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ACCA Paper P3: BUSINESS ANALYSIS Questions and Answers


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We have developed our e-book by using an approach that we believe will enable you to optimise your limited study time in the most efficient and effective way. This comes from years of teaching accountancy and business students in class and listening to their feedback on how the learning system could be streamlined. Our e-book is divided into two sections: 50-mark case study questions (for Section A of the exam), and 25-mark questions (for Section B of the exam).

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A detailed answer. Each detailed answer is structured to correspond to the answer plan. The detail is not presented in the form of an essay-style answer (which is often difficult to assimilate quickly) but note format that is easy to read and understand. Exam-style essay-type answers. You will, of course, also want to see a full exam-style answer. We provide this in two ways: (i) We automatically hyperlink you to the relevant part of the ACCA website - where the ACCA provide a free download service of Exam Answers. You will then be able to read the pertinent answer on your screen or download it to your computer. In the case where we have produced our own case-study questions, or added sections to past exam questions, we provide a full answer within this publication.

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Strictly Business Books Case Study: Scenario

ACCA Paper P3 Business Analysis


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STRICTLY BUSINESS BOOKS ANSWER GUIDE

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The current date for this scenario is March 2012 Strictly Business Books (SBB) is a mail order company that specialises in books on business, particularly related to finance, accountancy, information systems and human resource management. The company is organised on two sites. The company is based in a rural area; the distribution centre is situated near enough to a main road to enable delivery and distribution of inventory, and the administrative centre is in a similar situation just two miles away on the same road. Both sites are a long way from any urban centre. SBB employs 68 staff to perform all the administrative and packing tasks. It has a catalogue of 4,800 titles, of which 80 percent are usually held as inventory. The operations director has set a target of 2,500 titles to form the companys list, of which 95 per cent would also be held as inventory or available for dispatch within twenty-four hours. This target has been set because of the increasing problems with regards to the guaranteed dispatch within 48 hours of an order. This strategy has caused concern with the board of directors who previously had encouraged growth in the number of titles available. Details of titles, inventory and orders are held on a bespoke database called Book Manager. Financial statistics for the company are given in Table 1.
Table 1: Financial information on Strictly Business Books ($000) 2009 Sales Cost of sales Gross profit Marketing Distribution Administration Net profit Return on sales (%) Net assets Inventory Employees Customer analysis: Sales to retailers Sales to schools and colleges Sales to others 13,100 6,500 6,600 550 1,965 2,620 1,465 11.2 3,000 1,810 58 2010 16,250 8,565 7,685 715 2,600 3,380 990 6.1 3,350 2,245 63 2011 15,000 8,250 6,750 705 2,550 3,300 195 1.3 3,200 3,200 68 2012
(estimate)

2013
(forecast)

14,500 8,410 6,090 710 2,610 3,335 - 565 NA 3,200 3,150 74

13,000 7,670 5,330 650 2,470 2,915 - 705 NA 3,200 3,020 74

65% 25% 10%

Much of the business is repeat business and consists of major retailers. Regular customers of SBB are placed on a permanent mailing list, and are sent every updated catalogue. Some customers, such as retailers, schools and colleges are Account Customers who have a discount awarded to them. Because of the overhead, SBB keeps the number of Account Customers low. Orders, received via e-mail, post or fax, are normally packed and dispatched within 24 hours, unless the titles are out of stock. In 2009, SBB experimented with taking on-line orders over the Internet. The experiment has been quite successful, with 10 per cent of their business being carried out electronically. The only difference in the operation is that the orders are printed off each day at 15.00 hours and packed later that afternoon. The packers do not notice any difference between orders from the different methods of customer ordering. Currently the companys website receives 250 300 hits per day; SBB would like to see it 1,000+ hits per day. They have bought a good dot com domain name, which increases the hit rate. They have recently installed software which manages cookies, so they can monitor customers who order on-line.
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There has been an unexpected side effect of this development: SBB have become aware that prospective customers are studying their on-line catalogue to identify titles, and then buying from companies such as Amazon and BOL (Books Online), who are selling the same titles at greatly reduced prices. The prices from Amazon and BOL are lower than SBB themselves have to pay for the books. The directors are contemplating their response to this and their falling financial results. They have identified three options: (i) Withdraw their presence from the Internet and revert to the traditional mail order practice they have built up. Attempt to compete with the rival companies on price. Buying the rights to as many titles as they can and branch out into publishing, so that the competitors must buy from SBB rather than undercut them.

(ii) (iii)

At a recent board meeting the directors briefly discussed the three options. Following this discussion the chief executive officer (CEO) suggested that, before making any final decisions concerning long-term business plans or strategies, a full analysis of the current situation should be conducted. The newly appointed information technology manager supported this motion, stating The market is changing, now is the appropriate time to take stock of the companys current position. Following an analysis the board will be better informed to make business plans and identify technology requirements to support the plans. The IT manager was given the task of performing the analysis and reporting back to the next board meeting with his results. The board has particularly asked him to concentrate on positioning the business to enable the development of opportunities for e-commerce. Brief historic review of the development of Strictly Business Books technological infrastructure 2000 Company was founded. Limited number of titles aimed at a niche market. Fifteen staff supported by paper based systems, electronic typewriters, orders received by post and telephone. 2001 Due to the success of the business more staff employed, introduction of twenty stand-alone personal computers. Functions include, basic office software, desktop publishing, spreadsheets and accounting software. 2002 Due to the increase in business and limitations of the building space on the original site SBB purchased another site in the same locality. The second site housed the management and administrative personnel. 2003 Implementation of an inventory recording system. This was purely a system that recorded the inventory levels of the inventory and produced periodic lists of inventory levels. All inputs to the system were manual. 2004 40 more PCs were purchased, each site purchased a local area network. 2005 A new IT department was created bringing the existing IT/IS staff formally together. A business analyst headed this department supported by two analyst/programmers and two operations personnel. The original IT staff were recruited from within the company. 2006 A bespoke integrated inventory reordering software package was developed. The package used an Oracle database as its platform. This package included modules that performed the basic inventory control function, produced purchase orders, produced various management reports and integrated with the existing accounts package.

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2008 The PCs and LANs were updated to work in a Windows NT environment. 2009 The company experimented with the Internet, establishing its own site and receiving orders via the Net. The electronic ordering system is not integrated with the inventory management system. No further development has taken place. 2012 Present. The company has encountered problems with maintaining permanent IT staff. The target of ten specialist has rarely been met. Currently the department has eight personnel; five permanent and three contract staff. The company has recently appointed an IT director. Required: (a) (i) Construct a strengths, weakness, opportunities, threats (SWOT) analysis for Strictly Business Books using the information given in the scenario. (10 marks)

(ii) Select the elements from the SWOT analysis produced in (a) (i) above, which will make most contribution towards the development of an information systems strategy, particularly supporting the early improvement of e-marketing (including e-commerce), within Strictly Business Books. For each element chosen, explain its significance in the formulation of the IS strategy. (10 marks) (b) Figure 1: The Value Chain (From Porter, M., Competitive Advantage )

Firm infrastructure Human resource management Technology development Procurement Inbound logistics Outbound logistics Marketing and sales

Operations

Service

Primary activities Secondary activities

(i)

For each primary activity in Porters Value Chain (Inbound logistics; Operations; Outbound logistics; Marketing and Sales; Service) briefly describe the activity and suggest an appropriate information strategy that could support the activity within Strictly Business Books. ( 8 marks)

(ii) From the point of view of the Board of Directors, discuss the impact of the need to develop a range of new IS systems to support e-commerce on the four support activities in Porters Value Chain (Infrastructure; HR management; Technology Development; Procurement). ( 8 marks)

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(c)

A general framework for combining the development of business strategy and information systems strategy can be shown as a three stage process: 1. 2. 3. (i) Position audit Choices Action Where we are Where do we want to be Going to get there First stage Second stage Third stage

Discuss the relationship between the business strategy and the information systems strategy in the second stage, Where we want to be. Your answer should include different approaches for developing the IS strategy alongside the business strategy. Make reference to Strictly Business Books where appropriate. ( 6 marks)

(ii) During the action stage, Going to get there, there may be a requirement to review and make changes to the major business processes in Strictly Business Books. Briefly recommend a model that can be used to guide implementation planning and explain why changes may be required. ( 8 marks) (50 marks)

A place for everything, everything in its place. Benjamin Franklin

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Strictly Business Books Case Study: Answer Guide

ACCA Paper P3 Business Analysis


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Tutorial note: This model answer is considerably longer and more detailed than would be expected from any candidate in the examination. It should be used as a guide to the form, style and technical standard (but not in length) of answer that candidates should aim to achieve. However, this answer may not include all valid points mentioned by a candidate credit will be given to candidates mentioning such points.

STRICTLY BUSINESS BOOKS

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The Plan and Answer : part (a) (i)


Ask yourself . What is being examined here? The question requires a conventional SWOT analysis. Reading the question shows that the company is in a competitive environment

Answer plan format

Make sure to bring IT into your review

Some of the critical success factors for this company relate to information systems

Strengths

Weaknesses

Opportunities

Threats

Established customer base (although it is eroding)

The financial statistics reveal problems

The website could be improved

Vulnerability to customer switching

Reasonably efficient customer ordering system

The website hit rate is lower than required

Sales are falling Gross margin is falling because costs of sales are increasing Other costs are increasing per $1 of sales

Appointment of two senior IT managers bodes well The company is using customisation software (cookies)

Cost reduction is possible

The online ordering system is not integrated with the inventory system

Marketing expenditure does not add value Staff retention problems in the IT department

E-marketing could improve the sales position

The companys warehouse is located close to a main road

Inventory turn is reducing

Planning is everything

An intention to increase staff although sales are falling

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Strengths Strengths Established customer base (although it is eroding) Reasonably efficient customer ordering system Appointment of two senior IT managers bodes well The company is using customisation software (cookies) The companys warehouse is located close to a main road The company has an established customer base although it is eroding. In the most recent year (2011) sales dropped by 7.7% ($1,250/$16,250) and are expected to fall by another 13.3% ($2,00/$15,000) during 2013. Details concerning which customers are being lost and why are essential for this review. The fact that most of the sales are repeat business suggests that the companys customers are satisfied with the service provided and are reasonably loyal. The company appears to have an efficient customer-ordering and dispatch system, even though there are obvious gaps and disconnects between the two sites. The fact that the company has recently appointed both a new IT manager and IT director bodes well in this respect. The appointments indicate that management recognise the importance of upgrading the customer ordering process to streamline the two systems and remove such inefficiencies between the two sites.

The company has software allowing customisation (cookies) . Cookies allow the company to (1) personalise its website for an individual customer, (2) use an online operating and ordering system and (3) track visits to the website. This will be extremely useful for market research purposes.

The fact that the companys warehouse is located close to a main road (delivery infrastructure) is also a strong point in the companys favour.

Weaknesses

Weaknesses

The financial statistics reveal weaknesses

The companys financial statistics reveal problems.

Sales are falling Gross margin is falling because costs of sales are increasing Other costs are increasing per $1 of sales

Sales are falling (already mentioned) and costs are increasing.

In 2009 the gross profit was 50.4%, by 2011 it had fallen to 45%. It is estimated that the gross profit for 2013 will drop further to 41%. This reveals that the companys cost of sales are increasing, presumably because of rising purchase costs. The other costs marketing, distribution and administration are also increasing per $1 of sales. www.tonysurridge.co.uk

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Marketing expenditure does not add value Inventory turn is reducing

It is worrying that the company intends to spend marginally more on marketing during the current year (2012) although sales are estimated to fall.

An intention to increase staff although sales are falling The website hit rate is lower than required -

Inventory turn was 50 days in 2009 [(1,810 x 365)/13,100] but had stretched to 78 days by 2011 and the forecast position for 2013 is 85 days. A reducing inventory turn indicates the possibility of slow-moving stock, dormant stock or even obsolescence. The fact that stock outs are fairly common merely emphasises that dormant and slow-moving stock items might be the problem. Another worrying feature is that management intend to increase staff even though sales are forecast to fall.

The companys website attracts fewer visitors than is wanted. The drawing power (magnetism) of the web might suggest content and content management problems. These problems might be resolved by the new high-powered IT management team. At the moment the company lacks competitive advantage due to not having competence in the critical success factors required for online selling.

The online ordering system is not system integrated with the inventory system

The web-based ordering system is not integrated with the inventory management causing gaps and disconnects which cause operating inefficiencies. The point has been raised above.

Staff retention problems in the IT department

There are staff retention problems in the IT area. These type of people must be looked upon as part of the primary internal market and as such provide the company with essential deep skills and competitive edge. The root causes of staff dissatisfaction must be identified and dealt with quickly.

Opportunities

Opportunities

The website could be improved

The company has the opportunity to better utilise its website. Effective application of cookies, and electronic cataloguing should help attract and retain customers.

Cost reduction is possible

We see that the company is probably suffering from high rising costs of books for resale and should therefore consider ways in which web-enabled e-procurement might be used to address this problem. For example, SBB might find that electronic B2B marketplaces can be used for competitive effect.

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Opportunities might exist to reduce costs. We have already considered waste caused by gaps and disconnects and there may be opportunities to redesign processes to reduce costs caused by these weaknesses in the operating work flows. The companys marketing is not effective at this time. E-marketing could be used with much more effect. For example, a bespoke customer relationship management system designed to improve market and product positioning through online market research would not only enable the company to improve its competitive stance but also help to reduce its internal administration costs.

E-marketing could improve the sales position

Threats

Threats

Vulnerability to customer switching increases

The company is vulnerable to customers switching to other online providers. Online retailers, who form the major part of SBBs customer base, are now able to switch very quickly in order to obtain lower prices. They would be involved in such tactics as web surfing, spot buying and reverse-auctioning. Web-technology and online selling SBBs exposure to this significant risk.

The Plan and Answer : part (a) (ii)


Ask yourself . What is being examined here? The question requires you to interpret the implications of the SWOT analysis Suggestions as to how SBB might improve its competitive position are important here

Answer plan format

Make sure to bring IT into your answer. Your answer should draw from the SWOT analysis Use of eprocurement to reduce the price of books and obtain benefits

Integration of online ordering and the inventory management system

Use of emarketing to build the customer base

IT staff recruitment and retention

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We have just seen that SBB suffers from its lack of competence in the important fields of online marketing and selling. The early introduction of e-marketing (which encompasses e-commerce) will be a significant element of SBBs IS strategy. The following implications of the SWOT analysis are particularly relevant in this context. Integration of online ordering and the inventory management system Integration of the web-based ordering system with the inventory management system As SBB incorporates improved web-enabling technologies into its operations it will be essential that these online activities are integrated into the day to day workflows of the company rather than being treated as a technological add-on. A coherent IS strategy must therefore provide for the integration of an effective customer relationship management system with the companys back-office systems, particularly linking customer orders with inventory files and processing systems.

Use of eprocurement to reduce the price of books and obtain benefits

Use of e-procurement to reduce the prices of resale books and obtain other benefits Research shows that many organisations have made considerable steps in achieving competitive advantage through investing in web-enabled e-procurement systems. Eprocurement relates to the use of IT to improve all activities involved with obtaining items from a supplier; this includes purchasing, also inbound logistics such as transportation, goods-in and warehousing before the item is used or sold. The benefits of E-procurement and associated digital workflows are reduced costs, decreased order cycle time, along with improved service, greater customer responsiveness, improved supplier relationships and better collaboration with suppliers. Use of e-marketing to build the customer base E-marketing can be used to identify customers needs and wants; anticipating the demand for digital services and therefore the allocation of appropriate resources; and satisfying customers through the electronic channel. E-marketing can be used to attract customers (magnet), retain customers (sticky) and encourage them to extend their purchases (elastic). Obviously, SBB needs to improve its website hit-rate and better customise its services.

Use of emarketing to build the customer base

IT staff recruitment and retention

IT staff recruitment and retention The companys failure to retain permanent IT staff is a major obstacle to the implementation of a consistent and coherent on-going IS strategy. Emphasis should be placed on recruiting only those applicants who are likely to behave, acquire skills and show attitudinal commitment in line with the requirements of SBB. Competency frameworks can be used to specify the skills and qualities required of potential employees. Reward systems need to be designed in line with competency and results. The new IT management will be held responsible for achieving these goals. Due regard should given to Harmons Strategy-process Matrix. There might be scope to reduce the human resources problem by outsourcing non-critical activities.

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The Plan and Answer: part (b) (i)


Ask yourself . What is being examined here? This question examines your knowledge of the primary activities (lower half) of Porters Value Chain The question specifically requires suggestions as to how SBBs information systems can be improved.

Answer plan format

Consider work flows activities

Inbound logistics

Operations

Outbound logistics

Marketing and sales

Service

Primary activities

The primary activities in the lower half of the value chain, show in sequence the activities performed by the organisation in converting raw material inputs to finished products and them selling and delivering them to customers. These are grouped into five generic categories of activities.

Inbound logistics Inbound logistics These are the activities concerned with receiving, storing and handling raw material (purchases) inputs. An appropriate process redesign at SBB would be the implementation of an Inventory Control module linked to an integrated accounting package. This would remove an obvious gap and disconnect within the work flow. Such a system would include the use of a bar-code reading system and database management system. A full enterprise management system (ERM) would accomplish this goal as well as achieving other important benefits. Operations Operations Operations are concerned with the transformation of resources into finished goods or services. A Sales Order Processing module, incorporated to link in as part of a sophisticated customer relationship system (CRM) would not only be used to automatically link orders being received and the despatch of the books required, but would provide many other competitive advantages, such as managing the e-mail list, data mining for customer patterns, personalisation, providing online customer services, etc. all of which will enhance the customers shopping experience.

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Outbound logistics Outbound logistics Outbound logistics are concerned with storing, distributing and delivering products (finished goods) to the customers. Outbound logistics for SBB involves the distribution of books to customers. An online order tracking service would be a relevant add-in to the CRM.

Marketing and sales Marketing and sales These activities handle communications with the customer. A strong CRM system would provide SBB with (1) accurate customer selection and high-value customer targeting, (2) customer acquisition by improving the customers buying experience, (3) customer retention by using electronic techniques to keep its customers, and (4) customer extension by getting customers to increase their depth of buying or range of books.

Service Service Service covers all of the activities which occur after the point of sale. Still a further part of the CRM would be a customer tracking system, that records the details and status (pending, resolved, etc.) of customer service queries.

Each of these five primary categories will be vital to the competitive advantage of SBB.

The Plan and Answer : part (b) (ii)


Ask yourself . What is being examined here? Now you are examined on the secondary activities (upper half) of Porters Value Chain Again the question specifically requires suggestions as to how SBBs information systems can be improved.

Answer plan format

Work flows activities are important here as well

Procurement

Technology development

Human resource management

Firm infrastructure

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Support activities involved in competing in an industry can be divided into the four generic categories also shown in Figure 1 (in the question). Each category of support activity is divisible into a number of distinct value activities that are specific to a given industry. Procurement Procurement This refers to the function of purchasing inputs used in the companys value chain, not to the purchased inputs themselves. We have seen that SBB might be able to employ e-procurement. As part of this strategy the companys website could be used to facilitate an extranet link with supply-chain partners thus participating in an electronic supply-chain value system. Companies have used such strategies to form virtual supply-chains, as is the case of Amazon which is competing against SBB.

Technology development Technology development This relates to the other activities. All the value activities embody technology, be it know-how, or technology involved in the work flow streams. The improvement of SBBs e-marketing position will require significant technological expertise in areas such as website content design and management and system security. It is probable that some outsourcing will be required. Human resource management Human resource management HRM consists of activities involved in the recruiting, selecting, training, development and compensation of all the personnel employed in the company. HRM supports both individual primary and support activities (e.g. recruitment of sales managers) and the entire value chain (e.g. labour negotiations). Although not big bang the change in processes will be significant and may begin to transform the companys cultural paradigm. Most people working in the company will be affected, but none so much as in the IT areas. Effective HRM will be particularly important in the IT department.

Firm infrastructure
Firm infrastructure

Firm infrastructure consists of a number of different activities including general management, planning, finance, accounting, legal and quality management. Infrastructure, unlike other support activities, usually supports the entire chain and not individual activities. Efforts to improve the e-marketing of SBB will require a new infrastructure to support it. An ERM system for example, provides an infrastructure of systems that produces the communications, integrations and reports required for an effective e-marketing strategy.

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Paper P3: Business Analysis

The Plan and Answer : part (c) (i)


Ask yourself . What is being examined here? The question is looking at the relationship between business strategy and information system strategy. Your answer can be based on the three main approaches for developing IS strategy with business strategy also in mind The businessalignment approach Where we want to be The business impacting approach The valuechain analysis approach You are required to briefly discuss different approaches for developing IS strategy

Answer plan format

The businessalignment approach

The business-alignment approach An essential part of any IS strategy is consideration of how IS strategy supports change. Competitive advantages comes not from technology (IT) or from systems (IS), but from how the information is collected, stored, analysed and applied. In the business-alignment approach, a top-down approach is used to review how information systems can be used to directly support a business strategy. Alignment models focus on aligning the information systems plans and priorities with organisational strategy and business goals. Linking information systems to business objectives and critical success factors (CSF) is one approach for using the alignment approach

The business impacting approach

The business-impacting approach In the business-impacting approach, a bottom-up approach is used to determine whether there are new opportunities from deploying information systems that may impact positively on business strategy. New hardware and software technologies are monitored by the IS manager and other managers to evaluate whether they can achieve competitive advantage.

The valuechain analysis approach

Value chain analysis We saw previously that Value Chain Analysis is another method that can be used for the impact approach. For example, this might identify the need for SBB to use e-procurement which it can use as part of an effort to reduce costs and increase efficiency as part of a business strategy. This technique has merit in that it not only considers internal use of IS, but also how they can be used to integrate with external organisations such as suppliers, perhaps through innovative methods such as marketplace exchanges.

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The Plan and Answer : part (c) (ii)


Ask yourself . What is being examined here? The question is concerns the implementation of an information systems strategy. The Seven-S model is a useful framework for planning what is required. The question is mainly concerned with changes that can occur while the strategy is running.

Answer plan format

There is scope here to mention different frameworks: Seven-S, Porter 5-Forces and PESTEL

The SevenS model

Flexibility is essential

Competitive pressures may call for change

Technologic al change may lead to a rethink

The PESTEL model will help

Business and information systems strategies must remain complementary

Going to get there The Seven-S model may be an appropriate framework The SevenS model McKinseys Seven-S model might prove an appropriate framework for planning the implementation of the IS strategy. The model focuses on strategy, structure, systems, staff, style, skills and shared values which combines the rational and hard elements of change with the emotional and soft aspects. It is an excellent diagnostic tool, but would also guide the type of organisational change called for in SBB.

Flexibility is essential Flexibility is essential Although the plans to be implemented are basically hard by nature, they have been agreed on the basis of ex-ante knowledge. Such knowledge, by implication is based on assumptions, often guesswork. For this reason, the plans need to be designed for flexibility, possibly incorporating contingency (or soft) plans.

Competitive pressures may call for change

Competitive pressures may call for change in the original plans SBB faces all Porters Five Threats, particularly so with substitutes (e-book readers are now coming on stream in the market place), the power of buyers (large retail chains), the power of suppliers (the suppliers of books to SBB) and rivalry within the market. The possible adverse force of new entrants also cannot be overlooked. SBB will have to make allowances in its plans for possible moves by competitors.

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Paper P3: Business Analysis

Technological change may also lead to a rethink Technological change may lead to a rethink - Technological change is often quick and usually dynamic in its impact, particularly so in the information systems fields. Such change may force SBB to rethink its IS strategy, or at least part of it. The example of technology surrounding electronic-books (e-books) has already been mentioned above.

The PESTEL model will help to monitor the macro-environment The PESTEL model will help - SBB will need to continually monitor its macro-environment, and the PESTEL model will be useful in this context. In general terms, PESTEL analysis aids (1) environmental monitoring, (2) future position monitoring, (3) the formulation of strategic change plans, and (4) the evaluation of strategic change proposals. - The use of this model should enable the management of SBB to identify and respond to change, particularly technological change, proactively.

Business and information systems strategies must remain complementary

Business strategy and information systems strategy must remain complementary - When changes are made to one or both of the business and information systems strategies, it is important to ensure that they remain complimentary. For example, a change in SBBs business strategy (perhaps to focus more on mail order only) would require a significant change in the companys IS strategy.

Some terminology used in this answer is explained on the following screens.

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Terminology and concepts used in this case study (Not part of the answer) E-Procurement
Electronic procurement (e-procurement) is the electronic integration and management of all procurement activities including purchase request, authorisation, ordering, delivery and payment between a purchaser and a supplier. (D Chaffey, E-Business and E-Commerce Management [Prentice Hall]) Turban, Lee and King Electronic Commerce: A Managerial Perspective (Prentice Hall) summarise the benefits of e-procurement as follows: Reduced purchasing cycle time and cost. Enhanced budgetary control (achieved through rules to limit spending and improved reporting facilities). Elimination of administrative errors (correcting errors is traditionally a major part of a buyers workload). Increased buyers productivity (enabling them to concentrate on strategic purchasing issues). Lowering prices through product standardisation and consolidation of buys. Improving information management (better access to prices from alternative suppliers and summaries of spending). Improving the payment process (this does not often occur currently since payment is not always integrated into e-procurement).

(A diagram showing members of a typical value network is shown on the next screen.)

Enterprise Resource Management (ERM)


Enterprise Resource Management systems (ERMs) have evolved from process re-engineering projects. ERMs integrate (or attempt to integrate) all data and processes of an organisation into a single unified system. A typical ERM system will use multiple components of computer software and hardware to achieve the integration. A key ingredient of most ERM systems is the use of a single, unified database to store data for the various system modules. ERM systems typically attempt to cover all the basic functions of an organisation, regardless of the organisation's business or mission. Examples of modules in an ERM which formerly would have been stand-alone applications include:

Enterprise Resource Management (ERM)


A workflow is a depiction of a sequence of operations, declared as work of a person, work of a simple or complex mechanism, work of a group of persons, work of an organization of staff, or machines. Workflow may be seen as any concept of real work, segregated in workshare, work split or whatever types of ordering. The flow being described often refers to a document that is being transferred from one step to another. A workflow is a model to represent real work for further assessment, e.g., for describing a reliably repeatable sequence of operations. More conceptually, a workflow is a pattern of activity enabled by a systematic organization of resources, defined roles, energy and information flows, into a work process that can be documented and learned. Workflows are designed to achieve processing intents of some sort, such as physical transformation, service provision, or information processing. Workflow concepts are closely related to other concepts used to describe organizational structure, such as silos, functions, teams, projects, policies and hierarchies. The term workflow is used in computer programming to capture and develop human to machine interaction. Workflow software aims to provide end users with an easier way to orchestrate or describe complex processing of data in a visual form, much like flow charts but without the need to understand computers or programming. In terms of e-business, Workflow Management (WFM) is the automation of a business process, in whole or part during which documents, information or tasks are passed from participant to another for action, according to a set of procedural rules. (The Workflow Management Coalition)
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Members of the value network of an organisation


(Adapted from Deise et al, Chaffey) The diagram shows some of the partners that characterise a value network. Supply-side partners (upstream supply chain) such as suppliers, business to business (B2B) exchanges, wholesalers and distributors. Partners that fulfil primary or core value chain activities. The number of core value chain activities that will have been outsourced to third parties will vary with different companies. (In the virtual organisation all core activities may be outsourced.) Sell-side partners (downstream supply chain) such as B2B exchanges, wholesalers, distributors and customers. Value chain integrators or partners who supply services that mediate the internal and external value chain. These companies typically provide the electronic infrastructure for a firm and include strategic outsourcing partners, system integrators, ISP/WAN providers and ASP providers. Inbound logistics Manufacturing Product warehousing

Upstream value chain partners Suppliers

Value chain integrators

Downstream value chain partners Fulfilment

Core value chain activities Buy-side intermediaries Sell-side intermediaries

Value chain integrators

Finance Includes IS partners, for example: Strategic outsourcer System integrator Internet service provider (ISP) Wide area network (WAN) provider Application service provider (ASP)

Human resources

Admin

The value network emphasises: The electronic interconnections between partners and the organisation and directly between partners that potentially enables real-time information exchange between partners. The dynamic nature of the network. The network can be modified according to market conditions or in response to customer demands. Different types of links can be formed between different types of partners. For example, EDI links may be established with key suppliers, while e-mail links may suffice for less significant suppliers.

An ASP is a provider of business applications such as e-mail, workflow or any business application on a server remote from the user. A service often offered by ISPs. www.tonysurridge.co.uk Copyright: Tony Surridge Online Limited, 2012

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Gaps and disconnects


Harmon refers to different specific approaches that organisations employ when they redesign processes as process redesign patterns. He cites one common pattern as what he terms the gaps and disconnects pattern. The pattern assumes that inefficiencies arise because of handoffs between departments or functional groups. (P. Harmon, Business Process Change [Morgan Kaufmann]) Booch, Grady, Rumbaugh and Jacobsen point out that many of the major problems one finds in any process result from a failure of communication between business silos. Marketing fails to hand the new product specifications to manufacturing in time. Manufacturing makes changes in the product that will save production costs, but prove unpopular with customers and Sales feels it has been blindsided. Rummler and Brache also put a lot of emphasis on aligning the goals and measures managers use when they evaluate activity outcomes. They found as many disconnects in the management process as in the processes themselves. The gaps and disconnects approach puts a lot of emphasis on carefully analysing how the existing process is done before beginning to look ways to improve it. (Booch, Grady, Rumbaugh, and Jacobsen, The Unified Modeling Language Users Guide [Addison-Wesley])

Silo
This is a term of derision that suggests that each department on an organisation chart is a silo and that it stands alone, not interacting with any of the other departmental silos. (It is a metaphor drawn from the large [standalone] grain silos that one sees throughout the U.S. Midwest.)

Reverse auctions sometimes used in e-procurement


The reverse, downward or Dutch auction is initiated by the buyer and are more common on B2B (electronic) marketplaces. For these auctions the buyer sets the rules and the timing. Hence, the buyer places a request for tender or quotation and many suppliers compete, deceasing the price, with the supplier whom the buyer selects getting the contract. This will not necessarily be the lowest price since other factors such as quality and capability to deliver will be taken into account. Companies may use reverse auctions to: - rationalise suppliers in a particular spending category; - source new components in an area they are unfamiliar with. The reverse auction can be compared with the conventional forward, upward or English auction. These are the types of auctions available on consumer sites such as eBay. For these auctions, the seller sets the rules and timing, and then invites potential bidders. Increasing bids are placed within a certain time limit and the highest bid will succeed provided the reserve (minimum) price is exceeded. (Chaffey)

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)


The interactive nature of the web combined with e-mail communications provides an ideal environment in which to develop customer relationships, and databases provide a foundation for storing information about the relationship and providing information to strengthen it by improved, personalised services. (Chaffey) The mnemonic WE DO E-CRM on the next screen describes the management opportunities offered by eCRM.

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What is e-CRM?

CRM is Customer Relationship Management. The online approach to CRM is often known as e-CRM or electronic customer relationship management. We can say that e-CRM involves the following management opportunities:

W E D O E C R M

Web site used for customer development from generating leads through to conversion to an online or offline sale using e-mail and web-based information to encourage purchase. E-mail marketing to support upselling and cross-selling.

Data warehousing/mining systems to improve segmentation and targeting. Online service quality to ensure that first-time buyers have a great customer experience that encourages them to buy again.

E-mail list quality (coverage of e-mail addresses and integration of customer profile information from various databases to enable targeting).

Customer service facilities (such as Frequently Asked Questions, Call-back and Chat that help achieve conversion to sale.

support)

Referral to the Next-best product automated online system based on personalisation or mass customisation. Multichannel customer experience as customers use different media as part of their buying process and customer lifecycle.

Memory jog: remember:

WE DO e-CRM.

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Content management
Content is the design, text and graphical information which forms a web page. Good content is the key to attracting customers to a web site and retaining their interest or achieving repeat visits. A Content Management System (CMS) is software used to manage creation, editing and review of web-based content.

Virtual supply-chain
A Virtual Organisation can operate without a physical identity (this is an online business, e.g. Amazon.com). Brick and mortar companies can also dovetail concepts of the virtual organisation into the business. For example, Many brick and mortar companies also have websites that enable e-commerce. This may include outsourcing many of the business functions like marketing, operations management and new product development. This also includes collaborating with suppliers and competitors in certain situations. The virtual organisation can be a temporary network of independent companies--suppliers, customers, competitors, linked by information technology to share skills, costs, and access to one another's markets. It will have no hierarchy nor vertical integration. Also known as a cooperative agreement between two or more businesses entities to combine their resources in order to achieve a shared goal. By bringing in additional partners, unlimited skills and resources can be pooled. Partnerships are usually temporary and are dissolved once a common goal is achieved. They do not have corporate offices and usually have no bricks or mortar tied to them. A virtual supply-chain network is based on a number of virtual organisations operating together in the supplychain. The significant thing is that virtual organisations operate without clearly defined physical boundaries between different organisations or functions.

Primary Internal Market


Workers in the primary internal market include those with important and scarce skills which are specific to a particular organisation; an organisation would be anxious to retain such workers and develop their potential, and it would be such employees who would form the focus of application of the full range of HR activities (Bratton & Gold, 2003). There are now wide variations in recruitment and selection practices, reflecting an organisations strategy and its philosophy towards the management of people. Employees seen as part of the primary internal market become the focus for the bundle of human resources (HR) practices (Cooke, 2000) intended to bring about increased motivation, an increased acceptance of responsibility, deepened skills and greater commitment, providing the organisation with a competitive edge. Such employees become part of the an organisations core workforce, recruitment and selection representing the entry point activities. Seen in this way, emphasis may be placed on admitting only those applicants who are likely to behave, acquire skills and show attitudinal commitment (Guest, 1989) in line with the requirements of an organisations strategy. Many organisations have developed competence frameworks and used them to specify the skills and qualities required of potential employees (Roberts, 1997). Such frameworks have allowed organisations to adopt a range of sophisticated recruitment and selection techniques in order to identify and admit the right people. Approaches to the recruitment and selection of employees forming the secondary internal market could be subject to less screening at the point of entry, attention being paid mainly to the possession of the required skills. Such employees might be recruited and selected by cheaper methods but still, perhaps, with a connection to organisational strategy via the specification of competencies.
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ACCA Paper P3 Business Analysis

Section B: Specimen questions

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Ashkol Furniture Supplies: Question - 1 of 1


Salim Brommer is the Marketing Director of Ashkol Furniture Supplies, a medium-sized company which specializes in manufacturing office furniture. The company makes its products in India, so benefiting from relatively low labour costs. However it has recently experienced intense competition from suppliers who have even lower cost bases. Salim has decided that his company will benefit if he focuses on those customers who can provide higher profit margins. He has decided to target domestic customers in Europe. Increasingly private households, particularly those with computers, are converting spare rooms into office-style areas. Additionally there has been a noticeable trend towards working from home. This saves employers incurring the costs of office provision, and also employees save on travel and can also work at times convenient to themselves. However Ashkol has no experience of dealing with these types of customer. The company now needs to develop a suitable marketing strategy to succeed in this new area and maintain a sustainable competitive advantage. Required: (a) Using a suitable model of your choice develop a marketing approach which Salim might use to enter this new market. (12 marks) (b) Discuss how strategies can be used to create and sustain competitive advantage. (8 marks) (20 marks)

A A

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Ashkol Furniture Supplies: Answer - 1 of 4

The Plan and Answer : part (a)


The question is examining your knowledge of marketing The question requires a suitable model The Marketing Mix model would seem appropriate here

Ask yourself . What is being examined here?

Planning is everything

Remember, marketing involves: - segmentation (targeting) - buyer behaviour analysis - positioning the marketing mix - repositioning the marketing mix as time goes on

The examiner said

Answer plan format

There are a number of approaches which can be used in answering this question. Candidates might focus on aspects such as market and environmental analysis or on segmentation, targeting and positioning. Marks will be awarded as to how appropriate their approach is to improving the situation for Ashkol. However it is expected that most candidates will apply the marketing mix model, the most commonly used to this scenario.

The marketing mix

The product

Place

Price

Promotion

Salim needs to develop an appropriate marketing mix for entry into Europe The mix comprises four elements name them: p, p, p, p The mix is integrated and each element mutually reinforces the others Example: high quality demands a high price (customer perception)

Needs to be focused Quality may have a high priority here The style of furniture needs to match household furniture Domestic houses require compact furniture Design and installation services would support the product This will be an expensive facility: cost-benefit analysis will be important

A European presence would require a good distribution network Stock must be made available locally Customers will want to see examples of products, layout and workmanship before buying Ashtok will need showrooms in major centres These will be centres for supply and marketing

Price will be used as a competitive tool The price must not be so low that purchasers question the quality Householders will not be able to offset the purchase against tax (as in the case of corporate purchases) Ashtok should take care not to price itself out of the market

Showrooms will be part of the promotional element in the mix Advertisements in furnishing or household style magazines could attract new customer groups Mailing lists might be appropriate There would be advantages of promoting the companys products on the world wide web

Perhaps have a competitive price for the furniture but charge a premium for design and installation work

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Ashkol Furniture Supplies: Answer - 2 of 4


(a) It would appear that Salim needs to develop an appropriate marketing mix to facilitate the entry into this new European market segment. This mix usually comprises four elements product, place, price and promotion. These need to be integrated together, to mutually reinforce the impact of a marketing offensive and not in isolation where one aspect may counteract the influence of another. For example the development of a luxury brand image (promotion) will be harmed if a price strategy concentrates on a low or a penetration price. The product needs to be focused on a domestic/household market. A utilitarian office approach may not fit in well with the prevailing household image. Quality may have a higher priority here. The style of the furniture will also need to match the furniture in the rest of a household there may need to be a choice between classical and modern styles. Furthermore size may be more critical. Houses are frequently smaller than offices so the furniture may need to be more compact. It may be advantageous not only to supply the finished products but the company could add value by providing both design and installation services. This, of course, will require a stronger European presence. This could be achieved by having a good distribution network (place). Although the products are manufactured in India because of the lower costs, the customer will be looking for a presence locally. Stock must be available locally so as to avoid delays in order processing. This will provide reassurance. Furthermore potential customers will wish to see examples of the products, layout and workmanship before they commit themselves to purchase. Ashkol will need to have a number of showrooms in major centres where business is expected. Not only will these be depots for supply but they will also act as centres for marketing. This will be an expensive facility, offsetting the cheaper labour costs. The company will have to ensure that these new markets can generate sufficient revenue to compensate for these increased costs. These showrooms will be part of the promotion element of the mix but they will have to be complemented by other media activities. Advertisements in furnishing or household style magazines could attract new customer groups. It may also be possible to buy mailing lists of people who work from home. Directors of small companies and self-employed individuals frequently receive direct mail from financial institutions about banking services and also offers from IT suppliers. Why not information about office furniture and other services? The company should also be aware of the benefits of promotion by using the world-wide web. Price also needs to be considered as a competitive tool in this new venture. The price must not be so low that prospective purchasers question the quality of the product. However it must also be remembered that in certain circumstances this furniture cannot be offset against tax as a cost as it can in a bona fide company transaction. Therefore the company needs to be careful not to price itself out of the market. They have to be aware of what competitors are offering. It may be sensible to have competitive prices for the furniture but charge a premium for the design and installation work. [ The Examiner said: There are no precise solutions as to how the marketing mix is to be determined. Candidates may propose different approaches. These will be accepted, assuming that there is an inherent logic in their application and that they are not inconsistent with a candidate's premises and the objectives of the company]

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Ashkol Furniture Supplies: Answer - 3 of 4

The Plan and Answer : part (b)


The question is about competitive strategy

Ask yourself . What is being examined here?

Think Porter: switching costs, etc.

Answer plan format

This is only an 8 mark question so dont write a book!

Remember, aspects in the marketing mix are used competitively

The importance of competitive strategy

A strategy of lowcost provider

Differentiation strategy

Switching costs

Strong brand

A company should not relax its vigilance Competitors are always active

Importance of low cost supplies by buying in bulk Regular deliveries to avoid heavy stock-holding costs Control of labour costs Continuing innovation

Important to maintain lead in marketing An emphasis on strong brand Promotion of a strong corporate image The need for technological superiority Done by enhancing the research capability and designing unique products Market research is vital to understand customer needs

Important to build prohibitive switching costs into products/services These costs include: financial links, supply of materials and the supply of specialist services For Ashtok such services include design and installation services

A strong brand can tie customers more closely to the supplier Patents and trademarks can also protect competitive advantage However, companies who rely on the law for protection can become reactive, hanging on to what they have These firms would be advised to seek new strengths either in manufacturing or marketing

Simplification of the production process

Keeping overhead costs low

The need for low distribution costs

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Ashkol Furniture Supplies (continued): Answer - 4 of 4


(b) A company, which has acquired a competitive advantage, should not relax its vigilance. In business nothing is permanent and competitors will soon retaliate. There are a number of methods by which a company can attempt to maintain its position. If the companys strength is built on being a low-cost producer it must attempt to continue to get low cost supplies by buying in bulk, ensuring regular deliveries to avoid heavy stock-holding costs. It must control its labour costs and continue to innovate so as to maintain production advantages by simplifying the production process. It must keep overheads low and ensure low distribution costs. However if a company's competitive position is derived from its ability to differentiate its products or services it must ensure that it maintains its lead in marketing by emphasizing a strong brand identity, a strong corporate image and by having technological superiority. This can be done by enhancing its research capability and in designing unique products. It is also critical to be aware of customer needs and so marketing research is an important input. Companies can also maintain their advantage if they can develop and build prohibitive switching costs into their products/services. These costs which tie a customer to a supplier can include financial links, the supply of materials and the supply of specialist services (in the case of Ashkol it could be the provision of design and installation services). As mentioned earlier the development of a strong brand name can tie consumers more closely to the supplier. Patents and trademark legislation can also protect the competitive advantage of certain companies although there are sometimes difficulties in certain markets where intellectual property rights are not always fully protected. However companies who rely mainly on the law to protect a competitive advantage run the risk that they may become reactive, hanging on to what they have. These firms would be well advised to continue to seek new strengths either in marketing or manufacturing rather than rely on the protection of old strengths.

Examiners Report
You might find it useful to know what the Examiner reported about the quality of answers for this question

This was the most disappointing section of the paper, possibly because the opportunity to get high marks was neglected. Too many candidates failed to see the marketing orientation of this question, despite it being written clearly in the text. Porters diamond and his generic strategies were popular and of those who used the marketing mix, many often only recited the 4 Ps without any application or justification at all. Marketing has been highlighted as a topic area and I would expect candidates to be able to apply the basic marketing models. This was not rocket science but rudimentary marketing knowledge. Part (b) was misunderstood. As mentioned earlier it was intended that the answer should encompass strategies for obtaining and maintaining a competitive advantage. While this was generally understood by most candidates, a significant number did read the question as one to justify the use of the rational strategic model. In order not to disadvantage candidates who made this judgement, the pass mark was favourably adjusted.

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Contents Page of Section A Case Studies: Questions and Answers - 1 of 7


Question Screen 36 Answer Screen 40 Full answer screen 878 Examiners Comments Screen

Title of Case Study 1 arCreative Company June 1995 (Adapted)


Mission Statement Risks associated with acquisition strategy Rules for diversification

na

ARD Company
Strategic position review Evaluation of proposed strategies Acceptance testing Role of marketing management

57

62

885

na

AutoFone June 2008 (Adapted)


Competitive analysis Justification of proposed strategy New entrants and competitive strategy

78

85

894

99

Bethesda Heights Memorial Hospital June 2002


Power exerted by a stakeholder group Strategic review Assessing strategic options Ethical implications

103

108

895

na

Blue Sky Analysis June 00


Strategic position review Cultural problems and minimising conflict Improving the way a subsidiary functions Causes for project failure

123

128

901

na

Please click to the next screen

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Question Screen 144 Answer Screen 150 Full answer screen 909 Examiners Comments Screen 161

Title of Case Study 6 Bonar Paint June 2003


Strategic assessment for buyout Assessing a strategy of reducing both product range and customer base Identifying factors of change involved in the implementation of a strategy Advantages and disadvantages of a mission statement

Churchill Ice Cream June 2006


Strategic position audit Evaluating proposed strategic goals Changes required to the companys existing marketing mix Reasons why the company has failed internationally

162

167

910

177

Lionel Cartwright December 2001


Rational strategy versus the emergent approach Strategy performance appraisal linked to critical success factors Models appropriate for assessing market entry strategy Advantages and disadvantages of (i) internal growth, (ii) acquisition and (iii) franchising

178

183

911

n/a

Datum Paper Products (DPP) December 2005


Synergy fit between two companies Building a shared culture between two companies Advantages and disadvantages of a greenfield option Likely sources of integration problems after integration

199

205

920

215

Please click to the next screen

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Paper P3: Business Analysis

Contents Page of Section A Case Studies: Questions and Answers - 3 of 7


Question Screen 218 Answer Screen 224 Full answer screen 921 Examiners Comments Screen 232

Title of Case Study 10 Elite Plastic Packaging (EPP) December 2004


Advantages and disadvantages of different market entry strategies Evaluating the style of strategic management within a group Implications of a move into a global operation

11

Films R Us
Porters Five Forces analysis Development and implementation of an internet ordering system Assessing critical success factors Characteristics of an effectively designed website Advantages and disadvantages of an internet ordering system for the companys customers

234

239

922

na

12

greenTech June 2009


Strategic position review Evaluation of three strategic proposals Identifying deficiencies in an Internet-based process Analysing the relationship between process design and strategic planning

254

260

929

274

13

The Institute of Information Systems Architects (IISA) Pilot Paper - 2009


Analysing the macro-environment Principles of strategic alliances Evaluation of a current process Define two options to improve the current process

276

281

935

na
(Pilot)

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Questions and Answers

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CONTENTS: SEC A

CONTENTS: SEC B

Paper P3: Business Analysis

Contents Page of Section A Case Studies: Questions and Answers - 4 of 7


Title of Case Study 14 MediaZ Company
Analysing a strategic planning system SWOT analysis Recommend and justify strategies New product decision (decisiontree)

Question Screen 303

Answer Screen 308

Full answer screen 936

Examiners Comments Screen na

MediaZ Company contains a question concerning Decision-tree analysis which was added to the syllabus for June 2011 326 330 946

15

Meridian Travel and Holidays (MTH) June 1997


Current position review Suggest ways of improving the existing business A micro-environmental appraisal of three strategic options Select and justify your preferred option

na

16

Midas-Golda Investment Co
Value-chain analysis Knowledge management strategy Evaluating a newly implemented system

344

349

956

na

17

MRVP
SWOT analysis The use of the TOWS model Cost-benefit analysis of two strategic options Identifying weaknesses in an existing process Impact of e-trading from a consumer prospective

363

369

963

na

18

MAS Conglomerate December 1997


Evaluation of growth strategies Evaluation of a proposed acquisition Critical areas which need to be assessed for new market entry

383

388

969

na

MAS Conglomerate requires financial analysis and discussion concerning financial strategy. This focuses on the requirements and emphasis of the syllabus for June 2011

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Questions and Answers

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CONTENTS: SEC A

CONTENTS: SEC B

Paper P3: Business Analysis

Contents Page of Section A Case Studies: Questions and Answers - 5 of 7


Title of Case Study 19 National Museum December 2008
PESTEL analysis Organisational cultural issues The three strategic lenses of design, experience and ideas

Question Screen 404

Outline answer Screen 411

Full answer screen 980

Examiners Comments Screen 431

20

Network Management Systems (NMS) Pilot Paper - 2011


PESTEL analysis Analysing the companys existing industry and market place Analysis of financial position Cost-benefit analysis of purchasing a new machine

433

439

981

na
(Pilot)

21

Oceania National Airlines (ONA) December 2007


Strengths and weaknesses analysis Features and analysis of a no frills low-cost strategy Identifying and evaluating other strategic options for the company

452

458

982

470

22

Pacific Pumps December 1999


Current strategic position review Recommendations for strategic change Factors involved in a strategy of cost leadership Problems of managing overseas subsidiaries Limiting factor analysis

372

480

983

na

Pacific Pumps has been extended to cover questions relating to limiting factor analysis which was added to the syllabus for June 2011

23

Polymat Industrial Tapes Limited (PIT) December 2003


Evaluating the strategic performance of three product groups Assessing the main strategic options open to the company Changing cultures Creating an effective New Product Development system

496

502

994

512

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Questions and Answers

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CONTENTS: SEC A

CONTENTS: SEC B

Paper P3: Business Analysis

Contents Page of Section A Case Studies: Questions and Answers - 6 of 7


Title of Case Study 24 Rightmark Co
Development of a business strategy in general SWOT analysis Main facilities of a groupware system

Question Screen 513

Outline answer Screen 518

Examiners Comments Screen

na

25

Shirtmaster Group December 2006


Strategic position and performance analysis Advantages and disadvantages of using strategic alliances The costs and benefits of units within a company operating independently of one another Models used for change of leadership style

529

535

546

26

Strictly Business Books


SWOT analysis Value-chain analysis Relationship between business strategy and information systems strategy

554

560

na

27

Toys-4-U June 1999 (Adapted)


Stakeholder analysis Advising on future strategy Types of information required for decision on new market entry Deliberate planning versus emergent strategy Accepting/declining a contract

578

585

na

Toys-4-U contains a question concerning Accepting or declining a special contract which was added to the syllabus for June 2011

Only Strictly Business Books is hyperlinked for this free sample

28

Universal Roofing Systems June 2005


Ways by which the company has provided a superior level of service Strategic performance evaluation Implementation and change required to achieve the companys proposed growth strategy

602

608

620

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Questions and Answers

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CONTENTS: SEC A

CONTENTS: SEC B

Paper P3: Business Analysis

Contents Page of Section A Case Studies: Questions and Answers - 7 of 7


Title of Case Study 29 World-Wide Agricultural Machinery Company plc (WWAMC) December 2002
Review of current strategic position Evaluation of proposed strategies Factors required for a successful merger of companies Discussion of ethical problems presented in the scenario

Question Screen 622

Outline answer Screen 627

Examiners Comments Screen 639

30

Zaitack Corporation
SWOT analysis Development of a new system/process Development of information systems

642

647

na

31

ABC Learning plc December 2009


Porters five forces framework Appraisal of acquisition targets Stakeholder analysis and change management

661

667

681

32

WEtland Trust (WET) June 2010


Assessment of strategic position covering: environment, strategic capability, stakeholder expectations and organisational mission Process problems and redesign options Use of website to facilitate acquisition and retention of customers

682

689

704

33

Shoal plc December 2010


Strategic position analysis Management change contextual factors Turnover strategy Corporate rational for adding value: portfolio, synergy and parental

706

711

725

34

EcoCar Company June 2011


Analysis: macro-environment and market place (industry) Case for and against outsourcing Addressing three specified weaknesses

726

732

745

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Questions and Answers

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CONTENTS: SEC A

CONTENTS: SEC B

Paper P3: Business Analysis

Contents Page of Section B: Questions and Answers - 1 of 6


Question Screen 662 Answer Screen 663 Examiners Comments Screen 667

Title of Question 1 Airtite


Environmental analysis Building and use of scenarios

The Environment Management Society (EMS) Pilot Paper June 2011


Principles of internal development Principles of acquisition Principles of strategic alliances

668

669

na

Ashkol Furniture Supplies


Developing a marketing approach Creating and sustaining competitive advantage

673

674

677

Asia Invest December 2004


Environmental analysis Using quality to gain competitive advantage

678

679

683

Only Ashkol Supplies is hyperlinked for this free sample

Marlow Fashion Group


Strengths and weaknesses analysis Using benchmarking to improve strategic position

684

685

688

Casa del Mediterraneo


Critical success factors and associated competences Elements of a marketing plan

689

690

693

Lawson Engineering December 2005


Assessment of a companys intangible resources and related competences Advantages and disadvantages of using a balanced scorecard

694

695

700

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Questions and Answers

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CONTENTS: SEC A

CONTENTS: SEC B

Paper P3: Business Analysis

Contents Page of Section B: Questions and Answers - 2 of 6


Title of Question 8 Supaserve December 2005
Bases for segmenting a new market Strategic impact of new customer delivery system linked to a differentiation strategy

Question Screen 701

Answer Screen 702

Examiners Comments Screen 706

Lakeside Business School


Reconciling the views of different stakeholders Advantages and disadvantages of using a balanced scorecard approach

707

708

710

10

Fashion Retailer
Strategic uses of information systems to provide a competitive edge Key issues associated with outsourcing an IT system

711

712

na

11

Perfect Shopper Franchise Group December 2007


Primary activities of the value chain Re-structuring a companys upstream supply chain Re-structuring a companys downstream supply chain

715

717

726

12

Business process change in a supermarket store


Business automation Business rationalisation Business process re-engineering Evaluating the use of Lewins 3Step model

727

728

na

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Questions and Answers

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CONTENTS: SEC A

CONTENTS: SEC B

Paper P3: Business Analysis

Contents Page of Section B: Questions and Answers - 3 of 6


Title of Question 13 Clothing Company December 2007
Problems encountered during a website re-design project Analysis of how project management could have improved both the process and outcomes of the project

Question Screen 732

Answer Screen 734

Examiners Comments Screen 741

14

Chief of Police
Use of change management models Discussion on suitable style of managing change

742

743

746

15

User Resistance to Change


Problems of user resistance to process redesign Strategy for overcoming resistance Measuring the success of a process change implementation Reasons why an implemented version of a system differs from its initial requirements

747

748

na

16

Rameses International December 2002


Reasons why selected strategies may not be successful Issues concerning implementation

754

755

759

17

Focus Bank December 2004


Advantages and disadvantages out outsourcing Competitive advantages gained from a better understanding of the organisations core competences The role of critical success factors and performance indicators in determining an organisations information requirements

760

761

na

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Questions and Answers

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CONTENTS: SEC A

CONTENTS: SEC B

Paper P3: Business Analysis

Contents Page of Section B: Questions and Answers - 4 of 6


Title of Question 18 Kenshire County Council
Appraisal of process development proposals Principles of outsourcing Advantages of outsourcing Disadvantages of outsourcing

Question Screen 764

Answer Screen 765

Examiners Comments Screen

na

19

Pharmacy Systems International June 2008


Nature, scope and type of proposed strategic change Internal contextual features of a proposed strategic change

770

772

781

20

AMC Software Systems Pilot Paper 2010


Capability Maturity Model Organisational learning

782

783

na

21

DRB Electronic Services Pilot Paper June 2011


Primary activities of value chain Re-structure of upstream supply chain Re-structure of downstream supply chain

787

789

na

22

ABC Supermarkets
The Business Re-engineering approach Virtual supply chain Advantages and risks of generic software

794

795

na

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Questions and Answers

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CONTENTS: SEC A

CONTENTS: SEC B

Paper P3: Business Analysis

Contents Page of Section B: Questions and Answers - 5 of 6


Title of Question 23 IT used for competitive advantage
5 Forces and Information Systems Strategy How IS can provide competitive advantages

Question Screen 800

Answer Screen 801

Examiners Comments Screen

na

24

CoolFreeze Pilot Paper June 2011


Explanation and evaluation of spreadsheet additive forecasting model Analysis of corporate performance

804

806

Na (Pilot)

25

Country Car Club June 2008


Suggest and justify recommendations for different process areas Advantages from outsourcing the purchase and maintenance of own vehicles

812

814

821

26

Accounting Education Consortium (AEC) June 2008


The difference between electronic media (such as the Internet) and traditional marketing media How electronic marketing may be used to vary the marketing mix

822

824

832

27

MMI December 2008


Justification for acquisition and subsequent performance analysis Strategic fit between merged companies

834

835

842

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CONTENTS: SEC B

Paper P3: Business Analysis

Contents Page of Section B: Questions and Answers - 6 of 7


Question Screen 929 Answer Screen 931 Examiners Comments Screen 943

Title of Question 28 ASW Software House December 2008


Testing the quality of software Addressing the slippage problem in a project

29

Rock Bottom June 2009


Reasons for success and failure in three phases of a companys development Franchising strategy

944

946

953

30

OneEnergy June 2009


Performance appraisal using financial data Evaluation of a software packagee

954

957

963

31

IL (Independent Living) Charity December 2009


Primary activities on the value chain Using the value chain to increase competitiveness

964

966

971

32

Lowlands Bank December 2009


Elements of good project management Harmons process-strategy matrix Process initiatives

972

974

980

33

Joe Swift Transport June 2010


Analysing an acquisition target using financial and non-financial measures Porters Diamond model

981

984

989

34

Pro Tech-Public June 2010


Evaluating outsourcing of IT Competencies required of a business analyst Principles and advantages of CMMI

990

992

999

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Questions and Answers

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CONTENTS: SEC A

CONTENTS: SEC B

Paper P3: Business Analysis

Contents Page of Section B: Questions and Answers - 7 of 7


Title of Question 35 Judy Sodhi June 2010
Performance appraisal and performance measurement Competency framework

Question Screen 1000

Answer Screen 1002

Examiners Comments Screen 1009

36

TMP (The Management Press) December 2010


Drivers and potential barriers for the adaptation of e-business E-business and five elements of the marketing mix

1010

1011

1017

37

Frigate Limited December 2010


Using the cultural web for understanding organisational culture Mintzbergs organisation configuration stereotypes

1018

1020

1027

38

The Institute of Administrative Accountants (IAA) December 2010


Evaluate the benefits of adopting an electronic process Benefits realisation

1028

1030

1037

39

8-Hats Promotions June 2011


Evaluate and investment: payback, IRR and intangible benefits Matrix management

1038

1040

1050

40

The Institute of Analytical Accountants (IAA) June 2011


Identify a range of redesign options Advantages of using a software package solution

1051

1053

1059

41

Cronin Auto Retail (CAR) June 2011


Evaluate how the principles of interactivity, intelligence, individualisation and independence of location might be applied in e-marketing Principles of e-procurement

1060

1061

1067

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CONTENTS: SEC B

Paper P3: Business Analysis

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