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Biz Research

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(Week 5 Essay / Based on Critical-Thinking Simulation on Credenhill Industries, located on the University of Phoenix online resource)

(700-1,050 word summary that addresses the following questions)

Question 1: What decision-making tools and techniques did I apply (or thought should be applied) to make decisions in the simulation?

In the process of completing the online simulation concerning problems faced by one of Credenhill Industries' consumer electronics stores (namely, decreased sales, employee attrition, network downtime, a pending legal battle over handicap accessibility to the store, inventory surplus, and a new competitor down the block), I employed a number of decision-making tools to help me assess the problems at hand and form decisions in the simulation. They include:


Sometimes, though not always, the best business decisions are based on sound intuition. In this case, where a store was facing a variety of issues, based on intuition, I figured that it all comes down to supply and demand. If this electronics retailer has the products and services local customers want at the most competitive prices around, sales will increase, employees will be more successful at selling, which will lead to pay increases and employee loyalty, etc. In essence, if a company has the right product base and the right customer base, everything else falls into place.

Prioritization Matrix/Weight Criteria

Sometimes in business, when faced with an overwhelming number of pressures, demands and complaints, the most important thing to remember is to focus on business critical issues above all else. If the business is not successful, trying to improve, say, employee morale would be futile. At the same time, when proposing solutions, we have to be realistic about how our organization or company works (after all, the approval process might be bureaucratic, our "dream" solutions might be too costly to implement, etc.). If we have a number of ideas to propose in the process of trying to solve a problem, as stated in Chapter 19 of our text, a Prioritization Matrix can help make for sound proposals by allowing us to weigh criteria before proposing ideas. If money and time are of the essence, as they usually are in business, a Prioritization Matrix can help us think realistically about our proposed solutions. The example in our text is structured as follows, and I think it provides a practical framework for evaluating proposed solutions.

Possible Solutions Cost to Implement Time to Implement Ease of Implementation

(hard to easy) Management


(low to high) Likelihood of fixing problems (unlikely to likely)

Tree Diagram

Another tool outlined in Chapter 19 of our text, which I think is very relevant to problem solving in today's business environment is the Tree Diagram. The Tree Diagram takes an idea you might have about how to solve a problem and "branches out" into increasingly more detailed steps on what it would take to actually accomplish the ultimate goal. For example, in business meetings, people often leave the table assuming that problems addressed will miraculously be solved. If they actually document the subsequent steps it would take to get the job done, they can figure out if it's worth the cost and effort.

(Jim: See Page 402 of Chapter 19. Any chance you could draw an outline of a Tree Diagram through Word Draw? I don't know how...You could drop in the following information...starting with "ultimate goal" on the left.)

For example, one of the measures I think the electronics retailer under discussion needs to take into account is increased advertising/promotions to compete for business with a nearby competitor that has a strong media presence. If I were to put this goal into a Tree Diagram, it might look as follows:

(ultimate goal)

Increase advertising/promotions efforts

(leads to the subsequent tasks of)

* Determining the message and/or offers to be communicated in a campaign.

* Researching advertising/promotions of direct competitors.

(leads to the subsequent tasks of)

* Choosing what media (e.g., radio, TV, print) to use to reach customers.

* Determining how best to allocate advertising/promotional funds.

* Researching advertising agencies for hire and/or looking into using internal marketing sources within the organization.

(leads to the subsequent tasks of)

* Getting bids for advertising/promotions projects.

* Getting budgetary approval based on the bids received.

* Assessing/approving the promotional work produced.

* Evaluating the ROI of the advertising/promotional efforts, once campaign is launched.



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