Module 1 Assignment 1 (M1A1)
Module 1 Assignment 1 (M1A1)
For many assignments in this course, we will use the case of a small, high tech manufacturing company, Fast Technologies .
Fast Technologies is a manufacturer of solid state drives (SSD) for desktop and laptop computers. Fast products are sold through dealers to end users. Fast employs 25,000 people worldwide and is headquartered in Atlanta, GA with manufacturing plants in several locations. Major markets for Fast are segmented in five regions: United States (US), North &amp; South America (AM), Europe (EU), Asia (AS), and the Middle East (ME). Fast began selling to the Middle East just two years ago (2014).
For management purposes in evaluating business performance, Fast captures a variety of information on a monthly or quarterly basis. Data for their main metrics are found in separate worksheets in the Excel workbook: Fast_Technologies_Database1.
• Dealer Satisfaction, measured on a scale of 1–5 (1 = poor, 2 = less than average, 3 = average, 4 = above average, and 5 = excellent). Each year, dealers in each region are surveyed about their overall satisfaction with Fast. The worksheet contains summary data from surveys for the past 5 years.
• End-User Satisfaction, measured on the same scale as dealers. Each year, users from each region are surveyed. The worksheet contains summary data for the past 5 years.
• 2016 Customer Survey, results from a survey for customer ratings of specific attributes of Fast SSDs: speed, reliability, price, and service on the same 1–5 scale.
• Complaints, which shows the number of complaints registered by all customers each month in each of Fast’s five regions.
• Fast 1000 GB Sales and Fast 2000 GB Sales, which provide sales by product by region. Unit sales for each region are aggregated to obtain world sales figures.
• Industry 1000 GB Sales and Industry 2000 GB Sales, which list the number of units sold by all producers by region.
• Unit Production Costs, which provides monthly accounting estimates of the variable cost per unit for manufacturing 1 TB and 2 TB SSDs.
• Operating &amp; Interest Expenses, which provides monthly administrative, depreciation, and interest expenses at the corporate level.
• On-Time Delivery, which provides the number of deliveries made each month from FAST’s major suppliers, number on time, and the percent on time.
• Defects After Delivery, which shows the number of defects in supplier-provided material found in all shipments received from suppliers.
• Time to Pay Suppliers, which provides measurements in days from the time the invoice is received until payment is sent.
• Response Time, which gives samples of the times taken by FAST customer-service personnel to respond to service calls by quarter.
• Employee Satisfaction, which provides data for the past 4 years of internal surveys of employees to determine their overall satisfaction with their jobs, using the same scale used for customers. Employees are surveyed quarterly, and results are stratified by employee category: design and production, managerial, and sales/administrative support.
In addition to these routine metrics, the FAST database contains worksheets with data from special studies:
• 1 TB SSD Production Time, which lists the time required to produce a 1 TB SSD using a new technology.
• 1 TB SSD Test, which lists test results of SSD functional performance after assembly.
• Employee Retention, data from a study of employee duration (length of hire) with FAST. The subjects were identified by reviewing hires from 10 years prior and identifying those who were involved in managerial positions (either hired into management or promoted into management) at some time in this 10-year period.
• Purchasing Survey, which provides data obtained from a third-party survey of purchasing managers of customers of Fast Technologies SSDs.
Connie Smith has recently joined the Fast Technologies management team to oversee production operations. She has reviewed the types of data that the company collects and has assigned you the responsibility to be her chief analyst in the coming weeks.
To prepare for this task, you have decided to review each worksheet and determine whether the data were gathered from internal sources, external sources, or have been generated from special studies. Also, you need to know whether the measures are qualitative (categorical) or quantitative: ordinal, interval, or ratio. Make a preliminary decision of the type of chart/graph that would best communicate the data in each worksheet.
Assignment: Prepare a short memo/report to Ms. Smith summarizing the characteristics of the metrics used in each worksheet and your recommendations on appropriate graphics/charts. Use your best judgement on the information to include in the report but aim to communicate effectively and efficiently what you found. For this assignment, submit only a properly named Word document.
Evans, J. R. (2016). Business Analytics: Methods, Models, and Decisions, 2 ed. Boston: Pearson.