This is the background info for this SLP
The SLP for this course involves participating in a simulation exercise. Unlike cases, which are static, simulations are interactive and you can see the results of your decisions. Additionally, you can repeat the simulation to improve the quality of your decisions.
GENERAL SLP SCENARIO:
Joe Schmoe is the current VP of Marketing for Clipboard Tablet Co. He has a pricing and R&D strategy that he intends to use for the next four years: 2012 through 2015. The performance of the company is pretty lackluster and Joe gets fired on Dec. 15, 2015. You get hired to replace him as the company is about to move forward into 2016. But for some strange reason, you get caught in a Time Warp, much like the guy in the movie, “Groundhog Day.” You are doomed to repeat the last four years, 2012 through 2015, until you can improve the performance of Clipboard Tablet.
In particular, you will be looking at income statements and marketing reports and making decisions about pricing, product development (R&D expenditure), and product life cycles for a company that sells Tablet Computers.
This is a brief summary of what you will do in each SLP:
1.In this first SLP it is Dec. 15, 2015, and you are getting ready to make a Marketing strategy for 2016. But you want to review the performance of the company over the last four years, so you review the Financial and Marketing data, as well as the product data and how it stacks up against the competition. You have a great New Year’s Eve celebration thinking you are ready to move ahead.
2.In SLP2, you experience a Time Warp. You are back on January 1, 2012. You realize that you will have to go through 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015, but you think you can do better than Joe Schmoe. You work your way through each year, trying to make better decisions and generate more profit and an overall better performance than your predecessor. As you do this, you keep track of your decisions, your reasoning and results, which turns into a final report that you hope will be useful as you move ahead into 2016.
3.In SLP3, the Time Warp strikes again. Once more you are at January 1, 2012. This time you decide to develop a complete strategy for all four years and use CVP analysis to help you. You analyze the results from your first Time Warp and develop another strategy, this time for all four years being predetermined.
4.In SLP4, it is the next day. You begin to implement your new strategy. You do so at the beginning of each year and time flows quickly. At the end of each year you review the results and collect the data. At the end of 2015, you note your overall performance, hoping that you will now move ahead into 2016. But once again, the Time Warp strikes and you have to do it again. This time you vow you will do it better. You analyze the results and use CVP analysis. You now have another strategy ready to go, having spent all of New Year’s day putting it together.
5.In SLP5, on January 2, 2012, you begin the same four-year journey again. You implement your strategy at the beginning of each year and get the results as time flies by. New Year’s Eve, 2015, you note your final results. How did you do? When you wake up on New Year’s Day, it is 2016. You celebrate. Then you understand that you had lessons to learn. So you decide to compare the results of this last Time Warp to the results that you got in the previous Time Warp. You will explain how the results are different and why they are different.
GET FAMILIAR WITH THE SIMULATION
Go to the simulation at Forio.com. You will see the simulation interface, which provides you with information about the Clipboard Tablet Company as well as the input interface to implement your strategy (pricing decisions and R&D budget allocations).
Explore the interface and get familiar with it and the information it provides. The menu on the left-hand side shows these options:
NEED TO BRUSH UP ON CVP ANALYSIS?
You were introduced to this method in your previous courses, but this link will provide a refresher. There are other websites you can look at as well, but this one provides a detailed and thorough review.
Accounting for Management.com Cost-Volume-Profit Relationship (CVP Analysis): http://www.accountingformanagement.com/cost_volume_profit.htm
Every time you open the simulation or reset it to play again, you will be at end of the year of 2011, and the data you see will show the results for 2011 and 2010 (previous year). When you run the simulation you will run it for the next four years: 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015. After each year, you will always be at the end of that year and see the results for that year and the previous year.
OPTIONAL READING AND RESOURCES:
Remember that in preparing the assignments for this module (as those that follow), you must demonstrate that you know how to use the appropriate business tools for such an analysis. This will require you to integrate learning from courses throughout the MBA program.
OTHER USEFUL RESOURCES:
Useful Internet Sites:
You may access some useful Internet and other resources relating to such matters as financial ratios and processes for measurement of organizational resources (both tangible and intangible) at http://www.investopedia.com/university/ratios/#axzz2JNe7QCr3 and http://www.sveiby.com/articles/IntangibleMethods.htm
Now the assignment itself.
Module 1 – SLP
First, run the simulation using the Default Decisions. In other words, use the prices and R&D percentage that are already there. Capture or collect the results for each product (X5, X6, X7) as you run each year. Copy (using Excel, by hand, or some other method) the Financial results and Marketing results, as well as the information provided by the Advisor.
Refer to the reading on the SLP in the Module 1 Background. Then read the following scenario before you proceed:
It is December 15, 2015. Joe Schmoe, the VP of Marketing at Clipboard Tablet Co., is smugly patting himself on the back for how well he has done with pricing and product development on the three products, X5, X6, and X7. He knows his strategy was not very creative, since he did not change any prices or R&D allocations over the four-year period (actually six years, counting 2010 and 2011). But he is certain that he did not need to change anything, and that his overall performance is proof.
However, Sally Smothers, CEO of Clipboard Tablet Co., has a different opinion, and she fires Joe.
You are hired. You applied for the position a few weeks ago and interviewed, unaware of the fate of Joe Schmoe at the time. So here you are, Dec. 15, 2015, VP of Marketing at Clipboard Tablet Co., and ready to move the company ahead into 2016. Your boss, Sally Smothers, is expecting you to take over and move the company forward in terms of product development, and smart pricing.
Session Long Project
Write a 4- to 6-page paper, not including cover and reference page, according to Sally’s directions as follows:
Sally wants to make sure that you are ready to move ahead and asks you to review the past four to six years to see what was going on in terms of product development, sales, pricing, and performance against the competition. You collect all of the data and write a report which is due on Sally’s desk January 2, 2016.
Analyze the results of Joe Schmoe’s decisions and then write the report that Sally is requesting. Run the simulation of the Clipboard Tablet Co. using the default decisions. Access the simulation site and collect the data for each year (or you can download a copy of it – see below). Make a Case for your proposed strategy using financial analysis and relevant theories.
Here are some links if you cannot pull up Forio.com
KEYS TO THE ASSIGNMENT:
The key aspects to this assignment that should be covered in your paper include:
•A review of the products, their life cycles, and how they stack up in terms of price and performance.
•Financial review for each product: X5, X6, and X7 – sales, costs, profitability, prices, unit margins, etc.
•Market review: New Sales, Repeat Sales, Market Saturation, etc.
•Propose an alternate strategy: a general idea of how you might do better with these products: what pricing and R&D allocations, etc., you would have put in place over the last four years, 2012 – 2015.
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