft drinks were sold only in stores that could provide fountain service. Increasing distribution was tied to building additional syrup manufacturing plants. With the advent of bottling machinery, soft drinks began to be distributed beyond the town drug store. The first bottled soda water or soft drink in the United States was produced in 1835. These drinks were called soft drinks, only to separate them from hard alcoholic drinks. This drinks do not contain alcohol and broadly specifying this beverages, includes a variety of regular carbonated soft drinks, diet and caffeine free drinks, bottled water juices, juice drinks, sport drink and even ready to drink tea or coffee packs. So we can say that soft drinks mean carbonated drinks. Charles Aderton invented â€Å"Dr Pepper† in Waco, Taxes in 1885. Dr. John S. Pemberton invented â€Å"Coca – Cola† in Atlanta, Georgia in 1886. Caleb Bradham invented â€Å"Pepsi – Cola† in 1892, and so on. Bigger and smaller companies appear on a soft drink market since the greatest profitability (advantage) and cheap manufacturing of this industry was discovered. Today, soft drink is more favorite refreshment drink in the United States then tea, coffee, juice and etc. Soft drinks industry overview in the United States and World Wide. The soft drinks industry is very big, very visible, highly concentrated, and appears to have been very profitable. The leaders of the Soft Drink Industry are the Coca-Cola Company, PepsiCo, Cadbury Schweppes/Dr. Pepper Snapple, Cott Corp. , and National Beverage Corp. There is also noticeable Asian and European influence on a world market of the soft drinks. Leading companies have prominent presence in the soft drink industry. This industry is well established already, and it would be difficult for any company to enter or exit successfully. According to the Coca- Cola annual report (2009), it has the most soft drink sales with 24. 4 billion dollars. The Coca-Cola product line has several popular soft drinks including Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Fanta, Barq’s, and Sprite, selling over 400 drink brands in about 200 countries. PepsiCo is the next top competitor with soft drink sales grossing 21 billion dollars for the two beverage subsidiaries, PepsiCo Beverages North America and PepsiCo International (annual report PepsiCo Inc. , 2009). PepsiCo’s soft drink product line includes Pepsi, Mountain Dew, and Slice which make up more than one quarter of its sales. Cadbury Schweppes/Dr. Pepper Snapple had soft drink sales of 6 billion dollars with a product line consisting of soft drinks such as A&W Root Beer, Canada Dry, and Dr. Pepper (annual report Cadbury Schweppes/Dr. Pepper Snapple, 2009). Cott Corporation is one of the world’s biggest soft drinks manufacturers, but has a low profile among consumers because it specializes in producing private label products for retailers. In fact the company is largely credited with revitalizing the supermarket own-label beverage market during the early 1990s, scoring a number of important goals including the introduction of Sam’s American Choice cola by Wal-Mart and Sainsbury’s Classic Cola in the UK. Currently, its small portfolio of consumer brands includes RC Cola, Stars & Stripes and Red Rain. National Beverage Corp. (National Beverage) develops, manufactures, markets and distributes a portfolio of beverage products throughout the United States. The Company develops and sells flavored beverage products, including a selection of flavored soft drinks, juices, waters and energy drinks. Its brands include Shasta and Faygo, each of which has over 50 flavor varieties. The Company also maintains a line of flavored beverage products for the health-conscious consumer, including Everfresh, Home Juice and Mr. Pure 100% juice and juice-based products The Coca-Cola Company accounted for 26. 5% of the world’s soft drinks sales and 43 % of the US market, almost double the amount of rival PepsiCo, which holds a 13. 4 % share of the world market and 32 % of the US market. Both companies appear to be keen to extend their focus by expanding into growing segments for soft drink production. In the last month Coca-Cola has revealed it is extending began researching benefits of Chinese herbal remedies to target growing demand for nutritional benefits and functionality in their products. PepsiCo at the same time has increased its focus in production of non-carbonated beverages with juice in particular becoming important to its operations. Both companies remain significantly ahead of their rivals, reflecting the increasingly competitive nature of the soft drinks market. Cadbury Schweppes/Dr. Pepper Snapple takes 15 % of the US market and 3 % of the world market. Cott Corp takes 5 % of the US market. National Beverage Corp. takes 2% of the US market. (Table 1. â€Å"The top 10 Soft Drinks Companies in 2008 by global market share†, Page 21 and Table 1. a. â€Å"The Top 10 Soft Drinks Manufacturers in the US in 2008 by volume†, Page 21 ). At the core of the beverage industry is the carbonated soft-drink category. The dominant players in this area (Coca Cola, Pepsi, and Cadbury Schweppes/Dr. Pepper Snapple) own virtually all of the North American market’s most widely distributed and best-known brands. (Table 4 â€Å"Top Ten Soft Drinks in the US, 2009. † Page 24) They are dominant in world markets as well. These companies’ products occupy large portions of any supermarket’s shelf space, often covering more territory than real food categories like dairy products, meat, or produce. Coca-Cola and PepsiCo continued to dominate the soft drinks market in 2010 accounting for more than a third of global sales in the sector, according to market analytic. Soft drinks industry description. The market size of this industry has been changing. Soft drink consumption has a market share of 46. 8% within the non-alcoholic drink industry. (Table 2, 2. a. â€Å"Global Soft Drinks Market Segmentation: % Share, by Value, 2008†, Page 21). Total market value of soft drinks reached $367. 2 billion in 2008 with a market value forecast of $377. 1 billion by the end of 2010. In 2013, the global soft drink market is forecast to have a value of $456. 3 billion. The 2008 soft drink volume was 325,367. 2 million liters (Table 3 â€Å"Global Soft Drinks Market Volume: liters million†, Page 22). In 2013, the global soft drink market is forecast to have a volume of 474 million liters, an increase of 22. 3% since 2008. Soft drink industry is lucrative with a potential for high profits, but there are several obstacles to overcome in order to capture the market share. Carbonates sales proved the most lucrative for the global soft drink market, generating 46. 8% of the total value. However, the volume of the U. S. carbonated soft drinks declined -3% in 2009. That compares to – 2. 3% decline in 2008; a – 0. 6 % decline in 2007; and a -0. 2% decline in 2006. Top companies, Coke and Pepsi, generated similar results last year. Coke carbonated soft drinks volume was down -3. 1% and PepsiCo’s was down -4%. Both lost share. Dr. Pepper Snapple’s carbonated soft drink volume was down -1. 3%. (See below, Table 5 â€Å"Carbonated soft drink Companies in the U. S. for 2009†). In the U. S. , with the carbonated soft drinks decline accelerating, other categories are slowly growing. (For example, bottled water and energy drinks market. ) The Coca-Cola Company accounts for 22. 6% of the global soft drink market’s volume. Supermarkets and hypermarkets distribute 48. 4% of the global soft drink market’s volume. Table 5. â€Å"Carbonated soft drink Companies for 2009†. Top -10 CSD Companies in the US for 2009| 2009| 2009| 2008| | 2009| 2008| | Rank Companies| Market Share| Market Share| Share Change| Cases (millions)| Cases (millions)| Volume% Change| 1| Coca-Cola Co| 42. 7| 42. 8| -0. 1| 4107. 6| 4241. 1| -3. 10%| 2| Pepsi Co| 30. 8| 31. 1| -0. 3| 2960. 4| 3082. 8| -4. 00%| 3| Dr Pepper Snapple| 15. 3| 15| 0. 3| 1471. 2| 1491. 3| -1. 30%| 4| Cott Corp| 4. 7| 4. 8| -0. 1| 448| 476. 6| -6. 00%| 5| National Beverage| 2. 6| 2. 5| 0. 1| 247. 5| 243. 9| 1. 50%| 6| Hansen Natural| 0. 8| 0. 8| flat| 79| 76. 5| 3. 30%| 7| Red Bull| 0. 7| 0. 6| 0. 1| 67. 2| 63. 9| 5. 20%|. 8| Big Red| 0. 4| 0. 4| flat| 43. 6| 42. 4| 2. 70%| 9| Rockstar| 0. 4| 0. 4| flat| 40. 2| 41| -2. 00%| 10| Other| 1. 6| 1. 6| flat| 156. 3| 160. 3| -2. 50%| | Total Industry| 100| 100| | 9621| 9919. 8| -3. 00%| Statements of leading companies within soft drink industry of the US| | Coca – Cola Company | PepsiCo| Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Inc. | National Beverage Corp| Cott Corp (2008) | Net operating revenue| millions $ 30. 990| 43. 232| 5. 531| thousands $ 575. 177| millions $ 1. 648| Cost of goods sold| 11. 088| 20. 099| 2. 234| 405. 322| 1. 467| GROSS PROFIT | 19. 902| 23. 133| 3. 297| 169. 855| 181|. Selling Expenses| 11. 358| 15. 026| 2. 135| 131. 918| 179. 8| OPERATING INCOME| 8. 231| 8. 044| 1. 085| 24. 742| loss 113. 0| TOTAL ASSETS| 48. 671| 39. 848| 8. 776| 265. 682| 873. 1| LIABILITIES AND EQUITY| 48. 671| 39. 848| 8. 776| 265. 682| 873. 1| OPERATING ACTIVITIES| 8. 186| 6. 796| 865| 35. 829| 66. 9| INVESTING ACTIVITIES| used in 4. 149| used in 2. 401| used in 251| used in 3. 491 | used in 54. 8| FINANSIAL ACTIVITIES| used in 2. 293| used in 2. 497| used in 554| 305| used in 19. 4 | Five Forces of the Soft Drinks Industry. ( Figure 3. â€Å"Five Forces of the Soft Drinks Industry†. Page 24). Threat of New Entrants. Significant barriers exist to entering the soft drink industry. Bottling operations have a fairly high minimum efficient scale and require fixed assets which are specific not only to the process of bottling but also to a specific type of packaging. Entering bottling, meanwhile, would require substantial capital investment, which would deter entry. Exit costs are thus also high. Bottling operations do exist which in theory could be contracted out, but they are tied up in long-term contracts with the major players and thus can only contract with other producers in a limited way. Perhaps the most significant barrier to entry, however, is the strong brand identity associated with the best-selling soft drinks. Placing another cola on the market is not an attractive value proposition. Bargaining Power of Suppliers. Suppliers to the soft drink industry are, for the most part, providing commodity products and thus have little power over the industry. Sugar, bottles and cans are homogeneous goods which can be obtained from many sources, and the aluminum can industry has been plagued by excess supply. The one necessary ingredient which is unique is the artificial sweetener; aspartame is clearly preferred by consumers of diet beverages and for a time was under patent protection and therefore only available from one supplier. However, the patent expired and another producer entered, reducing the market power of NutraSweet. For example, the inputs for Coke and Pepsi’s products were primarily sugar and packaging. Sugar could be purchased from many sources on the open market, and if sugar became too expensive, the firms could easily switch to corn syrup, as they did in the early 1980s. Bargaining Power of Customers. Buyers can be considered at the consumer or the retail level. The soft drink industry sold to consumers through five principal channels: food stores, convenience and gas, fountain, vending, and mass merchandisers, fast food restaurants. For consumers, taste will be an important part of the preference for a particular soft drink; thus although there is no monetary switching cost, there may be a loss of enjoyment associated with a less-preferred brand. Because of this, consumers have historically been brand-loyal and not based purchase decisions on price. Retail outlets have not been able to exhibit much buyer power over the industry, although they can do so more easily than consumers. Traditionally these outlets have been fragmented and have been reliant on the major soft drink brands to increase store traffic. However, at the time of the case there has already been evidence of some buyer power on the part of grocery stores, as they successfully resisted an attempt to price the varieties with more costly inputs higher. As grocery chains increasingly consolidate and as discount outlets continue to grow, buyer power on the part of retailers is likely to increase. Threat of Substitute Products. While the U. S. soft drink market was growing, substitutes did little to interfere. Soft drinks are sufficiently unique that when a consumer wants a soft drink another product is not likely to satisfy. Other cold drinks such as water, juices and iced tea offer similar refreshing qualities, yet they do not have the same taste or properties. Hot beverages and alcoholic beverages are not desirable or appropriate for many of the occasions when one would want a soft drink. The one category which threatens soft drink producers is the â€Å"new age† product which offers (or implies) more natural ingredients and/or health benefits. The soft drink industry’s initial answers to these beverages, in the form of Tab Clear and Crystal Pepsi, are not going to compete effectively with the new age products. Competitive Rivalry within an Industry. The concentration in the industry (mainly between its leaders: Coke, Pepsi and Cadbury/Schweppes) would suggest that internal rivalry is somewhat less than if there were many players of equal size. Although the competition between Coke and Pepsi has become fiercer over time, they traditionally competed primarily on advertising, promotion and new products rather than price (although the explosion of new brands did eventually lead to some price competition). The products are similar but not homogeneous and buyers are fairly brand loyal. Retail buyers have significant costs for switching from the major brands since those are responsible for bringing people into the store. Flattening and potentially declining U. S.demand may be a factor which increases internal rivalry and encourages more price competition and thus erosion of profits. Revenues are extremely concentrated in this industry, with Coke and Pepsi, together with their associated bottlers, commanding 73% of the case market. In fact, the soft drink market can be characterized as an oligopoly, or even a duopoly between Coke and Pepsi, resulting in positive economic profits. As analysis using Porter’s five forces shows that the soft drink industry is very profitable. Suppliers and buyers have not had more power over the industry than it has had over them. Internal rivalry, while seeming intense, has not eroded the profitability of the industry because of its concentration and the fact that the two major players have primarily competed on the basis of advertising and promotion and not price. Entry is difficult both for reasons of scale and the strong brand identity of the current major players. Substitutes have not been close enough to take away significant market share, although the emergence of new substitutes may pose the largest threat to the industry’s profitability. Soft drink industry has an oligopolistic character. SWOT analysis of the main producers in the soft drink industry. Coca – Cola Company. The Coca-Cola Company is the world’s leading manufacturer, distributor and marketer of Non- alcoholic beverage concentrates and syrups, in the world. Coca – Cola has a strong brand name and brand portfolio. Business – Week and Interbred, branding consultancy, recognize Coca – cola as one of the leading brands in their top 100 global brands ranking in 2009. The Business Week – Interbred valued Cocoa – Cola at 67,000 million dollars in 2008. Coca – Cola ranks well ahead of its close competitor PepsiCo which has a ranking of 22 having a brand value of 12,690 million dollars. The Company’s strong brand value facilitates customer recall and allows Coca – Cola to penetrate market. However, the company is threatened by intense competition which could have an adverse impact on the company’s market share. Strengths| Weaknesses| World’s leading brand| Negative publicity| large scale of operations| Sluggish performance in North America| Robust revenue growth in three segment| Decline in cash from operating activities| Opportunities| Threats| Acquisitions Intense competition| Intense competition| Growing bottles water market| Dependence on bottling partners| Growing Hispanic population in US| Sluggish growth of carbonated beverages| Strengths. World’s leading brand: The Company owns four of the top five soft drink in the world: Coca – Cola, Diet Coke, Sprite and Fanta. Strong brands allow the company to introduce brand extensions such as Vanilla Coke, Cherry Coke and Coke with Lemon. Over the years, the company has made large investments in brands promotions. Consequently, Coca – Cola is one of the best recognized global brands. The company’s strong brand value facilitates customer recall and allows Coca – Cola to penetrate new markets and consolidate existing ones. Large scale of operations: With revenues is excess of 24 billion dollars Coca – Cola has a large scale of operation. Of the approximately 52 billon beverage servings of all types consumed worldwide every day, beverages bearing trademarks owned by or licensed to Coca – Cola account for more than 1. 4 billion. The company’s operations are supported by a strong infrastructure across the world. Coca – Cola owns and operates 32 principal beverage concentrates and/or syrups manufacturing plants located throughout the world. In addition, it owns or has interest in 37 operations with 95 principal beverage bottling and canning plants in the US. The company also owns bottled water production and still beverage facilities as well as a facility that manufactures juice concentrates. The company’s large scale of operation allows it to feed upcoming markets with relative ease and enhances its revenue generation capacity. Robust revenue growth in three segments: Coca – Cola revenues recorded a double digit growth, in tree operating segments. These tree segments are Latin America, East/South Asia, and Pacific Rim and Bottling investments. Revenues from Latin America grew by 20,4% during 2007, over 2006. During the same period, revenues from East/South Asia and Pacific Rim grew by 10. 6 % while revenues from the bottling investments segment by 19. 9%. Together, the three segments of Latin America, East/South Asia and Pacific Rim and Bottling investments, accounted for 34. 8% of total revenues during 2007. Robust revenues growth rates in these segments contributed to top-line growth for Coca – Cola during 2007. Weaknesses. Negative publicity: The company received negative publicity in India during September 2006. The company was accused by the Center of Science and Environment (CSE) of selling products containing pesticide residue. These pesticides included chemicals witch could cause cancer, damage to the nervous and reproductive systems and reduce bone menial density. Such negative publicity could adversely impact the company’s brand image and the demand for Coca- Cola products. Sluggish performance in North America: Coca – Cola’s performance in North America was far from robust. North America is Coca – Cola’s core market generating about 30 % of total revenues during 2007. Therefore, a strong performance in North America is important for the company. Sluggish performance in North America could impact the company’s future growth prospects and prevent Coca – Cola from recording a more robust top-line growth. Decline in cash from operating activities: Cash flows from operating activities decreased 7% in 2008 compared to 2007. Decline in cash from operating activities reduces availability of funds for the company’s investing and financing activities, which, in turn, increases the company’s exposure to debt markets and fluctuating interest rates. Opportunities. Acquisitions: Strong international operations increase the company’s capacity to penetrate international markets and also gives it an opportunity to diversity its revenue stream. Coca – Cola made acquisitions in Australia, New Zealand, Germany, and China for the last 3 years. These acquisitions strengthened Coca – Cola international operations. It gives Coca – Cola an opportunity for growth, through new product launch or greater penetration of existing markets. Growing bottled water market: Bottled water is one of the fastest – growing segments in the world’s food and beverage market owing to increasing health concerns. The market for bottled water in the US is forecast to reach revenues of about 19. 3 billion dollars by the end of 2010. The company’s Dasani brand water is the 3rd best-selling bottled water in US. Coca – Cola could leverage its strong position in the bottled water segment to take advantage of growing demand for flavored water. Growing Hispanic population in US: Hispanics are growing rapidly in number and economic power. As a result, they have become more important to markets than ever before. The company can benefit from an expanding Hispanic population in the US, which would translate into higher consumption of Coca – Cola products and higher revenues for the company. Threats. Intense competition: Intense competition Coca – Cola competes in the nonalcoholic beverages of the commercial industry. The company faces intense competition in various markets from regional as well as global players. Also, the company faces competition from various juice drinks and nectars. In many of the countries in which Coca – Cola operates, including the US, PepsiCo in one of the company’s primary competitor. (Other significant competitors include Nestle, Cadbury/Schweppes, Group DANONE and Kraft Foods. ) Competitive factors impacting the company’s business include pricing, advertising, sales promotion programs, product innovation. And brand and trademark development and protection. Intense competition could impact Coca – Cola market share and revenue growth rates. Dependence on bottling partners: Coca – Cola generates most of its revenues by selling concentrates and syrups to bottlers in whom it doesn’t have any ownership interest or in which it has no controlling ownership. Loss one or more of customers by any one of its major bottling partners could indirectly affect Coca – Cola business results. Such dependence on third parties is a weak link in Coca – Cola’s operations and increases the company’s business risks. Sluggish growth of carbonated beverages: US consumers have started to look for greater variety in their drinks and are becoming increasingly health conscious. This led to a decrease in the consumption of carbonated and other sweetened beverages in the US. The performance of the market is forecast to decelerate, with an anticipation compound annual rate of change of -0. 3% for the five-year period 2005-2010 expected to drive the market to a value of 62. 9 billion dollars by the end of 2010. Coca – Colas revenue could be adversely affected by a slowdown in the US carbonated beverage market. PepsiCo. In 2009 PepsiCo estimated that its annual retail sales had reached $92 billion, offering over 100 brands around the globe. The main cash cow of PepsiCo of course being the Pepsi carbonated drink that owned 10% of the US beverage market in 2008. PepsiCo offers the world’s largest portfolio of billion-dollar food and beverage brands, including 19 different product lines that each generates more than $1 billion in annual retail sales. PepsiCo mains businesses – Frito-Lay, Quaker, Pepsi-Cola, Tropicana and Gatorade – also make hundreds of other nourishing, foods and drinks. Strengths| Weaknesses| Strong core brand | Concentrated in North America . Strong market position | Health Craze will hurt soft drink | Solid brand portfolio | Negative publicity| | Strong revenue growth | | Economies of scale | | Opportunities| Threats| Food division expansion| Sluggish growth of carbonated drinks | Hispanic growth in the US | Competition with Coca-Cola & others| Bottled water growth | Declining economy/recession | Growing consumer health consciousness | | Cadbury Schweppes/Dr. Pepper Snapple. Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc. (formerly Cadbury Schweppes Americas Beverages) is an American soft beverages drink company, which was spun off from Britain’s Cadbury Schweppes. Company manufactures, markets and distributes more than 50 brands of carbonated soft drinks, juices, ready-to-drink teas, mixers and other premium beverages across the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. Our diverse portfolio includes Dr Pepper, Snapple, 7UP, Mott’s, A&W, Sunkist Soda, Canada Dry, Hawaiian Punch, Schweppes, Penafiel, Squirt, Clamato, Mr & Mrs T Mixers, Rose’s, Yoo-hoo and other consumer favorites. Most of the brands in this segment are CSD brands. In 2009, our Beverage Concentrates segment had net sales of approximately $1. 1 billion. Strengths| Weaknesses| Strong portfolio, consumer-preferred brands| Weak performance in Asian Market| Integrated business model| A substantial amount of outstanding debt| Strong customer relationships| | Strong operating margins and stable cash flows| | Opportunities| Threats| New distribution channels in a market| Changing consumer tastes| Growing consumer health consciousness | Operating in highly competitive markets| Focus on opportunities in high growth and high margin categories| Depend on the 3rd party bottling and distribution companies | Cott Corporation. Cott Corp is one of the leading non-alcoholic beverage companies and retailer brand soft drink providers. The company primarily operates in the US, Canada, the UK and Mexico. It is headquartered in Toronto, Canada and employs 2,803 people. The company recorded revenues of $1,648. 1 million during the financial year ended December 2009, a decrease of 7. 2% compared to 2008. The operating loss of the company was $113 million during 2009, compared to the operating loss of $54. 5 million in 2008. The net loss was $122. 8 million in 2009, compared to the net loss of $71. 4 million in 2008. Strengths| Weaknesses| Leading Producer of Retailer Brand Beverages with Diverse Product Portfolio | Unable to compete successfully in the highly competitive beverage category. | Extensive, Flexible Manufacturing Capabilities | May not be able to respond successfully to consumer trends | | significant amount of outstanding debt| Opportunities| Threats| New distribution channels in a market| Changing consumer tastes| Growing consumer health consciousness | Intense competition| Focus on opportunities in high growth and high margin categories| | National Beverage Corp. National Beverage develops, manufactures, markets and distributes a portfolio of beverage products throughout the US. The company develops and sells a selection of flavored soft drinks, juices, sparkling waters and energy drinks. It is headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and employed about 1,300 people. The company recorded revenues of $566 million during fiscal year ending April 2008, an increase of 5% over 2007. The increase in revenue was due to 9% growth in case volume of energy drinks, juices, and waters. The operating profit of the company was $172. 6 million during 2008, a decrease of 0. 4% compared with 2007. The net profit was $22. 5 million in 2008, decrease of 8. 9% compared with 2007. Strengths| Weaknesses| Extensive Brand Portfolio| Geographic concentration| | Declining Profits| Opportunities| Threats| Focus on Asia Pacific Market| Limitations on Commercialization of Alcoholic Products| Rise in Demand for bottled Water in the US| Riding Input Costs| Change in Consumer Preferences| Intense Competitive Pressures| Company’s key success factors within the soft drink industry. Key factors for competitive success within the soft drink industry branch from the trends of the microenvironment. Primarily, constant product innovation is imperative. A company must be able to recognize consumer wants and needs, while maintaining the ability to adjust with the changing market. They must keep up with the changing trends. Another key factor is the size of the organization, especially in terms of market share. Large distributors have the ability to negotiate with stadiums, universities and school systems, making them the exclusive supplier for a specified period of time. Additionally, they have the ability to commit to mass purchases that significantly lower their costs. They must implement effective distribution channels to remain competitive. Taste of the product is also a key factor for success. Moreover, established brand loyalty is a large aspect of the soft drink industry. Many consumers of carbonated beverages are extremely dedicated to a particular product, and rarely purchase other varieties. This stresses the importance of developing and maintaining a superior brand image. Price, however, is also a key factor because consumers without a strong brand preference will select the product with the most competitive price. Finally, global expansion is a vital factor in the success of a company within the soft drink industry. The United States has reached relative market saturation, requiring movement into the global industry to maintain growth. Soft drink industry main characteristics, trends and changes. Soft drinks are an integral part of American life and culture and soft drinks have been produced or consumed in nearly every corner of the world. The industry is lucrative with a potential for high profits, but there are several obstacles to overcome in order to capture the market share. Growing consumption trends can be attributed to rising disposable incomes, falling trade barriers, universal product acceptance, and a rising demand for American consumer goods. It would be very difficult for a new company to enter this industry because they would not be able to compete with the established brand names, distribution channels, and high capital investment. Likewise, leaving this industry would be difficult with the significant loss of money from the fixed costs, binding contracts with distribution channels, and advertisements used to create the strong brand images. This industry is well established already, and it would be difficult for any company to enter or exit successfully. The carbonated beverage industry is a highly competitive global industry, and has some characteristics of an oligopoly in the US. Three leading companies have prominent presence in the soft drink industry. The leaders include the Coca-Cola Company, PepsiCo, and Cadbury Schweppes. Leader companies have to hold the highest percentage of the global market share; therefore, companies need to be able to compete globally in order to be successful. Profitability in the soft drink industry will remain rather solid, but market saturation especially.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Cholesterol Research Paper

By: Diana Rivera| | Cholesterol is a fatty, soft substance found in all of your body. The body needs it to work properly such as holding cells together and to also make hormones such as estrogen, testosterone, cortisol, vitamin D, and substances to help you digest foods. They body actually makes most of what it needs in the liver and the rest comes from food you eat such as meats, fish, eggs, butter, and whole milk. Bad cholesterol is considered when too much cholesterol circulates in the blood, it slowly builds up in the inner walls of the arteries which feeds the brain and heart.This can cause plaque when it comes together with other substances making it less flexible and narrowing the artery. If a clot is forms in a narrow artery this can cause a heart attack or stroke. The good cholesterol acts like scavengers in your body by picking up any excessive cholesterol and taking it back to the liver. Having high levels of good cholesterol also prevents you from having heart attack. Whe n blood is collected the test tube is then placed in a centrifuge, which separates the whole blood from the plasma.The blood cell settles at the bottom of the test tube, and the plasma spins to the top, if cholesterol is detected you will see a fatty, thick substance, this test will be considered a qualitative test. There is a variety of factors that can influence blood cholesterol levels which include your diet, weight, exercise, age and gender, diabetes, heredity and certain medications or medical conditions. Cholesterol can’t be dissolved in the blood; they have to be transported to and from the cells by special carriers called lipoprotein.There are two types of lipoprotein one of them is the Low-Density Lipoproteins which are known as the bad cholesterol that a physician will advise you to keep low. When low-density lipoprotein is at a high level it combines with other substances and form plaque in your arteries. This will slow your blood flow to heart, brain, and other o rgans in your body which can cause blood clots. The range for low-density lipoprotein is more than 100 and border risk line is 130 and more than 190.Our body also has high-density lipoprotein which is good cholesterol; our body produces for our protection. They get their name because they are thought to carry excess cholesterol away from arteries to the liver, which the body can eliminate. Those who have higher levels of HDL have fewer problems with cardiovascular disease, while other with lower levels has increased for heart disease. Some things you can do if your HDL is low are aerobic exercise, quit smoking and having a good healthy weight.Triglycerides are a type of lipid found in the bloods which are used as a source of energy after being converted by the liver. They are the end product of digesting and breaking down fats in meals. Triglycerides is developed from fatty acids found in foods and they are transported by the LDL. Normal levels are below 150, levels of 200 are high. Over all maintain a good healthy lifestyle can help you balance your cholesterol and reduce your risk for heart disease or even a stroke. Many people have dealt with having chronic high blood cholesterol levels.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

The Donner Party, Ill-Fated Settlers Turned to Cannibalism

The Donner Party, Ill-Fated Settlers Turned to Cannibalism The Donner Party was a group of American settlers heading to California who became stranded in heavy snows in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in 1846. Isolated in horrific conditions, about half of the original group of nearly 90 people died of starvation or exposure. Some of the survivors turned to cannibalism in order to survive. After those who managed to stay alive were rescued in early 1847, the story of horror in the mountains appeared in a California newspaper. The tale made its way east, circulated through newspaper articles, and became part of western lore. Fast Facts: The Donner Party About half of a group of nearly 90 settlers heading to California in 1846 starved when snowbound.Disaster was caused by taking an untested route which added weeks to the journey.Survivors eventually resorted to cannibalism.Story circulated widely through newspaper stories and books. Origin of the Donner Party The Donner Party was named for two families, George Donner and his wife and children, and George’s brother Jacob and his wife and children. They were from Springfield, Illinois, as was another family traveling with them, James Reed and his wife and children. Also from Springfield were various individuals associated with the Donner and Reed families. That original group left Illinois in April 1846 and arrived in Independence, Missouri, the following month. After securing provisions for the long trip westward, the group, along with other travelers from a variety of places, left Independence on May 12, 1846. (People would typically meet in Independence and decide to stick together for the journey westward, which is how some members of the Donner Party joined the group essentially by chance.) The group made good progress along the trail westward, and in about a week had met up with another wagon train, which they joined. The early part of the journey passed with no major problems. The George Donners wife had written a letter describing the early weeks of the trip which appeared in the newspaper back in Springfield. The letter also appeared in papers in the East, including the New York Herald, which published it on the front page. After passing Fort Laramie, a major landmark on the way west, they met up with a rider who gave them a letter which claimed that troops from Mexico (which was at war with the United States) might interfere with their passage ahead. The letter advised taking a shortcut called the Hastings Cutoff. Shortcut to Disaster After arriving at Fort Bridger (in present day Wyoming), the Donners, the Reeds, and others debated whether to take the shortcut. They were assured, falsely it turned out, that the traveling would be easy. Through a series of miscommunications, they did not receive warnings from those who knew otherwise. The Donner Party decided to take the shortcut, which led them into many hardships. The route, which took them on a southerly path about Great Salt Lake, was not clearly marked. And it was often very difficult passage for the groups wagon. The shortcut required passing over the Great Salt Lake Desert. The conditions were like nothing any of the travelers had seen before, with blistering heat by day and frigid winds at night. It took five days to cross the desert, leaving the 87 members of the party, including many children, exhausted. Some of the party’s oxen had died in the brutal conditions, and it became obvious that taking the shortcut had been a colossal blunder. Taking the promised shortcut had backfired, and put the group about three weeks behind schedule. Had they taken the more established route, they would have gotten across the final mountains before any chance of snowfall and arrived in California safely. Tensions in the Group With the travelers seriously behind schedule, anger flared in the group. In October the Donner families broke off to go ahead, hoping to make better time. In the main group, an argument broke out between a man named John Snyder and James Reed. Snyder struck Reed with an ox whip, and Reed responded by stabbing Snyder and killing him. The killing of Snyder happened beyond U.S. laws, as it was then Mexican territory. In such a circumstance, it would be up to the members of a wagon train to decide how to dispense justice. With the groups leader, George Donner, at least a day’s travel ahead, the others decided to banish Reed from the group. With high mountains still to cross, the party of settlers was in disarray and deeply distrustful of each other. They had already endured more than their share of hardships on the trails, and seemingly endless problems, including bands of Native Americans raiding at night and stealing oxen, continued to plague them. Trapped by Snow Arriving at the Sierra Nevada mountain range at the end of October, early snows were already making the journey difficult. When they reached the vicinity of Truckee Lake (now called Donner Lake), they discovered the mountain passes they needed to cross were already blocked by snowdrifts. Attempts to get over the passes failed. A group of 60 travelers settled into crude cabins which had been built and abandoned two years earlier by other settlers passing by. A smaller group, including the Donners, set up a camp a few miles away. Stranded by impassable snow, the supplies quickly dwindled. The travelers had never seen such snow conditions before, and attempts by small parties to walk onward to California to get help were thwarted by the deep snowdrifts. Facing starvation, people ate the carcasses of their oxen. When the meat ran out, they were reduced to boiling ox hide and eating it. At times people caught mice in the cabins and ate them. In December, a party of 17, consisting of men, women, and children, set out with snowshoes they had fashioned. The party found the traveling nearly impossible, but kept moving westward. Facing starvation, some of the party resorted to cannibalism, eating the flesh of those who had died. At one point, two Nevada Indians who had joined the group before they headed into the mountains were shot and killed so their flesh could be eaten. (That was the only instance in the story of the Donner Party where people were killed to be eaten. The other instances of cannibalism occurred after people had died of exposure or starvation.) One member of the party, Charles Eddy, eventually managed to wander into a village of the Miwok tribe. The Native Americans gave him food, and after he reached white settlers at a ranch, he managed to get a rescue party together. They found the six survivors of the snowshoe group. Back at the camp by the lake, one of the travelers, Patrick Breen, had started keeping a diary. His entries were brief, at first just descriptions of the weather. But over time he began noting the increasingly desperate conditions as more and more of those stranded succumbed to starvation. Breen survived the ordeal and his diary was eventually published. Rescue Efforts One of the travelers who had gone ahead in October became increasingly alarmed when the Donner Party never showed up at Sutter’s Fort in California. He tried to raise the alarm and eventually was able to inspire what eventually amounted to four separate rescue missions. What the rescuers discovered was disturbing. The survivors were emaciated. And in some of the cabins rescuers discovered bodies which had been butchered. A member of a rescue party described finding a body with the head sawed open so the brains could be extracted. The various mutilated bodies were gathered together and buried in one of the cabins, which was then burned to the ground. Of the 87 travelers who entered the mountains on the final phase of the journey, 48 survived. Most of them stayed in California. Legacy of the Donner Party Stories about the Donner Party began to circulate immediately. By the summer of 1847 the story had reached the newspaper in the East. The New York Tribune published a story on August 14, 1847, which gave some grim details. The Weekly National Intelligencer, a Washington, D.C. newspaper, published a story on October 30, 1847, which described the terrible suffering of the Donner Party. An editor of a local newspaper in Truckee, California, Charles McGlashan, became something of an expert on the story of the Donner Party. In the 1870s he talked to survivors and pieced together a comprehensive account of the tragedy. His book, History of the Donner Party: A Tragedy of the Sierra, was published in 1879 and went through many editions. The story of the Donner Party has lived on, through a number of books and films based on the tragedy. In the immediate aftermath of the disaster, many settlers heading to California took what happened as a serious warning not to lose time on the trail and not to take unreliable shortcuts. Sources: Distressing News. American Eras: Primary Sources, edited by Sara Constantakis, et al., vol. 3: Westward Expansion, 1800-1860, Gale, 2014, pp. 95-99. Gale Virtual Reference Library.Brown, Daniel James.  The Indifferent Stars Above: The Harrowing Saga of the Donner Party. William Morrow Company, 2015.

Monday, October 21, 2019

A Brief Overview and Description of Geography

A Brief Overview and Description of Geography The science of geography is likely the oldest of all sciences. Geography is the answer to the question that the earliest humans asked, Whats over there? Exploration and the discovery of new places, new cultures, and new ideas have always been basic components of geography. Thus, geography is often called the mother of all sciences as studying other people and other places led to other scientific fields such as biology, anthropology, geology, mathematics, astronomy, chemistry, among others. (See other Definitions of Geography) What Does the Word Geography Mean? The word geography was invented by the ancient Greek scholar Eratosthenes and literally means writing about the earth. The word can be divided into two parts - ge and graphy. Ge means the Earth and graphy refers to writing. Of course, geography today means much more than writing about the Earth but its a difficult discipline to define. Many geographers have done their best to define geography but a typical dictionary definition today reads, The science of the Earths physical features, resources, climate, population, etc. Divisions of Geography Today, geography is commonly divided into two major branches - cultural geography (also called human geography) and physical geography. Cultural geography is the branch of geography dealing with human culture and its impact on the Earth. Cultural geographers study languages, religion, foods, building styles, urban areas, agriculture, transportation systems, politics, economies, population and demographics, and more. Physical geography is the branch of geography dealing with the natural features of the Earth, the home of humans. Physical geography looks at the water, air, animals, and land of the planet Earth (i.e. everything that is part of the four spheres - the atmosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere). Physical geography is closely related to geographys sister science - geology - but physical geography focuses more on the landscapes at the surface of the Earth and not what is inside our planet. Other key areas of geography include regional geography (which involves the in-depth study and knowledge of a particular region and its cultural as well as its physical characteristics) and geographic technologies like GIS (geographic information systems) and GPS (global positioning system). An important system for dividing the subject of geography is known as the Four Traditions of Geography. History of Geography The history of geography as a scientific discipline can be traced back to the Greek scholar Eratosthenes. It was further developed in the modern era by Alexander von Humboldt and from there, you can trace the history of geography in the United States. Also, see the Timeline of Geographic History. Studying Geography Since the late 1980s, when the subject of geography was not well-taught throughout the United States, there has been a revival in geographic education. Thus, today many primary, secondary, and university students are choosing to learn more about geography. There are many resources online available to learn about studying geography, including one article about earning a college degree in geography. While at the university, be sure to explore career opportunities through internships in geography. Great Studying Geography Resources: Branches of GeographyCapitals of Every CountryGeography GlossaryQuestions and Answers About GeographyGeography Facts, Lists, and TriviaMaps and Geographical Information About Every Country (including blank outline maps)Top 10 Reasons to Study Geography (Humor) Careers in Geography Once you start studying geography, youll want to look into various careers in geography so dont miss this article specifically about Jobs in Geography. Joining a geographic organization is also helpful as you pursue a geographic career.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Writing content with clout - Emphasis

Writing content with clout Writing content with clout Ever seen the TV game show Supermarket Sweep? The premise is pretty simple. After answering a series of questions, the contestants are instructed to find certain groceries in the supermarket. Not surprisingly, no-one methodically paces through the aisles. With the clock ticking, they race around frantically searching for visual clues that point to their prized items. Browsing the internet is much the same. Studies have shown that we adopt the same search and seize approach when looking for information online. In fact, only one in six people actually read websites sentence by sentence. Instead, most people scan the text for keywords, bullet points and subheadings. Some studies have even shown that people read only the first two words of headlines before losing interest. And its generally a given that you only have a maximum of 10 seconds to impress your readers before they click to another page or site. The key is to make your writing as direct as possible. As any Twitter fan will know, if you cant say it in 140 characters or less, it simply isnt worth saying. Apply that principle to all your web-based writing and youll be onto a winner. Thats not to say that you cant elaborate on points, make explanations and create coherent arguments. Its just that long rambling sentences are best left to novelists or poets. When it comes to the web, short and sweet is best. Prune through your writing and cut out any meaningless words. And rearrange your sentences so that theyre as punchy as possible. The tips below will help you to create a high-impact writing style A clear focus Know your audience. Ask yourself who youre writing for and what information they want to read. Then focus on one main message per web page. If youre not sure what your main message is, write down the headings who?, what?, where?, when? and why? Then brainstorm your ideas to help clarify your thoughts. Create powerful sentences by speaking directly to the reader. Use words such as you, we, us and our. And use the active voice as much as possible. For instance, we formed the company in 1999 is far more effective than the company was formed in 1999. Ready, aim, fire! Break up the information into digestible chunks and keep your paragraphs short. Use subheads and make sure that, when combined, they tell the story of your article. Bullet points are also a great tool to use when writing for the web. Remember that bullet lists always need an introduction (like this one). They are good for: conveying key information breaking down complex lists summarising main points instructions (especially if numbered). The advantage of using bullet points is that they: make lists clearer, as they are more visual use white space well grab attention help readers scan information reduce word count. Create a call to action By their very nature, websites are interactive. A static site that doesnt involve its readers is like an out-of-date concert poster. Keep inviting your readers to contact you or click other internal links for more information. Try to anticipate your readers needs and then give them what they want. You cant stop them jumping around searching for keywords. But if you give them something of value, you can help them to stick with your website for longer. Remember, be bold with what youre offering and dont be afraid to shout out your content. Give your readers the satisfaction of finding the prized information instantly. The secret is to rig the game so that they win every time. Robert Ashton is the Chief Executive of Emphasis.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Process Critique of Application Theory in Practice Essay

Process Critique of Application Theory in Practice - Essay Example As a result, knowledge of best practices did not necessarily mean the adoption of these best practices (Hoque & Noon, 2001). One of the plausible explanations given with this gap is lack of knowledge. The necessity of the transfer of knowledge to line managers for application may have been important but often a neglected issue. Study showed that while Industrial and Organizational psychologists â€Å"are informed about HR research findings than HR practitioners† (Carless et al., 2009:110) this does not translate into practice. It is already a given in human resource management that for a business enterprise to achieve optimum productivity, it should hire the best people. It is also a common knowledge to a point of being a slogan among companies that human resource or its people are its most important assets. Being the most important asset, human resource should be taken cared of so that they will be more motivated to perform and will stay in the organization. This notion however tends to be neglected and overlooked in practice when realities set in the organization. When the issue of competitiveness set in where companies have to lower cost to increase its profit, it tends to shortchange its employees. Shortchanging employees takes in many forms and is not limited to offering lowest pay possible. It includes compressing multiple job functions into a single role to save cost and to optimize the labor of such employee. If the human resource has already been optimized to the hilt, companies will tend to outsource other functions where they can lower labor cost and without any responsibilities to the outsourced employee. In the recent financial crisis of late 2008 to 2010, human resource was among the first casualty when companies employed cost saving measures to cope with the crisis. Employees felt that they are not

The role of regulation and crisis Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1000 words

The role of regulation and crisis - Essay Example The subprime crisis was also an outcome of negligence of financial regulatory body as well as the professionals engaged in accounting and auditing process. To have a better understanding of financial crisis the role of government, regulatory body, accounting system & standards, political environment and capitalism needs an analysis. From 2001, the Lamfalussy framework was introduced in EU system of supervision and regulation. The framework was arranged in four separate levels and published by European council (Great Britain: Parliament: House of Lords: European Union Committee, 2009, p.12). These regulations are responsible for making the accounting and auditing process more transparent. After the great depression, International Monitory Fund and World Bank were established to avoid the causes which actually results into depression. But these regulatory bodies are almost 65 years old and are ill equipped to handle the complex banking environment of 21st century. Almost all the major economies have their own regulatory bodies, like Financial Services Authority (FSA) of UK and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in US, but they failed to check the financial crisis. Even the Basel II Accord agreement that was published in 2004 failed to detect and control credit crunch. Many banks are blaming Mark to Mark et system for development of such a disastrous financial crisis (Rayner, 2008). The financial system is based on the trust and faith, but collapse of Lehman Brothers, Bank of America and PNC Bank Corp are few examples of how the policymakers and regulators failed to maintain people’s faith in them. Most surprisingly America’s financial system failed to manage risk and proper allocation of capital (Stiglitz, 2008). Fair Value Accounting or US Accounting Standard FAS 157 is basically used for determining fair value or market value of the assets and the liability. Many critics argued that fair value accounting is highly

Friday, October 18, 2019

HW 1 Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 250 words

HW 1 - Essay Example In addition, globalization contributes to unfair employment practices and working conditions, which are mostly perpetrated by large organizations. Thirdly, globalization makes large organizations to exercise little accountability in the conduct of business (Norberg, 2011). I disagree with the statement about sweatshops because I believe that, rather than enhancing progress, they tend to derail it. The working conditions brought about by the idea of sweatshops are not impressive and they often lead to the victimization of employees. Sweatshops should not be tolerated since they demean humans and are an insult to human dignity. This idea subjects employees to poor wages; the work they do is not worth the income they are paid. From an economic point of view, sweatshops tend to perpetrate poverty rather than alleviate it. Modern technology has had a huge impact on globalization. The developments and advancements in technology have driven globalization and led to the spread of trade among nations. Most of the globalization processes have been facilitated by technology. For example, modern technology has enhanced the mass production of goods and services. In addition, communication technology has led to the exchange of information about business activities between nations (Norberg,

Java programming and written exercises Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 750 words

Java programming and written exercises - Essay Example 2. Assume a class Square that implements the interface Comparable. You are required to implement the method compareTo so that squares are compared according to their sides. Part of the Java code has been provided as below. Please complete the code inside the compareTo() method. 4. Write a Java code segment that uses the LinkedList myList and the String array strArr. Store the elements from the array in the linked list. Use an iterator to scan the list and output the elements of strings, whose length is greater than 5. String[] strArr = {"Java", "Programming", "if", "array", "LinkedList", "queue", "iterator"}; LinkedList myList = new LinkedList(); private int i; for(i=0;i 5) { Insert(string strArr[i], LinkedListIterator p); } } public voidinsert(stringx,LinkedListIteratorp) { if(p!=null&&p.current!=null),; } 5. Trace the call f(16) to the following method. Show how you work out the result. public static int f(int n) { int result=0; if (n

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Population Demographics data for non US countries Essay

Population Demographics data for non US countries - Essay Example Analysis of the graph shows that South Africa does not have a steady increase in her population. During the millennium year, the country had a population of forty five million people that increased steadily to about forty nine million in two thousand and five (Ominde and Ejiogu 2012). This represents an increase in population of about four million. However, from two thousand and five to two thousand and ten, the population of South Africa increased to fifty one million people. This shows an additional two million people. In fact, the last census survey reveals a growth rate of negative zero point zero five. Over the same period of five years, the population growth was negative. This trend does not reflect what happens in other African countries bearing in mind that the country enjoys a stable economic, social, and political environment. The causes and Impact South Africa is a country on the list of the fastest growing economies. This enables to provide high quality services to the citizens. The country has improved her infrastructure increasing the rate of rural to urban migration. This affects the birth and death rates. The birth rate has increased following provision of the quality maternal healthcare, which reduces the death rate. The availability of family planning services counters this trend. Education also plays a major role in checking the population of South Africa.... Education also plays a major role in checking the population of South Africa. South Africans have adequate reproductive health information. They understand the right time to bear children and this reduces the fertility rate as most women spent time in school hence they bear children when after their teenage ages. This is not the case in other countries in Africa such as Kenya. Comparatively, there many women in Kenya who become mothers around the age of fifteen as they do not go to school and they still stick to traditions as opposed to South Africans. The low population growth rate makes South Africa capable of sustaining food demands of her people. Families also get involved in economically productive activities and this gives time to the government to invest in other non-food projects such as the development of IT. The population of South Africa is more educated when compared to other Africans countries as both the citizens and the government have adequate disposable income for en lightenment. Kenya Total population (x 1000) Population aged 0–14 (%) Population aged 15–64 (%) Population aged 65+ (%) 1965 9 505 48.4 48.0 3.6 1970 11 252 49.1 47.5 3.4 1975 13 486 49.6 47.1 3.3 1980 16 268 50.0 47.1 3.0 1985 19 655 50.0 47.2 2.8 1990 23 447 49.0 48.3 2.7 1995 27 426 46.5 50.8 2.7 2000 31 254 44.3 52.9 2.8 2005 35 615 42.7 54.5 2.8 2015 43 513 42.5 54.9 2.7 (Ominde 2012) Tracing the status Kenya is a country in found in East Africa in the southern Great Lakes region. The country is largely multi-ethnic. The country had a population of thirty-eight million people basing on the national population census conducted by the government in two thousand and nine. The country conducts a national census every ten years with the last one in two thousand and nine and the next

Discussing the Terms - Vernacular, Social Network, Crossover Effect, Research Paper

Discussing the Terms - Vernacular, Social Network, Crossover Effect, Creole Continuum - Research Paper Example Social network: The phrase, social network, refers to a group of people who are held together by familial, professional or other interests. Generally speaking, the most common social networks are family groups, referring to both nuclear and extended families. Insofar as children or youth are concerned, school and college friends constitute a social network of primary importance, just as work colleagues often do with adults. Indeed, were one to critically consider the concept of social networks in relation to oneself, one would discover him/herself to be a member of various social networks, both real and virtual. In application to myself, I would identify my real-work social networks as my friends and family, to name but two groups and my virtual social networks as all the internet chat and interest groups to which I belong and with whose members I share common interests and hobbies. Ethnography of Communication: As a concept, ethnography of communication, refer to a very interesting phenomenon; one which is based on a concession to the fact that there is much more to verbal communication and interaction than the exchange of information. According to the anthropologist, D. House (2003), the concept of ethnography of communication was introduced and developed by the anthropologist Dell Hymes, who argued that verbal communications can only be fully understood and appreciated were their social context taken into consideration. In other words, and as House (2003) explains, within the context of practically any and all forms of verbal communications, the meaning is not communicated through words alone but also through silences, tones, nuances and the gaps between exchanges.  

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Population Demographics data for non US countries Essay

Population Demographics data for non US countries - Essay Example Analysis of the graph shows that South Africa does not have a steady increase in her population. During the millennium year, the country had a population of forty five million people that increased steadily to about forty nine million in two thousand and five (Ominde and Ejiogu 2012). This represents an increase in population of about four million. However, from two thousand and five to two thousand and ten, the population of South Africa increased to fifty one million people. This shows an additional two million people. In fact, the last census survey reveals a growth rate of negative zero point zero five. Over the same period of five years, the population growth was negative. This trend does not reflect what happens in other African countries bearing in mind that the country enjoys a stable economic, social, and political environment. The causes and Impact South Africa is a country on the list of the fastest growing economies. This enables to provide high quality services to the citizens. The country has improved her infrastructure increasing the rate of rural to urban migration. This affects the birth and death rates. The birth rate has increased following provision of the quality maternal healthcare, which reduces the death rate. The availability of family planning services counters this trend. Education also plays a major role in checking the population of South Africa.... Education also plays a major role in checking the population of South Africa. South Africans have adequate reproductive health information. They understand the right time to bear children and this reduces the fertility rate as most women spent time in school hence they bear children when after their teenage ages. This is not the case in other countries in Africa such as Kenya. Comparatively, there many women in Kenya who become mothers around the age of fifteen as they do not go to school and they still stick to traditions as opposed to South Africans. The low population growth rate makes South Africa capable of sustaining food demands of her people. Families also get involved in economically productive activities and this gives time to the government to invest in other non-food projects such as the development of IT. The population of South Africa is more educated when compared to other Africans countries as both the citizens and the government have adequate disposable income for en lightenment. Kenya Total population (x 1000) Population aged 0–14 (%) Population aged 15–64 (%) Population aged 65+ (%) 1965 9 505 48.4 48.0 3.6 1970 11 252 49.1 47.5 3.4 1975 13 486 49.6 47.1 3.3 1980 16 268 50.0 47.1 3.0 1985 19 655 50.0 47.2 2.8 1990 23 447 49.0 48.3 2.7 1995 27 426 46.5 50.8 2.7 2000 31 254 44.3 52.9 2.8 2005 35 615 42.7 54.5 2.8 2015 43 513 42.5 54.9 2.7 (Ominde 2012) Tracing the status Kenya is a country in found in East Africa in the southern Great Lakes region. The country is largely multi-ethnic. The country had a population of thirty-eight million people basing on the national population census conducted by the government in two thousand and nine. The country conducts a national census every ten years with the last one in two thousand and nine and the next

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Folate through Lifecycle Nutrition Research Paper - 1

Folate through Lifecycle Nutrition - Research Paper Example The required Folate intake amount depends on the condition.3 Folate can be derived mostly in vegetables4. However, there are alternative ways through which humans can get Folate nutrients. Through fortification, consumers can derive Folate from foods that do not naturally contain Folate.5 Whereas Folate has been identified to prevent neural tubal disorders among pregnant mothers, mostly the correct administration also matters.6 Folate becomes effective when taken during the initial weeks of conception.7 Folate is believed to have various effects on human health, hence there is the need to study the facts surrounding it. To ascertain the effects of Folate in the life cycle of humans, various studies have been conducted. Greenberg et al established that Folate is essential in both nutrition and reproduction. During pregnancy, Folate is required in abundance since it is an essential element in fetal growth.8 Since it cannot be synthesized anew from the body, it is recommended for mothers to take foods rich in foliate during pregnancy. This reduces chances of the offspring and parent to suffer from foliate deficiency related diseases, in this case anemia or neural tubal defects.8 A study conducted by Blencowe et al showed that mothers who had previous cases of pregnancies with neural tubal disorders reduced their chances of the condition recurring by 75% if they took Folate supplements9. For mothers who never had previous cases of Neural tubal disorders the rate of reduction of potential neural tubal disorders reduced by 62%9. In addition to these results, the study identified that despite neural tubal disorders being the most prevalent cases of Folate deficiency during pregnancy there are other risks. Neural tubal disorders in this case affect the infants’ functionality of the brain and spinal cords. Another common case of foliate deficiency diseases for infants that was observed is

Monday, October 14, 2019

Project Management Essay Example for Free

Project Management Essay Project management tool is important for any project management to achieve success. Effective management are with out doubt requires the use of a set of tools that enables plan development and tracking and to be able to foresee or predict the outcome of the project. Among the widely used tool of management is the Cost Business Analysis which is used to determine if a project will be worthwhile. The analysis is performed prior to implementation of project plans and is based on time-weight estimates of costs and predicted value of benefits. This management tool is very important because it provides necessary and precise information about the project cost factors that includes labor, materials, and resources. This tool also provide estimate of the cost factors in terms of dollar amounts and expenditure period. More importantly, it helps the management decide if the project will be implemented or if the project will be beneficial. Another important project management tools that could provide project managers gain insights of the potential success of the project is the Project Plan. Thomas Pyzdek stressed that project plan â€Å"shows the why and the how of a project† (p. 535). Pyzdek noted that a good project plan include â€Å"a statement of the goal a cost/benefit analysis, a feasibility analysis, a listing of the major steps to be taken, a timetable for completion, and a description of the resources required to carry out the project† (p. 535). But the most important benefit that the project manager can get from having a good plan is that it helps identify â€Å"objective measures of success that will be used to evaluate the effectiveness of the proposed changes† (p. 35). The importance of having a project plan is that it provides a vehicle for discussing each worker’s role and responsibilities; this helps direct and control the work of the project. It also provide idea how the parts fit together, for coordinating related activities, and it provides a clear of the objective when it is reached and when the project ends. Among the project management tools used by project managers are the PERT-CPM-type, Gantt chart, and other web-based applications such as Primavera Project Planner, Project KickStart, and many others. PERT-CPM-type is recommended for large-scale projects that require more rigorous planning, scheduling, and coordinating of numerous interrelated activities such as in military establishment. Gantt chart on the other hand is also a very useful project management especially in planning and scheduling projects. Its strength is in monitoring the progress of project from the start of the project until its finish date. Three of the leading software nowadays such as GanttProject, Primavera and KickStart are the number one choice of the professionals because they are very accurate and cost-saving. GanttProject is a Gantt chart based in Java; however, the project can run on Windows or Linux (linux. com). The tool allows for a wide-ranging activity such as breaking the activities into tasks and assign human resources to perform the tasks. Primavera (P3) is more affordable and it can manage the toughest kind of project and activities in a very short duration of time; information can be accessed throughout the company. Project KickStart on the other hand is easy to use and is designed for small to medium scale projects. This helps the managers to identify the different phases of the project such as goals, obstacle, and calendar (Project KickStart). Basically, each tool possesses strength and weakness; the project manager chooses the tool that suits the needs of the project. These tools provide the same services as the Office Project. They are simpler and convenient to use unlike MS Excel where some commands may not be provided to get the required information. Also, it is limited in terms of access to Web and multiple users.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Historical background of Marks and Spencer

Historical background of Marks and Spencer Marks Spencer Plc started in a stall in 1884 by Michael Marks in a Leeds market after which he was joined by a partner Tom Spencer. They both had a reputation of selling only British made goods in the 20th century, a policy discontinued in 2002.Marks Spencer Plc is seen as the British Retailer that sells clothes, gifts, home furnishing and food formerly under the name of St. Michael but rebranded as Marks Spencer in United Kingdom, Europe, Far East and the Americas. Marks Spencer Plc has made itself widely known in the UK with over 450 stores and its largest store at Marble Arch, London. By 1975 they had moved to Europe and Canada where they are fully established. Marks Spencer Plc which initially functioned under the name St Michaels had an unlimited time period on their return policy as long as the customer could produce a receipt, this policy was later reviewed to 90 days in 2005 and a further review to 35 days in 2009. Marks Spencer Plc returns policy is seen as the most generous on the British High Street. By the end of the 1990s Marks Spencer Plc had a problem as their profit plunged because of the rising cost of using British Suppliers as rival retailers were importing their goods from lower cost countries and also because of the fact that Marks Spencer Plc did not accept other credit cards except their store cash cards amongst a host of other reasons. During their downturn period, Marks Spencer Plc refused to budge in switching to overseas low cost suppliers as it was seen as a n act which undermined a core part of its appeal to the public. All these fac tors constituted to Marks Spencer Plc sudden slump which caught the company, its shareholders, retail stores and the general public by surprise as not only did their share price fall more than two thirds of the original market price so also did their profit. In 2001 with drastic changes in its business focus such as accepting other credit cards, introduction of new range like per una , indigo etc, reengineering of its business model and strategy, restructuring and redesigning their store, providing adequate changing room etc, Marks Spencer Plc fought its way back into the UK market. Source: TASK 1 1.1 Importance of external factors [P1] External factor plays a very important role in Marks Spencer Plc. No organisation can escape from the external factors of a business. It is the key that drives helps focus on what is most important to explore the different ways in which the business environment might change. These external factors are Political, Economic, Social Culture, Technological, Environment and Legal. This is known as the PESTLE ANALYSIS. The external factor helps to know and under study the political factor the company is operating in. The external factor helps to know the social life style of my customer. The external factor helps to know the technological situation I find myself inn. The external factor helps the organisation to understand the business environment It also helps the business to understand the business circle, exchange rate, economic growth rate etc. It also helps the business to know more about the legal standard of the economy such as health and safety, legislative constraints etc. It helps the business to understand and know their competitors The external factor also helps the business to understand the social influences such as changing culture and demographics Business that looks on the solution of the external factors will run its business properly. Oxbridge writers on Marks and Spencer corporate objectives: Full text [online] [END OF P1] 1.2 The needs and expectation of stakeholders [P2] A stakeholder is any person, group or institution that has an interest in an activity or project. This definition includes intended beneficiaries and intermediaries, winners and losers, and those involved or excluded from decision making processes. (Bryson 1995) The stakeholders who have got an interest in Marks and Spencer are: Their banks, Shareholders, Employees, Customer, Suppliers Stakeholders Needs of stakeholder Expectations Customers To provide good customer services To provide low price To provide good product To provide local source of product Provide community program Customer loyalty Promotion and activities Employee To provide pay raise Job retention Job training To provide a comfortable working environment Give bonus Provide education Rotation of job Shareholders Provide adequate communication Increase in share prices Increase in dividends To keep them informed Good turn over Good return on investment Banks Inflow of cash Loan lending Suppliers Increase in supplies Local sourcing of product Turnover increase Want to sell goods in volume at good prices. Source: By student from lecturer lecture note Managers need to be conscious of the financial impact on various stakeholders of the strategies they are pursing or planning to pursue. They also need to understand how the capability to meet these varied expectations could enable the success of some strategies whilst limiting the ability of an organisation to succeed with other strategies. [END OF P2] 1.3 Major change taking place in the external environment [P3] Political situation: The government plays a very important role within the operation of manufacturing these productions in terms of regulation. There are potential fines set by the government on companies if they do not meet a standard of laws. The changes in laws and regulation, including changes in accounting standards, taxation requirements,(including tax rate, new tax laws and revised tax interpretations) and environment laws in domestic or foreign regulations This law has affected Marks and Spencer in different ways especially in the increase in Vat. This will increase the prise of their product and reduce the market sell of their product. Economic situation: The economic plays another important role in the business. However, things changed. Most economists loosely define a recession as two consecutive quarters of contraction, or negative GDP growth. Marks and Spencer s customer don t spend allot anymore instead there save their money. The ongoing recession has brought down their market sale and put them in a stage of looking for a better strategy to fight the recession. Social situation: Many people are practicing new lifestyles in the economy. The social culture of an environment can affect Marks and Spencer in a different ways. The government are cutting down medical budget. In this case, they are trying to educate allot of people to do exercise and those from the age of 37 to 55 will also increasingly concern with nutrition. Majority of the people are now looking after their health and doing much exercise to slim their body down. So this has affected Marks and Spencer because they will need to get better and fitted cloths for their customer to make sure there meets up their customer expectation. Technological situation: This can also affect the business especially now most organisation are introducing the online services, home delivery, virtual sales etc. This will reduce Marks and Spencer sales because it will depend on how fast the organisation will deliver a customer goods that will encourage the customer to be more attracted to them .And even where they have alot aged; most of the worker won t be able to operate this new technology. They will have to go through training process and this will cost the company to spend more. Most of this technology can be misused and might cause problem in the company. Environment situation: Studying the environment is another important way to prevent some environmental problems like, weather, transport problems, competitive problems, customer choices, customer queries etc. Marks and Spencer always make sure they are in the right position to provide for the customer the best services ever. Changes in weather affect seasonal products of Marks and Spencer so they always try to find the best strategies to make sure their goods are been sold out at a particular season. Legal situation: This can also affect Marks and Spencer in term of adjustment of the legislation. But the company try to make those changes in a way that their customer will be retain and their services will be increase. Sources: Morrison, M (2008) Pestle Analysis. CIPD Factsheet.RapidBi Marks and Spencer (2010) investor s Full text [online] [END OF P3] TASK 2 2.1 The current position of Marks and Spence [P5] INTERNAL EXTERNAL Product: The company offer stylish, high quality, great value clothing and home product, as well as outstanding quality foods. Political: This is an important factor that drives the strategic of many organizations to change. The change of constitution of politics affects the strategic of an organization. The changes of government affect the strategic of organization to change. The shift of political power from government to global organization affect the organization affects the organization strategy. Many organizations always try to change their strategy to fit the political view of the economic. Staff: The company provide good staffs that help improved the customer services. They also retain their staffs and provide them with training that will increase their services toward their customer. Economic: This concerns the financial structure, objectives and constrains place upon the organisation. This relates to both the external(that is, the levels of profit and turnover generated and the extent to which this is viable and able to sustain current and envisaged levels of activity) Market: MS have a high interest in the market. They always try to provide the best customer service and provide the best quality product that will enable them to gain competitive advantage. Social culture: This is another important factor that the organizations need to look into properly. The way the people lives, expectations, pattern of work, job, occupation and career patterns, changes in patterns of earnings etc. The social lives of most economy changes every year and organizations need to set up new strategic that will suite the social life of the economy. Promotion: Marks and Spencer introduce a promotion to keep their customer happy and to gain more customers. Technology: This factor affects the social, economic and business activities. Rendering many occupations and sectors obsolete; creating new occupation and sectors, opening up new spheres and location of activity. Organization should make sure there have the right technology to improve the organization works. Price: MS provide the best price to their product to gain competitive advantage. Environment: this is looking at what is happening within the environments where MS operate. Place: MS is located in a nice place where their customer can get a good car parking and quicker way to shop. Legal: this is looking on the changes in the legislation and how it s affecting MS. that is, the employment, access to material, quotas, resources, import/exports axations.etc. People: MS also provide the best people that will serve the best customer service to keep their customer happy. A good customer approach is very important in any business environment. Marks and Spencer (2010). Full text [online] [END OF P5] 2.2 The strength and weakness of MARKS and SPENCER [P6] STRENGHT ? Strong balance sheet ? Increase in turnover and trading profit ? Strong cash flow position ? Good human resources ? Brand awareness ? Leading premium quality food retailer OPPORTUNITIES ? Capability to turn resources into advantages ? Market shift to globalisation ? New product ? Customer demands changes to more value for money ? Diversification ? Develop overseas supply chain WEAKNESS ? Perception on high price ? Customer disinterest ? Environment issues(pollution) THREAT ? New and existing competitors ? Economic recession ? New legislation volatility of raw material ? Takeover bids ? Market shift to globalisation ? Low cost retailers Source: Marks and Spencer [END OF P6] 2.3 Tools used to analyse the effects of the current business plan [P4] ? Ansoff growth matrix ? Value chain ? BCG matrix ? Core competences ? Porter generic matrix ? Porter 5 forces ? Product life circle ? The gap analysis ? Marketing Mix The Ansoff s product/market matrix Existing Product New Product Market Penetration Product Development Market Development Diversification The Ansoff growth matrix can be used to identify directions of Marks and Spencer strategic development. The Ansoff growth matrix provides direction for strategic option available to MS in terms of product and market coverage. Market penetration is the name given to a growth strategy when a business focuses on selling existing products into existing markets. And these penetrations seek to achieve increasing the market share of current product, i.e. by combination of competitive pricing strategies, advertising, sales promotion and perhaps more resource dedicated to personal selling. This has help Marks and Spencer to secure dominance of growth markets. It restructures Marks and Spencer market by driving out competitors and it also increase patronage of their existing customer. Market development is the name given to a growth strategy where the business seeks to sell its existing products into new markets. Marks and Spencer has develop their market in so many different ways by providing a new distribution channel, new product dimensions or packaging, new geographical markets (for example exporting the product to new country), different pricing policies to attract different customers or create new market segments. Product development is the name given to a growth strategy where a business aims to introduce new products into existing markets. Marks and Spencer brought up a strategy that may require the development of new competencies and requires the business to develop modified products which can appeal to existing markets. Diversification: Marks and Spencer has diversified alot to introduce new products into new markets. Even as there are more risks in it but they still get the right strategy to win their competitor who was there before them THE FIVE FORCES MODELS Porter explains that there are five forces that determine industry attractiveness and long-run profitability of MS and the food retailing industry Threat of new entrants: The new entrants to an industry can raise the level of competition. The threat of new entrants largely depends on the barriers to entry and the market is also sensitive to reputation. The key barriers to entry include; the economics of scale, capital investment requirement, customer switching cost, access to industry distribution channels. In Marks and Spencer business line, the threat of new entrants is easy and high but the most important issues is to win your competitors and maintain the business. Threat of substitutes: substitute product can lower industry attractiveness and profitability because they limit the price level. The threat of substitute product depends on buyers willingness to substitute, the relative price and performance, the cost of switching to substitute. In Marks and Spencer the threat of substitute s product is low because majority of the customer who have been with them for a very long time enjoy their products and are still enjoying it. Bargaining power of suppliers: suppliers are very important in a business. They supply the company with raw material and other product. The cost of the item bought from supplier can have a significant impact on the organisation profitability. If the supplier has high bargaining power over the organisation, then the theory industry is less attractive. The bargaining power of supplier will be high when there are many buyers and few dominant suppliers, also when there are high valued product, when the supplier threaten to integrate forward into the industry (example brand manufacturing to set up their own retailer outlet), when the buyer does not threaten to integrate backward into supply Bargaining power of buyers: These are people who create demand in the organisation. The bargaining power of buyer is greater when there are few dominant buyers and many sellers, when the product are standardised, when the industry is not a key supplying group for buyer. In Marks and Spencer, the bargaining powers of buyers are not great Intensity of Rivalry: This will depend on the structure of the industry cost, the structure of competition, degree of differentiation, switching cost, strategic object, exist barriers. There are alot of competitor surrounding marks and Spencer but their customer still remain with them because of their old time being. All works above sources: Porter,M.E.(2008) How competitive forces that shape strategy, Harvard business review, p86-104. [END OF P4] Task 3 3.1 The modelling tools to develop strategic option are [P7-8] ? Ansoff growth matrix ? Value chain ? BCG matrix ? Core competences ? Porter generic matrix ? Porter 5 forces ? Product life circle ? The gap analysis ? Marketing Mix POTER GENERIC MATRIX Micheal porter suggested four generic business strategies that could be adopted in order to gain competitive advantage. Differentiation Focus Differentiation Cost focus Cost leadership Narrow Broad Scope of business activities Strategy Differentiation: This strategy involves selecting one or more criteria used by buyer in a market-and then positioning the business uniquely to meet those criteria. This strategy is usually associated with charging a premium price for the product- often to reflect the higher production costs and extra value-added features provided for the consumer. Differentiation is about charging a premium price that more than covers the additional production cost, and giving customer clear reasons to prefer the product over other, less differentiated products. The Price of Marks and Spencer products are cheap compare to Tesco and Asda that have very cheap prices on the product. But yet Marks and Spencer customer still remains because to the quality of their products. Strategy-cost leadership: with this strategy, the objective is to become the lowest-cost producer in the industry. Many (perhaps all) market segments in the industry are supplied with the emphasis placed minimising costs. If the achieved selling price can at least equal (or near) the average for the market, then the lowest-cost producer will (in theory) enjoy the best profits. This strategy is usually associated with large-scale businesses offering standard product with relatively little differentiation that is perfectly acceptable to the majority of customer. MS by cheap product/ clothing line and sell in a cheap price to meet competitors. Strategy- differentiation focus: in the differentiation focus, a business aims to differentiate with just one or a small number of target market segments. The special customer needs of the segment mean that there are opportunities to provide products that are clearly different form competitors who may be targeting a broader group of customer. The important issue for any business adopting this strategy to ensure that customer really do have different needs and wants. Marks and Spencer also deal on the older market (45-65 of age) which makes them different from other retailer shops like Tesco and Asda. They also used their brad to meet the needs of the olds. Strategy-cost focus: Here a business seeks a lower-cost advantage in just on a small number of market segments. The product will be basic- perhaps a similar product to the higher-priced and featured market leader, but acceptable to sufficient consumer. Such products are often called me too The Micheal Porter generic strategies are been used in many organisations including Marks and Spencer, either become the lowest cost retailer or different product and services in such a way that its valued by customer to the extent that they will pay a premium price. By Appling this strength in either a broad or narrow scope, the four generic strategies result: differentiation focus, differentiation, cost focus, cost leadership. Mark and Spencer core products are foods and clothing and it implement a focus generic strategy as it concentrate differentiation from Tesco, Asda, BHS, Top shop etc. Source: Porter,M.E.(2008) How competitive forces that shape strategy, Harvard business review MARKETING MIX The marketing mix is very important in an organisation. This is the elements that are associated with the product(s) that affect whether the consumer decide to buy or not. They are four main factors that will decide if a consumer wants to buy or not. Prices: Marks and Spencer charges premium prices through its differentiation strategy. Product: Marks and Spencer markets its product based on superior quality and reliability. Place: Mark and Spencer products are sold through its large numbers of stores in city and town centres. MS has also expanded in sales and distribution channels through internet via it website (online shopping) Promotion: MS integrated marketing communication is delivered through media in various form, advertising, TV, national newspaper and magazines as well as website [END OF P7-8] 3.2 Option to form the basis of future organisation strategy [P9] Having analyse this models one which I believe would be able to help the company will be The Ansoff s product/market matrix Existing Product New Product Marks and Spencer Market Penetration Marks and Spencer Product Development Marks and Spencer Market Development Marks and Spencer Diversification The Ansoff growth matrix can be used to identify directions of Marks and Spencer strategic development. The Ansoff growth matrix provides direction for strategic option available to MS in terms of product and market coverage. Under the market penetration, MS provide a good and quality service that has driven the organisation into a large market penetration. Marks and Spencer now introduce a product development by increasing the quality of their products and developing their product to enable them to develop their market. The market developments have also encouraged marks and Spence to employ the right staff with the right skills that will help reach the company objectives and achieve the organisation goals. Marks and Spencer diversification has also help the organisation in different ways. They started with cloths, and move to foods and drinks. The diversification has also enabled the organisation to stand up to their feet again and push forward to gain their goals. I will fully recommend the Ansoff matrix for marks and Spencer as they have been using it already in gaining in market penetration and development. [END OF P9] 3.3 Stakeholder mapping [P10] A stakeholder is any person or institution that has an interest in an activity or project. This definition includes intended beneficiaries and intermediaries, winners and losers, and those involved or excluded from decision making processes. There are different ways in which stakeholder mapping can be used to gain an understanding of stakeholder influence. The approach to stakeholder mapping here identifies stakeholder expectations and powers and helps in understanding political rarities. The stakeholders who have got an interest in Marks and Spencer are: Their banks, Shareholders, Employees, Customer, Suppliers Level of interest (A)Meet their needs Increase their effort Increase their level of interest (B)Key players Educate them on the company Engage and update the regularly Involve them in decision making (D)Least important Keep informed Try to communicate Let them know of any change (C)Participation Show consideration. Keep informed Participate in the company Try to increase the level of interest. Source: computed by student from lecture note Stakeholder mapping might help in understanding better some of the following issues: In determining purpose and strategy, which stakeholder expectations need to be most considered? Whether the actual levels of interest and power of stakeholders properly reflect the corporate governance framework within which the organization is operating. Who the key blockers and facilitators of a strategy are likely to be and how this could be responded to- for example, in term of education. Whether repositioning of certain stakeholder is desirable and/or feasible. This could be to lessen the influence of a key player or, in certain instances, to ensure that the key players who will champion the strategy. Source: Bryson,J.M (2004) Stakeholder Identification and Analysis techniques. Minnesota. Rouledge [END OF P10] TASK 4A 4.1 Criteria for reviewing a strategy are: [P11] ? Feasibility ? Suitability ? Acceptability ? Cost effectiveness ? Interest of other stakeholder ? Customer ? Competitors ? Nature of the product and services Customers: The customers of Marks and Spencer are very important to the organisation. MS customers find it hard to shop at another retail shop because of the old time relationship with the organisation. Customer satisfaction is very important to the organisation and MS always make sure that they provide the best customer services to their customer especially the aged. Interest of other stakeholder: the stakeholder is another important strategy MS love to use. The interest of their stake holders is how to develop and plan for the organisation growth. They love to stay close the stake holders, give them the right information there need to know and provides them with updated about the running of the organisation. Competitors: Marks and Spencer love to look at their competitor so as to get the strategy they are using and try to provide a better strategy to over shadow their competitor strategy. Competitors have been a big issue for Marks and Spencer and the always try to make their products as cheap like their competitor to attract more customer and to keep the own customer happy with no complains. Nature of the product and services: The nature of the product and services is always at a high level because they provide good quality products to their customer to show a differentiation between them and other competitors. They services they provide to the customer are very much enjoyable because they are always there to help u out and show u the best product u needs to have. The strategy plan for MARKS and SPENCER ARE [continuation of P11] PRESS RELEASE EXTRACT: 29 MARCH 2001 Source: From Marks and Spencer s Website 15/04/2002 PLAN 1, TOTAL FOCUS ON UK RETAIL 100% OWN BRAND: The company will return to selling only own brand products and brands exclusive to marks and Spencer so it can guarantee customers the quality, value and service they have come to expect. Central to the recovery plan is the delivery of significant improvement in product appeal, availability and value thereby rebuilding the relationship with core marks and Spencer customer. IMPROVED SEGMENTATION OF CLOTHING: Marks and Spencer will concentrate first on regaining the loyalty of core customer, who prefers classically stylish clothes. This is the priority. The company has plans to regain the confidence of its customer in the quality and fit of its clothing. It will sharpen price by rebalancing the price architecture, extending the range of entry-price merchandise and communicating this clearly to customers. BUILD ON SUCCESS IN FOOD: Marks and Spencer a food continues to perform well and has earned customers trust for providing quality, innovation and convenience. The business is a key platform for future growth and the company is considering opportunities to expand its reach through new locations and selling channels. DEVELOP HIGH-GROWTH AREAS OF HOME AND BEAUTY: the home business is growing strongly, with home furnishings and gifts the fastest growing product areas. Beauty, albeit relatively small, is also growing rapidly. Both of these areas offer promising opportunities for development and will be expected. ACCELERATE STORE RENEWAL PROGRAMME: Mark and Spencer will accelerate the rollout of the successful elements of its new concept format under a plan to refurbish more stores faster and at lower cost. Two thirds of its retail space (120 stores) will be completed by the end of the coming financial year, benefiting the majority of Marks and Spencer s customers. MORE INTENSIVE USE OF SPACE: Selling space will be reallocated to higher growth product areas to maximise returns per square foot. In total, 600,000 sq ft will be reallocated within the year to areas such as the new clothing range supplied by George Davies, Home, 50 new Beauty shops, and 30 new coffee shops. IMPROVE THE SUPPLY CHAIN: The Company continues to see substantial benefits from the reconfiguration of the supply base, being shown in a clothing primary margin that is rising strongly. The priorities now are to eliminate duplication and increase transparency. By re-establishing closer working relationships with its supply partners, historically and unique strength, marks and Spencer will achieve further improvements in quality, value, product appeal, and availability. Financial Services: Plans for the future include developing the Marks and Spencer store card as an essential partner to the growth of retail sales; a stronger presence for financial services in stores; continued growth of the credit business; and faster rates of growth of non-credit areas, which may involve bringing in external partners. PLAN 2 VALUE REALI