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Risk Assessment…

This is the post excerpt.

My favorite comedy movie-scene of all time…I can only imagine how something like this would play out in a real-world sequence…Comedy brilliance and Alec Baldwin’s response is about as genuine as it gets in role-playing, about halfway through the clip…Enjoy.

Design Thinking

Seeing things from a user’s perspective and upgrading the efficiency based off of the user’s perspective is maximizing design thinking. Recollecting from an experience of customer service where the experience overall could have been better, is one I encountered when purchasing products from Ebay. I don’t use Ebay too often but I usually have had decent purchase experiences, where ordered products arrived between the expected arrival dates. However, looking back, there was this situation where I purchased an item and took it for granted to not check on the order status or arrival date. After about two to three weeks, I decided to check the arrival date in an email and realized my purchased product was about a week late. I did not see any tracking information or any updates from after I had placed the order. I decided to email the independent dealer and had about a couple days of back and forth emails while this individual was trying to locate my purchase info. The individual was pretty down to earth and everything was worked out, the product was expedited and shipped and arrived within a couple days of communications. What makes matters even more ironic, is that a month or so after everything was straightened out, I had placed another order and it just happened to be through the same independent dealer. This dealer had a 98% approval rating by the way, so I receive an email from this dealer to fill out a survey to help improve his overall ratings after the fact and it turns out my next order through this dealer was late again. So I replied to the dealer letting the person know my order info and order status and that my new purchased product was forgotten about like the last one. I received another email indicating that my order had been found and that my order was being expedited again and that I should receive the order within a week, two weeks after already being late.

This experience I admit was frustrating because I believe tracking information and confirmation emails from the dealer should be sent to the customer within one to two days after a purchase. I think to improve efficiency to the service that the dealers should be held to quality value and quality service of following through on all orders within a given amount of time, so that reliability and secured purchases are protected and tracking information should be required to these purchases to be presented within a specific time-frame. Otherwise the order is cancelled and the money is refunded to the customers.

 

Divesting Diversity

Let’s say your the CEO of a company, You have 7 qualified people who are looking to fill 5 managerial/operational positions. All applicants are well qualified and have experience to meet demands for the 5 positions. 5 applicants are women and 2 applicants are men. All 5 women are from Venus, 1 man is from Mars and the other man is from Saturn. As CEO, you can hire all 5 women, 4 women and 1 man or 3 women and 2 men. If you choose to hire only 1 man, do you choose to hire the man from Mars or Saturn? This is what I consider subjective diversity, remember all 7 applicants are well qualified for the positions according to experience and skill. Should you as the CEO look at these applicants from a subjective perspective or should the CEO hold in depth interviews with all applicants and use an objective diverse logic to determine who are the best 5 of the 7 candidates? Looking at diversity from an objective perspective, the CEO can determine which candidates have the vision, goals and hands on approach to manage the operations of the company that fulfill production demands and needs as well as maintaining a stable and efficient work environment.

Should educational institutions and business companies teach and cultivate subjective or objective diversity? Does diversity of ideas and vision lead to creativity and innovation for businesses to grow and maintain success? Is there a potential problem with too much diversity of ideas, that stall production in business with too much creativity and innovation?

Catering Options

Looking for a catering event to host 25-50 attendees will take a little time and effort. When looking for a catering service provider it is necessary to find the right quality at the right price. There are many food caterers in geographical areas to choose from, so picking and finding the best one will take a little bit of deductive reasoning. One question to ask is what are common foods that provide great tastes for everyone who is attending that everyone will enjoy? It is not an easy question because you have to look past your own personal preferences to consider everyone else. One good choice I found is Old Carolina Barbecue that is located in different areas in Ohio. Old Carolina provides quality meats and sides along with a very solid reputation for quality service. Old Carolina has three options for their catering events with decent prices. $10 a person for pulled pork picnic with 2 sides, $14 a person for original barbecue buffett with 2 meats and 2 sides or $17 a person with 3 meats and 2 sides for combo packs. Old Carolina also offers catering packs that include pulled pork and chicken where a small pack (feeds 40-60) is around $450 with sides and add on options such as chicken tenders and wings or a medium pack priced around $580 (feeds 60-80) with the same options. A positive is the option to build your own pack with selections from their bulk item menu and a negative is a $25 delivery fee, considering price of gas and distance it is understandable. There are also 2 more options large and really large for quantity options which price close to $1000 and $1500.

Mission BBQ is another catering option and their menu is a little more diverse when first looking at the online menu. There are price per pound options and also per rack options when looking at the rib choices. However, on the menu are also options for pound and pricing per 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 people or more with side choices and pounds to help the customer price option the menu choices. Either option the customer looking to plan the event is looking at a price range anywhere from $400-700 dollars to feed around 25-50 people or more. The quality and quantity would meet somewhere in between and the extra options with add-ons will provide the customer the tough decision to make when choosing between the two. Both companies are very reputable with excellent quality and service.Image result for bbq

 

 

Personal, Transactional and Analytical Comparisons

If I were to examine my personal transactional and analytical information comparisons, regarding my consumer behavior and investment behavior, I would identify a pragmatic approach as to how I take in information and then make decisions based off of current information and markets or market performance before I purchase or invest. Analytical information based off of product statistics, sales projections, future growth or trends is basically looking at how a commodity or investment is projected to perform in the short to long run. Therefore, breaking down interests let’s say in stocks or bonds (ETF’s) or mutual funds and looking into 1, 5 and 10 year yield return percentages is a critical tool. I also want to look at past and current performance when deciding upon a potential investment as to how the targeted investments have performed since inception and also at current market competition. Is the investment still attractive? Is the maturity still on pace to meet risk/reward? Index’s perform in the same context but usually demand bigger investment amounts. Index options are rewarding in the fact that you are owning a segment of the market and Index investments are important for an investor who wants to hold a group of companies for the long-haul and generally obtain substantial rewards based off of performance of those companies. When I use an analytical approach to target potential investments, I’m focusing on what target investments will provide myself over time with the prosperity I am willing to risk capital on.

Transactional information is quite a bit different because it is focusing on a consumer based need and want system. Competition is more vital to reward short term consumer demand as competition tends to keep prices honest for consumers. Groceries, Airline Tickets, TV’s and Electronics and even the Housing Market all depend upon competition to help benefit the consumer and not the retailer. I also believe an open and competitive market in Health Care Insurance will help consumers in price if the consumers can compete for coverage and prices across state lines. However, let’s look at myself as an example and use transactional info to dissect how my purchase behavior will be determined based upon wants and needs and also options in the market. Let’s look at golf balls, as a interested golfer there are a number of options, first what quality of golf balls do I want to purchase? If I am just practicing and working on my swing, I may want to find a dealer where I can buy in quantity instead of quality. If I am looking for regular play, I may want to find good to decent quality for performance over the highest quality. If I am involved in a monthly tournament with a cash prize reward I am going to want the very best quality balls to use for the tournament. So, for practice play let’s say I have an option to purchase 50 balls from a bin for $10 bucks. For regular play, a box of decent quality balls are priced around $10-15 bucks, and for the highest quality box of balls for tournament play I can grab the best on the market for about $30-40 bucks a box. Transactional information is important here because pricing and competition remain pretty steady with different brands for around these prices. Sometimes, discounts and pricing help the consumer for add-on purchases because some stores or retailers may offer discounts like 20% or buy 1 get 1 half off. These discounts can help determine a consumer like myself to pick up an extra box or two at the time of the discount even if the purchased boxes of balls may not be used for quite sometime. A consumer who is aware of the price market will make purchasing decisions based off of purchasing habit and what is available at the time. I may not need an extra box or two of the highest quality tournament balls but I may buy the box or two if a price break is being offered at the time.

Companies use strategies to help gain a competitive edge, especially in retail. Store A may offer discounts on the highest quality of products if a certain amount of money is spent to turnover inventory. Store B may never offer price discounts but may lower overall inventory price of items at different seasonal turnovers. Stores may also use analytical or transactional information to determine what products sell the most as add-on sales that are packaged together with other purchases. Using these two methods or approaches to understand consumer behavior is very important for retail chains when trying to develop a competitive advantage. The consumer will naturally act in certain purchasing habits depending on known price and past purchasing behaviors.

Guest Speaker Mark Shaffer

I appreciated our guest speaker’s class presentation on Tuesday. I think he was very insightful and presented a wealth of knowledge regarding his career and his advice for the class. He covered a number of topics and I found it interesting how he decided to go to college after he had already been working for a company for a number of years. Myself, being an older student I could relate to that experience but I think it presents a unique point of view because older students present different experiences as well as a different mind set regarding motivation factors to improve their current situation. I also liked how he pointed out that there are three factors that determine success in the workplace; being on time, taking initiative and completing assignments on time. That was probably the most important piece of advice that I took from the presentation because it is advice that helps and supports students regardless of career or profession to utilize to set themselves a part from the competition in their respected fields. It is also a routine that if practiced helps maintain success over one’s career. The guest speaker also talked in length about how the younger generations will change careers a number of different times. Personally, I would like to find a career and stick with that career for the duration, I am not a fan of changing careers 5 to 10 times once I find something I’m good at in an environment I like being in.

To further my career here at Walsh and beyond, I think networking and establishing good relationships is important. People are different and different is good, whether it is learning styles, politics or interests, I think finding good relationships and treating people kindly and well pays off over time because everybody knows somebody and to build bridges that can help someone or even have someone help you is what it’s all about.

Business Experience

An experience I decided to cover that is rather interesting is the silver and gold business. I have always been a fan of silver and gold and the value that one can add to their self by investing in and owning silver and gold. I remember back in 2010 through 2013 the price of silver and gold rose tremendously in the money market world. Silver had reached high’s of almost 35 to 40 dollars an ounce after spot price to purchase and gold rose to about 1800 to 1900 an ounce depending on handling fees to purchase. Depending on the spot price at the time a buyer is looking to make a purchase, silver generally is about 5 to 7 dollars more an ounce than the spot price, this is usually the case you will see from a bullion dealer like JM Bullion Inc. I cannot speak for other dealers like Monex or Goldline only because I have never made any purchases from those two bullion dealer companies but I do know they are also highly reputable companies and most likely have around the same add on purchase price to an ounce of silver and gold. Gold itself generally is around 120 to 140 dollars more per ounce than the spot price of the market value. As an interested consumer, I studied the market and price value of the two commodities for some time before I invested into the ownership of the precious metals. I remember starting a full-time job at the beginning of 2013 and the price of silver was still around 33 to 35 dollars an ounce. As I continued to work and build a savings account, I noticed the market value decreased more as I was saving. This was very interesting because I was excited to get in the market and to start investing but I did not want to over invest. As I continued to see the market value decrease to around 20 to 22 dollars for an ounce of silver, I decided to make my move. I began buying and owning my own silver at around 25 to 28 dollars an ounce per purchases. This was the price after spot price which was around 20 to 23 dollars an ounce. I continued to invest in silver over the duration of three years and was making purchases as low as 16 to 18 dollars an ounce when the market value would be sometimes as low as 13 to 15 dollars an ounce. I must add that depending on quantity or quality the price can influx by different amounts. I also diversified and purchased gold and platinum at very good prices considering the amount both metals were valued at before I began working.

One thing I would like to see in the future from a company like JM Bullion is a rewards program. Don’t get me wrong, JM is very reputable and I have a high standard of respect for a company like JM because I have always had quality service, on-time delivery and dependable transactions through PayPal that I could depend on for protection when making purchases. JM is very fair in regards to keeping decent prices above spot prices so that the company can earn profit while dealing with very expensive and highly sought after commodities such as the precious metals. I also want to state that I have always received free standard shipping with insurance on the product until delivered which is why I believe JM does keep a price above the spot price at a certain value amount. I would like to maybe see a VIP rewards program if possible in the precious metal commodity world, where a customer who accumulates a certain purchase history amount or quantity amount can receive discounts or benefits on future purchases. One thing JM does is to offer specials on various bullion throughout the year and they are weekly, but I guess to see something along the lines of a purchase reward bonus where customers can select the quality and style product they prefer to purchase at a discounted amount after spot price would be very attractive to a lot of buyers and investors.

Internet Service Companies

My question regarding big internet service companies is quite simple. Do these companies really regard individual’s for their service or do they place individuals within parameters only to benefit themselves? In other terms, is customer satisfaction genuine or only a placebo effect? A lot of people rely on internet companies to provide service and to shop for goods, but do these companies really care about what you purchase or are parameters in place to generalize each and every individual shopper based off of predicting values? Let’s look at Amazon for example. Say you look on Amazon for a vacuum cleaner and you add a Dyson vacuum cleaner in your shopping cart, does Amazon use predictive alternatives and logarithms that are predetermined in their programming system to add extra products or add on’s that are related products to the vacuum cleaner or company or is Amazon placing other products you may be interested in based off of your likes and interests? Customer satisfaction may not be as genuine as people may think if everything they purchase is systematically arranged before hand.

Let’s say you have a shopping history with Amazon and have purchased a number of different products that have a wide variety in relationship with one another. How would Amazon know or bank on a customer automatically wanting to purchase the number of related products that are advertised with the product a customer puts in their shopping cart? The answer is they don’t know. So basically Amazon is collecting data from your previous searches and shopping products and using that data to entice the customer to buy other similar products that are related to the products that have been purchased. If customers do not buy these products, is the company wasting revenue and advertising revenue for no particular reasoning whatsoever. The contrast I am connecting here is that how much revenue does Amazon create by adding on extra related products and how much revenue is spent with research and development to add on this extra sales? How is it measured and how do people look for these measurements in financial reports to see if the market success of Amazon will hold up over the future?

Customers may think they have an AI customer service rep taking care of all of their needs on the internet, but in reality it may be disappointing to find out that Amazon and companies like Amazon are not really catering to the customer at all, they may just have the customer following set programming to maximize sales for the company.

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