Justification/Recommendation Report Work Plan and Memo

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Business & Finance
Price: $5 USD

Question description

Activity:

 Activity 12.25Justification/Recommendation Report: Speedier Service at Stellato Family Pizza on page 457 of the Guffey textbook.  After gaining an overview of the assignment,  begin the project by creating a Work Plan, similar to the Work Plan described on page 383-385 of the textbook.  A template for the Work Plan is provided below.

Students are to complete the section of the assignment titled Your Task on page 458 of the textbook.  The Your Task section explains that you are  to provide recommendations and conclusions to Mrs. Stellato about her business.  To successfully complete this project, in addition to the memo required, students will provide visual aids, to tabulate and analyze data, and include effective graphics to clarify data, create visual interest, and to make numerical data meaningful. 

Grading

Activity. Up to 50 points and can be earned by successfully completing the project. 

Activity 12.25

· Justification/Recommendation Report: Speedier Service at Stellato Family Pizza* (Obj. 5)

You work for Carmine Stellato, the owner of Stellato Family Pizza, a small, casual pizza shop he founded 33 years ago. Its signature items are eight-inch-diameter individual pizzas. The pizza shop also serves mozzarella sticks, wings, and assorted beverages.

The pizza shop is located in the warehouse district of Indianapolis, where it originally served truckers who delivered their meat, fruits, and vegetables in the middle of the night and then whisked off to the next city. Truckers loved the satisfying and filling pizza because it provided them with lots of energy on those tedious late-night runs. Later the pizza shop caught on with the nightclub crowd and with students who studied late. The shop opens at 10 p.m. and closes at 6 a.m.

The concept was a resounding success. However, success brings competition. Three imitators opened their pizza shops within a five-mile radius of Stellato Family Pizza. You know that the family has been using the same delivery system for years, and you know service could be faster. You also notice that new pizza shops are receiving orders via smartphones.

The current system at Stellato’s begins with a counter clerk recording the customer’s order and table number on a ticket. The customer pays, and the counter person gives the order to the pizza makers. The pizza makers remove the dough from the refrigerator, shape it, add the sauce and other ingredients, put the pie in the oven, and remove it from the oven when baked. The counter clerk then takes the order to the customer’s table. Stellato Family Pizza has three counter clerks, two pizza makers, and one cash register that the counter clerks share. It takes two minutes to prep a pizza before it can go in the oven. The pizza shop uses an outdated Rankin Model D85 pizza deck oven, which cooks a pizza in seven minutes.

You think the entire system is inefficient, and when you discuss the problem with Mr. Stellato, he says, “Although the original ways are familiar to me, I see that the time for improvement has come.”

You suggest observing the three competitors’ systems of serving customers to understand why their service is faster. Currently, the average time it takes a customer to receive an order at Stellato Family Pizza is 16 minutes. The following are notes from your observations of the competitors.

DeNunzio Pizza

· Similar menu

· Orders are taken using an electronic system that includes the customer’s number

· Customers pay immediately

· Customers pick up their orders after their numbers have been called

· Two counter clerks at one register; two pizza makers

· Preprepared dough; prep time: one minute

· One state-of-the art Elite Chef Model BFE-28 convection oven—five minutes to cook a pizza

· Average time a customer waits to receive an order: ten minutes

Capriotti’s

· Similar menu

· Order takers call out the menu item as the order is taken

· Customers pay immediately

· Customers wait at the counter to pick up their orders

· Three counter employees at three registers; two pizza makers

· Preprepared dough; prep time: one minute

· One state-of-the art Elite Chef Model BFE-28 convection oven—five minutes to cook a pizza

· Average time a customer waits to receive an order: eight minutes

Hip Hop Pizza Shop

· Similar menu

· Tickets are used to record the customers’ orders

· Customers pay immediately

· Counter staff employees take the order to customers’ tables

· Three counter staff employees, two pizza makers, and one cash register

· Pizza prep the same as Stellato Family Pizza: two minutes

· One DeLong Model FC30 pizza deck oven—six minutes to cook a pizza

· Average time a customer waits to receive an order: 15 minutes

Your TaskNow it is up to you to analyze the data you have collected. In a short memo report to Carmine Stellato, present your findings, discuss your conclusions, and make recommendations, including a recommendation on how Stellato’s might gain a competitive edge by enabling its customers to use some of the most recent technology to order their food. You may want to present the data using visual aids, but you also realize that you must emphasize the important findings by presenting them in an easy-to-read list.

11-2cPreparing a Work Plan Pages 383-385 Textbook

After analyzing the problem, anticipating the audience, and factoring the problem, you are ready to prepare a work plan. A good work plan includes the following:

· Statement of the problem (based on key background/contextual information)

· Statement of the purpose including scope with limitations and significance

· Research strategy including a description of potential sources and methods of collecting data

· Tentative outline that factors the problem into manageable chunks

· Work schedule

Preparing a plan encourages you to evaluate your resources, set priorities, outline a course of action, and establish a schedule. Having a plan keeps you on track and provides management a means of measuring your progress.

A work plan gives a complete picture of a project. Because the usefulness and quality of any report rest primarily on its data, you will want to develop a clear research strategy, which includes allocating plenty of time to locate sources of information. For firsthand information you might interview people, prepare a survey, or even conduct a scientific experiment. For secondary information you will probably search electronic materials on the Internet and printed materials such as books and magazines. Your work plan describes how you expect to generate or collect data. Because data collection is a major part of report writing, the next section of this chapter treats the topic more fully.

Figure 11.6 shows a complete work plan for a proposal pitched by social marketing company BzzAgent’s advertising executive Dave Balter to his client Lee Jeans. A work plan is useful because it outlines the issues to be investigated. Notice that considerable thought and discussion and even some preliminary research are necessary to be able to develop a useful work plan.

Figure 11.6Work Plan for a Formal Report

© Cengage Learning 2015

Although this tentative outline guides the investigation, it does not determine the content or order of the final report. You may, for example, study five possible solutions to a problem. If two prove to be useless, your report may discuss only the three winners. Moreover, you will organize the report to accomplish your goal and satisfy the audience. A busy executive who is familiar with a topic may prefer to read the conclusions and recommendations before a discussion of the findings. If someone authorizes the report, be sure to review the work plan with that person (your manager, client, or professor, for example) before proceeding with the project.

Chapters

Identifying Secondary Sources and Conducting Primary Research

Learning Objective3

Locate and evaluate secondary sources such as databases and Web resources, and understand how to conduct credible primary research.

Research, or the gathering of information, is one of the most important steps in writing a report. As the philosopher Goethe once said: “The greater part of all mischief in the world arises from the fact that men do not sufficiently understand their own aims. They have undertaken to build a tower, and spend no more labor on the foundation than would be necessary to erect a hut.” Think of your report as a tower. Because a report is only as good as its foundation—the questions you ask and the data you gather to answer those questions—the remainder of this chapter describes the fundamental work of finding, documenting, and illustrating data.

Chicago is the “Windy City” and New Orleans is the “Big Easy,” but what is Glendale, California? Boring. That’s what municipal branding firm North Star Destination Strategies found after conducting a yearlong study on the inconspicuous neighbor of Pasadena and Burbank. To improve Glendale’s image, North Star recommended that city council leaders adopt “Your Life. Animated,” a marketing-and-development campaign designed to rebrand Glendale as the home of DreamWorks Animation, the creative studio behind such delightful movies as Shrek and Kung Fu Panda. Which type of research data would be best at helping cities evaluate their strengths and weaknesses?

Figure 11.6 shows a complete work plan for a proposal pitched by social marketing company BzzAgent’s advertising executive Dave Balter to his client Lee Jeans. A work plan is useful because it outlines the issues to be investigated. Notice that considerable thought and discussion and even some preliminary research are necessary to be able to develop a useful work plan.

Figure 11.6Work Plan for a Formal Report

© Photos 12/Alamy

As you analyze a report’s purpose and audience and prepare your research strategy, you will identify and assess the data you need to support your argument or explain your topic. As you do, you will answer questions about your objectives and audience: Will the audience need a lot of background or contextual information? Will your readers value or trust statistics, case studies, or expert opinions? Will they want to see data from interviews or surveys? Will summaries of focus groups be useful? Should you rely on organizational data? Figure 11.7 lists five forms of data and provides questions to guide you in making your research accurate and productive.

Figure 11.7

Gathering and Selecting Report Data

Form of Data

Questions to Ask

Background or historical

How much do my readers know about the problem?

Has this topic/issue been investigated before?

Are those sources current, relevant, and/or credible?

Will I need to add to the available data?

Statistical

What or who is the source?

How recent are the data?

How were the figures derived?

Will this data be useful in this form?

Expert opinion

Who are the experts?

What are their biases?

Are their opinions in print?

Are they available for interviewing?

Do we have in-house experts?

Individual or group opinion

Whose opinion(s) would the readers value?

Have surveys or interviews been conducted on this topic?

If not, do questionnaires or surveys exist that I can modify and/or use?

Would focus groups provide useful information?

Organizational

What are the proper channels for obtaining in-house data?

Are permissions required?

How can I learn about public and private companies?

© Cengage Learning 2015

11-2aAnalyzing the Problem and Purpose – Page 381 of Textbook

The first step in writing a report is understanding the problem or assignment clearly. For complex reports, prepare a written problem statement to clarify the task. In analyzing her report task, Emily had many questions: Is the problem that Pharmgen is spending too much money on leased cars? Does Pharmgen wish to invest in owning a fleet of cars? Is Joshua unhappy with the paperwork involved in reimbursing sales reps when they use their own cars? Does he suspect that reps are submitting inflated mileage figures? Before starting research for the report, Emily talked with Joshua to define the problem. She learned several dimensions of the situation and wrote the following statement to clarify the problem—both for herself and for Joshua.

Problem statement: The leases on all company cars will be expiring in three months. Pharmgen must decide whether to renew them or develop a new policy regarding transportation for sales reps. Expenses and paperwork for employee-owned cars seem excessive.

Emily further defined the problem by writing a specific question that she would try to answer in her report:

Problem question: What plan should Pharmgen follow in providing transportation for its sales reps?

Now Emily was ready to concentrate on the purpose of the report. Again, she had questions: Exactly what did Joshua expect? Did he want a comparison of costs for buying and leasing cars? Should she conduct research to pinpoint exact reimbursement costs when employees drive their own cars? Did he want her to do all the legwork, present her findings in a report, and let him make a decision? Or did he want her to evaluate the choices and recommend a course of action? After talking with Joshua, Emily was ready to write a simple purpose statement for this assignment.

Simple statement of purpose: To recommend a plan that provides sales reps with cars to be used in their calls.

Preparing a written purpose statement is a good idea because it defines the focus of a report and provides a standard that keeps the project on target.

Preparing a written purpose statement is a good idea because it defines the focus of a report and provides a standard that keeps the project on target. In writing useful purpose statements, choose action verbs telling what you intend to do: analyze, choose, investigate, compare, justify, evaluate, explain, establish, determine, and so on. Notice that Emily’s statement begins with the action verbrecommend.

Some reports require only a simple statement of purposeto investigate expanded teller hours, to select a manager from among four candidates, to describe the position of accounts supervisor. Many assignments, though, demand additional focus to guide the project. An expanded statement of purpose considers three additional factors: scope, limitations, and significance.

Scope and Limitations. What issues or elements will be investigated? The scopestatement prepares the audience by clearly defining which problem or problems will be analyzed and solved. To determine the scope, Emily brainstormed with Joshua and others to pin down her task. She learned that Pharmgen currently had enough capital to consider purchasing a fleet of cars outright. Joshua also told her that employee satisfaction was almost as important as cost-effectiveness. Moreover, he disclosed his suspicion that employee-owned cars were costing Pharmgen more than leased cars. Emily had many issues to sort out in setting the boundaries of her report.

What conditions affect the generalizability and utility of a report’s findings? As part of the scope statement, the limitations further narrow the subject by focusing on constraints or exclusions. For this report Emily realized that her conclusions and recommendations might apply only to reps in her Kansas City sales district. Her findings would probably not be reliable for reps in Seattle, Phoenix, or Atlanta. Another limitation for Emily was time. She had to complete the report in four weeks, thus restricting the thoroughness of her research.

Significance. Why is the topic worth investigating at this time? Some topics, after initial examination, turn out to be less important than originally thought. Others involve problems that cannot be solved, making a study useless. For Emily and Joshua the problem had significance because Pharmgen’s leasing agreement would expire shortly and decisions had to be made about a new policy for transportation of sales reps.

Emily decided to expand her statement of purpose to define the scope, describe the limitations of the report, and explain the significance of the problem.

Expanded statement of purpose: The purpose of this report is to recommend a plan that provides sales reps with cars to be used in their calls. The report will compare costs for three plans: outright ownership, leasing, and compensation for employee-owned cars. It will also measure employee reactions to each plan. The report is significant because Pharmgen’s current leasing agreement expires March 31 and an improved plan could reduce costs and paperwork. The study is limited to costs for sales reps in the Kansas City district.

After expanding her statement of purpose, Emily checked it with Joshua Nichols to be sure she was on target.

Getting Started:

Read chapters 11 and 12 in the textbook

Read the Activity 12.25 on page 457

Review the Work Plan information on pages 383-385

Analyze the Problem and the Purpose of the scenario provided (this will be identified on the Work Plan) Reference page 380-381 for assistance.

Review and complete the Work Plan template

Analyze all the information provided in the Activity

Decide on the conclusions and recommendation

Create effective graphics to tabulate and analyze data, and to clarify data, create visual interest, and make numerical data meaningful to the audience.

write an informational report with graphics providing the recommendations, conclusions.

Note: Please read chapter 11 and chapter 12 in its entirety.  There is much valuable information provided in the chapters in terms of writing the report, drawing conclusions and recommendations and including graphics.  You may find other elements such as a yard stick report that may help deliver your message. 

Work Plan

Stellato Family Pizza

Statement of Problem

Statement of Purpose

Research Strategy

Tentative Outline

Work Schedule with Dates

Note: The work plan is due (TBA) prior to the final project, but is not included with the final submission of the paper.

Rubric Business Report

Poor
0 pts

Fair
5 pts

Good
8 pts

Excellent
10 pts

Analyzed Data

Poor 
Students showed little understanding of the data provided and made no attempt to utilize data to draw appropriate conclusions and recommendations.

Fair 
Students had some understanding of the data provided.  Students attempt to identify trends to draw conclusions and recommendations from the data, but there are inaccuracies.

Good 
Students are able to understand data provided and identify trends to draw conclusions and recommendations from the data.  Students select visual methods of presenting data.

Excellent
Students are able to identify trends and draw suitable and accurate conclusions from the data.  Students selected suitable visual methods of presenting data.

Conclusion

Poor 
Does not summarize data with respect to problem statement.  Does not discuss the impact of t data provided.

Fair 
Some integration with problem statement.  Discussed impact of data provided

Good 
Strong review of key conclusions.  Strong integration with problem statement.  Discusses impact of data provided

Excellent 
Strong review of key conclusions.  Strong integration with problem statement.  Insightful discussion of impact of the information provided.

Recommendation

Poor 
Simplistic statement of content. Approach to the recommendation is not evident or not well represented. Recommendation is unsupported or represents poor decision making.

Fair 
Development of content is incomplete or unclear. Lacking discussion of findings. Recommendation is based on too little information.

Good 
Development of content is adequate. Information is clearly presented but may be better organized and presented.  Recommendation is reasonable.

Excellent 
Full and rich development of content including problem, background.  Tables and charts clearly and accurately represent data gathered to support findings. Recommendation is well supported and represents critical thinking skills.

Graphics

Poor

No

graphics are used to present data

analysis and results.

Fair

Some graphics are used to present data

analysis and results for data sources.  The visual aids were limited or ineffective.

Good

Graphics are used to explain the relationship between data.  

Excellent

Provides visual aids, to tabulate and analyze data, and include effective graphics to clarify data, create visual interest, and make numerical data meaningful.

Organization/Formatting/Conventions

Poor 
Attention to formatting is not apparent.

Does not use APA format guidelines.


Editing and revising not apparent.

Fair 
Formatting was not in a logical sequence. No headings or sections are shown. Lacks a professional appearance.


Multiple or repetitive errors interfere with readability of the document.

Good 
Generic headings are used. The document is readable but some information in long paragraphs could be placed in tables or charts.


Grammar, spelling and punctuation errors are found, but do not interfere with the meaning or readability of the document.

Excellent 
Logical outline format or section headings are used to make the document readable. Well-crafted tables, charts or graphs are used where appropriate. Appearance is high quality and professional.


Free of all grammar, spelling and punctuation errors. Professional writing style is utilized.


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