Tag Archives: technical writing

Need help-ACC5502 Accounting and Financial Management


Need help-ACC5502 Accounting and Financial Management

Assignment 1 S3 2016 Due date:  3rd January
This Assignment is designed to give you an opportunity:  demonstrate applied knowledge of the accounting regulatory environment (Objective 1)  apply financial statement analysis (Objective 2)  apply and use financial statement analysis…and provide solutions to real world problems (Objective 4)  appreciate ethical frameworks and codes of practice and their application to accounting and finance outcomes to help comprehend and address complex ethical dilemmas (Objective 5)
Part One (60 Marks)
Read the following article which discusses various ethical issues associated with the Volkswagen emissions scandal.
http://theconversation.com/how-vw-took-the-corporate-ethics-industry-to-the-brink-49351
This assignment requires you to apply elements of ethical decision making models to a contemporary corporate issue.   This section of the assignment will be marked based on the quality of your discussion and research.
Instructions
You are required to research the Volkswagen case and use relevant sources to answer the following questions.  You should use a mixture of academic articles and newspaper articles.
1. Determine the facts of the case. 2. Identify and discuss the main ethical issues that arise from the Volkswagen case? 3. Determine the norms, principles and values relevant to the case. 4. Who are the stakeholders whom have been affected by the Volkswagens actions? Describe each stakeholder, their probable concerns and how they are likely to be affected. 5. Outline what you believe motivated the management of Volkswagens to act in the way they did.  Identify the accounting issues that arise from these actions. 6. Consider the Volkswagen case in relation to corporate sustainability reporting and construct an opinion as to whether sustainability reporting should be regulated in future.

Part Two (40 Marks)
Refer to the 30 June 2016 financial reports of Virgin Australia Group on their web site:
https://www.virginaustralia.com/cs/groups/internetcontent/@wc/documents/webcontent/ ~edisp/2016-asx-financial-report.pdf
1. Answer the following questions using the consolidated financial report and the notes to the consolidated financial report for the year ending 30 June 2016:
a) Compare the director’s report and director’s declaration.  What are the key features of each of these?  Why are both reports required? b) State the accounting equation at the beginning and end of the year. c) Which accounting firm audited the financial statements and what opinion was issued?   d) Did the auditor provide any other services to Virgin Australia during the year?  If so, provide specific details of what these services were? e) What is the largest asset the company owns and state its opening and closing net book value? What valuation method is used for this asset? f) What depreciation method is used for the company’s property, plant and equipment? g) According to the financial statements what is Virgin’s largest source of revenue?     What does the “other ancillary revenue” category consist of? h) How much did Virgin Australia recognise as an expense for finance costs during 2016.  Has this increased or decreased since 2015?  What is this change due to? i) How many ordinary shares did Virgin Australia issue during 2016? j) Compare the net profit/loss with the net cash flows from operating activities. Which amount is larger?  Provide an explanation for this. k) Have the directors identified any contingent liabilities for the group?  If so what are they and how have these been disclosed? l) Virgin Australia has reported several elements of Unearned Revenue as a liability.  What are these?  Would these be expected for a company in this industry?
2.  Calculate the following ratios for the Virgin Australia Group for the year ending 30 June 2016:
a) return on equity b) return on assets c) profit margin ratio d) asset turnover ratio e) current ratio f) debt to equity ratio g) interest coverage ratio h) debt coverage ratio i) price earnings j) dividends per share

General Requirements:
1. Answer each question using a heading indicating the question number.    Part one and part two of the assignment should be answered within the same word document. 2. Full referencing is required in accordance with the USQ preferred Harvard Referencing style. 3. There is no specified word length for this assignment. However, be as concise and efficient in your writing as possible. You should not require more than a maximum of eight 1.5 spaced A4 pages (12 point font). 4. Assignment extensions will only be granted if there are extenuating circumstances.  University policy provides that the maximum extension is 5 business days.   5. The assignment is to be submitted electronically.  Submit the assignment using the link on the study desk.  File types allowed include doc and docx. Only one file will be accepted. If more than one file is uploaded, only the first file listed will be marked.  Do not submit a cover sheet.
(Sources withheld: Questions for this assignment are taken from other sources. Details of this source have been withheld for assessment purposes. This material is reproduced under the provisions of the Section 200 (1) (b) of the Copyright Amendment Act 1980.)

Need Help-COSC1073 – Programming 1


Need Help-COSC1073 – Programming 1  
Semester 2 2016  Programming 1 (COSC1073)  PART C Specification – ASCIIBot Robot Implementation
_________________________________________________________
Overview This semester you have a single assignment topic which is broken down into three parts A, B and C.
Assignment Part A (5%), due 11:59PM Fri. 12th August 2016 Assignment Part B (15%), due 11:59PM Fri. 16th September 2016 Assignment Part C (20%), due 11:59PM Fri. 14th October 2016
This specification builds upon your part B solution however it can be done without a fully working part B since there is no error checking or collision detection.
PART C Requirements (due 11:59PM Fri. 14th October 2016).
Ok so now you are going to do your own complete Robot program! You are no longer going to use the supplied RobotImpl but are instead going to write your own implementation of the Robot interface called the ASCIIBot!
Don’t panic you don’t have to deal with complex graphics for this assignment since we are going old school and are using the Lanterna terminal emulator package to allow you to do basic ASCII art. The Robot project has been updated to include the lanterna-2.1.7.jar file and includes code which shows you how to initialise and draw characters at a specific x,y co-ordinate. You should not need to but if you are interested you can find more information about other extra functionality of Lanterna here:
https://code.google.com/archive/p/lanterna/wikis
NOTE: The primary specification is the supplied video “PartC.avi” which shows the full behaviour you should reproduce.
Your task is implement the Robot interface by writing code (@Overrides) in the ASCIIBot for all the specified Robot interface methods (init(), pick(), drop() etc.).
Full marks will be achieved using an Object-Oriented solution that includes the following four classes and an interface.

COSC1073 – Programming 1
public class ASCIIBot implements Robot
public class Arm implements Drawable
public class Bar implements Drawable
public class Block implements Drawable
Where the interface Drawable is specified as follows:
public interface Drawable {   public abstract void draw(Terminal terminal); }
These classes give you a basic design where each of the components of the robot environment are able to draw itself to the terminal. You may also find it useful to include an extra abstract class as follows (this is how I did it and it reduces some code duplication):
public abstract class AbstractItem implements Drawable
If you do this then Bar and Block can extend AbstractItem instead of implementing the Drawable interface directly.
Skeleton code for all of these classes is provided in the supplied Robot-PartC eclipse project. It also draws a single block to show you Lanterna code in action since this is the only part of the assignment that is not specified by standard Java and described in the API docs.
If you are having trouble getting started you can instead work on a non-OO solution which can still get a pass mark if fully functional but the real objective of this assignment is to demonstrate application of inheritance, polymorphism, abstract cases and interfaces (otherwise you are not really learning much beyond assignment part B).
In addition to drawing the various components (bars, blocks and arm) your ASCIIBot class will need to keep track of the current position of all bars and blocks as it responds to commands from the Robot interface.
However it does NOT need to:

Do any control of its own (this is still done by the RobotControl class)

Do any error checking. i.e. if invalid commands are given your code will either ignore them or drop blocks in the wrong position, morph through objects etc. i.e. we will test with correct control code.
COSC1073 – Programming 1

Do any scaling although you may wish to do this as a challenge once you are finished to make the implementation look better.
Suggestions on How to Proceed
To get started you should experiment and familiarise yourself with the Lanterna moveCursor() and putCharacter() methods. They are straight forward i.e. move to a row, col position and then draw a character. An example is provided in the Bar.draw() method.
Next you should implement the draw() method for the Block and Bar classes so that they can be drawn at a fixed arbitrary position (no need to worry about moving them yet).
Next do the same for the Arm class. This one is a bit more complicated since drawing the arm involves drawing all three segments. In fact you can choose to have a separate class for each arm but for simplicity a single class works fine.
Once the three robot environment components (Arm, Bar, Block) are able to draw themselves, the final and most challenging piece of the puzzle is to keep track of the internal state of the arm, bars and blocks and draw them in the correct position.
i.e. first handle the init() case when the bars and block arrays are passed in and draw them at the fixed starting position using some basic maths and array processing to position them.
Finally for each movement command ( up(), down(), pick() drop() etc .) keep track of the positional changes (using appropriate variables) and redraw the entire screen.
You will run your ASCIIBot using the following main() method:
public static void main(String[] args)  {   new RobotControl().control(new ASCIIBot(),null, null);  }
This simply creates a new instance of your RobotControl() class from part B and executes the control method which will then call init() and execute commands on your ASCIIBot.
NOTE: There is no special trick to the animation/movement. But rather every time a robot movement command is issued, you redraw everything at the updated co-ordinates. If you are clever you can do this polymorphically with draw()!
IMPORTANT: Do not change the Control interface or the calling of the RobotControl.control() method since we will rely on this for testing using our own RobotControl implementation.
COSC1073 – Programming 1
Summary
Write code using classes, an interface, loops, conditionals and methods to reproduce the behaviour shown in the video PartC.avi (and optionally PartC Scaled (Optional).avi) and elaborated above.
Code Quality Assessment
As well as functional correctness (robot behaviour matches video requirements) you will also be assessed based on code quality requirements specified in assignment part A.

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HVAC DUCT Design Project Grading


HVAC DUCT Design Project Grading

 

  1. Geometry creation 15 pts.
  2. Grid generation 5 pts.
  3. CFD results and post processing 15 pts.
  4. Design changes if needed for providing required flow
  5. Presentation of results 15 pts.

 

  1. Presentation of HW Results:
  2. Problem description,
  3. Preliminary Analysis, your design philosophy
  4. Duct design geometry presentation (make sure reader can understand the duct design geometry). All Figures in HW must have a title and you must refer to them in your discussions.
  5. Presentation of Mesh
  6. Presentation of Sample CFD results
  7. Report mass flux output from each outlet in tabulated form (and from CFD code in the appendix. Output numbers directly from CFD code in the Appendix).  Also report static pressure loss (needed to select a fan for this HVAC duct.)
  8. Design changes if needed to provide required flow rate
  9. Appendix: CFD input/output

 

 

Additional Work for Graduate Students (20 points):

Report proposed modification to the ducting systems to obtain the required flow rates.

Clearly identify modifications and see number 6 above

OR

heat exchanger design to accommodate temperature output required.

Report proposed heat exchanger design to accommodate temperature output required.

Location of heat exchangers, How they affect required flow rate and static pressure?

How you incorporate heat exchanger into CFD results

Need Help-Statistics


Need Help-Statistics

W4 Quiz

Question 1

  1.  

Parameters are

numerical characteristics of a sample
numerical characteristics of a population
the averages taken from a sample
numerical characteristics of either a sample or a population

Question 2

  1.  

Stratified random sampling is a method of selecting a sample in which

the sample is first divided into strata, and then random samples are taken from each stratum
various strata are selected from the sample
the population is first divided into strata, and then random samples are drawn from each stratum
None of these alternatives is correct.

Question 3

  1.  

A theorem that allows us to use the normal probability distribution to approximate the sampling distribution of sample means and sample proportions whenever the sample size is large is known as the

approximation theorem
normal probability theorem
central limit theorem
central normality theorem

Question 4

  1.  

In point estimation

data from the population is used to estimate the population parameter
data from the sample is used to estimate the population parameter
data from the sample is used to estimate the sample statistic
the mean of the population equals the mean of the sample

Question 5

  1.  

The sample statistic s is the point estimator of

μ
σ
x ̅
p

Question 6

  1.  

The sample mean is the point estimator of

μ
σ
x ̅
p-

Question 7

  1.  

The standard deviation of all possible x ̅ values is called the

standard error of proportion
standard error of the mean
mean deviation
central variation

Question 8

  1.  

A sample statistic, such as a sample mean, is known as

a statistic
a parameter
the mean deviation
the central limit theorem

Question 9

  1.  

The purpose of statistical inference is to provide information about the

sample based upon information contained in the population
population based upon information contained in the sample
population based upon information contained in the population
mean of the sample based upon the mean of the population

Question 10

  1.  

Random samples of size 81 are taken from an infinite population whose mean and standard deviation are 200 and 18, respectively. The distribution of the population is unknown. The mean and the standard error of the mean are

200 and 18
81 and 18
9 and 2
200 and 2

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Financial Statement Analysis of Polo Ralph Lauren


Order Now for the complete paper here.

Subject Management
Topic Financial Statement Analysis of Polo Ralph Lauren

Paper details

Prepare an eight fundamental financial analysis (excluding appendices, title page, abstract, and references page) that will cover each of the following broad areas based on the financial statements of your chosen company: Provide a background of the firm, industry, economy, and outlook for the future. Analyze the short term liquidity of the firm. Analyze the operating efficiency of the firm. Analyze the capital structure of the firm. Analyze the profitability of the firm. Conclude with recommendations for the future analysis of the company (trend analysis). The paper Must be eight double-spaced pages in length (not including title and references pages) and formatted according to APA style Must include a separate title page with the following: Must begin with an introductory paragraph that has a succinct thesis statement. Must address the topic of the paper with critical thought. Must end with a conclusion that reaffirms your thesis. Must use at least 7 scholarly sources

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Need Help-IT Project

Before doing your Task, Read and follow the instructions mentioned in “project briefing”

 

Task

Develop a charter for the RALS (Riverina Agriculture and Lifestyle Show’) Rostering project including:

Include the project description and overview..

Part One:
MOV – Measurable Organisational Value
(This is the goal of the project and is utilised to define the value that your team project will bring to your client)
• Identify the desired area of impact – Rank the following areas in terms of importance: Strategy / Customer / Financial / Operational / Social
• With reference to your project, identify one or two of the following types of value:

  • Better – is improving quality important to your client?
  • Faster – does your client want to increase efficiency?
  • Cheaper – is cutting costs important?
  • Do more – does your client want to continue its growth?
  • Develop an appropriate metric – this sets the target and expectation of all the stakeholders. It is important to determine a quantitative target that needs to be expressed as a metric in terms of an increase or decrease of money.
    • Determine the timeframe for achieving the MOV – ask yourselves, when do we want to achieve this target metric?
    • SUMMARISE THE MOV IN A CLEAR CONCISE STATEMENT OR TABLE

(Note: the MOV should inform everyone what the project will achieve, not how it will be achieved. It should also focus on the organisation, not on the technology that will be used to build or support the information system).

Part Two:
Define Scope and produce a Scope Management Plan
Define the scope of the project and detail how the scope will be managed.
Provide a list of Resources
Identify and detail the resources for the project using MS Project where appropriate, including:
• People (and their roles), plus any extra personnel that is required for the project.
• Technology – any hardware, network and software needs to support the team and your client.
• Facilities – where will most of the teamwork be situated?
• Other – for example, travel, training etc.

Part Three:

Using MS Project, develop a schedule using a high level Work Breakdown Structure (WBS). It should include:
o Milestones for each phase and deliverable
o This will tell everyone associated with the project that the phase or deliverable was completed satisfactorily.
o Activities / Tasks
o Define a set of activities / tasks that must be completed to produce each deliverable.
o Resource Assignments
o Assign people and resources to each individual activities.
o Estimates for Each Activity / Task
o Develop a time estimate for each task or activity to be completed.

You will need to submit MS Project file as well

Part Four:

Project Risk Analysis and Plan
• Document any assumptions you have made about the project
• Using the Risk Identification Framework as a basis, identify five risks to the project – one for each of the five phases of the methodology.
• Analyse these risks, assign a risk to an appropriate member, and describe a strategy for the management of each specific risk.

Part Five:

Quality Management Plan. It should include:
• A short statement that reflects your team’s philosophy or objective for ensuring that you deliver a quality system to your client.
• Develop and describe the following that your project team could implement to ensure quality;
• A set of verification activities
• A set of validation activities

 

Project briefing

Congratulations!  You have been successful in gaining an appointment as an IT Project Manager consultant with Virtucon*.

Your assigned project

Please visit the Virtucon website (virtucon.uimagine.edu.au) to learn more about Virtucon, and our range of services (note: you will be prompted to enter your CSU username and password to access this site).

Once you have learned about Virtucon and our ranges of services, please access the Staff area by clicking on ‘Staff Login’ in the main menu and enter:

Username: staff101
Password: staff101

Once logged in to the staff only site, you will be able to access details of the current projects Virtucon is working on.  You have been assigned to the ‘Riverina Agriculture and Lifestyle Show’ (RALS) project.

To access the project details, please click on ‘Current Projects -> Riverina Agriculture and Lifestyle Show ‘

You also have access to a number of templates to be used throughout the project. To access these please click on ‘Templates’.

Your Client

Your client is Globex Corp. To learn more about Globex and their business and history, please visit the Globex website  (globex.uimagine.edu.au).  You should ensure you visit the Riverina Agriculture and Lifestyle Show page accessed via the ‘RALS’ link in the main menu. (note: you will be prompted to enter your CSU username and password to access this site).

As a Virtucon staff member and in order to gather information for your assigned project, you have been granted temporary access to the Globex staff intranet.  Please access this by navigating to the ‘Staff’ menu option.  You will need to enter:

Username: virtucon101
Password: virtucon101

In this area you will find the current form used to collect information for potential volunteers for the Riverina Agriculture and Lifestyle Show (found under the ‘Documents’ menu option) as well as other information regarding Globex.

 Need Help-IT Project

Criterion Expectation
Provides an MOV and identifies the target and expectations of all stakeholders in a suitable format. The MOV illustrates the detailed consideration of the target and a thorough analysis of the expectations of all stakeholders.

The format is logical, clear and well structured

Utilising MS Project, provides a list of resources associated with the project – including reference to people, technology, and facilities. Evidence of expertly utilizing MS Project to create a comprehensive list of resources, demonstrating in-depth analysis of the project’s needs.
Produces a Scope Management Plan (SCM).  Consistent application of industry standard language and formatting.
Utilising MS Project -evidences the processes involved with a WBS.  Demonstrates high level project management skills, integrating and applying project management tools in meaningful and purposeful ways towards completion of WBS design, correctly and comprehensively addressing all project requirements.
Provides a project risk analysis and plan using the risk identification framework as a basis for discussing alternate strategies for the management of such risks. All steps in project risk analysis and alternate strategies are comprehensively discussed and presented in the context of the project, with evidence of thorough consideration of the framework to validate the alternatives.
Produces a quality management plan which includes a statement about the team’s philosophy and verification and validation activities. All required project steps are correctly identified and appropriately contextualised for the selected project.
Referencing of sources (APA 6th ed citation) to reinforce findings. All written evidence is professionally communicated using correct referencing.

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Need Help-Capital Budgeting Problem


Need Help-Capital Budgeting Problem

Financial Management

Ford Company

Capital Budgeting Problem

 

The market value of Fords’ equity, preferred stock and debt are $7 billion, $3 billion, and $10 billion, respectively. Ford has a beta of 1.8, the market risk premium is 7%, and the risk-free rate of interest is 4%. Ford’s preferred stock pays a dividend of $3.5 each year and trades at a price of $27 per share. Ford’s debt trades with a yield to maturity of 9.5%. What is Ford’s weighted average cost of capital if its tax rate is 30%?

 

Ford Company
 
Market Capitalization Weight
Equity (E)
Preferred (P)
Debt (D)
Total

 

 

 

Ford Company
Weight Cost After-tax

Marginal Weight

Equity (E) X =
Preferred (P) X =
Debt (D) X =
Total X =

 

Need Help-Capital Budgeting Problem

 

Physics 211L- Lab#5: NEWTON’s SECOND LAW OF MOTION


Physics 211L- Lab#5: NEWTON’s SECOND LAW OF MOTION

Physics 211L

Peter Webb

September

Lab#5: NEWTON’s SECOND LAW OF MOTION

Abstract:

In this lab we are Verifying Newton’s 2nd Law of motion, we are also finding the acceleration using the derived equations  and which are both derived with the free body diagrams on the attached paper. We used a computer with logger pro, Rotary motion sensor (RMS), and rolling cart with wired force probe, cart track, table clamp, long rod, 5 gram and 10 gram masses.

Our results showed that the force acting on an object is proportional to the mass. This is shown when we increase the mass from 5g to 10g the force measured and the theoretical force nearly doubled as well. This proves Newton’s 2nd law of motion. Possible reasons for error would be caused by neglecting friction and the track not being perfectly straight and level.

 

 

Procedure:

The first thing we did is cleaning the track and wheels to make sure that the motion is smooth; we recorded the mass of the cart including the force probe which was 650.6 g and the mass of the string which was 3.3 g, then we added mass to the cart so that the total mass was equal to 1 kg .We used the RMS and the force gauge to collect data on Logger Pro. The force gauge was attached to the cart this combined weight became “M” and the weight hanging off the end of the RMS was “m”. The data collected from Logger Pro from both the force gauge and the RMS are shown below in Table 1 along with the comparison to the theoretical values with percent error and standard deviation for the 5g tests. The data collected from Logger Pro from both the force gauge and the RMS are shown below in Table 2 along with the comparison to the theoretical values with percent error and standard deviation for the 10g tests.

 

Data Tables and Plots/Results and error analysis:

Table 1:

Test # Force Measured (N) Force Std dev. Force Theoretical (N) Force ∆% Acceleration Measured (m/s^2) Accel

Std

dev.

Acceleration Theoretical (m/s^2) Acceleration ∆%
1 .046 .014 .049 6.12% .083 .004 .078 6.41%
2 .046 .006 .049 6.12% .056 .006 .078 28.21%

 

 

 

Table 2:

Test # Force Measured (N) Force Std dev. Force Theoretical (N) Force ∆% Acceleration Measured (m/s^2) Accel

Std

dev.

Acceleration Theoretical (m/s^2) Acceleration ∆%
1 .090 .007 .084 7.14% .106 .004 .156 32.05%
2 .088 .007 .084  4.76% .114 .009 .156 26.92%

 

 

Trial 1:

Velocity vs time graph

 

 

Force vs time graph

 

Trial 2:

Velocity vs time graph

Force vs time graph

 

Physics 211L- Lab#5: NEWTON’s SECOND LAW OF MOTION

 

 

Trial 3:

Velocity vs time graph

Force vs time graph

Comparative Efficacy and Safety of Major Classes of Anti-Hypertensive Agents on Vascular Outcomes in Type 2 Diabetes: a Network Meta-Analysis


Subject Medicine
Topic Comparative Efficacy and Safety of Major Classes of Anti-Hypertensive Agents on Vascular Outcomes in Type 2 Diabetes: a Network Meta-Analysis

Paper details

I want a network meta analysis paper and I have wrote the details proposal and I want your help to do literature research + data extraction + network meta analysis Please see the attached sample papers download from lancet. The client has access to necessary databases

Help Answer the Questions


Help Answer the Questions

“As long as there’s innovation there is going to be new kinds of chaos,” explains Robert Stephens, founder of the technology support company Geek Squad. The chaos Stephens is referring to is the difficulty we have all experienced trying to keep up with the many changes in our environment, particularly those related to computers, technology, software, communication, and entertainment. Generally, consumers have found it difficult to install, operate, and use many of the electronic products available today. “It takes time to read the manuals,” Stephens says. “I’m going to save you that time because I stay home on Saturday nights and read them for you!”

THE COMPANY

The Geek Squad story begins when Stephens, a native of Chicago, passed up an Art Institute scholarship to pursue a degree in computer science. While Stephens was a computer science student he took a job fixing computers for a research laboratory, and he also started consulting. He could repair televisions, computers, and a variety of other items, although he decided to focus on computers. His experiences as a consultant led him to realize that most people needed help with technology and that they saw value in a service whose employees would show up at a specified time, be friendly, use understandable language, and solve the problem. So, with just $200, Stephens formed Geek Squad in 1994.

Geek Squad set out to provide timely and effective help with all computing needs regardless of the make, model, or place of purchase. Geek Squad employees were called “agents” and wore uniforms consisting of black pants or skirts, black shoes, white shirts, black clip-on ties, a badge, and a black jacket with a Geek Squad logo to create a “humble” attitude that was not threatening to customers. Agents drove black-and-white Volkswagen Beetles, or Geekmobiles, with a logo on the door, and charged fixed prices for services, regardless of how much time was required to provide the service. The “house call” services ranged from installing networks, to debugging a computer, to setting up an entertainment system, and cost from $100 to $300. “We’re like ‘Dragnet’; we show up at people’s homes and help,” Stephens says. “We’re also like Ghostbusters and there’s a pseudogovernment feel to it like Men in Black

In 2002, Geek Squad was purchased by leading consumer electronics retailer Best Buy for about $3 million. Best Buy had observed very high return rates for most of its complex products. Shoppers would be excited about new products, purchase them and take them home, get frustrated trying to make them actually work, and then return them to the store demanding a refund. In fact, Best Buy research revealed that consumers were beginning to see service as a critical element of the purchase. The partnership was an excellent match. Best Buy consumers welcomed the help. Stephens became Geek Squad’s chief inspector and a Best Buy vice president and began putting a Geek Squad “precinct” in every Best Buy store, creating some stand-alone Geek Squad Stores, and providing 24-hour telephone support. There are now more than 20,000 agents in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and China, and return rates have declined by 25 to 35 percent. Geek Squad service plans are also being sold on eBay and in some Target stores. The Geek Squad website proclaims that the company is “Serving the Public, Policing Technology and Protecting the World.”

THE CHANGING ENVIRONMENT

Many changes in the environment occurred to create the need for Geek Squad’s services. Future changes are also likely to change the way Geek Squad operates. An environmental scan helps illustrate the changes.

The most obvious changes may be related to technology. Wireless broadband technology, high-definition televisions, products with Internet interfaces, and a general trend toward computers, smartphones, entertainment systems, and even appliances being interconnected are just a few examples of new products and applications for consumers to learn about. There are also technology-related problems such as viruses, spyware, lost data, and “crashed” or inoperable computers. New technologies have also created a demand for new types of maintenance such as password management, operating system updates, disk cleanup, and “defragging.”

Page 89

Another environmental change that contributes to the popularity of Geek Squad is the change in social factors such as demographics and culture. In the past many electronics manufacturers and retailers focused primarily on men. Women, however, are becoming increasingly interested in personal computing and home entertainment and, according to the Consumer Electronics Association, are likely to outspend men in the near future. Best Buy’s consumer research indicates that women expect personal service during the purchase as well as during the installation after the purchase—exactly the service Geek Squad is designed to provide. Our culture is also embracing the Geek Squad concept. For example, in the recently discontinued television series Chuck(2007–2012), one of the characters worked for the “Nerd Herd” at “Buy More” and drove a car like a Geekmobile on service calls!

Competition, economics, and the regulatory environment have also had a big influence on Geek Squad. As discount stores such as Walmart and PC makers such as Dell began to compete with Best Buy, new services such as inhome installation were needed to create value for customers. Now, just as change in competition created an opportunity for Geek Squad, it is also leading to another level of competition as Staples has introduced EasyTech services and Office Depot has introduced Tech Depot services. The economic situation for electronics continues to improve as prices decline and demand increases. Consumers purchased 2 million 3D TVs in 2010, and sales of all consumer electronics exceeded $180 billion. Finally, the regulatory environment continues to change with respect to the electronic transfer of copyrighted materials such as music and movies and software. Geek Squad must monitor the changes to ensure that its services comply with relevant laws.

THE FUTURE FOR GEEK SQUAD

The combination of many positive environmental factors helps explain the extraordinary success of Geek Squad. Today, it repairs more than 3,000 PCs a day and generates more than $2 billion in revenue. Because Geek Squad services have a high profit margin they contribute to the overall performance of Best Buy, and they help generate traffic in the store and create store loyalty. To continue to grow, however, Geek Squad will need to continue to scan the environment and try new approaches to creating customer value.

One possible new approach is to create new partnerships. Geek Squad and Ford, for example, have developed a partnership to help consumers install in-car communication systems. In the future, Best Buy will offer 240-volt home charging stations for Ford’s electric vehicle, the Focus. Geek Squad will offer electrical audits and residential installations for the car owners. Geek Squad is also using new technology to improve. Agents now use a smartphone to access updated schedules, log in their hours, and run diagnostics tests on clients’ equipment. Best Buy is also testing a “Solutions Central” desk, similar to the Genius Bar concept in Apple stores, and staffing it with Geek Squad agents. Finally, to attract the best possible employees, Geek Squad and Best Buy are trying a “results-only work environment” that has no fixed schedules and no mandatory meetings. By encouraging employees to make their own work-life decisions, the Geek Squad hopes to keep morale and productivity high.

Other changes and opportunities are certain to appear soon. However, despite the success of the Geek Squad and the potential for additional growth, Robert Stephens is modest and claims, “Geeks may inherit the Earth, but they have no desire to rule it!”

Questions

1What are the key environmental forces that created an opportunity for Robert Stephens to start the Geek Squad?

2What changes in the purchasing patterns of (a) all consumers and (b) women made the acquisition of Geek Squad particularly important for Best Buy?

3Based on the case information and what you know about consumer electronics, conduct an environmental scan for Geek Squad to identify key trends. For each of the five environmental forces (social, economic, technological, competitive, and regulatory), identify trends likely to influence Geek Squad in the near future.

4What promotional activities would you recommend to encourage consumers who currently use independent installers to switch to Geek Squad?

 

Help Answer the Questions

 

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