Strategic Management

General Format Page count. This will vary. Overall the report will be rather long, but you are required to report substantial financial information and other data from Capstone. This just requires you to gather it and present it, so it’s relatively easy to do and takes up a lot of space. That makes it difficult for me to assign a page count. However, you will be writing a narrative about what you did, how you did it, and what you would have done differently. It is difficult for me to imagine this section of the project being less than five pages and earning a good grade. For some students it may need to be closer to 10 pages. The paper should be Times New Roman 12-point font, double spaced, with 1” margins. Under the Paragraph setting in Word (right click), make sure you select “Don’t add space between paragraphs of the same style”. Tables should be professional-looking (e.g., created in Word or Excel). Screen shots from Capstone are NOT acceptable. You will of course use the data from Capstone, but you must create your own tables. You are graduating business students who should be prepared to present professional reports. Demonstrate that to me. I will not be lenient here. Overall Content You are required to present financial data and analysis for at least the last four (4) years of the simulation. You should provide the income statement, balance sheet, and statement of cash flows. You must also submit your decision logs from the last four years. You can find this under “audit trail”. As stated above, please present this in a professional and easily readable manner. I should be able to review your changes over time quickly and easily. You may choose to include all eight (8) years of data at your own discretion. For example, if your company changed strategy or otherwise altered a major decision after the first couple years, you may want to include all of the data to show the contrast. If you stuck with one strategy throughout and no major events occurred you may feel that the additional information would prevent you from writing a concise report. These are your decisions. The income statements, balance sheet, statement of cash flows, and decision logs should be at the end of the report in an appendix. Other data may be placed where you see fit. Sections Include the following sections in your annual report. You may include additional sections or sub-sections as you see fit, particularly if it helps you organize the document. Cover Page – List the team name and your name. Introduction – Describe what I am going to read in this report. Try to sum up the entire thing in 2-3 paragraphs. Save this part for last and it will be much easier. Business Strategy – What was your initial strategy? This is the one you submitted to me earlier in class. You can even copy/paste from what you submitted to me if you want to and it’s appropriate. If you followed it throughout the simulation this is all you have to do here. If you changed it you should describe how and why you did that. If you inadvertently followed a different strategy than the one you stated, discuss that as well. Products – Everyone starts with the same products, but everyone changes them over time. Describe the products you had at the END of the simulation. What segment are they in and what characteristics do they have? (performance, size, MTBF, age, price). How do they compare to your competitors products in those segments? Product characteristics may be best presented as a table. Financial Results Reporting – Create Income Statements, Balance Sheets, and Statements of Cash Flow for years 5-8 as a minimum. Include year’s 1-4 if you decide to report those years. You should also include any and all other relevant tables, charts, and/or graphs that demonstrate your company’s performance. This could be financial ratios such as those that make up your Capstone score and any other relevant financial information. It is up to you to identify what is important to YOUR company beyond what is minimally required. Some examples may be marketing/market share, benefits derived from TQM, R&D, or automation, and so on. Basically, if it’s something you made a decision about that was a large factor in your company’s performance you should report it in some way. Analysis and Future Direction – This particular section should be no less than five (5) pages. It could easily be more, but less than five is unlikely to meet the requirements. This isn’t to say it can’t be done, just that I have not yet seen it done and find it to be unlikely. Using the financial results reported and any other supporting information you can provide as evidence, you will describe WHY your company performed the way it did. If your strategy was successful, explain why. If it was not, explain why and also explain what you would do differently if you could. This should be a critical and in-depth analysis. It is not enough to say, for example, that your cost leadership strategy failed because competitors had lower costs. You should also say why your costs were not low enough and how that could have been remedied. If you did well you should also describe in detail precisely where your advantages came from. You should also describe what you would do going forward if you were to continue the simulation. This is the biggest written part of the assignment and the most important part overall. It is where you demonstrate that you understand what happened and why it happened. Work hard on this section. Everything else is basically straight-forward in that you report facts. This is where you demonstrate the expertise that a senior business student should have. Conclusion – Conclude. Wrap it up. Fin. That’s all folks. Thanks for coming.

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