Keeping Google Googley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Analyze and diagram Google’s business model (Johnson et al), detailing the relationships among the end users, web portals utilizing the Google search engine(s), advertisers, online publishers, AdWords/AdSense, and the communication and collaboration applications offered by Google. Identify and detail the customer value proposition, profit formula, key resources and processes. Based on your analysis, define the critical success factors for Google’s continued growth and profitability. How would these translate into objectives for the organizational design?

Analyze and diagram Google’s business model (Johnson et al), detailing the relationships among the end users, web portals utilizing the Google search engine(s), advertisers, online publishers, AdWords/AdSense, and the communication and collaboration applications offered by Google.

Resources

Its key resources are employees who have to make sure that end users get the information they are looking for and that advertisers get their money’s worth

Customer Value Proposition

Its CVP is based on its mission to organize global information to make it accessible and useful to internet users

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Identify and detail customer value proposition, profit formula, key resources and processes

  • Customer value proposition: Google’s customer value proposition is based on the company’s mission of organizing all the information in the world in order to make it not only universally accessible but also useful. Its main customers are internet users who use its search engine while looking for particular information. In this regard, its customer value proposition means that end users will get the precise results that they were looking for. As for advertisers, this translates to delivering targeted advertisements as well as the capability to track information and feedback.
  • Profit formula: Over 90 percent of the company’s revenues are generated from online advertisement. Its main advertising platforms are AdWords and Adsense. Therefore, the company’s profit formula is to increase the visibility of these two platforms. AdWords was designed to assist advertisers create and deliver advertisements that are targeted search requests and relevant web content. These advertisements are displayed on Google’s own websites and third party websites (referred to as Google Content Network). Adsense was designed to assist online publishers monetize their content by displaying AdWords advertisements relevant to search queries or content on a page.
  • Key resources: Google’s key resources are its employees. They are responsible for coming with new ideas that would lead to product improvement or development of a new altogether. This is evidenced in the fact that it was conceived after its founders had successfully developed an algorithm that offered an innovative way of ranking web pages. Its search engine remains its trump card in the information technology industry. When it loses its leadership position in the internet search business, there are great chances that it would also lose significant amount of revenues due to low advert clicks and impressions. Therefore, its employees, who have the biggest responsibility of developing the search engine and monitor online advertisement hold the key to its long-term performance.
  • Key Processes: These include its search algorithm that makes it the largest search engine in the world, its informal and consensual decision-making and recruitment of top talents. If the company improves or upholds (at the very least) these processes, its current performance would be sustained.

Based on your analysis, define the critical success factors for Google’s continued growth and profitability.

For Google, continued innovation in search optimization and online advertisement targeting are critical factors for success. The company’s heavy dependence on online advertisement (which contributes to more than 90 percent of total revenues) means that it cannot compromise its online presence. However, what has made it extremely popular is its search engine. Presently, many internet users have to visit Google first before they are led to websites that contain information they are searching. The emergence of other search engines such as Yahoo and AOL has created some competition, which Google must win always. This implies that it has to continually improve its search engine and add other features that will make it a must-use for internet users. In this way, it will continue to dominate the internet search business.

The more people search through its engine, the more the number of ads that are displayed. This translates to more revenues from the cost-per-impression system. In the same vein, the more people search, the higher the chances that they will click on ads. This will translate to more revenues from the cost-per-click system. This will act as an attraction to online advertisers, which would translate to more revenues. For Google to succeed in the long term, it is critical that its search engine and online ad platforms are enhanced on a regular basis.

How would these translate into objectives for the organizational design?

Google has developed many products ever since it was founded. However, its most important product is its search engine. This explains why its founders have remained leading figures in this product line. Therefore, even though the company has set aside huge amounts of resources on new product development, it is essential that most of the efforts are focused on attracting additional internet users. The objective of Google’s managers should be to improve the search engine since it has a great impact on revenues.          

  1. Evaluate Google’s management and organizational structure with respect to their ability to continue to innovate and lead the market for online advertising services. What are the strengths and limitations of the current structure and processes (Do You Have a Well-Designed Organization?) Are they effectively positioned for continued growth and innovation?

Google’s management and organizational structure

Since its inception, Google has had a flat and loose organizational structure. Its founders, Sergey Brin and Larry Page have always wanted to make the workplace look more of a campus. As a result, employees are given the freedom to engage in playful activities even at work. Even as the company has grown, it has persisted with nimble organizational culture. This has meant that hierarchies, job titles and levels are not as pronounced as in many other companies. Consequently, employees can share ideas with each other and the managers without feeling inferior. More importantly, this structure has ensured that there are shared goals and common mission across the board. Employees also play an important role in new product development and idea creation. The freedom given them to has also meant that they are personally responsible for the company’s success. This has translated to self-management and motivation.

Due to the loose organizational structure, Google has managed to become one of the global leaders in innovation and online advertisement. Since the bureaucracies have been reduced significantly, employees can easily share their ideas amongst each other and their managers. This has promoted innovation as employees compete with each, in a positive way, about who will come up with the best and most successful innovation. The quest to seek new business opportunities has enabled it to monopolize the online advertisement market. With this structure in place, the company’s ability to continue to innovate will be strengthened.

Strengths and Limitations

Strengths

  • It has promoted innovation and creativity: The organizational management and structure has allowed the ideals of creativity and innovation to become part of Google’s culture. Even though the company is technology-based, all employees are not willing to accept the fact that only the engineers and product managers can have fun and be innovative. Consequently, they are willing to compete with one another in terms of coming up with an idea that will be successfully turned into a product. Therefore, new product conception is not a preserve of engineers. On the other hand, it is the responsibility of each employee, regardless of his or her core duties. In addition, innovation is not witnessed in product development only. Other department such as human resources, finance, and marketing are also actively innovating in order to make their functions efficient. All these have contributed massively to the company’s impressive growth.
  • It has enabled Google to attract top talents: Google has been able to attract the top talents worldwide since the organizational structure enables them to grow and gain satisfaction from their jobs even if they are paid less than the industry standard. Whilst other companies have linear and bureaucratic controls, Google allows its employees to set and uphold their own standards. Such a culture acts an attraction to highly qualified and competent potential employees. This make them feel extremely empowered. In attracting top talents, Google will retain its position as a leading innovator in the information technology industry.
  • It empowers employees: Google’s leadership structure allows employees to set and change their job parameters when necessary. At the workplace, managers act as mentors, not as directors. In essence, employees act as their own leaders. This gives them a sense of personal responsibility and empowerment when it comes to improving performance. This has proved to be an effective strategy since the employees have helped the company to grow.
  • It has ensured managerial efficiency: The company encourages employees and their managers function directly with each other on a non-formal basis. This implies that the work of managers is not simply to order the employees around. Instead, they work hand in hand by sharing ideas on how they want tasks to be completed. As a result, the level of conflict between managers and employees is low. This has increased managerial efficiency.

 

Limitation

  • It can employ from a small pool of talent: For this structure to function successfully, it needs employees who are self-motivated and can manage themselves. This means that it can only employ persons who have showed these capabilities. As a result, the company sometimes overlooks recruits who may lack ‘Googley’ qualities even if they have impressive qualifications. Thus, Google misses out on some top talents that would otherwise enhance performance if they are given proper training and guidance.

Are they effectively positioned for continued growth and innovation?

Google has a formidable organizational structure that has proved successful since its inception. The structure has become the envy of other companies. As a consequence, it will continue to attract the top talents. In the same breath, the company will continue to retain its best employees due to its favorable employment conditions. The structure also ensures that idea creation will remain part of the company’s DNA. Therefore, it can be concluded that Google is effectively positioned for continued growth and innovation.

References:

http://www.acemyhw.com

Austen and Wollstonecraft on Female Education during Romantic Era

 

Introduction

During colonial era, women were faced by various challenges that affect their way of life and operations within their respective societies. Therefore, men enjoyed most of the rights as compared to the rights that were enjoyed by women. For instance, women had no control over inheritance as all the inheritance was for men. Similarly, women had no formal education as compared to their counterparts, men as revealed by Dolan (p56). Women also lacked control over their earning despite working to earn their wages. Within some communities, women were not allowed to vote or participate in any elective political position. Equally, because of being illiterate, women were not allowed to hold higher offices in various governments and private offices. Moreover, women had no control over their lives, as their husbands were even responsible for their discipline. In the presence of the above challenges, women found it difficult to rise within different communities. Therefore, they remained culturally, socially, politically, economically and financially disadvantaged.

Roles of Women in the Romantic Era

            Just like any other societal environment, women continued to face different challenges during the Romantic era despite the efforts of some leaders for their freedom. For instance, due to the rigidity of life at the time, women were more disadvantaged, a normal scenario that was controlled by the rule of law. For instance, based on the laws of the land, women were not allowed to participate in any political activities (Berhrendt 134). Therefore, only men were allowed to elect their leaders. However, in spite of being barred from such political activities, they were still under the control of the elected political leaders. More to that point, women were also not allowed to vie for any political position but were expected to respect the rule of the law set by these politicians. As a result, most of the rules and regulations set were did not favor women, as they were not part of the formation of the laws.

Besides being barred for political participation, women were also barred from doing higher paid jobs. Although some of the women might have required skills and experience on the jobs offered by the government or any other private institutions, they had no right of holding such offices dues to discrimination as found by Shulman and Connolly (p27). For instance, because women were operating under the control of men, no woman was allowed to have a job either equal or higher than men did within their working premises. Thus, they only participated in doing lower ranked jobs. Similarly, women were known to be doing family chores rather other, which were preserved for men. For instance, they were to take of the family by performing certain duties such as cooking, washing of clothes and dishes, taking care of their children and ensuring general cleanliness of the house among other designated duties.

Anther challenge faced by women was that they had no right to property as compared to men do. Properties denial covers land, household properties and even their own children. Therefore, despite being part of the family, all the properties belonged to men, who are the head and controller of their families (Doalan 94). More to that point, women had no control over decision making within their families as their husbands made the entire decisions. In the process, they were expected to obey their husband decisions even if such decisions were against their wish. Moreover, women were expected to bear children and ensure that their children were safe but had little control over them.

However, not all the women were disadvantaged during the time. Women widows were given some little privileges as compared to other women because they had doubled responsibilities, both for their late husband’s and their own duties. For instance, some of the women were expected to work and provide for their families as well as performing other domestic chores. Therefore, with doubled duties, some of the widows were allowed to participate in political activities as echoed by Shulmann and Connolly (p30). For instance, they were allowed to vote for some of their leaders but only within specified areas. On the other hand, these women had little impact on such duties as they had no knowledge on political affairs. Therefore, most of the decisions still relied on men; therefore, it had little impact despite having the opportunity to involve in such activities. Similarly, women were not allowed to undergo through separation or divorce even when they are mistreated with their families due to various reasons.

For instance, in the process of running away because of divorce or separation, they would be charged of stealing their clothes. This was an offence because they had no control over these clothes. Therefore, taking their clothes with them would result to prosecution by their husbands. Thus, even in the process of disagreement between husband and their women, women had no option but to remain within their husband compounds while facing their family challenges. This was opposed to men who may leave their compounds or families without getting permission from their husbands (Hammond & Nickola 213). However, there were consequences that men face when they harm their wives, but they were not severe as compared to women’s punishment. For instance, men who were found by the law to have been killed their wives would be hung while women found with similar offence would be burnt alive.

Roles of Education among Women during Romantic Era

            Educations also become a major challenge among women during the Romantic era. Many of the women during the era were not allowed to have formal education. According to the beliefs of the British Empire, only men were allowed to receive formal education to higher levels, as they were to take positions in both government and private institutions as political leaders, organizational managers, teachers, drivers and machine operators among other duties (Dolan 132). Therefore, the level of education among women was much lower as compared to med. Failure to have formal education impacted women in various. For instance, the women were unable to work in officers as compared to men. Likewise, women at the time were unable to earn better wages because the jobs they were being offered were for lower wages as compared to their counterparts.

Besides lower pay, women had no time to participate in other jobs that would generate extra wages for them because they were also required to perform their domestic duties such as taking care of their young ones. Women also were unable to enjoy their political rights because they were unable to participate in various political rights. For instance, they were not allowed to vote and were not allowed to make any political decision. In the process, most of the political decisions that were made in the absences were against their developments (Hammond & Nickola 220).  Moreover, these women had not political representative body that would air their grievances as far as political affairs are concerned. As a result, various challenges that women were facing could not be solved as compared to men’s challenges.

However, solutions to various challenges faced by women came into reality in the wake of the French Revolution. Through the French Revolution, the movement was mandated to ensure that challenges like gender inequality based on education, sex, division of labor, political participation and women discrimination of any nature were eradicated completely. With the presence of leaders such as Mary Wollstonecraft, who came up with restrictions under which women lived (Shulman & Connolly 30). Although the policies of the leader were not effective as expected, these rules become more effective at the time Victoria inherited the throne in1837. During this time, women enjoyed various rights and freedoms. For instance, women were allowed to participate in political activities such as voting towards electing their leaders.

Besides electing their leaders, another right enjoyed by these women was lack of discrimination. For instance, rules and regulations were enacted that barred people from heckling and laughing at women. Therefore, women became respected members of the society just like men, which was in the contrary to the ancient days. It is also through the French Revolution that most women in the region began to understand the meaning of motherhood. Therefore, it helps women to understand that motherhood is a sacred calling (Dolan 165). Therefore, apart from only taking care of their children without having controlling over them became outdated. Women also ensured that they become part of the political call. They forced for women political representatives in the government through the election of their own representative. This helps in dealing with gender inequality. However, it did not fully solve their problems fully as they were in smaller numbers in such positions as compared to men. Therefore, men still had more influence in decision making as compared to them.

Many women also started receiving formal education just like men in the past. For instance, some of the learned women at the time participated in writing of various literature materials. Some of the commonly literature materials written and produced by women include painting, novels and poetry among others. The above literature materials were majorly focusing on various issues and challenges that women were facing at the time such as discrimination, role of women in the society, gender inequality and women education among others as identified by Berhrendt (p243). Through having formal education, marks the rise of women in these communities at the time.

With the advantage of formal education just like their counterparts, women were entitled to vie for higher political seats such as women representatives. In the process, the government considered women challenges and issues affecting them. They also had the opportunity to elect their leaders without relying on their husbands or other male politicians decisions. Similarly, with proper education, most women also opt for higher ranked jobs such as organizational managers in order to provide better provisions to their families. Therefore, some of the women became breadwinners to their families, a position that was mostly held by men before the revolution (Hammond & Nickola 222). Moreover, some of the women with formal education also earned higher wages just like med because they had same skills and experience within their areas of specialization. This also contributed to the emergence of gender equality.

Having formal education also helped in proper distribution of labor among families. Before the revolution, women performed most of the chores. For instance, women were responsible for taking care of their children, cooking and cleanliness. However, because they were also involved in similar jobs as their husbands, they shared these chores among the family members. For instance, men were also responsible for taking care of their children just as their women would do (Shulman & Connolly 29). Additionally, rules and regulations that govern women operations changes as compared before the revolution. For instance, some of the norms that control ownership changed. Therefore, women were also entitled to inheritance of properties such as land and their clothes among others.

Similarly, legislations were also changed to suit women demands towards ensuring gender equality. For instance, same rules and regulations were used to control the operations of both men and women. This was an improvement from the previous rules that were used before the revolution. For instance, before the revolution, charges against women were harsh than chargers against men as men were enjoying many privileges. Before revolution, women who were found to have been killed their husbands were burnt alive, which was more painful experience than men with similar offences who were to be hug (Dolan 176). However, after the French Revolution, both suffer similar consequences in the presence of murder cases. For instance, both men and women who involved in murder cases were hug.

Likewise, through formal education that were offered to women after the revolution, helped many of the women in the region to become familiar with other freedoms such as freedom of movement, freedom of worship and freedom of ownership among others. This created a society where both members of the society participate towards social, economic, political and financial development (Berhrendt 174). As a result, many of the communities became developed as compared to the past before the revolution. Therefore, education became a very important tool towards the realization and development of the gender equality within the Roman Empire and other societies globally.

Conclusion

            During the colonial period, women suffered due to lack bad leadership that were offered by the current government by then. For instance, these leaders failed to enact better rules and regulations that were against various challenges faced by women at the time such as discrimination, gender inequality, and wife battering. Moreover, women lacked formal education as they were barred from receiving better education, which were offered to men. Therefore, women lagged behind in terms of development and exposure. Additionally, these leaders failed to enact better rules and regulations that provide equal rights and freedom to all people. In the contrary, the available rules only favored men than women. For instance, women were not allowed to vote but were expect to adhere rules and regulations enacted by men elected leaders.

Because of the above impacts of bad leadership, it results to poor development and bad relations among members of the affected societies. Therefore, such practices should be avoided for better development among societies to be achieved. Similarly, leaders should ensure that they provide better leadership that promotes gender equality and discourages discrimination among women, as they remain part of the development plans. Therefore, bad leadership practices should be avoided completely.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Works Cited:

Berhrendt, Stephen, C. British Women Poets and the Romantic Writing Community. Maryland: JHU Press. Print.

Dolan, Elizabeth, A. Seeing Suffering in Women’s Literature of the Romantic Era. Burlington: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. Print.

Hammond, Mathew, D & Nickola, C. “When relationships do not live up to benevolent: Women’s benevolent sexism sensitivity to relationship problems.” European Journal of Social Psychology 43.3 (2013): 212-223. Print.

Shulman, Shmuel & Connolly, Jennifer. “The Challenges of Romantic Relationships in Emerging Adulthood Reconceptualization of the Field.” Merging Adulthood 1.1 (2013): 27-39. Print.

 

 

 

 

Assignment

 

 

 

Introduction

The firm Ferris with a mission to exceed the customer’s expectations with respect to quality and cost along with developing a specialization and unmatched expertise in creating, producing and distributing electronic sensors is committed to follow a rigorous research and development effort for yielding the innovative and durable products to its customers. It also strives to deliver product excellence with its state of the art manufacturing set up. The firm needs to pursue aggressive endeavors for continuous improvement as well as to enhance the frequency of customer interaction. The company also intends to yield a positive organizational climate to its employees that can harness the potential of its employees to the optimum. The present report accounts for the comparative assessment of the firm Ferris with its main competitors namely Andrews. Baldwin, Chester, Erie and Digby and highlights that why Ferris should be the most strategic choice for making business investments.

Ratio and Trend Analysis

The liquidity ratios are indicative of the fact that how well the firm is equipped to meet its short -term obligations for example the asset management ratio indicates the effectiveness of the firm’s management to handle its assets; the debt management ratios exhibit the use of the debt financing alternatives and finally the different profitability ratios depict the effectiveness of operations of the firm. Of all these ratios, the profitability ratio is most important being the accumulative sum of the effects of all the above mentioned ratios.

As one examines the performance of the above mentioned firms eight years back they all were at par sharing the market equally. The subsequent year was good as the market share exhibited an increment of around 0.74% however in the subsequent year it fell drastically to 12.97 with 4.44% absolute decrease and the trend is still continuing. Most of the financial indicators for the firm do not exhibit a positive trend over the past but that does not mean that the firm is not making an effort to improve. The past few years with strategies focusing on financial indicators have not been helpful to save the dwindling performance of the firm.  For example, one of the important financial indicators that has been used widely for assessing the amount of return that has been generated by the firm’s management for its shareholders exhibit that the firm has not been able to yield positive ROE to the investors particularly after the 2019 and the gaps are increasingly sharply (figure 1).  In addition to this, the market share of the firm is also declining. The three main components of the return on equity namely (i) the profit margin expressed as the ratio of net income to sales, (ii) asset turnover expressed as the ratio of sales to assets and (iii) financial leverage expressed as the ratio of assets to equity are also depicting a poor financial scenario for the firm.

The poor profit margins are indicative that the firm has failed to control the costs and being able to generate profits on its sales. Then the dwindling asset turnover suggests that the management is not being able to generate enough sales from its assets (figure 2). It takes into account the capital level in the assets and the sales we derived from those assets; as the asset Turnover is small it simply indicates that the firm is very capital intensive and requires huge capital investments for generating strong sales. As one examines the financial leverage ratio (asset to equity) over the past few years it is shown that it has improved significantly. This third but important component of ROE is indicative of the fact that how the management is utilizing the equity and debt for financing its assets and the increase in the value of financial leverage is indicative of the increase in debt. It is usually more desirable for the management to use the equity financing alternatives over the debt being less risky but in the case of Ferris the debt finance is increasing year by year (figure 3).

This directly shows that there is a dire need to invest in the quality control initiatives and have drastic improvements in the operations so as to yield and sustain high profit margins in the long run. The fitting of the exponential trend on the market share data reveals that the rate of the decline is quite sharp (b=-0.227) as well as the corresponding R2 is extremely high (with a value of around 95%), see figure 4.

Analysis of Other Trends

However there are some promising trends as well. Following the year 2019 the size of the organization has decreased while the performance has improved thereby depicting the significant improvement in the firm’s perceived positioning on the map with respect to its competitors (figure 5 and 6). These two needs to be focused in future strategic concerns of the firm as the relative importance of these in determining the buying criteria is 33% among the high tech customers and around 9% among the low tech customers, indicating their importance in influencing the customer purchase decisions.

The examination of the perceptual maps as well as the ideal position expectations reveals some directions for the future. Among the low tech segment it is observed that the price is the most significant determinant for the customer buying decision with relative importance of being 41% followed next by age and reliability (expressed in terms of MTBF). In the low tech segment, the firm is able to deliver the expectations on almost all accounts.  However, the problems in the various areas seem to be more pronounced in the high tech segment. The next important concern for the customers following the performance and size ratio is the age with relative importance of around 29%. The analysis of the trends among the high tech customers suggest that the ideal age of the product desired is 0.0 years indicating that the customers seek the most innovative and latest product in this segment. The trends reveal that the products of the firm are lacking in this regard as perceived by the customers. The next important thing is the price which is well in the expected range but with respect to the reliability of product desired (MTBF 17000-23000) the actual reliability of Ferris products is 20000 which means that there is a possibility of improving the product in this regard improving it beyond 23,000 would simply imply a wastage of resources. The firm is also investing more and more in promotions which is particularly need to be done more aggressively as one examines the customer accessibility figures for Ferris with competing firms it is shown that in its case the customer accessibility is extremely poor in high tech segment with the value of meager 6% while the other firms exhibit much higher accessibility. This must have been a significant reason for the poor performance of the firm despite having a customer awareness level of 100%.

Recommendations

There is a need to devise appropriate strategies for capturing the potential in the market, particularly in the high tech segment as one can see that all the competing firms except Andrews doing well in this sector. The firm needs to invest strategically in the quality initiatives which must aim to curtail the mounting costs along with making efforts for fostering the relationship with the stakeholders of the process (Kotler & Armstrong, 2013; Freeman et al., 2010). The poor customer accessibility clearly indicates that the firm needs to improve the quality of relationship it has with its supply chain partners along with making strategic retail partnerships that can help in making the products available to the customers (Hitt et al., 2012). The firm needs to work on R & D initiatives in the high tech segment to deliver the innovative products to its clientele.

 

 

References

Freeman, R. E., Harrison, J. S., Wicks, A. C., Parmar, B. L., & De Colle, S. (2010). Stakeholder theory: The state of the art. Cambridge University Press.

Hitt, M., Ireland, R. D., & Hoskisson, R. (2012). Strategic management cases: competitiveness and globalization. Cengage Learning.

Kotler, P., & Armstrong, G. (2013). Principles of Marketing 15th Global Edition. Pearson.

 

Appendix

Figure 1: ROE performance during 2015-2022

Figure 2: Asset Turnover during 2015-2022

Figure 3: Financial Leverage Ratio during 2015-2022

Figure 4: Market Share of the firm during 2015-2022 and the Exponential Trend Fitting

Figure 5: Performance during 2019-2022

Figure 6: Firm’s size during 2019-2022

 

 

 

 

 

 

Business Excel Project

 

 

Business Excel Project

Lenovo

The Lenovo company was established in Beijing China in the year 1984 and has since then been expanding to a number of other companies in the world. The company started as Legend Holdings but was later to change its name after acquiring the Personal Computer Division of IBM. The company has presence in more than 60 countries in the world. At the moment the company has had to put its headquarters in the United States in order to position itself in its market as one of the market leader in information technology hardware and software.

The company was established o principally deal with the manufacture, distribution and sales of computers. Due to the changing market trend and the demand for its products the company has had to venture into other fields as time went by in order to take advantage of its reputation and its market share. Among the field that the company has ventured into are the software industry, smartphones and television sets among many other electronic devices.

In the last three years the company has been growing at a much faster rate as compared to the other companies in the computer industry. This can be attributed to its rapid expansion into other major markets of the world. This has resulted in a general steady growth from the beginning of May 2012 to May 2015 as depicted in the graph below.

In the last 18 months the company has been making major strides in the other areas of its diversified businesses like the mobile phone industry. As a matter of fact to stay focused the company decided from April 1, 2015 to divide its four areas of business into two major divisions where one will principally concentrate with its product distribution, resources, procurement and focus on its customers. The other division will be narrowing on growth and expansion into the emerging markets. There is cumulative growth when one compares the volumes sold from the beginning of December 2013 all the way to the beginning of May 2015.

Within the computing industry the company is among the ones leading globally. When we consider computers as its main product then its main competitors are Hewlett-Packard Company, Dell Inc and Acer Incorporated.

Apple

The company was started in the year 1976 in the United States by Steve Jobs and his two partners Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne. It was principally started to manufacture, distribute and sell personal computers that were IBM incompatible meaning that they could not be compared or even share hardware and software with those manufactured by the IBM Company. It is among the top information technology companies in the world. A year after it was started it decided to not only deal with personal computers but other electronic devices that are focused for the consumer market as well. Over time the company has ventured into the computer software industry as well as other fields such as mobile phones, television sets to name but a few. It has also made major strides in the online services industry.

Since its inception the company has had tremendous success with the Macintosh computer. In the early 90s the company faced a slight decline in its performance due to major changes and acquisitions. After this period it resumed profitability late in the 90s and has been a success story especially in the mobile phones industry from around the year 2000 to date after shifting focus to that industry in the year 2007.

When one looks at the performance of the company for the last three years and the last 18 months then the following comes out as seen in the graphs below for the daily and monthly sales. Taking the last three years the sales volumes have been increasing from the beginning of May 2012 to the beginning of May 2015 resulting in an upward graph. In terms of months when one looks at the sales from the end of November 2013 all the way to the end of April 2015 there has been a steady drop in the sales volume resulting in a downward graph.

Apple’s main competitors are Samsung, Amazon, Microsoft and Google. Samsung is the main competitor because of smartphones but the others when it comes to iPad’s and iPhone. Since Apple competes on a number of fonts it would be quite difficult to pint out its main competitors in all these areas unless one picks out specific areas.

 

Lenovo Daily

When the graph is observed from the beginning of December 2013 the stock prices start slightly lower and almost constant all the way to February 2015 when they rise suddenly take a rise. This is the time that investors are involved in the end of the year festivities which spill over to the beginning of January then thereafter they start investing heavily explaining the rise in both stock and volume traded.

Lenovo Monthly

The stock prices have been rising steadily from the beginning of May 2012 all the way to May 2015.

Apple Daily

The sudden slump that was exhibited from more than 500 to about 100 in June 2014 was due to a share split that was done by the company. They decided to split the shares in order for them to be available to a larger number of investors as compared to the ones that have been holding the shares in the company before this slump. Before this the shares were available to a smaller group of investors which can be explained by the volatility that was being exhibited from the end of November 2013 to the end of May 2014. With a smaller group they react so much to any changes that are likely to affect the company. From the beginning of June 2014 after the share split the shares are now owned by a larger group of investors. From then on it can be seen that the volatility in the stock price has reduced resulting in a near steady graph. This is because of a bigger number of investors owning smaller shares as compared to the previous time when there were few investors each owning bigger shares. Hence, therefore, in case of any changes or market expectations then the reaction to the stock prices is not going to be that large. Finally when one looks at the period from November 2013 to May 2014 and the period between June 2014 and May 2015 it will be noticed that there are two graphs that are all rising steadily. This can be explained by the increased market share and sales volumes by the company which results in the steady growth of the stock price.

Apple Monthly

In September 2013 the stocks went down when Apple released some new iPhone models that did not please investors and analysts hence they went down so much. It has been a common trend that every time the company releases a new iPhone model the stocks the month that follows the release this can be explained by the uncertainty that follows the market expectation.

When one observes the stock prices it will be noticed that they have been going down from the

Lenovo and Apple Monthly Combined

From this graph that is showing the combined graph for Apple and Lenovo it can be noted that the stock price for Apple has been much higher than that of Lenovo. This was the case until the beginning of June 2014 after the split of the Apple shares that the stock prices of the two companies moved to a status where there prices were the same. The stocks for apple were initially being owned by a smaller group of investors until the share split. The shares for Lenovo have always been owned by a larger group of investors. From about the mont of June 2014 the stock prices for the two companies have been rising much closer all the way to May 2015.

When we observe May 2012 to September 2012 the stocks for the two companies were rising. This can be explained by the sudden interest in their products leading to higher sales volumes that lead to this rise. After September 2012 consumers were not that keen on these products simply because their expectations were not being met. This resulted to reduced sales volumes all the way to March 2013. From then on there appears to be an explosion in the interest in information technology products all the way to May 2014. This has been resulting in higher market sales that have led to an increase in the stock prices of the two companies.

A close observation of the stock prices of the two companies will show that there is no one company that can be said to be leading over the other one. They seem to be following each other at par with an almost equal market share of their products.

MIT Sloan

Area of Oil in Saudi Arabia

 

 

Introduction

Saudi Arabia possesses about 18% of the world’s total petroleum output.  It is ranked as the largest petroleum producer in the world. In 2013 it was ranked as the second largest petroleum liquids producer after the United States and the second largest crude oil producer (Metz, 1992).  Petroleum accounts for 85% of all exports of Saudi and its economy remains heavily dependent on oil. Saudi Aramco is the nation’s oil and gas company and is the largest oil company in terms of production in the world. Saudi has about 266 billion barrels of proved oil reserves excluding the barrels in the Saudi Kuwait Neutral zone. They account for 16% of the world’s oil barrels. Saudi has about 100 major oil fields with more than 50% concentrated on its North East part of the country (EIA, 2014).

Saudi produces a range of oils from heavy to super light. Most of the crude oil produced in Saudi is considered light gravity. However, the country is moving to reduce production of the medium and the heavy gravity oil into super light. The Kuwait Saudi neutral zone is an area approximately 2,200 square miles. It contains a total of 5 billion barrels of total oil reserves that were divided equally between the two countries (Metz, 1992).  Saudi’s Saudi Aramco operates the largest oil processing facility and crude stabilizing plant in the world. Saudi Arabia has been a top oil producing country in the world for decades and proves to continue through their constant innovations and improvements of oil fields.

 

 

History

Oil mining in Saudi went real about the year 1933. Western countries showed interest in the oil in Saudi Arabia. Standard Oil Company of California signed a sixty year contract with Saudi Arabia. Four years later, they were joined by three other companies, among them was Mobil. This resulted to formation of Aramco, the Saudi oil exploration company. It started operating in about five sites across the country in 1938. They had reached a commercial level by 1945 (Haroon, 2014).

Prior to this success, during the era of Abd al-Aziz ibn Abd ar-Rahman Al Saud, the first King of Saudi, he failed to gain control of the western part of Saudi Arabia. He granted an oil concession to a British investment group.  However, the group failed to sell since they were just dealing with the possibility of selling the investment to the British government which declined to take it. Hence the venture failed terribly in 1928. The Standard Oil Company of California had however succeeded to explore oil since they were not affected by what was called the red line agreement (Metz, 1992).

Red line agreement which was in practice around 1930s blocked companies with a part ownership of the company operating in Iraq, from acting independently within that area that actually covered a bigger junk of the Middle East. Hence since the company from California was not barred, it made its entrance into the trade. The original concession was charged a rental fee of 5,000 British pounds in gold, a loan of 50,000 British pounds in gold to Saudi government and royalty payment in some shillings for each unit they exported (Metz, 1992).

The concession agreement was however changed severally from the initial one. The first modification was done in 1939 after the oil discovery in 1938. This increased Aramco concession area and period to 1999. The charges were also higher than previously. In 1950 they changed the agreement to a fifty –fifty profit sharing agreement. More adjustments followed up to until 1980. Aramco kept on expanding occupying up to 80% of the original area of about 1.3 million square kilometers. Once oil was ascertained in Saudi, Aramco engaged in several innovations to cut transport costs (Haroon, 2014). It during 1970s came up with pipelines to decrease costs of transportation and waste of time in the sea and tax across the Mediterranean Sea. The line was however damaged severally and was constantly in and out of use (Metz, 1992).

The initial stages of setting up Aramco were faced with many challenges. They could not get enough personnel from Saudi since most of them were not even familiar with machines.  The infrastructure of the place was not developed. This meant that Aramco had to outsource most of services and build infrastructure. Aramco started by training Saudis to take over oil production (Metz, 1992). They trained them through scholarships to foreign countries. By the year 1980, 22,000 of the 38,000 Aramco employees were Saudi (EIA, 2014).  In 1982 Aramco had the first Saudi president. He rose in ranks gradually from a junior employee who started working there at the age of eleven. The presence of the United States which was very strong in the early fifties had gone down significantly by the year 1980 (Metz, 1992).

Aramco then began to be slowly taken over by the government. The kingdom wanted to transfer it from a company owned by its foreign parent companies to the state owned company. The kingdom’s gradual take over and constant issuing of directives became a common feature in 1970s. Saudi Arabia participated in the Arab oil embargo in 1973 which supported it to gain access to the management of Aramco. By the I980s Aramco was fully controlled by the Saudi government and adopted the name Saudi Aramco. The government of Saudi has since early 1990s been involved in drastic changes to gain more control and arrange the style of production of Saudi Aramco and other production companies in Saudi (Metz, 1992).

The Kuwait-Saudi neutral zone is a shared zone with oil fields. The place had been waiting judgment on demarcation back in the 1920s when its values suddenly shot up upon discovery of Oil. The two countries sat to deliberate on the matter and agreed to share the region. The agreement and demarcation of the area finally were signed and became real in 1966 and 1967 officially (Haroon, 2014).

Oil Exploration in Saudi

Saudi Arabia holds 16% of the world’s proven oil reserves. This represents the biggest proportion in the world from a single country. It is the second largest petroleum producer after Russia. Most of the revenues they earn come from petroleum and its products.  The country has also embarked on plans to increase their petroleum products and production of crude oil. Saudi Aramco remains to dominate the Saudi oil productions and still is the largest oil producing company. Saudi Arabia produced an average of 11.6 million bbl/d of total petroleum liquid in 2013. The production of 2013 declined slightly by 0.13 million bbl/d to accommodate non-OPEC production growth, mainly United States and to a lesser extent Canada (EIA, 2014).

The country produces a range of crude oils. It produces from super light to medium and heavy gravity. The country is aiming to maximize mining mostly of light crude oil and minimize mining of medium and heavy gravity. The oil of Saudi comes from several fields but more than a half of it comes from about eight fields (EIA, 2014).

The fields include Ghawar. This is the largest field in the world that was discovered in 1948 and oil extracted from it in 1951 first. It is managed and controlled by Saudi Aramco. It is found to the North East of Saudi in a place called Al Ahsa Eastern province. It is an onshore field with a physical area of 280 by 30 square kilometers. It produces 5.8 million bbl/d of Arab’s light crude. The second oil field in Saudi as arranged by capacity of production is Safaniya. This is an offshore field located in the Persian Gulf. It is the largest offshore field and produces heavy crude. It produced, according to 2012 estimates, 1.2million bbl/d. The third largest oil field in Saudi is the Khurais, an onshore field that produces an equivalent of Safaniya. It gives light crude but by 2012 there were plans underway by Saudi Aramco to expand its production by 0.30 million bbl/d by 2017. Other fields include Manifa an offshore 0.90 million bbl/d  located in the Persian Gulf near a place called Al Jubail and Shaybah onshore field producing over 0.50 million bbl/d. Other fields scattered within Saudi and which contribute to the half of its production include Qatif, Khursaniyah, Zuluf, and Abqaiq (EIA, 2014).

The country has the largest company of oil producers. Saudi aramco has the largest world processing facility (Nakov &Nuno, 2011). Additionally Saudi possesses several refinery plants around the country. Among the big refineries include Ras tanura. It is located on the Persian Gulf coast near Jubail. It has a crude distillation capacity of 550,000 barrels per day. It is owned by Aramco and began operations back in 1945. The other big refinery is Yanbu with capacity of 250000 bbl/d (EIA, 2014). Other refineries include Riyadh, Jedah, Satorp Jubail, Petro Rabigh, Samref Yanbu etc. In addition to these Saudi has refineries abroad mostly in United States, China, South Korea, and Japan (Nakov &Nuno, 2011). Despite also having big ports specialized for oil transportation to other countries, it has got a net work of pipelines. It operates averagely 12,000 miles of crude and petroleum product pipelines through the country. The major pipelines include Petroline which is a 746 mile long pipe running from Abqaiq complex to The Red sea. Running parallel to it is the Abqaiq –Yanbu NGL pipeline. It serves petrochemical plants in Yanbu (Nakov &Nuno, 2011).

 

 

Impacts of Oil in Saudi

Oil has revolutionized the way Saudi do most things over several years. Oil discovery changed the economy of the country to a great extent. Since 1930s the economy of Saudi has been growing due to sales made from oil. As they increasingly took more control over Saudi Aramco, they increased revenues and the country’s GDP grew. Oil exploration and the setting up Saudi Aramco necessitated for the buildup of infrastructure. It also led to training of skilled labor in Saudi (Shah, 2011).

During the set up of Aramco, many employees were obtained from other countries. However the government enacted laws and policy that lead to the scholarships granted by Aramco. About 60 scholarships were given annually to Saudi students who flew abroad to study. This increased the literacy level of Saudi Arabians. Oil discovery strengthened relationship between Saudi Arabia and other countries especially United States of America (Blanchard, 2014).However, oil in Saudi has had some bad effects. Security has been threatened as their oil fields have been targeted severally. They have also grown to be one of the greatest oil consumers in the world. This comes with environmental pollution (Shah, 2011).

Conclusion

Saudi Arabia produces a lot of oil to the world. It being one of the greatest producers of oil has helped its economy growth through revenues from exports. Saudi has got the highest number of oil fields in the world and the biggest oil producing company. It has also shown great interest in taking charge and improving their production through technological advancement. Though it has encountered some terrorist attack threats around oil fields, Saudi has taken measures to secure the regions. Saudi, the land of oil has experienced a significant positive impact of oil discovery and production.

References

Blanchard, C. (2014). Saudi Arabia: Background and U.S. Relations. Retrieved from http://fas.org/sgp/crs/mideast/RL33533.pdf

Energy Information Administration (EIA). (2014). Country analysis brief: Saudi Arabia. Retrieved from http://www.eia.gov/countries/analysisbriefs/Saudi_Arabia/saudi_arabia.pdf

Haroon, A. (2014). History of Saudi Arabia & Wahabism. Bloomington. Xlibris Corporation.

Metz, H. (1992). Saudi Arabia: A country study. Washington. GPO for Library of congress. Available from http://countrystudies.us/saudi-arabia/

Nakov, A. & Nuno, G. (2011). Saudi Aramco and the oil market. Working paper series. 1354. European Central Bank. Available from http://www.ecb.europa.eu/pub/pdf/scpwps/ecbwp1354.pdf

Shah, A. (2011). Advantages and Disadvantages of Oil – Cons Disregarded by Powerful Lobbies. Retrieved from http://www.greenworldinvestor.com/2011/07/07/advantages-and-disadvantages-of-oil-cons-disregarded-by-powerful-lobbies/

 

 

 

Night and Brave New World – A Comparison

 

Both the Night and Brave New World by Elie Wiesel and Aldous Huxley respectively provide an inside look into the society in which humans live. It is observed from the two books that the authors are raising key problems in the society. In Night, Wiesel uses different themes to present the impact of too much power of the state on the subjects.

An important theme used in the novel is inhumanity against other humans. This means that the author uses the theme of “cruelty” by the authority to persecute their subjects. The main issue coming out is the inability to make sense of the world out of the heinous circumstances that surround the life of author.  The theme of cruelty is portrayed further in the novel where the prisoners turn on each other. This means that violence breeds violence. Instead of comforting and supporting each other during difficult situations, the prisoners turn onto each other.

The strongest part of the book is the use of themes and symbols to portray the story. The author uses fire to symbolize the cruelty of the Nazi Germans. Fire is used as a central symbol in the development of the plot, revealing the horror to come. The symbol of fire also reveals a reverse of Jewish belief. Fire is the bible is associated with God’s comforting power, as seen in the burning bush. In the New Testament, it is a symbol of divine retribution. This is the reverse in the novel, where fire is in the hands of the wicked Nazis (Wiesel & Wiesel, 2011). The other symbol used, which eventually becomes the title of the novel is the Night. Night or darkness marks the beginning of God’s creation of the Universe. He creates Night to dispel darkness. Wiesel uses Night to denote a time when suffering is at its worst.

Brave New World on the other hand presents something like the opposite of the Night. A critical analysis of the title itself shows us the novel is written at a time when the world has become “brave” and there is no physical oppression. However, in that situation, the author reveals that humans have other challenges to deal with. The consumer society, the inability to mix happiness and truth and the dangers of an all powerful state are used in the novel to present an insightful picture of the world viewed as “brave”. The brave powerful world is a world in which the very state that should protect its citizens has turned against them by taking over the rights and liberties of its people. The rigid control of production through medical intervention illustrates a new form of world order, in which humans have no power over their future(Huxley, 2006).  The novel also uses symbols such as “soma” to present its message to its audience.

An analysis of the two novels reveals that whereas they are authored at different historical times in human race, they symbolize the impact of uncontrolled power of state over the people. The Night is authored at a historical time in which the state used extreme violence and persecution of its people to achieve its selfish purpose. The Brave new world on the other hand shows the use of technology to influence the future of its citizens and achieve it selfish goals. The Night reveals the ruthlessness of the German masters, where the Brave New World shows the impact of state control in a new world.

In addition, both authors make use of different themes and symbols to enhance the relay of their message to the audience. The use of fire and the night as symbols in the Night reveals an early historical time in human development. On the other hand, technological and medical intervention, including the surgical removal of ovaries symbolizes an advanced era in human history. A comparison of the two novels reveals that suffering inflected on humans by the actions of the state can only be controlled by denying the state exclusive power of decisions that have important impact on the lives of the people.

References

Huxley, A. (2006). Brave new world. New York: Harper Perennial Modern Classics.

Wiesel, E., & Wiesel, M. (2011). Night. New York: Hill and Wang.

Economics paper

 

Question Two – Economic considerations for business start-ups

Entrepreneurship and self-employment has created approximately 20% of all the jobs in the US in the last 25 years. With the continued levels of unemployment, many youths opt for self-employment as a solution to the situation. Business start-up process, however, require an analysis of the environment, especially the economic environment, to enhance decision making, performance, stability and sustainability. Some of the factors that require a deep look include the country’s GDP levels, labour market, interest rates, inflation rates, business spending, corporate tax levels and industry turnover, including profit margins. For instance, the will grow at a 3.3% rate this year up from 2.4% in 2014, and is expected to expand in 2015 at better than 3%. This is attributed to reenergized consumer spending as well as an increase in home building to boost the county’s GDP. An improved GDP means a stronger economy, hence business sustainability is possible. Moreover, the Federal Reserve rate which is at 0% to 0.25% is expected to move up to 0.5% to 0.75% and the bank prime rate to 3.75% from 3.25%. The relative strength of the U.S. economy is nudging up the value of the U.S. dollar versus the euro and most other currencies, helping to hold down expectations of inflation and exerting downward pressure on rates. Inflation rates will stay below the Federal Reserve’s level of 2% as strong dollar causes prices of imported commodities to decline. Business will be able to keep the level of prices affordable to the customers due to manageable prices of raw materials.

Question Three – Strategic Management for value addition

The main reason why any firm exists in the market is to maximize profits. And the value that is created and captured by the firm is equal to the profit margin the firm enjoys. According to Michael Porters, the value created and captured less the cost of creating that value is equivalent to the margin the firm will enjoy. It therefore follows that, the more value a firm creates, the more profitable (the higher the profit margin) the firm becomes and the less value the firm creates, the less profitable (the lower the profit margin) the firm becomes. Therefore, the purpose of the strategic management process of the firm should be to add value to the firm. However, value means different things to different stakeholders of the firm. The different stakeholders to a firm include the firms’ employees, the firms’ competitors, the firms’ customers, the firms’ shareholders or investors and the community in which the firm is established.

Value creation for customers

Creating value for customers is probably one of the complex decisions companies have to make. In very simple language, value is what makes customers want to buy a firms’ product (or service). It is the value the customer will derive from the product that compels the customer to want to buy the company’s product. So how exactly can firms elicit this desire from customers? One, the firm should understand what drives value for their customers. Firms should take time to capture data that will help them understand what is important for their customers and what opportunities they have to help them. Two, the firms needs to understand its value-proposition, because the value customers receive from a firm’s product/service is equal to the benefits of the product/service less the cost of that product/service. Three the firm needs to focus more on the quality of its product/services than it does on quantity. Quality is conformance of the product to the specifications of the customer; it means that the product will meet the customers’ expectations and loyalty to the firm. Four, is about customer differentiation. Due to high levels of competition, firms need to identify and focus on customers and segments they can create more value. This is because different customers will have different perceptions relative to your competitors and based on geographic proximity. Lastly, price is everything. Firms should create a win-win price level, i.e. a price level that ensures customers are receiving value, but also ensuring the firm makes profits.

Creating value for shareholders/investors

Firms’ investors require a baseline or a benchmark for assessing a company’s cash flow prospects and a clear view of the firms’ potential in performance. They also require a system to evaluate the firms’ volatility in terms of its revenue performance and cost management. However, the firms’ competitive landscape should shape the firms strategies and not the shareholders demands. So what do firms have to do if they want to create value for their shareholders? One, the firm can make strategic decisions that focus on maximizing the expected value, which is the weighted average value for a range of plausible scenarios. Firms should not focus on strategic decisions in terms of impacts on reported earnings but rather focus on the expected incremental value of future cash flows. They can also invest in acquisitions that maximizes on the expected value even at the expense of lowering short-term earnings. This should be done with close considerations on the price/earnings and the impacts it will have on the earnings per –share (EPS). Valued can also be created for investors by investing only in Assets that maximize value. The firm can invest in business units, brands, real estate and other detachable assets or invest in high value-added activities research, design and marketing. Additionally, value-conscious companies with excess cash to invest with limited investment opportunities may opt to return the money to investors through dividends and share buybacks. This gives the shareholders a chance to earn better returns elsewhere while also reducing the risk that the management will use the excess cash to make value-destroying investments.

Creating value for employees

Employee productivity is important for the performance and competitiveness of an organization. To enhance a productive workforce culture in an organization, the organization requires a viable employee value proposition that all employees understand, and develop a culture that encompasses clear performance management, career development and manager effectiveness. One of the strategies that will help the organizations develop and maintain a competitive work force is viewing the human resource, not only as a resource, but as an asset because human assets are central to any business in any industry. Also, creating value for employees require that companies create value in terms of materials such as competitive salaries, bonuses, perks etc. It can also create value beyond compensation by including intangibles factors such as the company’s corporate culture, work-life balance, promotions, recognitions and career development. Lastly, companies can improve their work-force by enhancing shared value in the organization, i.e. ensuring their employees understand why they are in the business they are doing.

Creating value for competitors

There is no industry in the market that has no competition; the difference is pretty much the level. A firm’s competitive advantage exists when it is able to deliver the same benefits to its customers as its competitors, but at a lower cost (cost advantage) or deliver products that go beyond competing products (differentiation advantage).  Firms therefore need to develop and maintain competitive strategies that encompass a wide spectrum of techniques and advantages to gain advantage. According to porters, a firm strategically position itself by leveraging on its strengths. Porters divide the firm’s strengths into two; cost advantages and differentiation advantages because they express the firms position in the industry. The firm therefore should use its resources and abilities to generate a competitive advantage that will result in the creation of a superior value to the customers. Firms can also develop strategies that enhance competitive advantage in price, quality, image and reputation, value, innovation and technology and time and processes.

Creating value for the community

Business exist in the social world, there is therefore need for the integration of the business operations and values to the interests of all the stakeholders including investors, customers, employees and the community by being conscious of the in which the business operates. Firms require strategies that will ensure practices that involve participation in initiatives that benefit the society and ensuring sustainability are embedded into their core business operations to create shared value for business and the society. One of the strategies is creation of a corporate shared value (CSV), i.e. creating a link between corporate success and social-well being. Firms can also align with appropriate institutions in the society to create better environments to work and live e.g. engaging with foundations to assist in learning and education. Firms may also make monetary contributions that provide aid to local charitable, education and health-related organizations to assist the under-served or the impoverished communities.