Research Paper, Business Business Decision making
Garden centres are big businesses. With multi-million pound turnover each year it is vitally important that they maximise their turnover. They operate on small margins, high costs and the business is at constant risk due to the variations in weather which can occur from one year to the next.
Garden centres obviously sell plants – but they have other products. These include tools, watering systems, paving etc. Some include other hobby merchandise and stationery.
Seasonal products are also catered for e.g. Christmas decorations, barbeque equipment and garden furniture.
Because of the individual nature of each centre customers are prepared to travel considerable distances to visit a centre – they do not necessarily choose the nearest one. Customers also perceive each centre as somewhat unique.
Some customers come make a purchase, others come to just browse. Others come to meet friends and have some refreshments in the café.
You are a market research who has been retained by a local garden centre to carry out research amongst its visitors.
The centre is looking for data its current customer base in order to develop its services and compete more effectively with its competitors.
You have been asked to provide a business report which contains the following details:
• What secondary data can be obtained by the garden centres about its customers and their purchasing habits?
• A survey methodology and sampling frame for providing primary data.
• A questionnaire designed to provide primary data.
The report should contain a plan for the collection of both the primary and secondary data described above.
The report should not contain vague ideas but should be detailed and practical, and capable of being adopted and auctioned.
You have previously been employed by the garden centre to carry out research amongst its visitors. This was so successful they have asked you for more advice and guidance.
You have been asked to provide a set of guidance note and examples for the next manager’s department meeting as follow:
1. The managers where not familiar with some of the statistics in your report. Explain to them the concept of mean, mode, median and percentiles. Illustrate your description with numeric calculations using the following data from the first 20 respondent to your survey.
Respondents age 23, 45, 68, 18, 34, 53, 42, 41, 23, 66, 61, 28, 34, 39, 40, 50, 37, 48, 57, 61.
Note a graph might be helpful as well as calculations.
2. The trade press has given the following index values for the purchase price of some special plants the garden centre sells:
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
100 108 115 127 139
Prepare a chart using these values and your estimates of the index for years 2013 and 2014.
If the purchase price of the plants was £8 in 2011. What would you estimate the price will be in 2014?
3. The garden centre would like to introduce a comprehensive computerised management information system. Describe how this might work in the organization, the needs and requirements of the various departments and the benefits that such a system would produce.
4. To give the garden centre some idea of what might be involved in bringing in the centre produce a project plan diagram (Gantt chart) using the following information:
• Delivery of the computer system will take 28 days from receipt of order.
• It will take the computer supplier 3 full days to install the system.
• You need 2 days to provide details to the purchasing dept. at group HQ.
• HQ will take 3 days to approve the order and get it to your supplier.
• It will take 4 days to train the department managers how to use the system.
• You need to explain your plans to the staff; this will take 1 day for each department.
• After the computer has arrived, a rota must be produced for the staff training programme, this should take a day to produce then the training programme will need 5 days to complete.
• Details of all items in stock will have to be entered onto the system, and will take 21 days.
• Electrical sockets and network access points will need to be fitted and this will take 6 days.
• It will take 1 day to install the encryption software to ensure security of payments.
• It will take the computer supplier 2 days to finally check the system.
5. What is the minimum time it will take to implement the system?
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