Assignment 2: Planning the Future at Galaxy (Week 6)
In the second assignment, within a report, you will create a SWOT analysis, discuss a SWOT analysis and provide a detailed explanation of what considerations led to the determination of the SWOT components. You will then make recommendations and explain what factors were considered in making the recommendations.
Note: Not all critical company information is provided, so it is impossible to complete a financial analysis but instead students will focus on the first elements of the P-O-L-C, planning.
Outcome Met by Completing This Assignment:
- integrate management theories and principles into management practices
- employ effective planning processes to develop strategies, goals, and objectives in order to enhance performance and sustainability
- identify the essential characteristics of decision making and indicate the range and types of decisions a manager makes
Step 1: Preparation for the Assignment
Before you begin writing the report, you will read the following requirements that will help you meet the writing and APA requirements. Not reading this information will lead to a lower grade:
Review “How to Analyze a Case Study” under Week 6 Content. You are expected to use the facts from the case scenario focusing on using this information to determine opportunities and solve problems.
Read the grading rubric for the assignment. Use the grading rubric while writing the report to ensure all requirements are met that will lead to the highest possible grade.
In writing this assignment, you will read and following these tasks:
- Third person writing is required. Third person means that there are no words such as “I, me, my, we, or us” (first person writing), nor is there use of “you or your” (second person writing). If uncertain how to write in the third person, view this link: http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/first-second-and-third-person.
- Contractions are not used in business writing, so you are expected NOT to use contraction in writing this assignment.
- You are expected to paraphrase and are NOT to use direct quotes. You are expected to paraphrase, which can be learned by reviewing this link: https://writing.wisc.edu/Handbook/QPA_paraphrase2.html.
- You are responsible for APA only for in-text citations and a reference list. If there is a page number, then the page number must be used, otherwise use the paragraph number.
- You are expected to use the facts from the case scenario paired with the weekly courses readings to develop the analysis and support the reasoning. No more than two (2) external resources can be used in completing the assignment. No book references are allowed. The expectation is that you provide a robust use of the course readings. If any material is used from a source document, it must be cited and referenced. A reference within a reference list cannot exist without an associated in-text citation and vice versa. View the sample APA paper and the How to Cite and Reference file located under Week 4 content.
- In completing the assignment, students are expected to use the facts from the case scenario and company profile paired with the weekly courses readings to develop the analysis. View the company profile here: Galaxy Toys, Inc. Company Profile.
Step 2: How to Set Up the Paper
Create a Word or Rich Text Format (RTF) document that is double-spaced, 12-point font. The final product will be between 6-8 pages in length excluding the title page and reference page and appendix. You may not exceed eight (8) pages so it is important to write clearly and concisely.
Use the following format:
- Create a title page with title, your name, the course, the instructor’s name and date;
- SWOT Analysis
- Strengths & Weaknesses
- Short-term Production Goals and Objectives
Step 3: Part One: Read critically and analyze the following scenario:
The toy industry is very fickle and innovation is critical. Sales for January 2017 showed only a 3% rise over January 2016 leaving the company managers concerned about meeting projected sales targets for 2017. In a 30-month plan, George Jepson, Jr., as CEO, together with Edward Mercury, CFO, set long-term goals for the company to include the following:
- increase sales unrelated to NASA toys by 22 percent;
- reduce company-wide costs by 5 percent within 15 months and 11.2 percent by the end of the plan;
- create new technology based action toys;
- use innovative technology in production to increase efficiency;
- reduce carbon footprint by 5 percent.
In November 2016, the long term planning team began to select the newest Galaxy product line. The choice of the right product design will hopefully stop the slump in sales and jump start growth. Tomorrow, February 4, 2017 is the final meeting of the planning team. The team will choose between three options:
- produce 2 million Payload Nine toys or MMTJE1 for Christmas 2018;
- produce 1 million Payload Nine toys for Christmas 2017 and 1 million MMTJE1 for Christmas 2018;
- produce 1.5 million MMTJE1 toys for Christmas 2018.
The products have different production requirements. Payload Nine is designed to complement the International NASA Space Station series. Payload Nine is geared to the 7-10 age groups and contains building blocks to make the space shuttle with emphasis on the cargo hold and its loading arm.
Focus group results suggest that Payload Nine will sell well but it is not a “wow” product in the eyes of the group. It is not a trendsetting toy. The introduction of Payload Nine is estimated to jump NASA sales by 6.8%. Payload Nine requires little change on the production floor and supplies are easily obtainable. Production could begin May 1, 2017 and completed in time for the Christmas toy market. No additional personnel would be needed and existing production would not be delayed. Production costs would fit within the current year’s budget.
The other project “Moon Mission to Jupiter’s Europa” (MMTJE1) is a 3D engineered of the Curiosity vehicle used to. explore Mars. The toy is operated remotely allowing a child and parent to launch the capsule “Juno 1” craft, 500 ft. in the air, unload the rover called Galileo and move it along all terrain surfaces. Galileo takes pictures remotely and sends them to a cell phone. The toy is geared for the age 11-15 market but can be used with younger children as long as there is adult supervision. The toy is made from a 3D printer and consists of a plastic capsule and rover base with electronics added separately in production. [Not sure what 3D printing is, view http://3dprinting.com/what-is-3d-printing/]
Focus group results suggest that it is a “wow” product and would also encourage sales of related toys and books as Jupiter’s Moon Europa has been deemed by scientists as the most accessible and likely place to support habitable life as we know it to be. Children can view pictures and imagine a Moon currently covered in ice as a new space frontier adventure. An interactive video game is also envisioned. It will be the first intergalactic action toy that Galaxy Toys has ever produced. MMTJE1 is estimated to bring a 15% increase in unrelated NASA sales if rolled out in 2017 and 21.6% increase if rolled out in 2018. However, MMTJE1 is not production-friendly at this point.
The new production equipment, electronics, computer programming and trained personnel would not see production beginning before November of 2017. Anticipated budget costs of $450,000 necessitating a budget increase of $300,000 over all five plants would be needed. In order to meet the October deadline for Christmas 2017 sales additional labor would be needed with a cost increase of 20% over the projected $450,000 budget costs. In addition, the push would necessitate significant rescheduling of current production and likely require factory workers to put in overtime. Finally, the rush would be predicated on the assumption that production problems would not occur.
Keith Wisternick, VP of Production, has the job of aligning all the production teams for Galaxy Toys, and more specifically, he is the person that ensures that each of the plants are capable of producing toys that meet the quality standards of Galaxy Toys in an efficient and cost-effective manner. Also, part of Keith’s job is to provide valuable input into the long-term planning process of the company. Every two years, Keith and his counterparts in the other departments meet to determine the new product line for the upcoming two years. They are presented with new ideas that have been developed by the Design and Engineering Department.
After soliciting input for recommendations on the toys that would most likely meet the company’s future objectives, the Board of Directors narrowed the choices to Payload Nine and Moon Mission to Jupiter’s Europa 1 (MMTJE1).
As VP of Production, Keith is very aware that his recommendation and vote lends great influence to the outcome. Lucky for Keith, he is not expected to provide his recommendation without first delegating some researching responsibilities to others. One person that he relies upon for research and analysis is Itza Yu who is a Production Manager. Yu has been tasked with creating a SWOT analysis for Keith’s review. However, Yu has not had any prior experience with creating this type of information. Keith has provided the following source to help him:
Step 4: Create the introductory paragraph. Within this paragraph, provide a brief overview of the scenario. Then, provide a thesis statement and tell the reader the main topics covered in the paper. The introductory paragraph is the first paragraph of the paper but is typically written after writing the body of the paper (Questions students responded to above). View this website to learn how to write an introductory paragraph: http://www.writing.ucsb.edu/faculty/donelan/intro.html
Step 5: SWOT Analysis
Assume the role of Itza Yu. Using the facts that have been provided in the case scenario and the Company Profile as well as your own research on the toy industry, create a SWOT analysis table for Keith. If you need to know how to create a table, view: How to Insert a Table in a Microsoft Word Document.
Important note: To be clear, the SWOT analysis must be focused on the company as a whole and must not be transformed into a method of evaluating the pros and cons of the Payload Nine or the MMTJE1. This analysis (the pros and cons) will be included later in your analysis.
Step 6: Strengths & Weaknesses
Task 1: To assist further Keith, Itza Yu must also provide a detailed explanation as to what considerations led to the determination that certain facts should be classified as “strengths” while others were classified as “weaknesses.” In other words, it’s not enough to list various strengths and weaknesses, but instead, Itza Yu must explain “why” these facts were included in the analysis.
Step 7: Recommendation
Lastly, Itza Yu must recommend the best long-term planning decision for Keith's approval. In this report, Yu must explain the analysis and factors used in evaluating the vision, mission, long-term goals and SWOT analysis of the company that led to the conclusions that formed the basis of the decision. Here is where you will make the decision as to which toy(s) will be manufactured and when they will be produced/sold. Remember that you will use the information contained in your SWOT analysis to identify and evaluate the pros and cons of the alternatives before selecting the best choice. Remember, what Yu present has to be accurate and well supported since Keith will make this recommendation to the Long-term Planning Committee.
Step 8: Part Two: Short Term Production Goals and Objectives
Read critically and analyze the following scenario:
The Board of Directors has decided to accept the recommendation to roll out the “Moon Mission to Jupiter’s Europa 1” for the holiday season of 2018. In a virtual meeting, led by Itza Yu, the production managers have had a “brainstorming” session and have created a list of short-term goals and objectives.
In reviewing the list, Itza Yu noted that some of the items on the list are sound short-term goals and objectives while others are not and therefore, should be removed. He also noted that some of the items do not fit well with the company’s vision and mission and will need to be eliminated.
Assuming the role of Itza Yu, students must determine whether the items on the list are “goals” or “objectives” and whether they should be adopted or abandoned. The list is as follows:
Short Term Goals and Objectives List
- Production of quality MMTJE1 toys must start February 20th, 2018.
- Production of quality MMTJE1 toys must start by July 1, 2018.
- Establish timelines for starting production.
- Establish timelines for hiring new personnel.
- MMTJE1 quality toys production.
- Additional personnel must be hired by February 20th 2018.
- Materials must be state of the art.
- Establish timelines for purchasing (and receiving) materials
- 3D printers must be purchased by February 20th, 2018.
- 3D printers must be purchased and installed by November 1, 2018.
- The first MMTJE1 toys should be produced by December 1, 2017.
- QC should evaluate first toys by December 31, 2017.
- Completion dates for QC standards will be determined by QC.
- Safety standards should be determined by QC by May 1, 2017.
- Materials must be purchased by and delivered by July 1, 2017.
- New packages should be palletized by May 1, 2018.
- Personnel for all production functions must be organized by March 31, 2017.
- Shipping should begin immediately upon final inspection from Quality Control.
- Shipping should begin July 1, 2018.
- Shipping start dates should be determined.
- IT must confirm programming for 3D printers is complete by June 1, 2017.
- 3D machine operators must be trained by October 31, 2017.
- Establish timelines for completion of 3D programming, training and installation.
- Maintenance for 3D printers must be done daily.
- Personnel must be cross trained on the 3D printers.
- Training on new equipment must be done by October 31, 2017.
- Marketing will determine shipping start date.
Task 1: Answer the following required elements for Part Two making sure that the facts of the scenario and the course readings support the reasoning of the answers provided.
From the list above, students should generate a table with three sections. Label the first section, "Appropriate Short-term Goals." Label the second section "appropriate objectives". The third section should be those other goals and objectives that have to be abandoned.
Task 2: Take each item from the list above and place the item into the appropriate column. In completing this task, Yu is expected to demonstrate an understanding of the difference between “goals” and “objectives” and their choices should reflect this understanding.
- (G) A goal is defined as being a broad aim and spells out what needs to be done generally.
- (O) An objective is defined as a specific and measurable action needed to meet the goal.
- An abandoned item is one that does not fit with the timeline of the project. Hint look at the pattern of the tasks and dates to achieve them.
- For the goals and objectives that are abandoned, Yu must explain why they were abandoned and how they might be revised to be more appropriate.
Task 3: Yu will clearly explain the reasoning for the categorization of the goals and objectives as this analysis will be very helpful to Keith Wisternick and the Board of Directors of Galaxy Toys, Inc.
Step 9: Write the summary paragraph
Write the summary paragraph. A summary paragraph restates the main topics of the paper. Make sure to leave a reader with a sense that the paper is complete. The summary paragraph is the last paragraph of a paper and does not need a heading.
Step 10: Proofread the report for spelling and grammatical issues, and third person writing.
- Use the spell and grammar check in Word as a first measure;
- Have someone who has excellent English skills to proof the paper;
- Consider submitting the paper to the Effective Writing Center (EWC). The EWC will provide 4-6 areas that may need improvement.
Step 11: Submit the report in the Assignment Folder.