Assessment Type: Group Assignment —Report
Purpose: To allow students to demonstrate their mastery of the subject, and further their team working skills. This assessment relates to learning outcomes a, b, c, d.
Value: 30% Due Date: Draft report — all groups — Week 8 for review in class
Final report due 8pm Friday of Week 10 — all groups
Group coordination and submission: Groups are use Google Sheets for the product mix and budget modelling and Google Docs to create the draft copies of the report to allow online collaboration by all group members through the creation process. All Google Sheets and Google Docs are to be shared for commenting with your tutor and lecturer for review during the creation period.
The Week 8 draft copy and the Week 10 final copy or the report is to be downloaded from your Google Doc into MS Word format and submitted to Turnitin via a link to be provided on the Subject Home page.
One member of each group must upload the group report submission to the Turnitin Assignment Link on the KOI Moodle Subject Home Page no later than the due time of 8pm Friday of Week 10. All final submissions must be accompanied by a signed KOI Group Assignment Coversheet.
Part A: Product mix modelling, budgeting and control systems including pricing strategies;
Part B: Performance measurement and management controls systems
Task Details Students are to form into groups of four to five. All students in each group are to be from the same tutorial class. Each group is to produce a report in two parts. The content of Part B will be based upon the findings and modelling presented in Part A.
You are to review the product mix of an Australian business. The business will be selected with approval of your tutor and lecturer. No two groups within a single tutorial group are to review the same business. Please note that only publicly available data should be collected, recorded, or analysed in recognition that further material may be commercially sensitive.
Marketing considerations often determine the product mix of a business however if the product mix of a business does not consider the contribution margin of the variety of products offered, businesses are not
likely to maximise their profitability therefore management accounting functions are essential in providing support to such decision-making. It is this focus that should be considered in this analysis and report rather than a marketing analysis. (LO a)
The budget modelling of the organisation’s product mix and pricing presented in Part A should be used as a basis for designing a control system to encourage alignment of the employee and management effort to achieve the proposed budgets. Careful consideration is to be given to the financial and non-financial measures proposed and these selections should be supported by appropriate theory.
This control system will include suggestions factoring in monitoring progress towards achieving the targeted product mix by all ‘front-line’ staff (those that service customers in a face-to-face sales function) as well as a ‘team bonus’ scheme to include all other team members.
As you will not have accurate private information related to the specific products, your group is to suggest or ‘model’ a range of products (or product categories) that are observed and create a budget for the coming year. You are to indicate how a business manager would utilise this budget information to increase the overall profitability of the enterprise through such measures as ‘fine-tuning’ the product mix and pricing. This will involve suggesting pricing and target sales volumes (quantities). The modelling is to be conducted using Google Sheets and your group is to set up a ‘share’ (Comment only) with your tutor and lecturer so your progress can be monitored, and suggestions made on your modelling as you progress. (LO d)
Pricing strategies are to be clearly described in terms consistent with those in the current textbook and take into consideration such factors as the level of competition and the ability to grow within the established market. (LO d)
The performance measures do not have to be quantified however their relative weighting and importance should be discussed in the report. This part of the report should indicate how such a program would be monitored and what components of the actual outcomes would be reviewed on a a) Daily or weekly, b) monthly, c) quarterly or annual basis. Consideration should be given to the time resources required to maintain this monitoring function and groups may consider the use of electronic means or simple written charts or indicators for effective communication to staff members. (LO b) and c)). Consideration must be given to the overall cost of any suggested scheme versus the expected benefit as such a scheme is expected to contribute to improved financial outcomes.
Resources provided: You will be provided with a sample of a pricing mix model in PDF format to help your group begin the process and then the group will develop their own models in a more detailed manner. This assignment will require your group to demonstrate ‘professional’ spreadsheet and presentation skills in relation to the data modelling as well as the transfer and presentation of this data in their written report. Formulas are to be used in all Google Sheet workbooks rather than simply typing in numbers. The report is to be constructed initially in a Google Doc and your group will also create a ‘share’ (Comment only) with your tutor and lecture.
Word count: Each group is to produce a report equivalent to 750 words per student. (A group with five students will produce a report of 5 x 750 words, a group of four students will produce a report of 4 x 750 words etc.). No more than 4250 words will be marked.
Research, referencing and presentation: Students should note that all suggestions for product mix and the monitoring and control systems (bonus incentive schemes) will require justification based on sound reasoning supported by academic literature and relevant theories related to these topics. The role of research is to ensure that management suggestions are based on proven principles rather than idealised but unproven reasoning.
A minimum of FIVE academic articles per group member is required as a minimum level of research to support your report findings and suggestions. Your research list should be prepared and presented to your tutor no later than Week 7 and your draft report should be presented by Week 8 tutorial. (An expectation
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King’s Own Institute that the report will be approximately 80% complete by Week 8 including 100% of all financial modelling/budgeting to be complete by this date).
The report should be fully referenced in the Harvard Anglia style Note only ONE student per group should submit the report as duplicate submissions will create artificially high levels of similarity which could influence the marks awarded to your group’s report.
Marking Guides: Marks will be allocated for the level and depth of research undertaken, depth of analysis and appropriate application in the creation of budget models as information to improve efficiency and profitability in a complex organisation in a commercially competitive context. The quality of referencing (Harvard Anglia Style) will also be considered. A marking rubric is provided to give more detailed guidance on marking criteria.
A marking penalty of 20% of assignment marks will be applied to groups who do not submit their draft report for review in Turnitin before the start of their scheduled tutorial in Week 8. It is expected that Part A of the submission should be complete in relation to the modelling of the budget and at least a plan of control measures provided to be incorporated into Part B of the report. Groups who submit their draft will be given a verbal review of their report by their tutor as guidance for improvements and inclusions for the final edition of their report. This additional guidance will not be provided for groups not providing their draft copy before class commences.