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- Sample Questions
The student will analyse a case and prepare a report addressing specific questions that are asked
in the case. Specific criteria are:
1. The case is Digital Cell Phone Inc. at the end of Chapter 4, Forecasting.
2. The overall problem is forecasting the demand for your firm’s product over the next 12
months. You have been given the prior 3 years of demand data for your product.
3. The detailed questions which the student is required to answer are:
a. Prepare a 12 month forecast using regression analysis. Be sure to analyse the
quality of your forecast.
b. Using your forecast developed in (a), advise your manager what the demand is
likely to be and any implications that need to be addressed.
c. Using another forecasting technique of your choice, not that used in (a), develop a
forecast that is likely to be more accurate than the technique used in (a). Be sure
to defend your approach.
4. The report is due on or before Jan. 28/15 at the beginning of our lab class.
The length of the report is 1 cover page (title, student name & #, signed by student), up to 2
pages of text and no more than 2 exhibits. Text is to be 12-point Times New Roman font and 1″
margins are required. Failure to follow these guidelines will result in grade reduction (if you
cannot do the little things well you cannot do the big things well!).
The report is to be a persuasive document that follows the RSP format. It starts with the
Recommendation (R) you would make to the firm based upon your answers to the detailed case
questions. An effective recommendation is several sentences and uses strategic vocabulary to
describe the solution and the problem it solves.
The second section of the report is the Support (S) and has the key points of analysis that support
your recommendation. This section represents the bulk of your document and needs to be rich
with the highlights of your analysis. It makes reference to supporting exhibits which contain the
detail of the analysis. It avoids “feelings” and value judgments.
The third section is a brief paragraph detailing how your recommendation is to be implemented
(Plan of action). For the purposes of this report you need to identify key implementation issues
or opportunities and specifically how the firm might address those. Detail is helpful in
understand how your recommendations are converted to actions.
Exhibits are used to support the arguments you present in the text and should not be used to
escape from the page length restrictions of the report. The key exhibits that you should use in
this report are the mathematics to support your answer to question (a) and the mathematics to
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support question (c). They need to be well crafted and concise with the implication of each
exhibit described in a box that appears on that exhibit (this is called a “So What” statement, it
tells the reader the “bottom line” or conclusion of what the exhibit is implying). The major
conclusion(s) drawn from the exhibit should be reported in the memo itself. The reader should
not have to read the exhibit in order to follow and understand the text of the memo.
Your task is to persuade the reader to your point of view. This means that you must use
objective proof, rather than a “gut” feeling to convince the reader. Fortunately, you have been
taught forecasting methods and tools which allow you to evaluate the quality of a forecast. Use
these tools to craft your argument. If you just describe your forecast without critical analysis and
improvement suggestions then you are wasting both your time and that of the reader. You are in
a university level degree in applied business, you are expected to evaluate situations, make
decisions, and make those decisions reality.
Here is what I am looking for in your report and presentation:
1. The analysis addresses the questions asked. The most common mistake that students
make is not answering the questions asked. As this Case Study is worth 15% of your final
mark, not answering the questions asked will result in a severe penalty to your overall
2. An unsupported recommendation is unacceptable. Examples of unsupported
recommendations are: “ABC Inc. is advised sell off Division Q because it does not fit”;
or: “ABC Inc. will create a brand for its widgets” without indicating what problem this
will resolve. Avoid using the words “should” and “must” because they are value-laden.
3. Your arguments are persuasive. They are based on your analysis and evaluations. Hint:
numbers are always important, they tend to be fairly objective. Examine your report to
make sure it shows effective use of the analytical and reasoning skills you have learned in
4. Editing your report several times before you hand it in is an important continuous
improvement habit that you need to develop to be successful in your career. This process
catches “soft spots” in your report that you can then fix. I will review draft reports up a
week before the hand-in date.
5. The written presentation is clear and professional in presentation. This includes using
titles and white space to break up the text, numbering and titling of exhibits, proper
margins, correct spelling, denotation of units, pagination and so on.
Feel free to ask your professor about any aspects of this assignment. Again, up to five calendar
days before the report is due your professor is happy to review any work you may have done and
give you specific feedback.
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Case Study overall mark: 15% of course
Key Success Factors (or how to win)
Do not forget the little things like spelling, format, math adding up, etc. these things are
indicative of your attention to detail. Detail management is often the difference between
winning and losing in the real world.
Be insightful as to the implications of your analysis. This means discuss what the
numbers mean to the operations of the firm. Identify possible improvements and/or
concerns. Evaluate the quality of your forecasts, this management insight into the
reliability of the analysis.
Do not waste the reader’s time. Superior managers answer questions directly and
concisely, getting to the “nub” of the analysis, issues, and opportunities.
Feedback is how superior managers maintain their edge. Finish a draft of your report and
have it reviewed by your professor. Your professor’s task is to help you to achieve your
potential, if you just learn from your successes and not your errors you are leaving 50%
of your potential on the table. Be a superior manager, finish early, get improvement
feedback, and then produce a superior product. Done properly you can expect superior
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