Rough Draft: a four quadrant SWOT of your selected company with at least 3 bullet points and 6 references.
It is to be done on the Nestle chocolate company!!
COMPANY HISTORY AND TOP LEADERSHIP
Write about the company’s history in the introduction of the paper. Go to the company’s home page online and click on either the “history” or “about us” icon commonly found on most websites. Highlight when the company was founded, by whom and in what location. Explain what factors contributed to the company’s growth. For example, if writing about Ford Motor Company, explain how the ingenuity of Ford’s assembly line and “just-in-time” inventory methodology contributed to efficient production. Many times this information is found in the Annual Report, which is posted on most websites of publically held companies.
Provide some information on the leadership of the company, at least the top 5 individuals. Information that I am looking for includes (but is not limited to) tenure with the company, where they were before coming to this company etc. These would be the top five paid employees, not outside directors. You may include outside directors (if relevant), but the requirement is top 5 paid executives.
This section should be 1-2 pages with equal emphasis to both history and the top executives
Also, provide revenue and profit numbers for 2009-2013, broken out by domestic (the country in which they are based) and international (all other income). Show how they survived (or suffered) the 2008-2009 global recession.
I want a table similar to the following:
|Int’l as % of Total|
|Total Net Income|
|Int’l as % of Total (If reported)|
Note: Not all companies split reporting of both revenue and profits.
In addition to verbiage explaining the chart financials, topics such as financial position, leverage and response to competition should be covered in this section.
This section should also include a history of the firm’s financial performance. If you can go back far enough to include information about how the company weathered the 2008-2009 recession it would be a good addition.
This section is to include more than the required table. Just a table will receive a much-reduced grade.
Information available from Annual Report:
The company’s financial ratios will indicate if it has high liquidity, low inventory turnover and a good book value. Cite its low debt, few competitors, abundance of natural resources and high quarterly profits as other potential strengths, if applicable.
The Annual Report can also explain some of the company’s weaknesses. Using the same ratios, cite if the company yields a low return on assets, has a low accounts receivable turnover and has a poor gross profit margin.
Explore the opportunities of the company. Explain the benefits of any type of partnerships, mergers or acquisitions faced by the organization. Include other opportunities like enhanced technology, an increase in market share or perhaps the unveiling of new products aimed at a new demographic.
Discuss the threats to the company’s profitability. List the strengths of different competitors, outdated products or merchandise, negative economic or industry conditions and frequent changes in management.
4-QUADRANT SWOT WITH 5 BULLET POINTS IN EACH QUADRANT
This will be an expanded version of the 4-Quadrant SWOT that you submit for your Rough Draft assignment. FIVE concisebullet points per category. The bullet point should be a few words, “Strong R & D Capability” is a good bullet point (if true) while “Strong R & D Capability” and then including information as to how many patents they have etc. would not be. The additional verbiage belongs in the Follow-up section. Much of this information can be found in the Annual Report (especially Strengths and Opportunities, other websites can offer candid opinions of Weaknesses and Threats.
|STRENGTHS· Strength #1· Strength #2· Etc.||WEAKNESSES· Weakness #1· Weakness #2· Etc.|
|OPPORTUNITIES· Opportunity #1· Opportunity #2· Etc.||THREATS· Threat #1· Threat #2· Etc.|
It is required that the SWOT be in a format similar to the above. There is no “template” for a SWOT. Above is a 2×2 table.
Below is a simple explanation of a SWOT. Strengths and Weaknesses (things internal to the organization) are areas that the organization has the power to change. A common error is confusing threats for weaknesses. For example, competition is a threat and not a weakness. The firm cannot control the competition unless they buy them (and that might be an opportunity). “Rising material costs” is not a weakness as much as a threat; however “High cost structure” would be especially if organization has the power to improve (which could be reflected in the Opportunities as well).
Opportunities and Threats are areas external to organization over which the little or no control. Actions by the competition would be considered a threat. Areas like “growing middle class in emerging markets would be considered an opportunity.
The Rough Draft requires at least three bullet points per quadrant, while the final project requires five. Merely doing a cut and paste of the rough draft will receive (as a maximum) less than half the available points for this section.
How SWOT analysis helps in decision making
DETAILED EXPLANATION OF EACH BULLET POINT.
This will be in the pages after the 4-Quadrant. A common error is to put a lot of explanation in the 4-Quadrant. The 4-Quadrant is similar to an appetizer for the information to follow in the next section. Provide an explanation for EACH bullet point—why it is a strength, weakness, opportunity or threat. For example: If you put “Strong Management Team” as a strength, it would like something like:
There should a paragraph for each bullet point in the order the bullet points are presented within the categories. This is the place for additional verbiage, not the bullet points. You will have 20 paragraphs with section headings so this section should be 4 or more pages.
SUMMARY AND YOUR PREDICTIONS
Conclude the paper with an in depth (at least one full page) analysis on the company’s financial and economic forecast (this can include the companies own forecasts as well as the analysts, but I also want to know YOUR opinions). Make inferences about the company’s future success based on yearly profits or losses, industry and economic overhauls and its success relative to its competitors.
Your conclusions and predictions should be based on information presented earlier, so you should refer back to it. For example, if you think the company is headed for great things, I expect to see Strengths and Opportunities cited and if it is headed down you should refer back to Weaknesses and Threats. I expect a lot of cited material in the research/data sections of the paper. I expect the summary/conclusions to be primarily YOUR thoughts that are:
(This would be a good place to use information from the stock and industry analysts)
There must be at least 10 distinct references in addition to the Annual Report (these will give a balance to the company’s opinion of itself). For example, 2 references to a single Yahoo Finance article will count as 1 reference. Two separate Yahoo Finance articles will count as two. However, I do not want to see all articles from the same source—10 references from Yahoo Finance (or any single source) is not acceptable as a single source of information can give a slanted opinion (one way or the other) that may not be shared by the rest of the world.
Note: Ten references plus the Annual Report (use of the Annual Report is required) is the minimum. Only those 11 references will not receive all the points available for that section.
All referenced material must be cited using parenthetical citations in the body of the paper. Lack of parenthetical citations will decrease your score. There are many websites that are helpful. Anything over 3 lines must be indented in quotations with the cited reference immediately following. Non-cited direct quotes can be construed as plagiarism and could result in a project grade of zero.
You may use either APA or MLA format for citations. If you are going to quote the same source more than once, a numbered bibliography to totally acceptable as well.
****Lack of parenthetical citations will cause a deduction in points****
The final project will be automatically submitted to Turnitin which checks for material taken from other published works. You will quickly receive a report telling you how much of the work is taken from other sources. While it is acknowledged that there will be some information taken directly from references such as the Annual Report, it is required that most of the work be your own original work. Any % over 40 is subject to a reduction, and any paper showing over 60% is subject to a zero and being forwarded to the Dean of Students for plagiarism violation. Repeating a paper done for a previous class is not accepted. If you are new to Turnitin, please refer to this website: http://www.iue.edu/ctl/documents/tii_student_qs.pdf
The IU East Writing Center is a great resource. Following their advice will garner you a better score and you will also receive 10 extra credit points if I receive an email from them stating you submitted your paper to them.
The final paper should be in Times New Roman font and double spaced.
Below is the grading rubric for the assignment:
|Cover Page||1 Page||0|
|History and Executive Information||1-1 ½ Pages||15|
|2009-2013 Revenues and Profits broken down by domestic and international operations. General financial management information.||1-1 ½ Pages||20|
|Four Quadrant SWOT with 5 bullet points per quadrant.||1 Page||25|
|Follow-up section explaining each of the bullet points in order and in detail.||4+ Pages||50|
|Summary and YOUR predictions of the company’s future.||1 ½ – 2 Pages||25|
|References—minimum of 10 different sources in addition to Annual Report(s)||1-? Pages||15|
|Any deduction for late submittals (begins at 10% and escalates rapidly)|
|Any deductions for poor composition, grammar, word usage, spelling, lack of parenthetical citations, no cover page, etc.|
|Deduction for excessive material from other published works (Turnitin % over 40).|
|Extra credit for submitting to IU East Writing Center||10|
|You will see a comment for each of the categories above and reasons if any points are deducted.|
The above will serve as a grading rubric with various points assigned to each section. You will receive this back in assignments with your grade.
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