Problem-Based Learning (PBL) Scenario: AutoEdge, computer science homework help

May 5th, 2016
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Question description

Problem-Based Learning (PBL) Scenario: AutoEdge

AutoEdge is a leading national automotive supply company located in Detroit, Michigan. Founded by Jonathan McAlister in 1976, the company specializes in engines and transmission parts and has been supplying products to the three largest U.S.-based automakers for over 30 years. AutoEdge’s name is known by customers and leaders in the automotive industry for quality, dependability, and reliable products. In fact, despite the extra cost that is added to the automobiles, consumers appreciate the AutoEdge brand name and often make purchases because of it.

In 2005, AutoEdge’s board of directors decided that the company needed to make some drastic changes because of the high cost of labor, rigid American regulations, and increased competition from other engine and transmission part suppliers. Their solution was to gradually close all manufacturing operations in Detroit and begin outsourcing to a well-known factory in South Korea. The board reasoned that this change would allow the company to compete with the growing industry, meet the automotive manufacturing demands, and increase company profits. Some board members were skeptical about the move, however, because AutoEdge had built a reputation for high-quality, detailed craftsmanship, and they feared that transitioning the manufacturing operations overseas would cause quality to diminish.

For the next 5 years, this strategy proved successful. The company showed signs of financial growth and company profit.

However, in 2010, the company was found guilty of supplying products that failed quality tests. As a result, millions of automobiles had to be recalled. The recall was highly publicized, and the issue of poor quality products impacted negatively on American automotive companies. AutoEdge’s $51 per-share stock has fallen to $4 per share, and brand acceptance has come under scrutiny among even its most loyal customers. Although some economists blame these negative effects on the products, others believe that it had to do with the termination of AutoEdge’s Chief Executive Officer, Fred McFadden.

Lester Scholl, Chairman of the Board of Directors, has called an emergency meeting to discuss AutoEdge’s short-term and long-term strategies. Among other things, they need to discuss the possibility of continuing production overseas or returning it to the United States. Lester and others on the board are well-known for being financially conservative and risk-averse. Because the American economy is experiencing high unemployment, low interest rates, low GDP, and low inflation, it might be sensible to make the change. To some extent, they believe that these macroeconomic factors can be used to their advantage. They realize the immediate challenges such as the brand damage, the growing competition, and the financial challenges the company is facing require immediate action. A new strategy must be formulated quickly to save the company from bankruptcy.

You have been hired by AutoEdge’s board of directors as a research analyst. Primarily, your job is to list and describe some of the legal, cultural, financial, and economic factors that AutoEdge needs to consider when deciding to either stay in South Korea or return to the United States. Because Fred McFadden was recently terminated, you will work directly with the board until a new CEO is named.


You're meeting with Lester in his office to discuss the details of your presentation to the board next week.

"Given all of the research that you have completed over the past several weeks," he says, "you should have most of the information you need to make a presentation to the board. The board doesn't want you to do any more research on all of the topics; rather, we want you to summarize the research that you have already done. "

"Yes," you say. "I think I have what I need."

"Of course we want your final conclusion and recommendation on what the company should do regarding the location issue, as well," he says.

"What type of presentation do you have in mind, Lester?"

"A PowerPoint presentation would be appropriate for this group,” he says. “I want you to include slide notes, too, in case we have to go back and look at something at a later date. Your PowerPoint presentation should contain between 10–15 slides, not including the title slide and reference slide(s). For each slide, you should have between 150–200 words in the Notes sections. Let’s take a few minutes now to go over how the slides should be organized. I’ve done similar presentations, so I can save you some time with a few pointers.”

When you get back to your office, you type out your notes about each element you discussed and the overall organization of the presentation. For this presentation, you are addressing the following elements:

  • Legal, social, and financial factor considerations
  • Economic factors: gross domestic product (GDP), inflation, interest rates, unemployment
  • Elasticity of demand
  • Economies of scale and efficiency
  • Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT)
  • Market structure
  • Risk
  • Costs (marginal, fixed, variable, etc.)
  • International expansion

Deliverable Length:

10–15 slides + 150–200 words per slide in the notes

This assignment is summary of all the past assignments plus additional thoughts. If you are willing to help me out with this assignment, I have attached the other assignments I have completed for you to use for this assignment.  


Tutor Answer

(Top Tutor) Daniel C.
School: Purdue University


AutoEdge Company
Currently AutoEdge has outsourced all its manufacturing
operations to a well known South Korean factory. From the
year 2010, the quality of the products have occurred hence
making the customers to move to other suppliers. The
company is struggling financially because of the low brand
acceptance in the market.
Therefore, there is a great stalemate whether the
manufacturing operations should be moved back to the U.S
from South Korean. There are some important factors that
should be looked into while considering the location of
Auto Edge company which is involved in dealing with the
automobile spare parts.


There is a need to understand all legal implications in changing the location of the
company from South Korea to the U.S. The company should first look at the
contracts that we been signed with the Korean company.
The company should fulfill all the contract requirements or else we will face
serious and expensive repercussions if we don’t honor the contract.
The different security standards between U.S and South Korea in determining
quality of the products is the major undoing in production of the low standard
goods. For us to start producing quality products, we must adhere to the U.S
standards of determining quality of the products to avoid further losing our loyal
We need to approach an expert in both Korean and U.S law so that we can avoid
the misfortunes associated with improper moving Auto Edge company back to the
U.S. The two countries have different legal systems which should be adhered to by
our company during the operations.
Taxation is also one of the legal factors that should be considered. If the level of
taxation rate is higher in South Korean compared to the United States ,then it will
be prudent for us to move the company operations back to the U.S.

As we contact business in the South Korea, we need to consider the cultural factors. It is
a factor that should be looked into as we make a decision of staying in South Korea or
moving manufacturing operations back to the U.S.
There is a slight variation in the cultural belief of the two countries which might have
caused the decrease in quality of the end products we are manufacturing.
Communication systems, norms, taboos , and business customs have really played a
role in conducting business in South Korea. Communication and customs are two
important factors that will impact negatively in the operations of the company if not
well handled. If a common ground is not found, then it will be necessary for us to
consider return the manufacturing operations back to the U.S.
Furthermore, financial factors might have also contributed to the production of the low
quality products. As we t...

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