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Outputs Diagnosis Case #2 (Term Paper Sample)



Go to the simulation at https://forio(dot)com/simulate/qin.sun/tablet-development-sim. You will see the simulation interface, which provides you with information about the Clipboard Tablet Company as well as the input interface to implement your strategy (pricing decisions and R&D budget allocations).

Explore the interface and get familiar with it and the information it provides. The menu on the left-hand side shows these options:


You were introduced to this method in your previous courses, but this link will provide a refresher. There are other websites you can look at as well, but this one provides a detailed and thorough review.

Accounting for Cost-Volume-Profit Relationship (CVP Analysis): http://www(dot)accountingformanagement(dot)com/cost_volume_profit.htm

You may access some useful Internet and other resources relating to such matters as financial ratios and processes for measurement of organizational resources (both tangible and intangible) at http://www(dot)investopedia(dot)com/university/ratios/#axzz2JNe7QCr3 and http://www(dot)sveiby(dot)com/articles/IntangibleMethods.htmModule 1 - SLP

Strategic Review

First, run the simulation using the Default Decisions. In other words, use the prices and R&D percentage that are already there. Capture or collect the results for each product (X5, X6, X7) as you run each year. Copy (using Excel, by hand, or some other method) the Financial results and Marketing results, as well as the information provided by the Advisor.


Refer to the reading on the SLP in the Module 1 Background. Then read the following scenario before you proceed:


It is December 15, 2015. Joe Schmoe, the VP of Marketing at Clipboard Tablet Co., is smugly patting himself on the back for how well he has done with pricing and product development on the three products, X5, X6, and X7. He knows his strategy was not very creative, since he did not change any prices or R&D allocations over the four-year period (actually six years, counting 2010 and 2011). But he is certain that he did not need to change anything, and that his overall performance is proof.

However, Sally Smothers, CEO of Clipboard Tablet Co., has a different opinion, and she fires Joe.

You are hired. You applied for the position a few weeks ago and interviewed, unaware of the fate of Joe Schmoe at the time. So here you are, Dec. 15, 2015, VP of Marketing at Clipboard Tablet Co., and ready to move the company ahead into 2016. Your boss, Sally Smothers, is expecting you to take over and move the company forward in terms of product development, and smart pricing.

Session Long Project

Write a 4- to 6-page paper, not including cover and reference page, according to Sally’s directions as follows:

Sally wants to make sure that you are ready to move ahead and asks you to review the past four to six years to see what was going on in terms of product development, sales, pricing, and performance against the competition. You collect all of the data and write a report which is due on Sally's desk January 2, 2016.

Analyze the results of Joe Schmoe's decisions and then write the report that Sally is requesting. Run the simulation of the Clipboard Tablet Co. using the default decisions. Access the simulation site and collect the data for each year. Make a case for your proposed strategy using financial analysis and relevant theories.


The key aspects to this assignment that should be covered in your paper include:

  • A review of the products, their life cycles, and how they stack up in terms of price and performance.
  • Financial review for each product: X5, X6, and X7 – sales, costs, profitability, prices, unit margins, etc.
  • Market review: New Sales, Repeat Sales, Market Saturation, etc.
  • Propose an alternate strategy: a general idea of how you might do better with these products: what pricing and R&D allocations, etc., you would have put in place over the last four years, 2012 – 2015.

SLP Assignment Expectations

Your paper will be evaluated on the following seven points:

  • Breadth - Is the full breadth of the subject, that is, the Keys to the Assignment, addressed?
  • Depth - Does the paper address the topic in sufficient depth and include the background reading and other background resources as references?
  • Critical thinking - Is the subject thought about critically, that is, accurately, logically, relevantly, and precisely?
  • Clarity - Is the writing clear and are the concepts articulated properly? Are paraphrasing and synthesis of concepts the primary means of responding to the questions or are points conveyed through excessive use of quotations?
  • Organization - Is the paper well written? Are the grammar, spelling, and vocabulary appropriate for graduate-level work? Are headings included in all papers longer than two pages?
  • Referencing (citations and references) - Does the paper include citations and quotation marks where appropriate? Are the references from the background reading and assignment present and properly cited? Are all the references listed in the bibliography present and referred to via citation?
  • Application - Are the concepts of the module appropriately applied to the subject?


Please note the following tips and suggestions:

  • Include a cover page and reference page, in addition to the 4-6 pages of analysis described above.
  • Include headings for all papers greater than two pages (basically all papers), but do not use headings as "space fillers."
  • Cite and reference all sources that you use in your work, including those that you paraphrase. This means include citations and quotation marks for direct quotes of more than five words, and citations for that information which you have "borrowed" or paraphrased from other sources.

Follow TUI Guidelines for well-written papers.

Hints for success!

Throughout this SLP, you will be asked to make business decisions under conditions of incomplete information and uncertainty. To do so, you will need to make assumptions based on what you have learned throughout the MBA program about how markets operate. Thus, your strategies in approaching this decision need to rely on models, financial analysis, and theories from such classes as Economics, Finance, Accounting, Marketing, Strategy, and Quantitative Analysis. In addition, the simulation will give you some additional market information as you progress.

Be sure to explicitly draw on concepts and theories from the courses you have taken throughout the MBA program. That means you need to "think like an MBA" and use the financial data you are given. You will have to crunch some numbers and present your data analysis professionally by creating some simple tables, charts and graphs.


Module 4 – SLP
Case: Outputs Diagnosis, SLP: Time Warp 3
Sandra Emery
Dr. Gary Hascall
June 15, 2015
After gathering data on various products, there is a need to choose the best strategy to improve the overall performance. Customer response to marketing and the sales patterns of product X5, X6 and X7 provide information to the management of Clipboard tablets. Additionally, customer feedback helps in strategizing on how to improve the growth potential for the different products. The CVP analysis helps in planning and evaluating decisions that can improve profitability including the mix of products and pricing decisions (Albrecht, 2007). The review of the financial performance from module 3 is necessary to make recommendations on a proposal to adopt a new strategy. As such, the financial review is one of the most important elements in the analysis from 2012 to 2015.The output diagnosis looks into the analysis of the input diagnosis while also providing an alternative strategy based on the CVP analysis.
Financials from module 3
To begin with product lifecycle affects the performance for each product line, with the CVP calculations also important to understand how the costs and volume affects the performance of the products. Other than this, is the need to take into account the changes in sales growth, as this may affect the market share and profitability of a company (Boundless, 2014). Product X5 performed well in the years 2013 and 2014, reporting profits of $ 183,554,312 and $271,882,739 respectively. On the other hand, the performance of X% performed dismally in 2014 and reported losses of $ 55, 323,105, but then had lower loss at 3,535,932. This was consistent with the product life-cycle of the product.
The performance of X6 was performed better for the three years compared to X%, reporting a profit of $154,134,825 in 2012 282,696,069 in 2013, 327,090,701 in 2014 and $133,187,181 in the year 2015. The sales revenue of the product started to decline in 2014 as the product reached the shake-out phase. Even though, the CVP analysis was crucial to setting the prices depending on the R & D allocation, the product lifecycle affects the cumulative profits, since the profits are expected to begin declining after the maturity stage.
The X7 product was introduced in 2011 but the first year recorded losses of-423,065,952, declining to $ 11,280,143, but then rising modestly to $ 44,440 in 2014 and then rising to $ 18,585,152. The financial performance of X7 is a bit disappointing, but this is the product that is most likely to result in more sales given that it still not in the maturity phase. As such, the R & D allocations are to be increased over time, given the potential for more profits. Marketing products can often make a difference between building a good brand that is competitive and stagnation during the maturity phase of a product.
Proposed strategy
Proposed201226033%43034%19033%$396,184,323 201326537%42033%19030%$943,295,591 201429030%43030%18040%$1,263,752,890 201529020%43030%18050%$1,394,969,910 

The strategy is similar to the previous simulation, but then focus on the effect of the product lifecycle. Similar to the previous session the results of 2012 were kept the same for both prices and allocations. The prices were then tweaked to reflect the changes in the market. The price of X5 rose over time, since the customers were not sensitive to the prices. Even though, this is the first product to reach the shakeout stage, it is still not being discontinued, but there is a high likelihood that it will be discontinued because of dwindling sales. The R % D allocation rose briefly form 33% to 37% in 2013, as the sales were still impre...
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