Next best option:
If the manager could take the actions to ensure that the fixed costs of Market corner were at their lowest possible value of $2 million, additionally, if it was possible for the manager to ensure that opern market demand would be equivalent to the highest possible level of demand and that Market corner could cope with the additional demand generated,? Additionally what if the manager could ensure that the variable costs will be at their lowest possible level?
Action Increase in Expected Risk of a loss Lowest possible
No action $0.0 8.0% -$3.8m
Contract signed $0.32m 2.9% -$2.4m
Fixed costs at lowest $1.98m 0.2% -$1.8%
Maximized demand $0.95m 0 $0.33m
Lowest variable costs $1.22m 1.8% -$2.0m
From the results it is clear that trying to reduce fixed and variable costs or increase demand has the greatest potential for increasing expected profit and reducing the chances of incurring a loss. Similarly, increasing the chances of the contract being accepted and efforts to reduce variable costs are likely to be less productive. These results are arrived at as a result of each action being evaluated in new simulation that has to consider a large number of uncertain quantities.
Using brainstorming to create actions:
Brainstorming with a group of people is a powerful technique. Brainstorming creates new ideas, solves problems, motivates and develops teams. Brainstorming motivates because it involves members of a team in bigger management issues, and it gets a team working together. However, brainstorming is not simply a random activity. Brainstorming needs to be structured and it follows brainstorming rules. Brainstorming places a significant burden on the facilitator to manage the process, people’s involvement and sensitivities, and then to manage the follow up actions. Use Brainstorming well and you will see excellent results in improving the organization, performance, and developing the team.
The brainstorming process will be,
Define and agree the objective
Brainstorm ideas and suggestions having agreed a time limit.
Asses/analyze effects or results
Prioritise options/rank list as appropriate
Agree action and timescale
Control and monitor follow-up.
Simply put, in brainstorming,
Plan and agree the brainstorming aim
Ensure everyone participating in the brainstorm session understands and agrees the aim of the session (e.g., to formulate a new job description for a customer services clerk; to formulate a series of new promotional activities for the next trading year; to suggest ways of improving cooperation between the sales and service departments; to identify costs saving opportunities that will not reduce performance or morale, etc). Keep the brainstorming objective simple. Allocate a time limit. This will enable you to keep the random brainstorming activity under control and on track.
Manage the actual brainstorming activity
Brainstorming enables people to suggest ideas at random. Your job as facilitator is to encourage everyone to participate, to dismiss nothing, and to prevent others from pouring scorn on the wilder suggestions (some of the best ideas are initially the daftest ones – added to which people won’t participate if their suggestions are criticized). During the random collection of ideas the facilitator must record every suggestion on the flip-chart. Use Blu-Tack or sticky tape to hang the sheets around the walls. At the end of the time limit or when ideas have been exhausted, use different colored pens to categories, group, connect and link the random ideas. Condense and refine the ideas by making new headings or lists. You can diplomatically combine or include the weaker ideas within other themes to avoid dismissing or rejecting contributions (remember brainstorming is about team building and motivation too – you don’t want it to have the reverse effect on some people). With the group, assess, evaluate and analyze the effects and validity of the ideas or the list. Develop and priorities the ideas into a more finished list or set of actions or options.
Implement the actions agreed from the brainstorming
Agree what the next actions will be. Agree a timescale, who’s responsible. After the session circulate notes, monitor and give feedback. It’s crucial to develop a clear and positive outcome, so that people feel their effort and contribution was worthwhile. When people see that their efforts have resulted in action and change, they will be motivated and keen to help again.
It is important to remember that for a brainstorming session to be successful, there are basic rules that must be adhered to at all times. These include;
Do not criticize – the solution to the problem may turn out to lie in an idea that, initially, may seen to be crazy.
Encourage participants to put forward any ideal that they can think of – particularly unconventional or outlandish ideas.
Aim to generate large quantities of ideas – in that way there is a greater chance that one or more of the ideas will lead to a solution to the problem.
Encourage people to combine or modify ideas that have already been put forward
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