Children’s snacks and the impact on their behavior

 

Children Snacks and their Impact on Behavior

Abstract

The research assumption is based on Piaget’s theory as a guide in nutritional education for the developmental stages among the children. The purpose of this research is to offer different effects parents have on children’s dietary behavior and healthy eating.

 

Introduction

According to Lederer, King, Sovinski, and Kim (2015), food influences the cognitive capacity of children and adolescents in addition to their behavior.  Meal patterns and nutrients composition may influence long-run or immediate negative of positive impacts. A good illustration is the Thiamin treatment which converses aggressiveness in children with thiamin-deficiency (Osiezagha et al. 2013). Parents make the decision of the dietary intake for the children and teenagers. The current norm in the dietary alterations of the children often leads to surpluses or deficiencies in some food nutrients which then impact on the cognitive abilities and behavior of the minors. A notable example is seizing to provide vitamin B1 to a child who used to have it. The impact would change in behavior, from calmness to aggressiveness. While different food ingredients have distinct nutrients composition, the food a child eats influences numerous aspects that impact his or her behavior (Lederer et al. 2015).

 

 

The aggressive behavior that the food additives bring about to children is aggressive since it impacts negatively on their relationship with each other and would often lead them into engaging in brawls.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Alpine Valley Clinic

Introduction

Due to a reduction in fund deposit and a consequent decrease in funds available for loans, First Bank required Alpine Village Clinic to prepare an estimation of its semi-annual credit line and borrowing. Alpine had not taken any initiative to develop such a budget. It was very challenging to make the cash budget breakdown for the first time through applying sensitivity analysis in finding the clinic’s financial borrowing capacity up to mid-2010 from the time the report was requested.

The management of Alpine Clinic had ignored the critical aspect of budgeting for cash despite the growth and expansion of its credit value. It was a hard task for Alpine Clinic to come up with an informative cash budget report in response to First Bank’s request given that the clinic’s management had not been maintaining proper records of its cash flow for quite a lengthy period (Alexander, 2012). In regards to the challenges experienced by Alpine Clinic management, it is therefore essential for the clinic to maintain a daily cash budget.

This paper looks at the problems experienced in Alpine Clinic finance department, the alternatives that were available for the clinic, the feasible solutions, and suggests recommendations for future consideration.

Background Information

Alpine Village Clinic is located in winter hotel in the suburbs of Aspen city, Colorado. Though the clinic is open throughout the year, its business is majorly seasonal due to varying number of patients in different months of the year. The clinic’s high peek falls in winter from December to March during the period of skiing when most injuries occur. At some point, the doctors contemplated shutting down the clinic during summer but operating the clinic selectively for a specific period in the year proved to be inefficient. Nonetheless, there seemed to be reasonable demand during the summer period that justified the clinic’s continuous operation through the year. Two doctors; Doctor James Peterson and Doctor Amanda Cook who served as an orthopedist and financial officer respectively ran the clinic.

First Bank, which is the clinic’s primary lender, had forecasted a decrease in deposits made in the bank. The bank, therefore, asked its credit customers to provide an estimate of their borrowing needs for the first half of 2010. Dr. Cook requested Doug to prepare an approximation of the clinic’s line of credit to present at the meeting (Gapenski, 2009).

A line of credit refers to a short-term agreement for a loan through which a bank accepts to lend firms or businesses some quantified maximum sum of money. Through that agreement, certified firms can borrow based on their credit line worthiness. Upon the expiry of a line, it can be renegotiated for as long as the business still finds the credit funds useful to its course. Payment of the borrowed amount can be made at any time, but an outstanding amount should be cleared upon expiration. Interest accrues daily basis on the sum is drawn down. Also, there is a commitment fee that should be paid up front to safeguard borrowing worthiness of the line.

Problems

The underlying question that anyone would ask after reviewing the state of cash budgeting at Alpine Clinic is whether the management would still proceed to request for a credit line in the period given by the First Bank. If indeed the clinic was going to make such a request, then how much would be their line of credit estimation given that no cash budget existed? In reality, the clinic was going to request a line of credit for the specified period amounting to about USD200, 000 since they would be in a cash deficit of USD 171,752 from January through March.

Also, the outstanding loan amount by the time First Bank requested for the cash budgeting outline was totaling to $500,000 meaning that if the billing fell by ten percent, then it would have covered the expenses. However, if it went down by approximately 20%, then neither the standing line of credit nor the recommended loan figure would have included the costs.

Another problem that arose with First Bank’s request is that monthly cash budget could not have revealed the full stretch of borrowing needs that required to be met. To find out whether her concerns were valid, Doctor Cook proposed that Doug prepares daily cash estimation for January as a test case scenario. In reality, the daily billing forecast was to be estimated as one divided by the number of days in January and then multiplied by the month’s billing. However, this would not have been possible because the cash budget model had no provision for either the interest paid on the line of credit borrowing or the interest accrued on the cash surpluses. Faced with such a challenge, Dr. Cook proposed a modification to be done on the monthly cash budget to accommodate the missing links.

The modification would be based on the assumption that the maximum required loan of USD 48,250 is usually tabulated on the cash budget monthly whereas a maximum credit of $150,024 would appear on the daily budget as from 15th January since the cash expenditures on 1st and 15th. It is therefore evident that the monthly budget could not have revealed the full stretch on borrowing because it would be less significant as the loan balance appearing on the daily budget depreciates towards USD 48,250 (Gapenski & Pink, 2014).

The management was fully aware of the impact the modification on the financial estimation would have on the clinic’s line of credit. Usually, the cash budget is a prediction of the expected values rather than figures known with a high level of certainty. Therefore, it was challenging to apply the actual patients’ billings, and the deposits since a slight variation in the forecasted amount would result in misleading forecasted surpluses as well as deficits. Knowing how the different changes in the basic assumptions would influence the predicted surplus or deficit was of much interest at the given state of the clinic’s cash budget. Doug was, therefore, working on a financial estimation that will most likely leave the clinic’s future borrowing capacity on a very awkward situation of poor predictability.

Additionally, it was apparent that allowing Doug to use the actual figures of patients’ billings and deposits would result in a no bad debt losses being created in the cash budget required by the First Bank. A bad debt loss occurs when a rendered service is not paid for a specified period thus resulting in a delayed collection. Alpine Village Clinic operated in such a way that the earliest payment made by clients came thirty days after the rendered service and not later than sixty days. How would the clinic proceed in presenting a cash budget without bad debt losses when they existed? Therefore, using the actual billings and collections to predict the clinic’s first half of 2010 line of credit was merely a bad debt expense. The outcome of this scenario did not give a true reflection of the clinic’s financial forecasting hence creating a loophole in its future borrowing capacity (Dorrell & Gadawski, 2012).

Another issue with Alpine Village Clinic was a target cash balance without compensating balance. Although the target cash balance was grounded on First Bank’s recompensing balance requirement, the loan for the term was to be settled in September 2010. The problem, therefore, arose with setting the clinic’s target cash balance where the compensating balance was not required.

Another puzzle in estimating the cash budget is that the patient volume is expected to rise over the forecasting period. This situation most likely would result in surpluses, which can lead to miscellaneous expenses. According to the available financial projection, it was visible that the billings would fall below the estimated level. In a situation where the billing estimate was projected at 90%, there would be an increase in the deficit from January through March, with a consequent reduction in the surplus from April through June. However, if the collections were to be stretched out by say 10%-to-20%-to-70%, the deficit would shoot, but the excess would reduce.

Alternatives and Reasons for Rejection

Given the problems that Alpine Clinic underwent in preparing the cash budget, some other options could have been considered under the situation. First, Dr. Cook could have regarded as relying on the previous years’ estimation to predict the current situation. This could have offered firsthand information on how the clinic’s credit line has been functioning.

However, using records to serve the current scenario proved to be challenging and messy in the sense that the number of patients’ inflow is not always a constant figure even during high peek period between December to March. Using daily cash budget could have been the most helpful point of reference, but none existed since the management did not maintain any. Therefore, relying on the old records could have misled the clinic’s management on arriving at the appropriate cash budget for the required period.

Another alternative was to use the billings made in the past to mirror the collections to be made and use that information to prepare a cash budget. Using this scenario, Doug who was tasked with the preparation of the cash estimate would follow the clinic’s cash collection experiences over the last period and convert the figures into cash collections for actual medical services offered. This information would be critical for the management to present to the bank to prove the clinic’s status of future borrowing capacity.

Nonetheless, this option was mischievous since the clinic’s total billings do not map directly on the cash collections for a fixed period. The problem, in this case, is that First Bank had made the point clear that it needed a financial projection for the first half of the year 2010. However, the billings information available as of September 2009 was not going to serve as a full reflection of the clinic’s cash collection for the beginning of the next year. In practice, about 20% of the patients served by the clinic make immediate payment for the services rendered to them. The remaining part of the billings is typically settled by the third-party payers, who give the next 20% within thirty days and then rest which is 60% within sixty days from the time the service was received (Gapenski, 2009).

Possible Solution and a reason for choosing the solutions

Dr. Cook’s main worry was the possibility of having surplus funds from the cash budget approximation derived from modified records. The management was concerned with the best way to utilize such surpluses should they arise. The forecasted period usually attracts summer visitors, which consequently make the months’ operations financially attractive hence opening more doors for surplus funds (Gapenski, 2012).

However, the management looked into the matter of possible surplus as an opportunity rather than a problem. The surplus funds could be invested in cash regenerating activities for the clinic. Because the summer attracts several clients the idea of expanding the clinic’s operation to include hospitality services like accommodations to skiing enthusiasts apart from only serving their medical needs.

This option was considered appropriate by the management because it would be a proper ground setting of becoming financially independent. With this venture, the clinic would maximally benefit from the summer clients surges and keep more funds to plan for its next high peek financial needs without entirely depending on the bank’s lending that had already shown a diminishing trend. Also, the summer clients would get a satisfying array of services at the clinic. Most of the clients with minor requirements such as massage therapies would have their accommodation needs satisfied at the clinic’s premises. Consequently, Alpine Clinic would be maintaining an internal environmental managerial condition with minimal external forces.

Conclusion

Reflecting on the circumstance under which Alpine operated to meet its financier’s needs, it is prudent that the practice of maintaining a daily cash budget be implemented. It is more comfortable and accurate to make financial projections based on correct information that depicts the actual daily expenses. Making economic estimations on modified records can cause over budgeting or underestimation, where in both cases the mistakes may lead to mismanagement.

Recommendations

  • Based on the available information, a situation where no commitment fee is needed, a large credit line of about $400,000 would be most appropriate for the clinic.

  • However, if a charge is put on the magnitude credit line, then a smaller range would be the best option. About $200, 000 is recommended since it takes care of the 20% amount below the projection.

  • Other considerations include getting an estimation of reducing cost in the event where utilization goes down. Also, the management should consider receiving credit from alternative sources as well as learn to tolerate risks.

References

Alexander, D. (2012). Principles of Emergency Planning and Management. Edinburgh Portland: Dunedin Academic PressInternational Specialized Book Services distributor.

Dorrell, D. & Gadawski, G. (2012). Financial forensics body of knowledge. Hoboken, N.J: Wiley.

Gapenski, L. & Pink, G. (2014). Cases in healthcare finance. Chicago Arlington, VA: Health Administration Press AUPHA Press.

Gapenski, L. (2012). Healthcare finance : an introduction to accounting and financial management. Chicago, Ill: Health Administration Press.

Gapenski, L. (2009). Fundamentals of healthcare finance. Chicago, Illinois Arlington, Virginia: Health Administration Press Association of University Programs in Health Administration.

Simulations

Simulations

In this study, simulations will be done using MATLAM Simulink simulator. In order for the simulation process to be successful, all simulation properties should be established. The simulations performed in the paper will have one main parameter. The reason behind this is to ensure that the results obtained are easy to understand and form conclusions regarding the study. The goal of this study is to compare IC techniques as far as suppression of interference in NOMA cellular networks is concerned. The main parameter in this study will be time interval when a cell station instructs user terminals to quit transmitting signals so that the only signals that will be received will be interfering signal and noise.

There are three main IC techniques that will be considered in the simulation. These are genetic algorithm technique, simulated annealing technique and the other technique where frequency agile band pass filters are placed after transmitters and in front of receivers to help in suppression of interference. Different simulations will be made for the three techniques in a common. The reason for this is to ensure that all techniques are assessed under same condition in order to ensure that the results obtained are free from bias.

The goal of the simulations will be to assess whether adaptive filters used by different techniques are able to update their coefficients in order to supress interference. One of the key variables that will be used in the simulations will be the error. The formula below will be used to calculate error in the simulation:

Usually, the goal of every technique is to place the above defined error to zero. However, there are inefficiencies in every technique that prevents the value of the error from being zero. There inefficiencies are what cause the differences that exist between these techniques from achieving the same results. The nature of adaptive algorithm for every technique is what causes the differences in performance for the techniques. The magnitude of error will be established and the main simulation will be based on relative power against taps number. Another key variable in the simulation will be interference to noise ratio calculated as follows:

Genetic algorithm technique

Simulated annealing technique

Frequency agile band pass filters placed after transmitters and in front of receivers

Error Recovery Protocols in Satellite Transmission

Introduction

The essence of communication remains a critical aspect in the modern society. Different technologies are emerging every single day that are geared to make it cheaper and efficient. The end users are presented with a variety of communication mechanisms for the different forms of communications already existing. In the midst of all these technology is the aspect of communication accuracy. The accuracy is defined by the level of distortion every communication channel can introduce to the original message (Hong et al., 2014).

The aspect of accuracy is considered to not only affect the reliability of the communication channel but also increases the communication cost. Different communication channels have different methods of ensuring highest level of communication accuracy. Further, there are many algorithms that have been developed to facilitate accurate delivery of the sender message. It can, however, be noted that the accuracy of the message is affected by a number of factors that are channel related. The channel is considered to introduce considerable amount of noise which has the potential of distorting the original message. Most of the existing algorithms are meant to evaluate and compare the original message against the delivered message. Any slight deviation from the expected standard automatically prompts for the retransmission of the original message. The mode of retransmission and the decision of retransmitting the message is normally made and evaluated on the basis of the packets delivered and their sequence (Hong et al., 2014).

Retransmission of the message over the satellite communication is more or less the same scenario. In this case the satellite is perceived to be part of the communication channel. As such, there is sufficient probability of noise combinations of the data signal. Point to multipoint communication over the satellite is perceived to have relatively high chances of noise distortion as a result of the impending confusion on the information flow. The directional flow of the information is critical in the satellite communication since it defines the accuracy and reliability of the transmission channel (Tsuda and Ha, 2009).

Satellite are considered to be among very successful transmission channels for digital broadcast. It is further perceived that the satellite transmission potential has not been explored fully. This paper provided a discussion on the retransmission aspect that is observed on the point to multipoint satellite communication system. The paper will explore the transmission errors that are generated in this mode of communication. Further, discussion on the existing error correction mechanisms will also be discussion. The paper will pay special attention on the go-back-n error recovery strategy. The strategy will be simulated on the Matlab software in order to evaluate the underlying efficiency and opportunities for improvement (Towsley, 2009).

Aim

The paper intends to explore the error correction strategies that are existing on the satellite communications. Satellite communication remains to be critical channel for relaying digital broadcast information across the globe. The paper intends to provide a discussion on the retransmission aspect that is observed on the point to multipoint satellite communication system. The paper will additionally explore the transmission errors that are generated in this mode of communication. Further, discussion on the existing error correction mechanisms forms part of the objectives of this paper. At the end of the day a simulation on go-back-n error recovery strategy will be undertaken. The strategy will be simulated on the Matlab software in order to evaluate the underlying efficiency and discover opportunities for improvement.

Significant studies

Many studies on the satellite communication system has been undertaken in the recent past. The studies have realized different communications systems that are currently implemented. Significant efforts have also been directed toward improving the already existing satellite communication systems. The studies have made it possible for the satellite digital broadcast possible and also introduced the asymmetric nature of the IP traffic associated with the satellite communication systems. At the moment satellite is considered to be the most reliable IP multicast communication provider with high level of reliability (Singh and Chandran, 2012).

Perhaps the study on the retransmission aspect of the satellite communication is an aspect that has gained popularity in most of the recent studies. The retransmission aspect has been regarded as the only solution for the transmission errors realized in the satellite communications (Singh and Chandran, 2012). The following figure can be used to illustrate the point-multipoint communication over the satellite;

Figure 1 Point-to-multipoint transmission over the satellite

The above communication scheme can either be designed for single or bi-directional systems where the information is relayed from a central antenna to an array of antennas by use of time-division multiplexing. In this communication scheme same message is delivered to an array of receiving antennas at a very high speed. As such, it is preferred for establishing real-time communication in the teleconferences systems. This is considered a unique mode of communication since the central connection endpoint is expected to establish a specific link for transmission to multiple remote peripherals. Any data originating from the central antenna is received by all the peripheral remote antennas at their dedicated sessions. It is then becomes clear that the idea of retransmission of the signal is complex since the central antenna has to establish the specific message transmitted at a given time to the specific remote peripheral. There are several algorithms that have been developed to establish the retransmission mechanism whenever there is such a need (Singh and Chandran, 2012).

There exist three modes of communication over the satellite under the IP multicast; unicast, multicast and broadcast. The unicast form of communication is established between a single antenna against a specific receiver. The receiving antenna will acknowledge received of the message when the transmission has been completed. Multicast transmission is established when the central connection endpoint establishes a specific link for transmission to multiple remote peripherals. Any data originating from the central antenna is received by all the peripheral remote antennas at their dedicated sessions when the connection has been established. The broadcast mode of connection does not have a specific receiving antenna. As such, there is a single transmitting antenna that sends data to unknown receiving antennas. The receiving antennas will only be required to request for access to the transmitted data using a specific criteria. Once the access permission has been granted the receiving antenna will continue to receive the data as long as the transmitting antenna continues to transmit (Singh and Chandran, 2012).

Scope of the studies

Most of the studies are considered to focus on the different communication aspects that are available with the satellite communication. There is little that has been explored in terms of the transmission challenges and the efficiency of the whole communication system. Perhaps the errors introduced during the transmission session have realized insignificant attention. It can however be noted that satellite communication just like any other form of communications suffers the drawbacks of transmission errors. The communication channel is associated with the huge transmission packets thus making it difficult to rectify the flow of information at the lowest level. As such, there remains to be a challenge of determining the correctness and reliability of the transmission channel (Singh and Chandran, 2012).

It can also be noted that point-to-multpoint transmission has the ability of self-correction when a comparison on the received data at the receiving antennas is established. The receiving antennas are expected to receive similar information. An establishment of what was received at any given moment for every single receiving antenna can easily determine and correct occurrence of transmission errors. This mode of error correction however is not reliable since the receiving destinations are normally far distance apart. Establishing an error correction mechanism requires a dedication connection and evaluation algorithm that will monitor the content of each packet received on all the receiving end points. It is therefore critical to explore other mechanisms that can detect and correct the errors generated in the point-to-multipoint communication over the satellite. This is not only a gap in the satellite communication literature but also a challenge to the telecommunication industry (Singh and Chandran, 2012).

There is need to pay attention to the error recovery mechanism that can improve the reliability of the satellite communication systems. There exists a couple of error recovery mechanisms that have not been fully explored. The use of the go-back-n recovery mechanisms has gained popularity as a result of the simplified nature of recovering lost transmission packets. Additional review on this recovery mechanism has been provided in the literature review section (Selig, n.d.).

Literature review

Satellite communication constitutes three main error detection and correction mechanisms. The use of any of these mechanisms depends on the number of nodes where the transmission is undertaken, the nature and form of data being transmitted and the mode of transmission used. Automatic repeat request is among the common mechanism that is employed in the satellite communication. This approach basically request for the retransmission of the signal that is considered to have been lost or distorted by the transmission channel. Automatic repeat request make use of the error-detection code to acknowledge the reception of the transmitted data. The receiving antenna sends an acknowledgment signal indicating the delivery of the given transmitted data. However, when the transmitter fails to receive the acknowledgment signal from the receiver within a given set time it will automatically retransmit the signal. There are basically three modes of Automatic repeat request; Stop-and-wait Automatic repeat request, Go-Back-N Automatic repeat request and selective repeat (Selig, n.d.).

Stop-and-wait Automatic repeat request

This is considered to be the simplest error correction technique. This technique is considered to be adequate for simple communication protocols. Stop-and-wait Automatic repeat request constitutes transmitting of a protocol data unit (PDU) of information and then waiting for the response from the receiving antenna. The receiver in this case is expected to provide an acknowledgement PDU when it receives all the expected PDUs from the transmitting unit. The receiver can also provide a negative acknowledgement if it receives an incorrect PDU. The technique is designed with an ability of the transmitter to automatically retransmitting the signal when there is a delay in receiving a correct acknowledgment signal from the receiving unit (Selig, n.d.). The following figure can be used to illustrate the Stop-and-wait Automatic repeat request error correction mechanism;

Figure 2 Stop-and-wait error correction technique

It is important to note that the sender will always wait for the acknowledgement signal before transmitting another PDU. The sender is considered to be in the idle mode whenever it is waiting for the acknowledgment signal. In the above figure the blue allow points to the sequence of data PDU that is being transmitted cross the communication channel. The Stop-and-wait Automatic repeat request can implement either full or half duplex form of communication (Selig, n.d.). The green allow points to the acknowledgment signals that is sent by the receiver to the transmitter. There is normally a small delay that is witnessed between the reception of the last byte of PDU and the generation of the corresponding ACK. Perhaps the most important aspect of Stop-and-wait Automatic repeat request is the reliance on the time for the transmitter to note the loss of the data PDU. In this case the transmitter will wait for the acknowledgement signal within a specified time. The lack of the arrival of the acknowledgement signal within the expected time will prompt the transmitter to resent the data PDU again. It is important to note that the receiver does not have the capability of detecting data loss (Pujolle and Puigjaner, 2011). The transmitter will always receive an acknowledgement signal that has unique code to the sent signal. The transmitter will then forward the same data PDU over the transmission channel and wait again for the acknowledgement signal. The following figure can be used to illustrate the retransmission mode of the Stop-and-wait Automatic repeat request

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Figure 3 Retransmission mechanism of the Stop-and-wait Automatic repeat request

In the above diagram the second data PDU is considered corrupt. As such, the receiver will discard it and then provide the negative acknowledgement signal to the sender. Alternatively, it will fail to provide an acknowledge signal. As such, the lack of the acknowledgement signal will prompt the transmitter to resend the data packet again over the channel. The efficiency of the stop and wait technique can be computed as shown below (Lam, 2009). Assuming S is the time taken between the transmission of the packet and the reception of its acknowledgment and DTP is the transmission time of the packet, the efficiency of the system can be illustrated as below;

Then,

And assuming TO is the timeout interval and X is the amount of time taken for the transmission of the data PDU and reception of the acknowledgment signal,

And

Go-Back-N automatic repeat request

Go-Back-N is an error recovery procedure that is preferred for point-to-multipoint in many communication protocols. Go-Back-N is an error recovery procedure is also applied on the satellite communication to ascertain the delivery of the data packets over the transmission channel. The procedure is able to detect and retransmit I-frames that have already been computed in the underlying algorithm. This technique relies on the sequence of the frames that are sent from the sender to the receiver. The receiver will continuously acknowledge the reception of a given number of data PDUs. Additionally, it will keep the record of the sequence of such data PDUs (Idawaty Ahmad. and Mohamed bin Othman., n.d.).

All the acknowledgement regarding the received data PDU will be sent to the transmitter. However, upon loss of a data PDU, the receiver will miss to acknowledge its reception. It will however continue accepting higher sequence number of the data PDUs keep coming from the transmitter. The transmitter will then automatically detect the missing acknowledgement of the lost PDU. At this point the receiver will request the transmitter to stop transmission and go back to the last known correctly sent and received data PDU. The transmitter will then be required to retransmit all the data PDUs starting from the sequence number of the lost PDU (Idawaty Ahmad. and Mohamed bin Othman., n.d.). The following figure can be used to illustrate the Go-Back-N automatic repeat request error corrective technique;

Figure 4Go-Back-N error recovery technique

It is important to note that there are three stages through which the corrupted PDU is recovered. In the first stage the corrupted PDU is discarded at the receiver’s end. The receiver only retains the sequence of the corrupted PDU. The sequence number of the corrupted PDU is then sent back to the transmitting node. The transmitter will then go back to the sequence number and retrieve the correct data PDU. At this point the receiver will continuously discard all the PDUs sent from the transmitter and do not contain the already requested sequence number. When the transmitter sends the correct PDU with the sequence number, it will then be received by the receiver. At this point the receiver will start accepting the higher sequence number of the other PDUs. It is thus clear that the transmission of the PDUs momentarily stops until the correct PDU is sent and then the sequence is proceeded. This technique is associated with delays emanating from the time lost when the corrupt PDU is received at the receiving node (Hong et al., 2014).

The detection of the corrupt data PDU introduces a transmission delay that is manifested by the time taken for the receiver to request the sender to retransmit the corrupted PDU. Further, the transmitter will be forced to restart sending the PDU from the last successfully received PDU. A buffer on the transmitter is activated to keep sequence of the remaining PDUs that have not been transmitted after the interruption (Hong et al., 2014). The following figure can be used to illustrate the retransmission mechanism that is provided by the go-back-n automatic repeat request;

Figure 5Retransmission mechanisms of the go-back-n automatic repeat request

The efficiency of this system can be computed and illustrated as shown below;

In this case the value of N is chosen in such a way that it is large enough to allow continuous transmission while waiting for the acknowledgment signal for the first packet of the window. As such,

Assuming there are no transmission errors, the efficiency of the system will be;

However when an error occurs, the entire window of N packets will have to be retransmitted as such;

Where X is the number of the packets sent per successful transmission.

Advantages of Go-Back-N automatic repeat request

  1. The level of efficiency is more than stop and wait protocol

  2. One acknowledgment signals can be used on more than one data PDUs

  3. It is possible to set the time on a group of data PDUs

  4. It is possible for the sender to send many data PDUs at the same time

Disadvantages of Go-Back-N automatic repeat request

  1. The Go-Back-N automatic repeat request has buffer requirements which may increase the cost of implementing the protocol

  2. The transmitter requires additional memory that is used to store the last N packets

  3. It introduces unnecessary retransmission of data PDUs that may be error free

  4. There is high inefficiency when there is a delay since large data will be required to be retransmitted

Selective repeat ARQ

Selective repeat ARQ is another error correction mechanism that is employed by the point-to-multipoint satellite communication. This technique is considered to be complex since it involves a set of procedures that provide an error recovery. However, it is considered to be the most efficient mechanism of correcting the transmission errors since it does involve the retransmission of the data PDU. The receiver is designed with the ability of correcting the transmission errors noted on the received data frames (Hercog, n.d.).

It can be pointed that both the sender and the receiver maintain a window of acceptable sequence numbers that help them determine the occurrence of transmission errors. The sender window normally starts at zero and increases to some pre-defined maximum number. The receiver on the other hand will always have a constant size that is equal to a given predetermined maximum. Additionally, the receiver has a buffer that is reserved for each sequence number in its fixed window. The following figure can be used to illustrate the mechanism of the selective repeat ARQ;

Figure 6 Selective repeat ARQ

Attached to the buffer at the receiver is a bit that helps to determine if it’s empty. The sequence number of the frame that arrives is normally checked to see if it falls within the window. If the frame falls within the expectations it is accepted and stored. The frame is normally kept in the link layer and not passed to the network layer up to the point where the lower numbered frames have all been delivered. As such, the sequence of the frames is ensured and sustained. It is also important to note that the sender will only transmit frames whose NAK has been received. As such the efficiency of this system is normally very high. It thus clearly demonstrates that there will be fewer retransmissions as compared to go-back-n technique. The only disadvantage with this system is the complexity involved between the sender and the receiver since each frame must be acknowledged individually. Additionally, the receiver is dedicated with the maintenance of the frame sequence (Hercog, n.d.). The probability of delay variance can be computed as illustrated below;

Let N be independent transmission processes that are defined by the matrix P and they start at the same time. All the processes are expected to complete in or before ZN. The probability that jth process will complete last can be defined as below;

As such it is clear that that the probability of the delay is related to the level of redundancy that should be added to the packet stream in order to meet the user’s daily constraints.This technique is therefore considered to be the most efficiency error recovery technique over the other two methods (Galinina, Balandin and Koucheryavy, n.d.).

The strength of the selective repeat ARQ lies on a number of aspects that are not possible on other ARQ protocols. Selective repeat ARQ is considered to be the most efficient since it does not involve retransmission of the data PDUs as other ARQ protocols. Although it is considered to be complex, the underlying algorithms ensure there is high assurance of accuracy and efficiency. The receiver under selective repeat is designed with the ability of correcting the transmission errors noted on the received data frames. The probability of the occurrence of the errors and the time delay of the recovery mechanism has been illustrated in the three methods presented above (Galinina, Balandin and Koucheryavy, n.d.).

It can further be pointed out that this error correction mechanism provides room for larger receiving window compared to the other two ARQs. As such, the buffers at the receiving end can comfortably store the out-of-order packets thereby avoiding the situation of retransmission (Galinina, Balandin and Koucheryavy, n.d.).

The other advantage of the selective repeat ARQ involves the buffered packets that are when they are out-of-order. The receiver has the capability of rearranging them and then sending the acknowledgement signal to the sender thus completing the transmission process. This is however not the case with the stop and wait and go-back-n protocols. It is thus possible for the receiver to re-acknowledge the already received out-of-order packets. This scenario however is not possible with the other two ARQ protocols (Galinina, Balandin and Koucheryavy, n.d.).

This technique is therefore considered to be the most efficiency error recovery technique over the other two methods (Bisio, 2016). The probability of the occurrence of the errors and the time delay of the recovery mechanism has been illustrated in the three methods presented above. A comparison on the efficiency of the three methodologies has also been provided. The following figure can be used to illustrate the comparison of Go-back-N and selective repeat automatic repeat request;

Figure 7 Comparison between selective repeat and Go-Back-N protocols

Forward Error Correction

The forward error correction is yet another technique that is used in satellite transmission. This technique involve the transmission of data PDU that are redundant. The sender purposefully sends redundant data PDU over the transmission channel. The receiver is then left with the option of selecting only those data PDUs that have not been corrupted over the transmission channel. In most cases this technique is preferred for sending broadcast form of communication where many receivers are expecting data from a single transmitter.

Forward error correction technique only work well if the errors occurring on the transmission channel are independent. As such, the correction of one error will not lead to modification of the error in the subsequent data PDUs. However, if there are many errors in the system this technique is found to be less efficient.

The forward error correction technique requires an intelligent transmitter that can introduce unique redundant bits using a predetermined algorithm. The longer sequence of bits introduced to the data PDU is then sent over the transmission channel. The receiver is then expected to use a suitable decoder to retrieve the original signal. The following figure can be used to illustrate the concept of the forward error correction technique;

Figure 8 Forward Error Correction Technique

Advantages

  1. It does not involve retransmission of signals whenever an error is detected on the data PDUs
  2. Redundant bits inserted to the original data makes it difficult for the data to be corrupted

Disadvantages

  1. Requires a special type of receiver and transmitter to embrace the algorithm
  2. Misuses transmission channel bandwidth to send redundant data which would have been used to send additional data

Limitation

  1. Requires special form of algorithm to introduce redundant bits
  2. Requires extra bandwidth for transmission of redundant data

Methodology

This section has provided a discussion on different approaches that are used to error recovery in point-to-multipoint satellite communication. A discussion on stop and wait, Go-Back-N and selective repeat ARQ has been provided below;

Stope and Wait Automatic Repeat Request

Stop-and-wait Automatic repeat request constitutes transmitting of a protocol data unit (PDU) of information and then waiting for the response from the receiving antenna. The receiver in this case is expected to provide an acknowledgement PDU when it receives all the expected PDUs from the transmitting unit. The receiver can also provide a negative acknowledgement if it receives an incorrect PDU. The technique is designed with an ability of the transmitter to automatically retransmitting the signal when there is a delay in receiving a correct acknowledgment signal from the receiving unit (Selig, n.d.).

Advantages

  1. It has incorporated a timer in the transmission process
  2. Very relevant for noisy channels
  3. It constitutes both flow and error recovery and control mechanisms

Disadvantages

  1. The efficiency of this technique is low
  2. No timer set for individual frames
  3. Only a single frame can be set at a time

Limitations

  1. This technique has only one window size
  2. There is no pipelining in stop and wait ARQ
  3. The receiver window is limited to one

Go-Back-N ARQ Protocol

This technique constitutes the retransmission of data PDU once an error has been detected. This technique relies on the sequence of the frames that are sent from the sender to the receiver. The receiver will continuously acknowledge the reception of a given number of data PDUs. Additionally, it will keep the record of the sequence of such data PDUs. All the acknowledgement regarding the received data PDU will be sent to the transmitter. However, upon loss of a data PDU, the receiver will miss to acknowledge its reception. It will however continue accepting higher sequence number of the data PDUs keep coming from the transmitter. The transmitter will then automatically detect the missing acknowledgement of the lost PDU. At this point the receiver will request the transmitter to stop transmission and go back to the last known correctly sent and received data PDU. The transmitter will then be required to retransmit all the data PDUs starting from the sequence number of the lost PDU (Idawaty Ahmad. and Mohamed bin Othman., n.d.)

Advantages of Go-Back-N automatic repeat request

  1. The level of efficiency is more than stop and wait protocol

  2. One acknowledgment signals can be used on more than one data PDUs

  3. It is possible to set the time on a group of data PDUs

  4. It is possible for the sender to send many data PDUs at the same time

Disadvantages of Go-Back-N automatic repeat request

  1. It introduces unnecessary retransmission of data PDUs that may be error free

  2. There is high inefficiency when there is a delay since large data will be required to be retransmitted

Limitations

  1. The Go-Back-N automatic repeat request has large buffer requirements

  2. Additional memory for storage of N packets is required

Selective Repeat ARQ

This is the approach that has been recommended for implementation in the error recovery for the point-multipoint satellite communication. In reference to the discussion that has been provided in the previous sections it is clear that this protocol has the highest efficiency with little chances of retransmission. The resources required to implement this protocol are also considered to be less. The strength of the selective repeat ARQ lies on a number of aspects that are not possible on other ARQ protocols. Selective repeat ARQ is considered to be the most efficient since it does not involve retransmission of the data PDUs as other ARQ protocols. Although it is considered to be complex, the underlying algorithms ensure there is high assurance of accuracy and efficiency. The receiver under selective repeat is designed with the ability of correcting the transmission errors noted on the received data frames. The probability of the occurrence of the errors and the time delay of the recovery mechanism has been illustrated in the three methods presented above (Bisio, 2016).

There is no much difference between GBN and selective repeat especially when implementing. Actually the efficiency of these two protocols are considered to be same up to the time when an error is detected. The implementation process should start with the establishment of the sender and receiver windows. Sufficient memory capacity should be set aside for these two sections. The window size should however be less than the half sequence number in the selective repeat protocol. This is meant to avoid packets being recognized incorrectly. The sending process can then be initiated with the new packets as long as there is an acknowledgement algorithm in place. A simulation on this process has been done on MATLAB as shown in the next section (ARQ Protocols in Cognitive Decode-and-Forward Relay Networks: Opportunities Gain, 2015).

Advantages

  1. There is no issue of retransmission
  2. Provides chances of recovering corrupt frames
  3. High efficiencies as compared to Go-Back-N protocol

Disadvantages

  1. Can be time consuming especially when the error is detected

Limitations

  1. Require relatively large CPU processing resources

Experimental setup simulation and results

The selective repeat protocol was implemented in MATLAB using distinct models and codes developed to imitate the actual behaviour of the real system. Different models were first developed before enjoining and starting the transmission process. A discussion on the models developed is provided below;

Transmitter model

This model was developed with two sub-modules; packet generation and the encoding. The packet generator was expected to generate the transmitted packets at a fixed rate. A new data is expected to be added to the buffer of the transmitter after a fixed period of time (Beard and Stallings, 2016). Every packet of data was stored in the form of [seqnum, payload] where seqnum is the sequence number of the packet and payload is the size of the packet in bits. The below codes can be used to illustrate the transmitter model used in the simulation;

Figure 9Pseudocode for transmitter model

The generated packets were then forwarded to the Vandermonde matrix encoder. The encoder basically stripes of the packets with headers and trailers and then converts them into data blocks. At this point the packets are ready for transmission over the channel. Note that the Vandermonde model makes it possible to have linear and independent packets that can be recovered easily at the receiver (Beard and Stallings, 2016).

The channel model

The channel model was designed in such a way that it is possible to simulate corrupt frames accurately. The channel was modelled with binary symmetric channel that is considered to be independent and identically distributed. The channel model keeps checking for the available data. Once the data PDU are placed on the channel, it confirms if the data is already acknowledged by the receiver (Beard and Stallings, 2016). If already acknowledged it is passed to the transmitter otherwise it is forwarded to the error sub-module then finally to the receiver. The following figure can be used to demonstrate the pseudocode that was developed for the channel model;

Figure 10Pseudocode for channel model

Receiver model

The receiver model is designed also with an error checker. The received packets are first forwarded to the error checker where they are checked for errors. If errors are found the receiver proceeds to check all the packets in the Vandermonde Matrix. A negative acknowledgement signals is then generated and sent to the transmitter. Additionally, the corrupt packets are stored in the buffer with a hope that it will be able to correct future errors. Corrupt files are discarded after a specified length of time and new packets requested in the system (Beard and Stallings, 2016). The following table can be used to illustrate the parameters that were used in the simulation;

Parameter

Value

Pkt-size

1000 bits

Lampda

1000 packets

Rate

10kbps

Tprop

20 ms

Tsim

3000 ms(Simulation time)

n

7 blocks per code

FER

Forward error rate (0, 0.2, 0.7, 0.8)

Ack-wait-time

0.001ms

MATLAB Codes

The following codes were used to simulate the selective repeat ARQ on MATLAB;

% program for protocol analysis

clc; clear all; close all;

n=input(‘Enter the data sequence length’);

m=input(‘Enter the number of packets ‘);

x=randint(m,n);

% make packet

p=zeros(1,m);

for i=1:m

for j=1:n

a=x(i,j);

b=p(i);

p(i)=bitxor(a,b);

end

pac(i,:)=[x(i,:),p(i)];

subplot(m,1,i); stem(pac(i,:));

end

xlabel(‘Transmitted Data,last bit is the parity bit’);

% send first group of packets

% send packets

figure

ba=m/8;

for k=1:m

% for l=1:8

% g=l*k;

data(k,:)=bsc(pac(k,:),.1);

subplot(m,1,k); stem(data(k,:));

% end

end

xlabel(‘Recieved Data,last bit is the parity bit’);

figure

err = 1;

erf=1;

while (err~=0)

do=data(:,n+1)’;

err=bitxor(p,do);

stem(err);

display(err);

display(‘displaying retransmitted packets’);

for i=1:m

if err(1,i)== 1

display(err);

display(‘error detected in packet no:’);display(i);

% figure

for j=i:m

data(j,:)=bsc(pac(j,:),.1);

display(j);

% subplot(m,1,j);stem(data(j,:));

end

end

do=data(:,n+1)’;

err=bitxor(p,do);

end

end

% figure

% for g=1:m

% subplot(m,1,g);stem(data(g,:));

% end

% xlabel(‘Finally Received data after retransmission, last bit is the parity bit’);

Results

The simulation of the selective Repeat ARQ protocol in Matlab;

Figure 11 Illustration of the simulation of Selective Repeat ARQ protocol

Illustration of the frame generation model;

Figure 12 Packet Generation model

Illustration of transmitter model;

Illustration of a receiver model

Figure 13Receiver model

The following figure can be used to show the results obtained from the simulation;

Figure 14 DAta PDU Transmitted

Figure 15 Data PDU received

The following figure can be used to demonstrate the errors detected during the transmission process;

Figure 16Errors detected during the transmission process

err =

0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0

displaying retransmitted packets

err =

0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0

This is further illustrated in the following figure;

Discussion

In reference to the results obtained from the above simulation it is clear that selective repeat is very efficient. The number of packets retransmitted as a result of the errors detected during the transmission process is zero. This not only reduced the time delay of the transmission but also avoids the need to invest on buffer resources that would otherwise be used to store the corrupted files. The protocol is capable of correcting errors that are realized in the transmission channel and thus improve the overall performance of the transmission process (Beard and Stallings, 2016). A typical analysis on the transmission channel is provided below;

running SRprotocolX …

Tx channel P[frameSuccess] = 0.8

sender-to-receiver communication delay = 5 Comm frames

Rx channel P[AckSuccess] = 1

receiver-to-sender communication delay = 10 Ack frames

sending 5 frames …

tic: 0

RxQ: 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

TxQ: 0 0 0 0 0

tic: 1

RxQ: 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Selective repeate ensures that the frame is kept in the link layer and not passed to the network layer up to the point where the lower numbered frames have all been delivered. As such, the sequence of the frames is ensured and sustained. It is also important to note that the sender will only transmit frames whose NAK has been received. As such the efficiency of this system is normally very high. It thus clearly demonstrates that there will be fewer retransmissions as compared to go-back-n technique. The only disadvantage with this system is the complexity involved between the sender and the receiver since each frame must be acknowledged individually (Ali, n.d.).

The strength of the selective repeat ARQ lies on a number of aspects that are not possible on other ARQ protocols. Selective repeat ARQ is considered to be the most efficient since it does not involve retransmission of the data PDUs as other ARQ protocols. Although it is considered to be complex, the underlying algorithms ensure there is high assurance of accuracy and efficiency. The receiver under selective repeat is designed with the ability of correcting the transmission errors noted on the received data frames. The probability of the occurrence of the errors and the time delay of the recovery mechanism has been illustrated in the three methods presented above (Ali, n.d.).

Summary and conclusion

The paper has explored the different error recovery mechanisms that are used in the point-to-multipoint communication over the satellite. A variety of literature review has been undertaken to establish the most efficient and effective error recovery strategy. Different technical aspects of the stop and wait, GBN and selective repeat protocols have been evaluated. Selective repeat protocol has been found to be the most effective and efficient mode of error recovery. A simulation on the selective repeat protocol has been done using MATLAB. The probability of occurrence of the errors and PDU retransmission has been computed. It has been established that the selective repeat strategy requires relatively less amount of resources compared to other error recovery protocols.

Future work and recommendations

Even though it has been established that the efficiency of selective repeat is high, there is still many opportunities for improvements. There is need to develop mechanisms of preventing and detecting occurrence of errors in the transmission system. If this work is done the efficiency of PDU transmission will be improved greatly.

References

Ali, I. (n.d.). Architectural exploration of carrier synchronization for TDMA based satellite communication systems =.

ARQ Protocols in Cognitive Decode-and-Forward Relay Networks: Opportunities Gain. (2015). Radioengineering, 24(1), pp.296-304.

Beard, C. and Stallings, W. (2016). Wireless Com Net & Systems. Pearson Australia Pty Ltd.

Bisio, I. (2016). Personal Satellite Services. Next-Generation Satellite Networking and Communication Systems. Cham: Springer International Publishing.

Galinina, O., Balandin, S. and Koucheryavy, Y. (n.d.). Internet of things, smart spaces, and next generation networks and systems.

Hercog, D. (n.d.). Selective-repeat protocol with multiple retransmit timers and individual acknowledgments.

Hong, T., Kang, K., Ku, B. and Ahn, D. (2014). HARQ-ARQ interaction method for LTE-based mobile satellite communication system. International Journal of Satellite Communications and Networking, 32(5), pp.377-392.

Idawaty Ahmad. and Mohamed bin Othman. (n.d.). Performances of Go-Back-N ARQ schemes with block transmission.

Lam, S. (1979). Satellite Packet Communication–Multiple Access Protocols and Performance. IEEE Transactions on Communications, 27(10), pp.1456-1466.

Pujolle, G. and Puigjaner, R. (1991). Data communication systems and their performance. Amsterdam: North-Holland.

Selig, M. (n.d.). Interference Mitigation with Selective Retransmissions in Wireless Sensor Networks.

Selig, M. (n.d.). Interference Mitigation with Selective Retransmissions in Wireless Sensor Networks.

Singh, A. and Chandran, H. (2012). Low complexity FEC Systems for Satellite Communication. Network Protocols and Algorithms, 4(1).

Towsley, D. (1979). The stutter go back-N ARQ protocol. Estados Unidos: The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc-IEEE.

Tsuda, D. and Ha, T. (1989). Adaptive Go-Back-N. Monterey, Calif.: Naval Postgraduate School.

Final Research Project Worksheet

Organizational Background – Summary of company’s history, vision, mission, growth, development, and core competencies

ORGANIZATIONAL BACKGROUND –

  • Samuel Moore Walton, the founder of Walmart opens the first Wal-Mart store called ‘Wal-Mart Discount City’ combining general merchandise and a full-scale supermarket store in 1962 at Rogers, Arkansas, with its headquarters in Bentonville, after years in the retail management business.

  • 1969 The company officially incorporates as Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

  • Walmart’s USP officially becomes ‘Sell brand merchandise at low prices’. Introduced the concept of Every Day Low Prices (EDLP)

  • In 1971, a profit-sharing plan allowing employees to set aside a certain percentage of their salaries towards purchasing subsidized Walmart stock.

  • In 1972 Walmart as (WMT) is publicly traded at the NYSE

  • 1975 ‘Walmart Cheer’ is introduced as an employee morale booster

  • In1983 Walmart’s first Sam’s Club warehouse stores or Sam’s West, Inc (with membership operations) opens in Midwest City, Oklahoma followed by 5 types of store formats over the years to gain entry into otherwise closed markets.

  • Walmart opened its first Supercenter (179,000 sqft), (Walmart Express stores 15,000 sqft), Walmart Discount Store (105,000 sq feet), Neighborhood Markets, gas station/convenience store. An upcoming format under trial is the Walmart on Campus convenience stores (2,500-square foot)

  • In 1985, the ‘Made in America’ campaign is launched to compensate trade deficits and the loss of American manufacturing jobs,

  • In 1990, Walmart became America’s number-one retailer.

  • Wal-Mart gained a global presence in 1991 as it expanded into Mexico

  • Post 2000- Walmart launches drive-through pick-up option and drive-in pick-up centers, and Home delivery services,

  • Acquires  MoosejawModClothBonobos and Parcel. J

  • Introduces a 2-day free shipping

Wal-Mart operates over 5,000 stores and is the world’s largest corporation, employs over 1.6 million people million in the United States alone according to 2005 Fortune 500 list for its one-stop shopping convenience ranging from groceries to generic medication and car mechanical services. Its annual revenue is $288 billion with over $10 billion in profits.

Vision: To be the best retailer in the hearts and minds of consumers and employees.

Mission: Saving people money so they can live better.” (based on Porter’s model)

Growth: Walmart is implementing a 3-year growth strategy which includes:

  • Offering a seamless shopping experience, introducing 3D print figurines (2018)

  • 4-pronged shopping accessibility- (mobile, online, in-store, combination)

  • Pursuing an unorthodox route towards growth by shrinking its stores

  • Expanding the assortment in products

Development: Business Model: Perfect SMB solution with a simple interface, effortless automation, and a convenient pay-as-you-go plan. In the implementation of this plan were involved the following factors:

– Lead on Price

-Invest to differentiate on access

-Be competitive on assortment

-Deliver a great experience

  • Maintaining the net sales at 12% pa

  • Expanding internationally into high population areas

  • Reducing operating costs

  • Adding critical capabilities

  • Enhancing the digital relationship with the customers

Core competencies:

  • Low cost operations and EDLP (Everyday Low Prices)

  • Optimal usage of Walmart’s (JIT) Just-in-time inventory  management and IT

  • Streamlined logistics and technologies to maintain communication with suppliers and customers

  • Work culture; efficient and process driven employees

Analysis of Management Functions:

Planning. Based on what you have learned through your research, how would you characterize conditions in the planning environment? What types of problems does the organization face (e.g., structured, unstructured), and to what extent should the organizations decisions be programmed or non-programmed? How would you characterize the level certainty, uncertainty, and risk the organization faces?

Organizing. How is the organization organized? Would you characterize it as centralized or decentralized? Describe the organizational structure and evaluate how appropriate this structure is for the organization (the strengths and drawbacks of its structure). If you learned about the organizational culture, describe the culture and evaluate the extent to which the culture enhances organizational effectiveness and efficiency.

Leading. Based on your research, how would you characterize the nature of leadership of your organization? How would you characterize its leader’s leadership style, communication style and interpersonal skills? How effective is this leader?

Controlling. Describe what performance indicators are important for this company to track and measure. How effective is management at using these controls to ensure that it is achieving its goals and objectives?

PLANNING – The organization experiences problems of both types which it handles flexibly with

Unstructured problems: Example- Walmart faces the problem of increased competition from Target, Kroger and Amazon.

Structured problems: Employee overtime, salary, sexual harassment and discrimination.

The organization’s decisions are programmed with regard to customer dissatisfaction with a product.

Non-programmed decisions are taken by the company

  • To improve distribution systems

  • While competing with rivals and

  • Maintaining the customer base in times of an economic fluctuation or crisis.

ORGANIZING

Wal-Mart follows a ‘Two-tier system or Divisional Organization Structure’ at the top level and a matrix organizational structure at the store level. It includes these key elements:

  • Wal-Mart Realty

  • Wal-Mart International

  • Wal-Mart Specialty Stores

  • Sam’s Clubs and Super-centers

The Organization structure features:

  • A centralized information system.

  • Decentralized operations

  • Frequent Meetings encourages customer feedback

Strengths

  • Reacts quickly to an unstable environment.

  • Scale of operations

  • Good Employee retention rate

  • Competence in information systems

  • Wide range of products

  • Cost leadership strategy

  • International operations

  • Training and Development

  • Feedback option: Sam’s suggestion system

  • Employee advancement programs

Drawbacks

  • Creating vacancies more than necessary

  • Hampers the career growth of its specialized professionals

  • Involved in frequent labor related lawsuits

  • High employee turnover

  • Negative media publicity

  • Too much market experimentation- eg: Goodies.co

Organizational culture: It is inclusive in nature and founded on simple rules like: The ‘three basic beliefs’, ‘ten foot rule’, and ‘the sundown rule’ that have steered the organization’s culture besides implementing the basic principles or values of Walmart which include :

  • High levels of employee participation Denison (1990).

  • Respect for the Individual

  • Strive for Excellence

  • Act with Integrity

The work culture at Walmart enhances its organizational effectiveness and efficiency which is gauged by the following indicators:

  • High levels of employee participation Denison (1990).

  • Consistent incentives, appraisal and performance measurement systems

  • Maintaining appropriate error-detection and accountability systems (Schein 1999)

  • Training, identifying role models (Schein 1999)

LEADING: The organization exhibits Transformational Leadership, which is based on the 4I’s: Individual Consideration (like employee stocks), Inspirational Motivation (Wal-Mart Cheers), Intellectual Stimulation (EDLP, Universal Product Code (barcodes, private satellite system for Walmart’s inventory) and Idealized Influence (strong determination, Sundown Rule). ‘Servant Leadership’ was an outcome of this approach of leadership which involves:

  • Personal leadership

  • Resilience

  • Valuing team work

  • Delegating responsibility

  • Experimentation

Walmart has been presented with the Ron Brown Award for Corporate Leadership that recognizes companies with outstanding achievement in employee and community relations.

CONTROLLING

To gauge the organization’s Key Performance Indicators (KPI), which focuses on issues most relevant to that product’s lifecycle impacts on the environment and/or society, Walmart has closely partnered with ‘The Sustainability Consortium’

    • Modern technology and inventory system (JIT)

    • Digital communication with its suppliers and customers

    • Customer controlling via predictive analytics

    • Partnerships and alliances

    • Supply chain excellence.

    • Important performance indicators include but are not limited to spoilage per day, amount of electricity used per day, weekly employee hours, and store sales per day.

    • Employee satisfaction, turnover, performance, and absenteeism are also good to have.

Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility

  • 1. Which ethical systems are in use in the company (Teleological, Egoism, Utiliarianism, Deontological, Justice, Relativism per the Ethical Systems link under Week 8) and why do you think so?
    2. Identify your company’s ethical issues.
    3. Explain and defend your response to these ethical issues, in light of the Markkula app and the other reading on Ethical Systems (see link under Week 8) This may be what you used in the third building block assignment, perhaps with some improvements to it).

ETHICAL SYSTEMS- Global Ethics

Walmart in its initial stages was founded upon Teleological ethics, which was a part of its Global Ethics system and includes the religious ideals of ethical involvement versus a purely rational mindset and logical approach. I think it is so, because Sam Walton the founder introduced the art of ‘Servant Leadership’ amongst his employees, which is based on Biblical principles. However, with time, the Global Ethics system seems to have overtaken the former.

ETHICAL ISSUES –

Walmart has had its share of ethical issues (5,000 lawsuits/year) as any Big Box store would, which the media has highlighted repeatedly for the following reasons:

  • It discourages labor/ trade unions

  • Its influx into communities causes a net loss

  • It thrives on immigrant and child labor

  • It underpays its women staff (SC-2011)

  • Discriminates against physically challenged or elderly staff

  • Overnight employees have been locked in to make certain their shift hours was complete

  • Enforcing work during off the clock hours

  • Thefts in employees wages observed

  • Pathetic healthcare offers

  • Employee sexual harassment

  • Uses animals to lure customers- cockfights etc

ETHICAL RESPONSE-

  • In light of the Markkula app, the organization has taken the following steps to restore its brand image in the Global market as per its Follow-up report released by its Global : Multilingual Global Ethics Helpline 24 X7

  • Corporate Social Responsibility- Scholarships for higher studies, disaster relief, wildlife habitat protection, global waste diverted from landfills, training US associates. Strengthening local communities

  • Global Anti-Corruption Policy,

  • Prohibition on the improper use of drugs and alcohol,

  • Discrimination & Harassment Prevention

  • To fully comply with all its corporate policies and procedures related to wage and hour issues and off the clock work

Conclusions

In this section you should state your opinion on what you have learned from your research. Would you want to invest your money in this company? Do you think it is a survivor? Would you buy its product or service? Is its competition better than it is? If the reader only read this section, what would you want him or her to know about this organization?

CONCLUSIONS

Though the global presence of Walmart, its position in the stock market, its work culture and principles were initially commendable, but after Sam Walton passed away, things haven’t been the same. The store still runs but the spirit doesn’t. It is a survivor, but more because of the brand name and image that one man built out of sincerity, on principles of Christian discipleship. It’s just managing to prop itself up on past glory.

I would probably still shop at Walmart for the convenience of shopping but not invest my money, because it comes across as a company that looks more out of the window than at the state of its own house. Its busy with environmental issues, corporate social responsibility, feeding the poor, educating the poor and helping evade disasters but from reports about the corporate retail giant, the following have come to light:

  • Walmart employees earn an average of $13,312 pa, while the Federal poverty cut-of for a family of 3 members is $14,630. Surprisingly, union grocery workers
    earn 30% more.

  • Contrary to its ‘Make in America’ campaign, it imported 12 billion in goods from China, 10% of US imports from China.

  • The Walmart Healthcare charges 20% of a worker’s paycheck. Employees can’t afford it

  • Walmart offers bargains which customers buy at any cost.
    Eg: Walmart customers trampled on a woman in their desire to buy a $29.00 DVD sold at one of the Walmart stores.

History has on record that even organizations can be noble or evil. Walmart fails the test in bringing out the best in people. In short, if Walmart pulls up its socks, it can regain its former glory of being the best retain store in the world ethically!

SOURCES

Bergdahl M. (2006). The 10 Rules of Sam Walton. Retrieved Apr 23, 2014, from http://www.dmmserver.com/DialABook/978/047/174/9780471748120.html

Walmart Now Has Six Types of Stores

fromhttps://247wallst.com/retail/2014/03/22/walmart-now-has-six-types-of-stores

/ Cherry K. (n.d.). What Is Transformational Leadership? Retrieved Apr 23, 2014, from http://psychology.about.com/od/leadership/a/transformational.htm

Farfan B. (n.d.). Wal-Mart Stores’ Mission Statement – People, Saving Money, Living a Better Live. Retrieved Apr 21, 2014, from http://retailindustry.about.com/od/retailbestpractices/ig/Company-Mission

Walmarts LongTterm GrowthStrategy-Try,try and try again

From: https://www.cnbc.com/2014/08/12/walmarts-long-term-growth-strategy-try-try-and-try-

From: https://www.scribd.com/doc/60889116/Executive-Summary-Walmart

Outsourcing Decisions in Business

Magna Corp

Total Cost = Total Variable Cost + Total Fixed Costs

Total Variable Costs = (30.310 * 6200 * 12) + (0.824 * 6200 * 12) (5.9/100*10*6200*12)

TVC = 2,255,064 + 61,305.6 + 43,896 = 2,360,265.6

TFC = 8,200

TC = 2,360,265.6 + 8,200 = $2,368,465.6

Per unit cost = TC/Number of units

Per unit cost = 2,368,465.6/ (6200*12) = 2,368,465.6/ 74,400

Annual Per unit Cost = $31.8342

Sun Components and Assemblies

Fixed Costs = 4,300 + 20,000 = 24,300

Declared value = 19.52 *6,200 = 121,024 a month

1 cubic foot = 1,728 cubic inches

1 unit = 12 *12* 12 = 1,728 cubic inches = 1 cubic foot

Therefore, there are 6,200 cubic feet of units a month

Variable Costs = 12 [(19.52 *6,200) + (2.20 * 6200) + (200 *3) + 100 + (4,200 * 3) + (121,024 *0.5480/100) + 1,200 + (5/100 *121,024) + (19.3/100*10*6200) + 300 + (1.210 * 6,200) + (0.15 * 121,024) + 400 + (4 * 25)]

Variable costs = 12 [121,024 + 13,640 + 600 + 100 + 12,600 + 663.21152 + 1,200 + 6,051.2 + 11,966 + 300 + 7,502 + 18,153.6 + 400 + 100]

VC = 12 [194,300.01152]

VC = 2,331,600.13824

Total Annual Cost = 24,300 + 2,331,600.1382 = 2,355,900.1382

Annual Per unit cost = 2,355,900.13824/ (6200 *12) = 2,355,900/ 74,400 = 31.6653

Percentage difference

Percentage difference =  = 0.1689/31.8342 *100 =0.5306% difference

 

 

Additional Quantitative and Qualitative Issues to consider

When making an outsourcing decision, a business considers a number of factors, other than cost implications. To begin with, it is important to consider the technologies and resources possessed by the firm that the organization wants to outsource some functions to (Schniederjans, Schniederjans, & Schniederjans ). The outsourcing firm has to consider whether the vendor has the resources to handle the outsourcing needs. Basically, the vendor’s employees have to be sufficiently trained to fulfill the assignment. The selected vendor must have a physical office with state-of-the-art technologies to deal with the most painstaking outsourcing functions.

Another consideration is the vendor’s ability to meet strict deadlines. Failure to meet deadlines leads to major bottlenecks that nullify any projected cost savings (Vagadia). What’s more, the vendor has to comply with the expected quality standards. Therefore, if the company establishes that a vendor has poor quality control measures and lacks a solid backup plan in case it misses a deadline, it is prudent to not hire the vendor (Schniederjans et al.).

Before making an outsourcing decision, a firm has to look into the potential vendors’ past production records (Schniederjans et al.). From their history, the firm can establish which vendors are able to work under minimal supervision. It is imperative for the outsourcing organization to choose a vendor that is self driven and can work under minimal supervision. That would allow the business to concentrate on its core capabilities.

Outsourcing decisions should also take into consideration the effect an outsourcing decision can have on the brand (Schniederjans et al.). Some businesses derive their advantage from the uniqueness of the products they make. The decision to outsource might lead to the leak of business secrets. Therefore, a business must ensure that outsourcing does not risk exposing the qualities that make it unique and successful (Vagadia). That require due diligence to establish whether potential vendors have demonstrated a tendency to keep their business partners’ secrets.

Businesses also consider the time zones of potential vendors before making outsourcing decisions (Vagadia). Huge differences in time zones can make coordination between the two firms difficult. In contrast, it is easier to liaise with and coordinate activities with the vendor, when the time zones are close. While it is not one of the most important considerations, it is one that businesses considering outsourcing ought to critically look at (Schniederjans et al.).

Efficiency of communication is also critical to any prudent outsourcing decision. Undeniably, outsourcing alters communication efficiency between different organizational departments and management (Schniederjans et al.). That is partly because of language and cultural differences between the organization and the vendor. However, organizations have the responsibility to assess and outsource to a vendor with whom communication would be most efficient (Vagadia).

Businesses should consider whether the vendor they outsource to respects intellectual property rights (Vagadia). Some countries have a poor culture on intellectual property; they infringe on property rights, without any legal remedies. While it is possible to manage local outsourcing and near-shore alternatives with non-disclosure agreements and contracts, more comprehensive measures are needed when dealing with outsourcing alternatives that are located in distant corners of the globe (Schniederjans et al.).

The company ought to reflect on the lead time of the vendors’ production processes. Essentially, lead time affects the time the company will take to get its finished products into the market (Schniederjans et al.). Therefore, a company with long with shorter lead times would be a better outsourcing destination. It would enable the outsourcing company to make and deliver its products to the market within a shorter time (Schniederjans et al.).

Publicly traded companies have to consider the impact an outsourcing decision might have on the value of the company (Vagadia). Therefore, before outsourcing, it is imperative that such companies consider the perceptions of investors in case information leaks out. While it is not expected that information should leak out, it is always good to weigh in all aspects of the decision (Vagadia). For instance, if the company outsources to a vendor that has a poor reputation when it comes to human rights violations, investors would lose confidence in it and its stocks would plummet. In contrast, outsourcing to a reputable vendor, stocks are likely to go up.

The organizational culture is another factor that influences the choice of vendor or outsourcing partners. Organizations are always on the lookout for business partners who have organizational cultures that are similar to theirs (Vagadia). Therefore, a business with flexible work schedules and a calm, friendly working environment would not want to partner with another firm that has rigid schedules. That would be in contravention to organizational mission and values that inform the cultures (Schniederjans et al.). It would also negatively affect the outsourcing representatives that the company sends to assess and monitor some issues at the vendor’s facilities.

Strategies to Reduce Overall Costs

The Hong Kong option can be significantly reduced by reducing the shipping lead time. At two months, a lot of things can change in the market as the company waits to receive the materials from the outsourcing partner (Schniederjans et al.). That would lead to losses that will outweigh the cost benefits enjoyed due to the outsourcing process (Vagadia). Therefore, if the shipping lead time from Hong Kong can be reduced by two weeks or a month, it would reduce the overall costs incurred by the outsourcing company (Vagadia).

Cost reductions can also be reduced by choosing the Free on Board (FOB) option instead of the Cost, Insurance, Freight (CIF) option that is currently on offer. Under CIF, the seller assumes all costs and liabilities associated with shipping of the goods until they reach the buyer (Schniederjans et al.). On the other hand, under FOB, the buyer assumes responsibility of the goods and costs associated with them once the goods are shipped. Therefore, responsibility is transferred to the seller once the goods are loaded. However, using FOB, the buyer (outsourcing company) negotiates directly with the involved parties. Therefore, it can get cheaper insurance and freight costs (Schniederjans et al.). On the contrary, buyers can connive with insurers and shipping agents to increase costs so as to increase profits that can be shared between the two. Communication with the shipping agents, while the goods are on transit, is also improved by the use of FOB since the buyer and the shippers are in direct contact (Schniederjans et al.).

The outsourcing company can also reduce overall costs by liaising with and importing goods together with another company, in one shipment (Vagadia). While the costs that are dependent on the declared value and size of the cargo are unlikely to change, some costs such as ocean transportation costs, port handling charges, customs brokerage fees, foreign exchange hedging costs and inland container transportation costs can be shared out with another interested company. That would reduce the cost per unit significantly and allow the company to charge friendlier prices for its finished products (Vagadia, ). Even a one-dollar reduction in unit prices would give the company an edge against its competitors.

The Magna Corp overall costs can also be reduced by reducing the packaging costs. Since the goods are delivered to one client, for production purposes, each unit should not be packaged separately. That increases the space the products occupy and increase the cost of packaging the products (Schniederjans et al.). Therefore, the company can agree with the vendor to have the gadgets packaged in dozens or even 24 pieces. That would significantly reduce packaging costs. The impacts of the business on the environment will also be drastically reduced by the move. That would improve the company’s reputation in the eyes of customers and the general public (Schniederjans et al.).

Better stock control would also help improve overall costs incurred by the company (Schniederjans et al.). Through optimization of stocks, the company can either increase warehousing costs or decrease shipping costs. In some instances, it would be prudent to make larger shipments that would need more warehousing space. However, while the cost of warehousing and holding the stocks will be high, the goods will be shipped under fixed ocean transportation, travel and training costs, and port handling and container costs (Vagadia). It is, however, upon the company to establish the strategy that reduces costs; either increasing frequency of shipping or warehousing and holding costs (Vagadia). That can be achieved through some simple optimization equations.

The company can also significantly reduce the annual travel and training costs (Schniederjans et al.). For instance, instead of travelling, some meetings can be held through video conferencing. That would almost eliminate hotel costs that would be incurred if officials travel to Hong Kong for meetings. Basically, officials will only have to travel when they have to physically inspect the products being manufactured by the vendor; part of what Vagadia () describes as unavoidable costs in outsourcing. It, however, would be difficult to lower training costs as employees would still need to be trained on how to handle outsourcing functions and interact with the vendor’s representatives (Vagadia).

Works Cited

Schniederjans, Marc J, Ashlyn M Schniederjans and Dara G Schniederjans. Outsourcing and Insourcing in an International Context. London, UK: Routledge, 2015.

Vagadia, Bharat. Strategic Outsourcing: The Alchemy to Business Transformation in a Globally Converged World. New York, NY: Springer Science & Business Media, 2013.

 

 

Outsourcing Decisions in Business: Ford Motor Corporation

Executive Summary

The process of outsourcing entails transferring non-core activities and the relevant assets to another company to perform the activities for the benefit of the outsourcing company. To qualify as outsourcing, the activities must be transferred to a completely different company. Over time, companies have shifted from outsourcing physical parts only to outsourcing intellectually-based activities. At the heart of most outsourcing decisions is cost reduction.

In that vein, the Ford Motor Corporation considers the cost implications of outsourcing to two companies: the Magna Corps, based in Canada, 20 kilometers away from Ford facilities and the Sun Components and Assemblies based in Hong Kong, China. Analysis reveals that the Ford Motor Corporation would incur $2,368,465.6 and $2,355,900.1382 a year by outsourcing manufacture of the electronic navigation module to Magna Corps and Sun Components & Assemblies, respectively. That translates to $31.8342 and $31.6653 per unit. Hence, the Hong Kong option is 0.5306% cheaper that outsourcing to the Canada-based firm. However, the decision cannot be made on cost benefits alone.

The Ford Motor Corporation has to consider other factors such as ability to meet deadlines, possession of the requisite resources and technologies, past production records, communication efficiency, lead time, ability to protect intellectual property rights, time zone of vendor and the effect of outsourcing on organizational reputation. In addition, it is important to look into avenues for further cost reductions. Outsourcing to Sun Components presents opportunities for further cost reductions, but it also comes with its own disadvantages, such as increasing labor costs in Hong Kong, communication difficulties, incentive to protect intellectual property and unforeseeable maritime risks. The Magna Corps option is difficult to further cut costs but the risks involved are less. After considering all the factors, the paper recommends that Ford outsources to Canadian-based Magna Corps.

 

Introduction

In the last few years, outsourcing has gained traction in the business world. However, over the decades, even centuries, businesses have engaged in the outsourcing of practice (Schniederjans, Schniederjans and Schniederjans). Still, the scale and scope of the practice has exponentially increased in the technological era. Initially, it was very similar to vertical integration because larger companies bought-off their suppliers to reduce production costs. However, that evolved into the present day outsourcing that many businesses consider unavoidable. Actually, in the contemporary business world, some consider it a solution for most, if not all, companies (Vagadia).

In principle, outsourcing refers to the practice of relying on external resources to perform some of a company’s functions. An outsourcing company transfers out an activity, and the relevant asset, to outside suppliers (Vagadia). The outsourcing partners, also known as vendors, perform the tasks given to them and deliver the finished product or service to the outsourcing company.

Initially, companies only outsourced production of physical parts. However, that has shifted towards the outsourcing of intellectually-based activities, such as marketing, research and logistics. Still, no business outsources its core activity; it would deprive it of its ability to complete effectively. Therefore, they outsource peripheral activities and focus on their core competencies.

However, it is worth noting that outsourcing must straddle organizational boundaries (Vagadia). Therefore, starting another production plant or relocating some functions to another facility does not qualify to be outsourcing. It must involve transferring the activities to another organization that is completely independent of the outsourcing company (Schniederjans et al.). If it is within the same company, it is just relocation, not outsourcing.

Total Annual Cost and Cost per Unit

Most outsourcing decisions have been based on the desire to reduce production costs (Schniederjans et al.). Therefore, businesses consider a number of alternatives and settle for the one that offers it the highest cost reductions; total and per unit. However the latter is a more accurate means of measuring cost effectiveness of an option because it builds into the actual cost of the final product (Schniederjans et al.).

Magna Corp

Total Cost = Total Variable Cost + Total Fixed Costs

Total Variable Costs = (30.310 * 6200 * 12) + (0.824 * 6200 * 12) (5.9/100*10*6200*12)

TVC = 2,255,064 + 61,305.6 + 43,896 = 2,360,265.6

TFC = 8,200

TC = 2,360,265.6 + 8,200 = $2,368,465.6

Per unit cost = TC/Number of units

Per unit cost = 2,368,465.6/ (6200*12) = 2,368,465.6/ 74,400

Annual Per unit Cost = $31.8342

Sun Components and Assemblies

Fixed Costs = 4,300 + 20,000 = 24,300

Declared value = 19.52 *6,200 = 121,024 a month

1 cubic foot = 1,728 cubic inches

1 unit = 12 *12* 12 = 1,728 cubic inches = 1 cubic foot

Therefore, there are 6,200 cubic feet of units a month

Variable Costs = 12 [(19.52 *6,200) + (2.20 * 6200) + (200 *3) + 100 + (4,200 * 3) + (121,024 *0.5480/100) + 1,200 + (5/100 *121,024) + (19.3/100*10*6200) + 300 + (1.210 * 6,200) + (0.15 * 121,024) + 400 + (4 * 25)]

Variable costs = 12 [121,024 + 13,640 + 600 + 100 + 12,600 + 663.21152 + 1,200 + 6,051.2 + 11,966 + 300 + 7,502 + 18,153.6 + 400 + 100]

VC = 12 [194,300.01152]

VC = 2,331,600.13824

Total Annual Cost = 24,300 + 2,331,600.1382 = 2,355,900.1382

Annual Per unit cost = 2,355,900.13824/ (6200 *12) = 2,355,900/ 74,400 = 31.6653

Percentage difference

Percentage difference =  = 0.1689/31.8342 *100 =0.5306% difference

 

Therefore, outsourcing to Sun Components and Assembly, Hong Kong, is 0.5306% cheaper than outsourcing to Magna Corps, Canada. Therefore, if the business is looking for a purely cost effective alternative, it would settle for the latter option. However, in the real business world, cost effectiveness is just but one of many factors that are considered.

Additional Quantitative and Qualitative Issues to consider

When making an outsourcing decision, a business considers a number of factors, other than cost implications. To begin with, it is important to consider the technologies and resources possessed by the firm that the organization wants to outsource some functions to (Schniederjans, Schniederjans, & Schniederjans ). The outsourcing firm has to consider whether the vendor has the resources to handle the outsourcing needs. Basically, the vendor’s employees have to be sufficiently trained to fulfill the assignment. The selected vendor must have a physical office with state-of-the-art technologies to deal with the most painstaking outsourcing functions.

Another consideration is the vendor’s ability to meet strict deadlines. Failure to meet deadlines leads to major bottlenecks that nullify any projected cost savings (Vagadia). What’s more, the vendor has to comply with the expected quality standards. Therefore, if the company establishes that a vendor has poor quality control measures and lacks a solid backup plan in case it misses a deadline, it is prudent to not hire the vendor (Schniederjans et al.).

Before making an outsourcing decision, a firm has to look into the potential vendors’ past production records (Schniederjans et al.). From their history, the firm can establish which vendors are able to work under minimal supervision. It is imperative for the outsourcing organization to choose a vendor that is self driven and can work under minimal supervision. That would allow the business to concentrate on its core capabilities.

Outsourcing decisions should also take into consideration the effect an outsourcing decision can have on the brand (Schniederjans et al.). Some businesses derive their advantage from the uniqueness of the products they make. The decision to outsource might lead to the leak of business secrets. Therefore, a business must ensure that outsourcing does not risk exposing the qualities that make it unique and successful (Vagadia). That require due diligence to establish whether potential vendors have demonstrated a tendency to keep their business partners’ secrets.

Businesses also consider the time zones of potential vendors before making outsourcing decisions (Vagadia). Huge differences in time zones can make coordination between the two firms difficult. In contrast, it is easier to liaise with and coordinate activities with the vendor, when the time zones are close. On the other hand, different time zones can be advantageous because the cooperation is akin to running 24-hour production. When it is daytime in Canada, it would be night in Hong Kong, and vice versa. The vendor will then be able to take instructions from the outsourcing organization and act on it, while enjoying the benefits of the time difference.  While time zone is not one of the most important considerations, it is one that businesses considering outsourcing ought to critically look at (Schniederjans et al.).

Efficiency of communication is also critical to any prudent outsourcing decision. Undeniably, outsourcing alters communication efficiency between different organizational departments and management (Schniederjans et al.). That is partly because of language and cultural differences between the organization and the vendor. However, organizations have the responsibility to assess and outsource to a vendor with whom communication would be most efficient (Vagadia).

Businesses should consider whether the vendor they outsource to respects intellectual property rights (Vagadia). Some countries have a poor culture on intellectual property; they infringe on property rights, without any legal remedies. While it is possible to manage local outsourcing and near-shore alternatives with non-disclosure agreements and contracts, more comprehensive measures are needed when dealing with outsourcing alternatives that are located in distant corners of the globe (Schniederjans et al.).

The company ought to reflect on the lead time of the vendors’ production processes. Essentially, lead time affects the time the company will take to get its finished products into the market (Schniederjans et al.). Therefore, a company with long with shorter lead times would be a better outsourcing destination. It would enable the Ford Motor Corporation to make and deliver its products to the market within a shorter time (Schniederjans et al.).

Publicly traded companies have to consider the impact an outsourcing decision might have on the value of the company (Vagadia). Therefore, before outsourcing, it is imperative that such companies consider the perceptions of investors in case information leaks out. While it is not expected that information should leak out, it is always good to weigh in all aspects of the decision (Vagadia). For instance, if the company outsources to a vendor that has a poor reputation when it comes to human rights violations, investors would lose confidence in it and its stocks would plummet. In contrast, outsourcing to a reputable vendor, stocks are likely to go up.

The organizational culture is another factor that influences the choice of vendor or outsourcing partners. Organizations are always on the lookout for business partners who have organizational cultures that are similar to theirs (Vagadia). Therefore, a business with flexible work schedules and a calm, friendly working environment would not want to partner with another firm that has rigid schedules. That would be in contravention to organizational mission and values that inform the cultures (Schniederjans et al.). It would also negatively affect the outsourcing representatives that the company sends to assess and monitor some issues at the vendor’s facilities.

Strategies to Reduce Overall Costs

The Hong Kong option can be significantly reduced by reducing the shipping lead time. At two months, a lot of things can change in the market as the company waits to receive the materials from the outsourcing partner (Schniederjans et al.). That would lead to losses that will outweigh the cost benefits enjoyed due to the outsourcing process (Vagadia). Therefore, if the shipping lead time from Hong Kong can be reduced by two weeks or a month, it would reduce the overall costs incurred by the Ford Motor Corporation (Vagadia).

Cost reductions can also be reduced by choosing the Free on Board (FOB) option instead of the Cost, Insurance, Freight (CIF) option that is currently on offer. Under CIF, the seller assumes all costs and liabilities associated with shipping of the goods until they reach the buyer (Schniederjans et al.). On the other hand, under FOB, the buyer assumes responsibility of the goods and costs associated with them once the goods are shipped. Therefore, responsibility is transferred to the seller once the goods are loaded. However, using FOB, the buyer (Ford Motor Corporation) negotiates directly with the involved parties. Therefore, it can get cheaper insurance and freight costs (Schniederjans et al.). On the contrary, buyers can connive with insurers and shipping agents to increase costs so as to increase profits that can be shared between the two. Communication with the shipping agents, while the goods are on transit, is also improved by the use of FOB since the buyer and the shippers are in direct contact (Schniederjans et al.).

The outsourcing company can also reduce overall costs by liaising with and importing goods together with another company, in one shipment (Vagadia). While the costs that are dependent on the declared value and size of the cargo are unlikely to change, some costs such as ocean transportation costs, port handling charges, customs brokerage fees, foreign exchange hedging costs and inland container transportation costs can be shared out with another interested company. That would reduce the cost per unit significantly and allow the company to charge friendlier prices for its finished products (Vagadia, ). Even a one-dollar reduction in unit prices would give the company an edge against its competitors.

The Magna Corp overall costs can also be reduced by reducing the packaging costs. Since the goods are delivered to one client, for production purposes, each unit should not be packaged separately. That increases the space the products occupy and increase the cost of packaging the products (Schniederjans et al.). Therefore, the company can agree with the vendor to have the gadgets packaged in dozens or even 24 pieces. That would significantly reduce packaging costs. The impacts of the business on the environment will also be drastically reduced by the move. That would improve the company’s reputation in the eyes of customers and the general public (Schniederjans et al.).

Better stock control would also help improve overall costs incurred by the company (Schniederjans et al.). Through optimization of stocks, the company can either increase warehousing costs or decrease shipping costs. In some instances, it would be prudent to make larger shipments that would need more warehousing space. However, while the cost of warehousing and holding the stocks will be high, the goods will be shipped under fixed ocean transportation, travel and training costs, and port handling and container costs (Vagadia). It is, however, upon the company to establish the strategy that reduces costs; either increasing frequency of shipping or warehousing and holding costs (Vagadia). That can be achieved through some simple optimization equations.

The company can also significantly reduce the annual travel and training costs (Schniederjans et al.). For instance, instead of travelling, some meetings can be held through video conferencing. That would almost eliminate hotel costs that would be incurred if officials travel to Hong Kong for meetings. Basically, officials will only have to travel when they have to physically inspect the products being manufactured by the vendor; part of what Vagadia describes as unavoidable costs in outsourcing. It, however, would be difficult to lower training costs as employees would still need to be trained on how to handle outsourcing functions and interact with the vendor’s representatives (Vagadia).

The overall costs of both options can be diminished by reducing damage during transit (Vagadia). It is fundamentally very difficult to get all products from one point to another while in good condition. However, efforts must be put to reduce the number of damaged goods per shipment (Schniederjans et al.). The first step is limiting movement of the products inside the container while on transit. That would mean filling the container to limit space for movement or tying up the goods in position. As a result, even as the vehicle, ship or truck, moves, the goods will still be held in position. That will eliminate the likelihood of the products colliding while in the truck (Vagadia). Another option would be using soft material to shield the products and absorb any shock emanating from the natural movement of the vehicle.

Recommendations

To begin with, the Sun Components and Assemblies, Hong Kong, option is cheaper by 0.5306% than the Magna Corps option. Hence, outsourcing the function to the Hong Kong would be cheaper, in terms of the cost per unit. However, such a distant option would have some hidden costs that the Ford Motor Corporation is unlikely to foresee before taking the decision (Vagadia). For instance, turbulence at sea is unforeseeable but it can affect maritime activities if it happens.

Still, the Hong Kong vendor presents more options though which overall costs can be reduced. The options include switching from FIC to FOB, reducing traveling costs, reducing shipping lead time, better stock control, and liaising with other importers to import together and share some costs (Schniederjans et al.). On the other hand, only two viable options exist that can be employed by Magna Corps; reducing packaging costs and reducing risk of damage while goods are on transit. Therefore, the Sun Components and Assemblies option can further reduce costs, thus diminishing the cost per unit of outsourcing the service.

Despite the cost-saving options available to Sun Components and Assemblies, higher tariffs in the future and increased custom duty rates would increase the option’s costs significantly (Schniederjans et al.). What’s more, it poses more risks on the intellectual property of the Ford Motor Corporation than the magna Corps options (Schniederjans et al.). Like the Ford Motor Corporation, the latter is also found in Canada and, hence, operates under the same jurisdiction. For that reason, it has more incentive to preserve intellectual property rights than the Hong Kong- based option.

What’s more, owing to its closeness to the Ford Motor Corporation, magna Corps can get the goods to the outsourcing company on a shorter notice than Sun Components and Assemblies. In addition, they can make products that satisfy the company’s demand at that time. In contrast, the Hong Kong based vendor has to manufacture a lot of products in advance. Consequently, while the company can ask Magna Corps to make subtle alterations to the product on a short notice, Sun Components and Assembly requires early notification because it has to manufacture the products in advance for shipping (Vagadia).

Therefore, while the Hong Kong option is cheaper and has the potential to become even cheaper, it is very susceptible to changes in tariffs, natural disasters at sea, more rigid, long shipping lead time and is a risky option when it comes to protection of intellectual property rights (Schniederjans et al.). In addition, labor costs are going up at a very high rate in China (Vagadia). Hence, very soon, the cheaper labor that attracts outsourcing companies to the country will no longer be available. As a result, I would recommend that the company outsources the production to Magna Corps, Canada. It is marginally more expensive but is less risky and flexible to modern day business needs. For instance, if simple modifications are needed, they would be implemented faster through Magna Corps. In short, the marginal difference in per unit cost is outweighed by the other factors that the business ought to consider.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Works Cited

Schniederjans, Marc J, Ashlyn M Schniederjans and Dara G Schniederjans. Outsourcing and Insourcing in an International Context. London, UK: Routledge, 2015.

Vagadia, Bharat. Strategic Outsourcing: The Alchemy to Business Transformation in a Globally Converged World. New York, NY: Springer Science & Business Media, 2013.

 

 

Consent Discussion

Consent Discussion

  1. What is consent?

Consent refers to the concept in which an individual gives permission for someone else to engage in a sexual activity with them. The parties involved in this activity must not feel pressured and they should be able to stop it at any point if they do not feel comfortable or in instances where they do not want to go ahead with it (Cowling, 112). Thus, if a person withdraws their consent at any point, it should be taken seriously since any sexual act that goes against this can be deemed as rape or harassment.  Without the consent, the sexual behavior or action elicits physical, psychological, and emotional torture coupled with fear and intimidation.

The consent to engage in sexual activity at any point does not guarantee that the permission will hold for any subsequent actions. One cannot presume that the person gave them a go ahead at one point and this means that they can engage in similar acts in the future without seeking their permission (Williams, 24). Every individual willing to engage in these acts has a right to sovereignty. Thus, it is the responsibility of the individual initiating the act to get permission before they start. Even so, both parties must be in agreement and this means that clarification must always be sought especially in situations where both parties are not sure on whether it is okay to start or to continue with the activity.

  1. What messages do media send about sexual consent and sexual violence?

The media has to a great extent sent misleading messages regarding sexual consent and sexual violence. Most of the time, the men and women are objectified especially in advertisements that promote alcohol use by associating them with success and sexual power. The media portrays the victims as people who brought these problems on themselves. Blaming the victim makes it possible for other people involved to separate themselves from the sexual encounter. Thus, they seem to confirm that such things cannot happen to them.

The media also makes the issue of sexual consent and sexual violence to appear like an unpleasant occurrence that only happens to certain individuals. When people watch such stories, they tend to formulate reasons in their heads that make them feel like they are better than the victims (Cowling, 126). People feel like they are not like the people who fall into such traps easily. Rather, they believe that they would have made better choices if faced with situations where they might end up being sexually harassed. Such reactions on the issues of sexual consent and sexual violence are not helpful to the victims and to other people who rely on the media as a vital source of information.

The messages sent by the media ends up normalizing sexual assault and violence by shifting the blame to one side of the coin. If people know that the society will blame them for playing a role in bringing harm to them, then they will not feel comfortable stepping out and sharing their story (Williams, 25). Somehow, they will come to a conclusion that their actions might have played a key role in bring the misfortune upon themselves. It then becomes normal to find members of the society reinforcing the thoughts of the abusers in blaming the victims of these incidents. Additionally, it now becomes normal to find these people leaving the victims with the full responsibility of fixing the situation. Such blame games allow the society to normalize sexual assault and violence because they will always find a way to avoid being accountable for their actions.

The messages from the media also create an environment where sexual violence and assault are pervasive and they are accepted as things that cannot be avoided. In this environment, the individuals and members of the society do not have to take an active role in promoting sexual violence (Cowling, 84). Rather, they still normalize the act through a series of false beliefs that have not been examined and proven. The media does this through song lyrics with harmful and confusing messages, images that portray humans as sexual beings, making people to appear like sexual objects in advertisements, use of language that underestimates sexual assault, and blaming the victim.

The media also plays a role in normalizing sexual violence by teaching the masses how not to get raped instead of targeting the issue which is why people should refrain from engaging in acts of sexual assault and sexual violence (Williams, 27). When this is done, the victims also underestimate what happened to them and they may not consider it as rape. They may think that they are going overboard by reporting the violence, seeking help, and even finding someone to talk to. In instances where the victims are convinced that they are right, they still hold back because they feel like they are to blame and this means that even when they choose to go ahead and report the incident, no one will believe them. All these feelings stem from the fact that the media normalizes these incidents all thanks to the way in which these events are reported and the messages shared across social platforms.

  1. What things are women taught to do before they go outside to protect themselves from being raped? Create a list
  2. First of all, women are always taught to always be cautious about their kind of hairstyle since it may render them as potential victims. Hairstyles like the braid and the pony are not ideal for events where partying and binge drinking is taking place since it makes it easy for them to be easily grabbed by the hair.
  3. b) The need to be cautious of their dressing styles and the kind of messages they send out. Clothes that are too revealing makes men to look at them in a sexual manner and this may make them vulnerable.
  4. c) The importance of appreciating the need to communicate their desires effectively when need arises. Through this, they can create formidable relationships that protect their interest.
  5. d) The need to avoid being alone in isolated areas. Thus, if they come into contact with people who try to lead them to these areas, then they get away from them quickly.
  6. e) The need to stay clear of alcohol and other drugs since it is easy for people to take advantage of them when under the influence. If they must engage, then they must set their consumption limits.
  7. e) To always attend group events in the company of friends they can trust since they will be safer if they have someone looking out for them.
  8. f) To always be aware and alert of their environment. For instance, if they go to crowded spaces, they should know where the exits are and how to explain themselves in instances where they feel lost.
  9. g) To always trust their gut instincts. This will enable them to react immediately if they find themselves in places that make them uneasy.
  10. What are men taught to do before they go outside to protect themselves from being raped?
  11. To always watch their drink or avoid drinking altogether. It is easy for someone to slip a date rape drug in unattended drinks without leaving any evidence. Thus, one should finish up their drink if they have to step out for a moment.
  12. b) To always try and find out any relevant information about the areas they intend to visit. This will enable the men to know the available resources that could come in handy whenever they find themselves in areas that potentially leave them vulnerable to assault. The concept also applies even for those who have to travel to foreign countries since they would rely on the resources of these countries like the laws and emergency centers to report such incidences.
  13. c) To always trust their instinct. The men must always speak up if they find themselves in uncomfortable situations even when they are on a date with someone they have learnt to trust to some extent.
  14. d) The men must always party responsibly. At this time and age, colleges and campuses are filled with so many recreational drugs and one may end up drugging themselves if they are careless which would leave them vulnerable since they will not be able to consent to sex. In such cases, the perpetrator takes full control.
  15. e) The need to protect themselves and their personal stuff. Sometimes, it is important for one to be equipped either with the defense skills or tools that could help them ward off perpetrators. For instance, paper spray could come in handy in leaving the perpetrator powerless. Self-defense skills could also help them to fight and flee when in such situations.
  16. Create a list to give to men of how to not rape or to not perpetuate a rape culture.

For the rape culture to wear off and eventually die, there are a number of things that men can do to not perpetrate the rape culture. These include:

  1. Avoiding the use of language that degrades or makes women to appear as sexual objects.
  2. Always be on the lookout for people who cannot defend themselves in situations where someone else trivializes rape or makes offensive jokes against them.
  3. Being supportive of those who come out to report that they have been raped or sexually assaulted.
  4. Taking time to think carefully on the messages they send to the media regarding violence, relationships, and sexual assault issues.
  5. Always trying to respect every individual’s physical space in both casual and formal situations.
  6. Always trying to address the issue instead of shifting the blame to the victims and other vices like alcohol and drugs. Additionally, it is also important for the men to ensure that perpetrators are held accountable for their actions.
  7. Trying to always communicate their sexual intentions with their partners. It is not right to always assume that the person is in agreement.
  8. Being active bystanders that do not let stereotypes shape how they act or perceive things to be.

Preparing this list has been a great eye-opener for me since it has brought to light some of the notions that advance the rape culture. Men are out rightly involved in every way in creating environments where sexual violence is normalized. Most of the time, their actions are excused in popular culture and the media. All issues associated with inappropriate language, objectifying the bodies of women, and glamorizing issues of assault are often perpetrated by the men and this leads to the creation of a society where the rights and safety of women are disregarded.

From this list, one thing that is clear is the fact that men play a very crucial role in advancing or impeding efforts to create an environment that is safe for both men and women. The men have always been vocal and they have the right channels for airing issues in societies where people tend to listen to them more compared to their female counterparts. Most times, the men are also the perpetrators of these acts of violence since they often have the dominant force in a relationship coupled with the physical strength to subdue their victims. The men have also been known to objectify and demean women by always referring to them as the weaker sex. Most times, they even find reasons to blame the women in the event of an assault and absolve themselves of the blame even when it is clearly evident that they are on the wrong. Thus, it is proper for them to step up and take the lead role in stopping the rape culture.

  1. What are some of the barriers men face when trying to challenge sexist behavior?
  2. Most times, it is not easy for fellow men to accept that they too can be victims of rape or sexual assault. The concept thus makes it hard for men to come forward and speak out of the fear of being associated with the weaker sex which in this case are the women.
  3. b) Another challenge comes from the fact that the sexual assault may be committed by someone well-known to the victim. Thus, people may opt to live in denial where they even seek reasons to justify their abuser’s acts. Doing this makes it hard for the ral issues to be addressed.
  4. c) The motivation behind sexual assault is often power, hostility, and control. In every society, it is not easy to find all members having all the three concepts. Thus, the less vulnerable in terms of age and sex will always be the victims.
  5. d) Sexual offenders often come from all types of backgrounds including race, age, gender, education, and occupation. These people always appear descent and it makes it hard for people to step forward and report when they are assaulted by them since they may not appear credible. Thus, it is important for the challenge to be addressed to ensure that everyone is comfortable enough to speak out without the fear that thy will be judged harshly.
  6. e) Sometimes, the victims of rape are married couples or people who have dated for a long time. Most people find it hard to believe that sexual assault can actually happen within the confines of such unions. Thus, people tend to shy away instead of speaking out and letting their issues be addressed.

How can coaches, teachers, athletes, and entertainers use their influence to challenge men’s violence against women?

Coaches, teachers, athletes, and entertainers can use their influence to challenge men’s violence against women in a number of ways. First of all, the coaches can help create and reinforce a culture of respect by insisting on the dominance and superiority of women over men in certain sports (Cowling, 182). These two groups can be put on friendly events where they get to interact and view each other beyond their physical strength. On the other hand, teachers are influential in molding students and shaping various aspects of their character which influence how they perceive women. For instance, they can come up with an appreciation strategy in which both male and female students are challenged to treat each other with respect.

Athletes have a wide following and this means that they have the platform to reach out t masses. These people can come up with advertisements or group initiatives geared towards embracing the important role of women in the society. Through this coupled with their influence, it is highly likely that they will change how society responds to issues of violence against women. On the other hand, entertainers can use the media to send positive messages that embrace womanhood.  For instance, they can create movies in which women take lead role in challenging the male stereotypes set up by society. Through this people will get to learn and appreciate the important role that each member of the society plays.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Work Cited

Cowling, Mark. Making sense of sexual consent. Routledge, 2017.

Williams, Christine L. “Sexual harassment in organizations: A critique of current research and policy.” Sexual Harassment and Sexual Consent. Routledge, 2018. 20-43.