Category Archives: BUS 640 (ASH)

BUS 640 Week 6 Final Paper Managerial Decision Making (Apple)

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Research a specific company of your choice and identify some of the managerial decisions that were made over time and in response to changes in its market or competitive environment. Use the Ashford University Online Library and web-based sources for your research. At least three external scholarly sources must be used. Address all of the following areas:

Describe the company and provide a brief history of its operations. Find or use graphs to illustrate its financial performance over the years.
Identify any sources of risk or uncertainty in its operations. Do the financial reports indicate risky or uncertain activities or changes to the economic environment that ultimately appear to have affected the company’s financial outcomes? Be specific.
Are there any government regulations that have affected this company’s operations domestically or abroad? Explain.

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BUS 640 Week 6 DQ 2 Sustainable Competitive Advantage

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Describe the circumstances under which a firm chooses a low-cost strategy to attain sustainable competitive advantage. What about the situations when a differentiation strategy is chosen? Provide specific real world examples.

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BUS 640 Week 5 Price Quotes and Pricing Decisions Applied Problems

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1. Your organization, Bright Paints, is among a dozen organizations producing a specific reflective paint utilized for traffic signals. The State Department of Transportation has requested tenders to provide 10,000 gallons of blue reflective paint to be supplied in 2 months. You may predict fitting in a manufacturing run of the blue paint and have made a decision to quote on the work. You compute your incremental expenses for this job to be $76,200. This specific deal is standard, similar in all in ways to hundreds of agreements you have bid on during the last few years. Your pricing policy has been to apply a mark-up to incremental expenses to arrive at the bid price. Your mark-up has been more when you had lots of orders and reduced when you had very few or no orders to complete. You have gathered data pertaining the mark-up rate used as well as the share of deals got at each mark-up rate, as follows.

Mark up rate (%) Bid Price Contribution EPVC Percent of contracts won
0 $76,200 0 0 95.9
10 $83,820 $7,620 .0848 84.8
15 $87,630 $11,430 .0981 65.4
20 $91,440 $15,240 .0826 41.3
25 $95,250 $19,050 .0392 15.7
30 $99,060 $22,860 .009 3.0
35 $102,870 $26,670 0 0

 

a. Why would your company have bid with a zero mark-up on some past tenders? Why didn’t it win all of those contracts?

b. What is the bid price that maximizes the expected contribution of the contract

c. Why, or why not, is the fixed-price mode of bidding likely to be the best one to use for this contract?

2.In calculating the incremental cost of a particular project, how would you treat the possible future costs of a lawsuit that may occur as a result of this project, where the cost of the lawsuit might range from $10,000 to $500,000 with an associated probability distribution? 

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BUS 640 Week 5 DQ 2 New Product Introduction

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Bayer Schering Pharma AG, Germany owns the Alka-Seltzer, which was launched in 1931 and was meant for relief of minor aches, pains, inflammation, fever, headache, heartburn, sour stomach, indigestion, and hangovers. The Alka-Seltzer Plus was a spin-off of the original medicine, meant to relieve colds and flu.
The company has recently introduced a updated and improved Alka-Seltzer Plus, as described in the TV ad: “The Cold Truth”, (please, watch the ad listed in the Required Readings).

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BUS 640 Week 5 DQ 1 Good Will in Price Bidding

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Sometimes, a bidder on a work contract may bid lower than what would maximize his/her profit from the contract and the reason for that is to create goodwill (to increase expected future business from the buyer). How would you value the goodwill that is obtained in this way?

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BUS 640 Week 4 Market Structures and Pricing Decisions Applied Problems

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Market Structures and Pricing Decisions Applied Problems. Please, complete the following 2 applied problems in a Word or Excel document. Show all your calculations and explain your results. Submit your assignment in the drop box by using the Assignment Submission button. 

1.) A small company that manufactures plastic vacuum-suction covers for round household plates has a monopoly, which is safeguarded by a utility patent. The market demand curve for this item is approximated to be: Q = 6009 – 25P where Q is the quantity of dish covers for each year and P is in dollars. Expense approximation processes have established that the firm’s expense function is shown by TC = 120 + 2500Q – 0.25*Q2.

a. What is the profit-maximizing price and output level? Solve this algebraically for equilibrium P and Q and also plot the MC, D and MR curves and illustrate the equilibrium point. 

b. What profit do you expect that the firm will make in the first year? 

c. Do you expect this profit level to continue in subsequent years? Why or why not? 

 

2.) Greener Grass Company (GGC) competes with its major competitor, Better Lawns and Gardens (BLG), in the delivery and installing of in-ground lawn watering systems in the prosperous western suburbs of a main east-coast town. Previous year, GGC’s price for the standard lawn system was $1,995 compared with BLG’s rate of $2,100. GGC set up 9,130 systems, or roughly 55% of total sales and BLG set up the remaining. (No doubt, several additional systems were set up by do-it-yourself householders because the components are easily available at hardware shops.) GGC has significant additional capacity-it could easily set up 25,000 systems yearly, because it has all the necessary machines and can easily employ and teach installers. As a result, GGC is thinking about growth into the eastern suburbs, in which the people are less prosperous. In earlier years, both GGC and BLG have set up many hundred systems in the eastern suburbs however typically their sales attempts are met with the reaction that the systems are very costly. GGC has employed you to propose a pricing method for both the western and eastern suburb markets for this coming season. You have approximated two distinct demand functions, as follows:

Qw=1,035.548 – 6.07164Pgw + 2.83Pbw + 2,100Ag – 1,500Ab + 0.2348Yw

for the western market and

Qe=49,714.29 – 30.7692Pge + 6.984Pbe + 1,180Ag – 950Ab + 0.0825Ye

 

For the eastern market, where Q means the quantity of items sold; P means price level; A means advertising budgets of the companies (in millions); Y means average disposable income levels of the possible buyers; the subscripts w and e refer to the western and eastern markets, respectively; and the subscripts g and b refer to GGC and BLG, respectively. GGC desires to invest $1.5 million on advertisements this coming year and desires BLG to invest $1.2 million on advertisements. The average family disposable income is $55,000 in the western suburbs and $25,000 in the eastern suburbs. GGC does not hope BLG to modify its price from last year, because it has already distributed its shiny pamphlets (with the $2,100 price mentioned) in both suburbs, and its TV advertisement has already been made. GGC’s expense structure has been approximated as TVC = 755.363Q + 0.005Q2 where Q shows single lawn watering systems. 

a. Derive the demand curves for GGC’s product in each market. 

b. Plot graphically the demand and MR curves for each market, and also show GGC’s combinquantities that should be manufactured and sold, and the prices that should be charged, in each market. 

c. Confirm your quantity and price results algebraically. 

d. Calculate the price elasticity of demand in each market and discuss these in relation to the prices to be charged in each market. 

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BUS 640 Week 4 DQ 1 Strategic Behavior Oligopolies

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An interesting example of strategic behavior comes from a 1997 article about Microsoft’s investment in Apple (New Straits Times, 1997). The article is included in the Required Readings list. Facing tough anti-trust scrutiny from government agencies, Microsoft provided financial support to Apple in order to ensure Apple’s survival and, therefore, to ensure that competitiveness in the industry remains. Moreover, the partnership with Apple provided an additional market for Microsoft’s products – the MS Office and the IE products were to be bundled with the MAC OS as one of the conditions for this financing. Discuss this case in the context of market structure and strategic behavior. What market structure do these firms operate in? Why did Microsoft need to preserve competitiveness in the industry? What was Microsoft afraid of in the event that Apple did not survive?

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BUS 640 Week 3 Production Cost Analysis and Estimation Applied Problems

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1.  Jennifer Trucking Company operates a large rig transportation business in Texas that transports locally grown vegetables to San Diego, California. The company owns 5 large rigs and hires local drivers paid fixed salaries monthly, regardless of the number of trips or tons of cargo that each driver transports each month.

2. The Palms Dry Cleaning Shop in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, faces a highly seasonal demand for its services, as the snow-birds retirees flock to Florida in mid-fall to enjoy the mild winter weather and then return to their main homes in mid-spring. Given this seasonality, Palms tries to keep the overhead costs as low as possible and therefore, often uses seasonal contracted labor to man its operations. The following table shows the labor costs in each month of operation over the past 12 months as well as the total number of garments that were dry-cleaned in each month. Palms pays fixed wages per hour to each employee, and we can assume that the costs of other variable inputs (such as chemicals, electricity, etc) have remained constant.

3. Over the past 12 months the Four Winds Novelty Company firm has recorded its internet sales (equals monthly output levels) and its monthly total variable costs (TVC) for a particular novelty item as shown in the following table. Sales have grown over this period with relatively few shocks due to uncontrollable weather, political and sporting events. This online retailer carries no inventories; when it receives a pre-paid on-line order from a customer, it simply buys the product from a supplier and ships it out to the customer.

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BUS 640 Week 3 DQ 1 Relevant Costs

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Two partners own together a small landscaping business in North Carolina, called Summer Lawn Care. They have been specializing in summer grass seeding, installation, and maintenance. Recently, the partners acquired special technology and know-how for winter grass installations and maintenance. They also added a tree cutting service as recent storms in the area had caused demand for this service to soar. One of the partners insists that the name of the business should change to Lawn and Tree Care, so that it better reflects the range of services and, thus, generates more customer interest, and thus contracts. The second partner wants to keep the old name and argues, “We have already paid for business cards, vehicle paint, signage, and ads in Yellow Pages”. Evaluate the arguments of the two partners. Explain and illustrate their points by identifying the relevant and irrelevant costs for this decision.

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