Discuss strategies that would allow the company to improve upon its major weaknesses



Students will perform an internal environmental analysis using the tools and concepts learned in the course to date.  You will also draw from previous business courses to develop an understanding of how organizations develop and manage strategies to establish, safeguard and sustain its position in a competitive market.
Students also have the opportunity to review an organization’s objectives and goals and the key functional areas within the organization.  Performing an internal environment analysis helps assess a firm’s internal resources and capabilities and plays a critical role in formulating strategy by identifying a firm’s strengths to capitalize on so that it can effectively overcome weaknesses.
Skill Building:
In this project, you are building many different skills including research, critical thinking, writing and developing analytical skills related to various financial analysis tools and strategy tools used in business.
Outcomes Met With This Project:

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utilize a set of useful analytical skills, tools, and techniques for analyzing a company strategically;
integrate ideas, concepts, and theories from previously taken functional courses including, accounting, finance, market, business and human resource management;
analyze and synthesize strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) to generate, prioritize, and implement alternative strategies in order to revise a current plan or write a new plan and present a strategic plan.

Step 1: Preparation for the Project
Before you begin writing the report, you will read the following requirements that will help you meet the writing and APA requirements.

You will be doing an analysis on the selected company.  When doing an analysis you are not merely making statements that may be cited.  Instead, you will be supporting the statements made.  “Support” is the process of explaining, discussing and analyzing “why” and “how,” which is a higher level critical analytical skill that is required.  Support is needed to do well on this project.
Read the grading rubric for the project.  Use the grading rubric while writing the report to ensure all requirements are met that will lead to the highest possible grade.

Step 2:  Introduction
Create an introductory paragraph.  The Introduction should clearly and concisely convey the main points of the project’s requirements. Review the following website to learn how to write an introductory paragraph: http://www.writing.ucsb.edu/faculty/donelan/intro.html
Step 3:  How to Set Up the Report
Create a Word or Rich Text Format (RTF) document using 12-point font.  The final product cannot be longer than 16 pages in length, which includes all tables and matrices but excludes the title page and reference page(s).  Those items identified in the technical analysis should appear under the appropriate heading in the paper.  Do no use an Appendix.
Follow the following format using these topics as headings:

Title page with title, your name, the course number, the instructor’s name;
Company Background Analysis
Internal Environmental Analysis
Strategy Analysis
Reference page

Step 4:  Required Elements for the Report
Under the appropriate heading listed above, include the following:

Background analysis including vision and mission statements and objectives
Internal Environmental Analysis
Corporate Level Strategy
Business Unit Level Strategy
Functional Level Strategy

Explain how these strategies align with the company’s vision and mission statements;
Assess the company’s interactions with its stakeholders, the organizational structure, the organizational culture, and communication/decision making among managers within human resources, marketing production, operations, finance and accounting, R&D, and computer information systems, which can be accomplished by viewing the company’s website, interviews, and surveys.

Financial Analysis for the last reported fiscal year

Use the company’s income statement and balance sheet to calculate no less than a total of ten (10) key financial ratios to the business.  There must be a mix of four different key categories inclusive of the leverage, liquidity, profitability, and efficiency ratios so that the ratios do not all come from the same category. The specific ratios selection must come from the following categories.

Leverage Ratios (Long term debt ratio, Total debt ratio, Debt-to-equity ratio, Times interest earned ratio, and Cash coverage ratio).
Liquidity Ratios (Net working capital to total assets ratio, current ratio, quick ratio, and cash ratio)
Efficiency Ratios (Asset turnover ratio, Average collection period, Inventory turnover ratio, and Days sales outstanding)
Profitability Ratios (Net profit margin, Return on assets, and Return on equity)
Technique Analysis
Develop and explain SW from partial SWOT analysis, IFE matrix, BCG matrix, Grand Strategy Matrix, and QSPM.  The expectation is not to copy from the Internet but to develop one’s own.  If copied from the Internet, a zero will be assigned. The various tools are to appear in the appropriate area of the paper and not in one section of the paper.  When placing any table or figure in a table, it must be explained in detail.
Strategy Analysis
Identify and explain company strengths and weaknesses. Discuss success factors and explain what the company must do to perform successfully in the industry.  Discuss what strategies would allow the company to capitalize on its major strengths.  Discuss strategies that would allow the company to improve upon its major weaknesses

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