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# GMAT CLUB OLYMPICS: Production manager: Our warehouses have a total of

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Re: GMAT CLUB OLYMPICS: Production manager: Our warehouses have a total of [#permalink]
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Production manager: Our warehouses have a total of 5,000 employees working to ensure daily on-time package delivery based out of 200 facilities nationwide. Of these 5,000 employees, approximately 5 percent are absent on any given workday. Even with these regular absences, our on-time delivery rates are better than ever. Therefore, we should be able to lower staffing by 250 employees and experience no decrease in service.

The production manager’s argument is most vulnerable to criticism on which of these grounds?

A. He confuses the definitions of absent and unemployed.
No. Out of scope

B. He fails to justify an assumed change in absenteeism.
Correct. He assumes that after laying off 250 people, there will be 0 absenteeism

C. He takes for granted that every employee’s level of service is identical.
No, maybe he could fire the underperformers

D. He overlooks the fact that some absences are more justified than are others.
No, Out of scope

E. He ignores the possibility that absences may be unevenly distributed at the company.
No. This is not the flaw in argument's reasoning. Maybe the absences are unevenly distributed but the plan could still work but with 0 absenteeism
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Re: GMAT CLUB OLYMPICS: Production manager: Our warehouses have a total of [#permalink]
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My answer is (B). The wording in (B) makes it a bit tricky to truly understand what it means.

Pre-thinking
It is rather straightforward to see how unreasonable the manager's argument is. Should they fire 250 (=5%X5000) employees, the continued absence rate of 5% may now put their on-time delivery rate in jeopardy.

Now look at the options
(A) Maybe "absent" in this discussion is not absent from work, but absent from facilities. In that case, those "absent" employees are on the field working hard for on-time delivery rate. Even so, "unemployed" is hard to justify.

(B) It is a different way of pre-thinking, but isn't it devious / cunning. I read it a few times before realizing what it says. The manager assume that after 5% workforce reduction, the absence rate will drop to nearly 0%. Why? maybe employees are too scared to ask for any time off even if they do not feel well. But there is no such justification in the manager's argument.

(C) In any company, every employee’s level of service is not identical. That does not prevent layoffs in any company. We cannot attack this manager based on this ground.

(D) In any company, some absences are more justified than are others. That does not prevent layoffs in any company. We cannot attack this manager based on this ground.

(E) In any company, absences may be unevenly distributed at the company. That does not prevent layoffs in any company. We cannot attack this manager based on this ground.

Originally posted by zhanbo on 27 Aug 2021, 09:51.
Last edited by zhanbo on 28 Aug 2021, 12:33, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: GMAT CLUB OLYMPICS: Production manager: Our warehouses have a total of [#permalink]
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On any given day, 250 employees (5,000 * 5%) are absent, so the manager's argument is that by cutting this # of employees, the service level would not be impacted. He probably assumes that it is always the same group of 250 employees that are absent, so same level of service can be maintained with just 4,750 employees by cutting out these 250 employees, and absenteeism in the remaining group of employees would be 0%. That's an implicit assumption that the manager made. But what if the 5% absenteeism is evenly distributed throughout the work force? Then cutting 250 employees would bring down the # of employees present at 4,750 * 95% = ~4,500.

A) - That's not the point, based on our analysis above.

B) - Yes, there is an assumed change in absenteeism rate that the manager failed to justify. See our analysis above.

C) - There is no indication of one way or another on this point based on the current circumstances, so not relevant.

D) - Justified or not, the argument is based on implicit assumptions identified above.

E) - This is the opposite of what we want, because his logic is built precisely on this point, that absenteeism is not evenly distributed and is concentrated in the same group that he can then cut.

So B).
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Re: GMAT CLUB OLYMPICS: Production manager: Our warehouses have a total of [#permalink]
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(B) IMO

A. He confuses the definitions of absent and unemployed. -> Incorrect. This option is close but just confusing the definitions do not justify the reasoning.

B. He fails to justify an assumed change in absenteeism. -> Correct. Currently, approx. 4750 employees are working daily because 5% are absent. But, if the staff is reduced by 250, total employees will be 4750 and of those, some employees will be absent. So, the production manager assumes the absent % to zero and doesn't justify it.

C. He takes for granted that every employee’s level of service is identical. -> One can argue about it. But, it will be safe to assume that the least effective employees would be the ones to get sacked.

D. He overlooks the fact that some absences are more justified than are others. -> Reasons of absence is unwarranted.

E. He ignores the possibility that absences may be unevenly distributed at the company. -> Even if absences are unevenly distributed, we are given that the percentage of absence is more or less fixed.
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Re: GMAT CLUB OLYMPICS: Production manager: Our warehouses have a total of [#permalink]
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Production manager: Our warehouses have a total of 5,000 employees working to ensure daily on-time package delivery based out of 200 facilities nationwide. Of these 5,000 employees, approximately 5 percent are absent on any given workday. Even with these regular absences, our on-time delivery rates are better than ever. Therefore, we should be able to lower staffing by 250 employees and experience no decrease in service.

The moment you read the para, the discrepancy in decreasing the strength to absenteeism can be seen. It is not as if certain group of people is absent always and we are removing them.

The production manager’s argument is most vulnerable to criticism on which of these grounds?

A. He confuses the definitions of absent and unemployed.
This is never discussed.

B. He fails to justify an assumed change in absenteeism.
CORRECT. It is not as if certain group of people is absent always and we are removing them. The trend of 5% absenteeism is likely to continue still. The company will not be short of 250 but nearly 250+5% of (5000-250)

C. He takes for granted that every employee’s level of service is identical.
He rather does not believe this.

D. He overlooks the fact that some absences are more justified than are others.
Out of context.

E. He ignores the possibility that absences may be unevenly distributed at the company.
Out of context.

B
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Re: GMAT CLUB OLYMPICS: Production manager: Our warehouses have a total of [#permalink]
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A. He confuses the definitions of absent and unemployed.

Incorrect choice because manager actually doesn’t confuse these two things.
He or she is going to lay off many people and rather than keep them absent.
So incorrect.

B. He fails to justify an assumed change in absenteeism.

Correct. He assumes that 4750 employees will never be absent from their job.
Indeed now he has 5% absenteeism, and 95% workers still manage with the job.
However, what if 5% absenteeism tendency remains and 237 of 4750 workers are absent after the lay off?
Then probably they are not going to handle the job as before.
So, manager unwarrantedly assumes that 5% absenteeism will fall to 0%
However, manager didn’t justify why?

C. He takes for granted that every employee’s level of service is identical.

Incorrect because nothing in the passage alludes to such information
Manager may very well be of opposite idea.

D. He overlooks the fact that some absences are more justified than are others.

This choice especially has nothing to do with the stem.

E. He ignores the possibility that absences may be unevenly distributed at the company.

Incorrect because nothing in the passage alludes to such information
Manager may very well be of opposite idea.

So B
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Re: GMAT CLUB OLYMPICS: Production manager: Our warehouses have a total of [#permalink]
Hey, thanks for the OA.
But I have confusion here.

B will be the answer if the manager's idea was that if 250 employees are laid off then there will be no absenteeism but why are we expecting that is what his plan was? I can't follow the logic here. No where it says that he is assuming after laying off people, there will be no absenteeism.

Can anyone help with this? Thanks

Bunuel wrote:
Bunuel wrote:
Production manager: Our warehouses have a total of 5,000 employees working to ensure daily on-time package delivery based out of 200 facilities nationwide. Of these 5,000 employees, approximately 5 percent are absent on any given workday. Even with these regular absences, our on-time delivery rates are better than ever. Therefore, we should be able to lower staffing by 250 employees and experience no decrease in service.

The production manager’s argument is most vulnerable to criticism on which of these grounds?

A. He confuses the definitions of absent and unemployed.

B. He fails to justify an assumed change in absenteeism.

C. He takes for granted that every employee’s level of service is identical.

D. He overlooks the fact that some absences are more justified than are others.

E. He ignores the possibility that absences may be unevenly distributed at the company.

 This question was provided by GMAT Club for the GMAT Club Olympics Competition Win over \$40,000 in prizes such as Courses, Tests, Private Tutoring, and more

Explanation

Choice A: No. The term unemployed is not an issue in the argument.

Choice B: Yes. The argument assumes that upon releasing 250 employees that there will be no further absences that could negatively impact service levels.

Choice C: No. The argument does not assume that every employee’s level of service is identical.

Choice D: No. That some absences are more justified than others has no impact on the validity of the conclusion.

Choice E: No. That absences may be unevenly distributed at the company has no impact on the validity of the conclusion.

The correct answer is choice B.
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Re: GMAT CLUB OLYMPICS: Production manager: Our warehouses have a total of [#permalink]
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hbkharsh wrote:
Hey, thanks for the OA.
But I have confusion here.

B will be the answer if the manager's idea was that if 250 employees are laid off then there will be no absenteeism but why are we expecting that is what his plan was? I can't follow the logic here. No where it says that he is assuming after laying off people, there will be no absenteeism.

Can anyone help with this? Thanks

Yes, that is exactly what the manager has in his mind.

Why does manager agree to reduce exactly by 5%?
The manager believes inspite of this 5% reduction, the services are in time. So if he reduces the strength by 5%, the work will not get affected.
But, that 5% is average, and is likely to continue with the reduced strength.
So, we know that 4750 out of 5000 are sufficient to ensure uninterrupted services. But if we make strength as 4750, and with 5% as absenteeism, we have the available strength as ~ 4750-230 or 4520. But will 4520 be sufficient is a question mark as we just know 4750 is sufficient.
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Re: GMAT CLUB OLYMPICS: Production manager: Our warehouses have a total of [#permalink]
But how can we be certain that the manager has this in mind only? That is the confusion.
Just because the numbers are matching?

The way I approached choice B was- the statement implied that the average absenteeism will continue (Since the statement says- Of these 5,000 employees, approximately 5 percent are absent on any given workday. So it is very logical that out of 4750- 5% will be absent on any given day.) Thus, eliminated it.

Also, will the answer change if the statement said that the manager decided to reduce say 2% or 10% then?

chetan2u wrote:
hbkharsh wrote:
Hey, thanks for the OA.
But I have confusion here.

B will be the answer if the manager's idea was that if 250 employees are laid off then there will be no absenteeism but why are we expecting that is what his plan was? I can't follow the logic here. No where it says that he is assuming after laying off people, there will be no absenteeism.

Can anyone help with this? Thanks

Yes, that is exactly what the manager has in his mind.

Why does manager agree to reduce exactly by 5%?
The manager believes inspite of this 5% reduction, the services are in time. So if he reduces the strength by 5%, the work will not get affected.
But, that 5% is average, and is likely to continue with the reduced strength.
So, we know that 4750 out of 5000 are sufficient to ensure uninterrupted services. But if we make strength as 4750, and with 5% as absenteeism, we have the available strength as ~ 4750-230 or 4520. But will 4520 be sufficient is a question mark as we just know 4750 is sufficient.
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Re: GMAT CLUB OLYMPICS: Production manager: Our warehouses have a total of [#permalink]
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hbkharsh wrote:
But how can we be certain that the manager has this in mind only? That is the confusion.
Just because the numbers are matching?

The way I approached choice B was- the statement implied that the average absenteeism will continue (Since the statement says- Of these 5,000 employees, approximately 5 percent are absent on any given workday. So it is very logical that out of 4750- 5% will be absent on any given day.) Thus, eliminated it.

Also, will the answer change if the statement said that the manager decided to reduce say 2% or 10% then?

chetan2u wrote:
hbkharsh wrote:
Hey, thanks for the OA.
But I have confusion here.

B will be the answer if the manager's idea was that if 250 employees are laid off then there will be no absenteeism but why are we expecting that is what his plan was? I can't follow the logic here. No where it says that he is assuming after laying off people, there will be no absenteeism.

Can anyone help with this? Thanks

Yes, that is exactly what the manager has in his mind.

Why does manager agree to reduce exactly by 5%?
The manager believes inspite of this 5% reduction, the services are in time. So if he reduces the strength by 5%, the work will not get affected.
But, that 5% is average, and is likely to continue with the reduced strength.
So, we know that 4750 out of 5000 are sufficient to ensure uninterrupted services. But if we make strength as 4750, and with 5% as absenteeism, we have the available strength as ~ 4750-230 or 4520. But will 4520 be sufficient is a question mark as we just know 4750 is sufficient.

B of course has a link.
The manager knows 4750 are required for smooth functioning and he claims even after removing 250 out of 5000, the services will not get affected. Thus, he does believe that absenteeism is same as removing 250 from job as he thinks he will have 4750 men to work after removing 250.
Re: GMAT CLUB OLYMPICS: Production manager: Our warehouses have a total of [#permalink]
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