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The decisions made in organisations at both strategic and operational levels can have significant implications for success or failure, reputation and morale. For many organisations, little thought is given to the nature of decision-making – the complexity of decisions, the inherent biases of decision-makers, the validity of inputs used to inform decisions, agreed decision-making processes and support systems, when and how to involve stakeholders, responsibilities of participants and the effective communication of decisionmaking outcomes. This course aims to address these issues by developing awareness and competency inmaking thorough, insightful, effective and creative strategic and key operational decisions in line with organisational resources and capabilities.

Knowledge and Understanding

This course is designed to provide students with an understanding of:

  • The decision making environment

o decision making approaches quantitative, qualitative, rational and intuitive

o modelling, forecasting and scenario planning approaches

o decision making processes, phases of the process

o probability, uncertainty and their influence on decision handling and outcomes

o political, resource limitation, human bias and other decision modifiers

  • Decision making activities

o using ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ approaches to identify and define problems or opportunities

o consultation techniques for problem/opportunity exploration and clarification

o techniques for handling risk and uncertainty

o managing time, information and differing personal perspectives and worldviews

o analysis, selection and communication of decision outcomes

o factors contributing to a ‘wise’ choice; the creative decision making group

Learning Outcomes

Following completion of this course, participants should be able to:

  1. Describe the key phases of strategic and operational decision-making processes and assess the effectiveness of decision-making within an organisation.
  2. Identify and apply appropriate rational, quantitative, qualitative and intuitive approaches to making decisions in a range of organisational circumstances.
  3. Recognise the different forms of bias that can inhibit effective decision-making and ways that they may be overcome.
  4. Act independently or collaboratively as a member of a decision-making group in the process of making business decisions.
  5. Apply a systems or holistic perspective to the development and implementation of business decisions within an organisation.
  6. Demonstrate a high order of skill in analysis, critical thinking, communication and professional application.
  7. Demonstrate creativity and flexibility in the application of knowledge and skills to new situations, to resolve problems and to think rigorously and independently.

Plagiarism is the term used to describe the situation where a student has used the words of  authors, corporate writers, journalists or other students without acknowledgement. It is the practice of passing of other peoples’ work as one’s own. In an academic sense it is stealing.

Whether one plagiarises intentionally or unintentionally, both constitute academic misconduct at ABS and indeed at any other academic institution.

The penalties for plagiarism range from a fail for the particular assignment or for a whole course to exclusion from the study program.

Plagiarism is best avoided by

  • Careful planning and allowing adequate time for any writing tasks
  • Carefully noting sources of information during the research phase of your writing task and correctly identifying authorship details
  • Stringently ensuring that the author of each idea, concept or piece of information used in the framework and argument of your written document is correctly cited intext and in your References List
  • Being familiar with your academic institutions preferred system of academic referencing.

Environment Overview

The Conroy Manufacturing Company decided to diversify in the field of consumer goods, with the recruitment of their new management team, it can face some hurdles. However, they have been somewhat successful in consumer goods products, but they are lacking in sales when compared to the established brands in this field.

I can be seen that the given data of the Company for  consecutive years from the year 2012 to 2016, it is seen that though the sales for the consumer goods have increased but still it is relatively very small amount if it is compared with other products such as industrial machinery or paint. If is evaluated from the data, we can find the following calculations(Armstrong et al., 2015).

Therefore, it is concluded from this that though there is a stable growth in sales every year, but the percentage in consideration with the total sales is comparatively very low in consumer goods.

Currently the company is looking forward to develop gardening tools. They are planning to produce an electric lawnmower, about this they have carried out a market research, which suggested about the consumer buying behaviour. Keeping this research in mind, various forms of estimation is done. The company are trying to figure out the time that can be taken to manufacture the first prototype and the time taken to start the actual production (Bodie, Kane & Marcus, 2014).

To start the production work, they have chosen two sites, one is Campbell field another is Laverton. The site in Campbell field is an old textile mill, which has remained closed for the last two years. This site is relatively smaller and it is estimated that this site is capable of producing not more fifty thousand lawnmower a year. It can be considered that the site in Laverton then the company needs to invest twenty four million dollar to make new buildings to start production. As the investment is relatively higher so the company decided that they would go ahead with the site renovation once, a successful prototype of the lawnmower is ready. In this case it means that once the prototype of the product is ready, the company will go ahead to develop the site which will take another year. Therefore, in this case, the production will solely depend on the prototype getting ready. It has been trying to calculate all the pros and cons of the project and that would it be feasible to continue with the project or to abandon (Clarke, 2014).

The company wants to expand its business in consumer goods section, they are trying to come-up with a new advanced lawnmower than can compete and win over other products in the market. In this regard they are investing heavily in research and development to understand the need of the consumer and there buying behaviour. After doing a research, it is found that safety and convenience is a key point that the customer is looking for in a product. They also found that customer also wants some key features that makes their work easy and will give them an upper hand from other competitors. To support this they came up with features such as automatic adjustable supported by a processor for uneven land and an automatic voice announcer that will notify the user when the grass box is full (Giocoli, 2016).

Product and Market

Company’s main objective is to build-up a successful prototype lawnmower as soon as possible and start production right away. In this regard, they need to do a lot of investment and they are not fully sure about how the product will perform in comparison with other product in the market. They have set a target that they will try to build a successful prototype by the end of December 2017 with a cost of around eight million and if fails to do so they will review the project on January 2018. They will analyze the situation and then conclude whether to continue with the project or abandon. The marketing team has done an assessment and came up with a two situations. They say that the sales of the product will depend on the actual launch of the product in the market. They have mentioned that if the product can be launched by January 2019, with comparison with its competitors it would be in an advantageous position and it is estimated 70 percentage good and thirty percent bad. Whereas if they launch the product by January 2020, they will lack behind in sales and this situation will prevail throughout the life of the product (Grant, 2016).

It can be analyzed in detail and can be seen that the company is into manufacturing sector and they are currently manufacturing goods for four different sectors such as:

  • Industrial Machinery
  • Paint
  • Building material
  • Consumer Goods

It is analyzed fromeach sector individually and can be seen that the company has increased their sales apart from the section of paint. This is the only section where the company is lacking behind.

Industrial machinery

It is looked from the sales between the years 2014-2015 in the figure 2 we can clearly see that there is a decrease in sales from the previous year and this decrease amounts to 3.2 million dollars, which is 8.7% decrease.

The year 2015-2016 shows that there is an increase in sales this is 0.8 million dollars that is an increase of 2.38% from the previous year.

Considering last five years, we can find that from the year 2012 to 2016 the company has increased their sales by 2 million dollars, which is an increase of 6.17%.

Looking at the paint section, it is seen in the figure 3 that the company has made a gradual decrease in sale every year and that is not a good sign for any organization.

Analyzing the particular graph, it is seen that between the year 2012 to 2013 there was a decrease of sales. The decrease was of 1.2 million dollars, which is around 8.33% decrease in sales.

Considering the year 2013-2014 it is seen that there is again a decrease in sales as it is shown in This decrease is of 0.8 million dollars, which is around an increase of around 6.06% from the sales of the previous year (Johnson,2014).

Looking at the sales between the year 2014-2015 in the figure 3 we can clearly see that there is a decrease in sales from the previous year and this decrease amounts to 0.8 million dollars which is 6.45% decrease.

Decision Making: Approaches and Phases

The year 2015-2016 shows that there is a decrease in sales this is 1.2 million dollars that is an increase of 10.34% from the previous year.

Considering last five years, we can find that from the year 2012 to 2016 the sales has decreased by 4 million dollars, which is around 27.78%.

Looking at the graph, it can be clearly see that the company has made a gradual increase in sales in the section of building materials. In this section, the company has seen increase in sales each year.

Analyzing the particular graph, it is seen that between the years 2012 to 2013 there was an increase of sales. The increase was of 0.8 million dollars, which is around 3.17%, increase in sales (McVay, Flores-Villela & Carstens, 2015).

Considering the year 2013-2014 it can be seen that there is the also an increase in sales as it is shown in This increase is of 0.8 million dollars, which is around an increase of around 3.07% from the sales of the previous year (McVay, 2013).

Looking at the sales between the years 2014-2015 in the figure 4 it is seen that there is an increase in sales from the previous year and this increase amounts to 2 million dollars, which is 7.46% decrease.

The year 2015-2016 shows that there is an increase in sales this is 1.2 million dollars that is an increase of 4.16% from the previous year.

Considering last five years, we can find that from the year 2012 to 2016 the company has increased their sales by 4.8 million dollars, which is an increase of 19.04%.

Analyzing the consumer goods section it is seen in the figure 5 that the company has made a gradual increase in sale every year and that is a good sign for any organization.

Looking at the sales between the year 2014-2015 in the figure 5 it can be clearly seen that there is an increase in sales from the previous year and this increase amounts to 1.2 million dollars, which is 50% growth (Petkovi? et al.,2016).

The year 2015-2016 shows that there is an increase in sales this is 0.8 million dollars that is an increase of 22.22% from the previous year.

Considering last five years  it is found that from the year 2012 to 2016 the sales has moved up to 4.4 million dollars which is around good for the company.

Considering the amount of the sales of the consumer goods in comparison to other goods, we can see:

Shows the sum of each year of sales from year 2012 to 2016. The total sales of the last five years of the consumer goods are 11.6 million dollars, which is 3.11% of the total sales (Ross et al., 2013).

In the past, the company has come-up with products, which they developed for the DIY enthusiast. The product included electric drill and car engine tuner. However, with successful with their product, but still the amount of sale generated in this field is relatively low in comparison with other established brands (Shroff, Verdi & Yu,2013).

Estimation of Production Time

The company wants to do extensive research on sales and customer need. In this regard, they have invested heavily on research and development of the product. In order to calculate the future sale they have made extensive use of industry data.

The site that has been chosen for production of these products in both nearby port of Melbourne. This is done to carry out easy transportation. This will also reduce the cost of transportation and will reduce the cost of the product. This strategy will help them to curtail the price of the product, which will give them an edge over there, competitor. Moreover, it will be easier for them to procure raw material and transport them through shipping. As we know water route is the cheapest possible means of transportation it helps in price reduction (Smit & Trigeorgis,2017).

The company wants to come out with a product, which meets the need of the customer, and have some unique and useful features that make their product unique and superior from their competitors.

In order to support their marketing of the product they have come up with the strategy to go-ahead with an extensive campaigning on major newspaper and local television.

With the help of the net present value, we can calculate whether a proposed project will be valuable for the company or not.

This technique is being used to set goals. This technique is about;

S – Simple

M –Multi

A -Attribute

R -Rating

T -Technique

This technique tells us that the goal that is being set should be specific and not random. This technique also help us to rate the attributes effectively. In addition to this, also helps to minimize the loopholes associated in the process (Truelove, Vasardani & Winter, 2015).

If we look in this case study we can see that how the whole process of production of lawnmowers are divided in short and specific goals. The goals that are being set are specific and relevant in nature. Once a goal is achieved then there is another goal each goal is measurable and time bound in nature.

In some cases it was also calculated what are the chances of achieving the goal at a specific time (Yemshanov et al, 2015).

Conroy Manufacturing was trying to successfully build up a prototype of the lawnmowers as soon as possible to start production. The production and site development was all depended upon the completion of the prototype. They are trying to estimate there expenses and the sales so that they can conclude whether this project will be profitable for them. In the context they are trying to carry out different kinds of research and calculations so as get there assumptions right.

Time is short as getting late in starting production means that product will lack behind in sales and this will continue throughout the product life span. They want to come up with the product within least possible time and expenses so there product can compete with other products in the market. Failing to do so will give their competitors added advantage (Zimmermann &Jørgensen, 2015).

Choice of Sites: Campbell Field and Laverton

References

Armstrong, G., Kotler, P., Harker, M., & Brennan, R. (2015). Marketing: an introduction. Pearson Education.

Asquith, P., & Weiss, L. A. (2016). The Time Value of Money: Discounting and Net Present Values. Lessons in Corporate Finance: A Case Studies Approach to Financial Tools, Financial Policies, and Valuation, 287-302.

Bodie, Z., Kane, A., & Marcus, A. J. (2014). Investments, 10e. McGraw-Hill Education.

Clarke, D. (2014). WEA conference focus is in value adding for the industry-from the grape to the glass. Australian and New Zealand Grapegrower and Winemaker, (604), 82.

Giocoli, N. (2016). The classical limits to police power: Adam Smith and the economic foundations of the Slaughterhouse dissents. Browser Download This Paper.

Grant, R. M. (2016). Contemporary strategy analysis: Text and cases edition. John Wiley & Sons.

Hurley, K. (2015). The Melbourne story: an analysis of the city’s economy over the 2000s (Doctoral dissertation, Victoria University).

Johansen, N. J., Tripovic, D., & Brock, J. A. (2013). Streptozotocin-induced diabetes differentially affects sympathetic innervation and control of plantar metatarsal and mesenteric arteries in the rat. American Journal of Physiology-Heart and Circulatory Physiology, 304(2), H215-H228.

Johnson, P. F. (2014). Purchasing and supply management. McGraw-Hill Higher Education.

Kim, K. H., Lee, K., Lee, H. S., Rhee, C. W., & Shin, H. D. (2017). Lithofacies modeling by multipoint statistics and economic evaluation by NPV volume for the early Cretaceous Wabiskaw Member in Athabasca oilsands area, Canada. Geoscience Frontiers.

McVay, J. D. (2013). Molecular phylogenetics of the North American snake tribe Thamnophiini (Doctoral dissertation).

McVay, J. D., Flores-Villela, O., & Carstens, B. (2015). Diversification of North American natricine snakes. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 116(1), 1-12.

Mushtaq, S., Maraseni, T. N., & ReardonSmith, K. (2015). Trade-offs and synergies between water and energy use in rural Australia. Climate, Energy and Water. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge UK.

Petkovi?, D., Shamshirband, S., Kamsin, A., Lee, M., Anicic, O., & Nikoli?, V. (2016). Survey of the most influential parameters on the wind farm net present value (NPV) by adaptive neuro-fuzzy approach. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 57, 1270-1278.

Potes, A., Torres-Platas, G., Thomas, Z., Therriault, J., Fox, R., Morin, L., ... & Vasudev, A. (2017). Tai Chi Interventions in Mental Illness: Results From a Pilot Study in Adults and a Systematic Review in Older Adults. The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 25(3), S100-S101.

Ross, S. A., Bianchi, R., Christensen, M., Drew, M., Westerfield, R., & Jordan, B. D. (2013). Fundamentals of Corporate Finance: Introduction to corporate finance Chapter: 2 Financial statements, taxes and cash flow PART 2 Chapter: 3 Working with financial statements Chapter: 4 Long-term financial planning and corporate growth PART 3 Chapter: 5 First principles of valuation: TVM Chapter: 6 Valuing shares and bonds PART 4 Chapter: 7 Net present value and other investment criteria Chapter: 8 Making capital investment decisions Chapter: 9 Project analysis and evaluation PART 5 Chapter: 10 Lessons .... McGraw-Hill Education (Australia).

Shroff, N., Verdi, R. S., & Yu, G. (2013). Information environment and the investment decisions of multinational corporations. The Accounting Review, 89(2), 759-790.

Smit, H. T., & Trigeorgis, L. (2017). Strategic NPV: Real Options and Strategic Games under Different Information Structures. Strategic Management Journal.

Stiglitz, J. E., & Rosengard, J. K. (2015). Economics of the Public Sector: Fourth International Student Edition. WW Norton & Company.

Truelove, M., Vasardani, M., & Winter, S. (2015). Towards credibility of micro-blogs: characterising witness accounts. GeoJournal, 80(3), 339-359.

Yemshanov, D., McCarney, G. R., Hauer, G., Luckert, M. M., Unterschultz, J., & McKenney, D. W. (2015). A real options-net present value approach to assessing land use change: A case study of afforestation in Canada. Forest Policy and Economics, 50, 327-336.

Zimmermann, F., & Jørgensen, C. (2015). Bioeconomic consequences of fishing-induced evolution: a model predicts limited impact on net present value. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 72(4), 612-624.

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