Posted: February 11th, 2023
Assignment Due by: Wednesday April 12th, 2017 before Midnight Deliverable: In a 5‐page maximum (single spaced, Arial 12pt font, 1” margins) letter sized paper (8.5”x11”), ensure that at a minimum, you answer all of the “Minimum Questions to Address/Answer”, found further down in this outline, focusing/utilizing the concepts covered in the classroom lecture, covered in the textbook, covered in article posts, and supplemented by topics generally covered through any other graduate level course work that you have completed. The key here is to leverage the concepts that you have learned mostly through MBA501 coursework to draw conclusions, develop analysis and to ultimately present your answer/proposal. Include any graphs, charts, diagrams, etc. that you feel adds to your development (included in the 5‐page max). Additionally, include any relevant spreadsheets showing how you derived your conclusions with applicable formulas. (NOT counted in your 5‐page maximum). You MUST use the following naming convention for the file name of your submission: “LastName‐FirstName – MBA501A – Written Assignment.docx” EXAMPLE: Perkins‐Jamel – MBA501A – Written Assignment.docx and “LastName‐FirstName – MBA501A – Written Assignment Excel.xlsx” EXAMPLE: Perkins‐Jamel – MBA501A – Written Assignment.xlxs Please submit your completed assignment to the “Written Assignment” drop box on Desire2Learn. Data Extreme Storage Solutions Data Extreme Storage Solutions, is a maturing company that produces data storage products (both on premise solutions and off‐premise solutions “cloud”) to businesses across all industries and verticals. The company was founded by a veteran consumer and commercial electronics entrepreneur, that used to work Compaq Computers and holds several patents in the consumer electronics space. Has over 25 years of industry experience, most recently building a tablet company from the ground up and selling the company to another technology giant. Data Extreme Storage Solutions has been in business for 7 years and is coming up on its 8th year anniversary. Their products are known industry wide for their quality; dependability; ease of use and cutting edge technology. To date, the company has relied on basic distribution channels mostly through sales representatives prospecting commercial customers (selling exclusively through this face to face). Wholesale/retail inventory access and ordering is accomplished through a catalog‐based process and currently only supports the buying agent (sales representative). The Sales function (also includes new business development) accomplishes their tasks through traditional site visits (door‐to‐door), cold calling and relationship building through tradeshows and other avenues (wholesale). The company is facing increasing competition on price points, brand identity, customer connection and an understanding of the changing needs of their commercial customers. This is evidenced by a stagnant market penetration but overall appreciating customer satisfaction and repeat customers. Recently ownership has been considering getting into the consumer data storage space, with both their on‐premise solution and their cloud offering. The direction here is unclear but there seems to be two defining approaches: remarket existing product lines or create aseparate consumer focused product line. There may be some opportunities with the acquisition of a competitor or and/or even exploration of a potential sale. Current challenges: Lack of market penetration Challenges with brand identity and getting customers to understand the difference. Current onshore and in‐house everything strategy has limited their competitiveness in terms of pricing due to sizeable fixed overhead costs (Everything from facilities management through manufacturing to union contracts). Brand reputation is strong but Data Extreme Storage Solutions has been challenged in understanding the changing needs of its loyal and repeat customer base. Customer connectivity (understanding the customer) is slipping. Current manufacturing, distribution and sales channels is becoming more and more expensive driving overhead costs. Aging manufacturing process (in‐house) and technology (10 years old, mostly in‐house, integrated systems). Supply chain challenges: sourcing, selection, pricing, availability, picking, packing, shipping, demand planning, stock availability, etc. The company has grown organically from a staff of 6, to a total staff of almost 300 associates (including assembly line, janitorial, sales, supervisors, analysts, accountants, engineers, designers, etc. Lack of a formalized structure, there is the founder which today serves as head of all departments and then there is the various staff functions and limited formal supervisory roles and no formal structure. Company is well capitalized and still has a good financial standing. Scope: Assume the role of an outside consultant, hired by the independent board of directors to develop a short to mid term plan along with high‐level analysis of Data Extreme Storage Solutions. Additionally, the board is seeking and a detailed analysis of the prior 2 years’ sales data (2015‐2016 provided). You have been hired to consider the following questions in formulating your recommendations. You could be considered for a permanent role on the “new” management team so you may have to personally deliver on some of the recommendations that you provide, so be sure to develop your answer in a logical and implementable way. This could be a ground up revamp or it could be small tweaks that lead to a larger overall change or something in‐between. Your analysis, proposed changes, additions, etc. should support and articulate your chosen approach. Be sure your answer supports a logical approach, complete with a conclusion Are there any general organizational changes or framework that you would recommend? What would this look like and how would you go about doing it? Are there any key roles that need to be sourced for, if so why? Explain the basis for your recommendation. Are there any opportunities for efficiencies, technologies, and leading practices in the administrative/support functions (HR, Finance, Accounting, Purchasing, etc.)? What about some of the other non‐core functions, what would you recommend exploring and how would you envision structure and execution thereof? Same applies to the manufacturing elements of the organization, do you have any recommendations for this area? Given the current onshore / in‐house everything strategy, would you recommend keeping this strategy, if so why and if not why not? o Alternatively, let us imagine that the retention of the manufacturing process internally is must‐do; are there options to modernize the manufacturing process? What ideas would you explore to accomplish this? Are there any options that you would recommend to improve or address the sales process, supply chain and distribution channels? What options would you explore to address these areas? What would your plan look like? Are there any strategies that you would recommend to address the distribution channels and brand awareness costs/challenges? What options would you recommend exploring to accomplish this strategy? Are there any different business development/sales strategies you think Data Extreme Storage Solutions should employ? If so, what are the benefits of adopting such a strategy? What opportunities do you see in connecting with their target audience and/or creating brand awareness? What strategies would you recommend to deepen the relationships with customers and attracting new customers as their needs are constantly changing? Finally, are there any acquisition considerations that you think Data Extreme Storage Solutions should consider? Are there timing considerations? Are their size and business/core competency considerations? If you choose to recommend an acquisition, how would an acquisition help Data Extreme Storage Solutions? Additionally, consider the above in a potential sale? Prior Sales Data Analysis (Answer each of the following in narrative format, your answer should include at least 2 graphs, all of which is a part of the 5‐page maximum. So, plan wisely. To get credit for each question you must also attach the spreadsheet showing your work, complete with formulas, which is not a part of the 5‐page maximum.) 1. Using Microsoft Excel, use the pivot table function to answer the following questions? a. What were the total sales ($) in all regions for 2016? b. What were the top two regions in total sales dollars for 2016? c. What region sold the most units in 2016? 2. Using Microsoft Excel, use the pivot table function to answer theWhat were the total sales ($) in all regions for 2015? b. What were the top two regions in total sales dollars for 2015? c. What region sold the most units in 2015? 3. Who are the top 3 sales representatives by $ for both 2016 and 2015 combined? 4. Who are the bottom 3 sales representatives by $ for both 2016 and 2015 combined? 5. Best‐selling item of 2016 by units sold 6. Best‐selling item of 2016 by ($) 7. Best selling item of 2015 by units sold 8. Best selling item of 2015 by ($) 9. Using a Line Graph, Plot Sales in ($) by month for both 2016 and 2015 10. Using a Line Graph, Plot Sales in units by month for both 2016 and 2015 a. Explain the overall sales trends from 2016 to 2015? b. What items sold more? c. What items sold less? d. How do the 2016 sales compare to 2015 sales ($)? e. Provide a forecast for total sales ($) for 2017. What is the basis for this forecast? Explain
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