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# Last year, to improve sales, a software company

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Manager
Joined: 06 Jul 2011
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Last year, to improve sales, a software company  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 17 Jun 2017, 03:18
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Difficulty:

95% (hard)

Question Stats:

35% (02:31) correct 65% (02:38) wrong based on 1164 sessions

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Plan: Last year, to improve sales, a software company decided to make its flagship product - a professional bookkeeping program - compatible with all types of computers, instead of with only those that were running a particular operating system.

Result: Last year, the sales of the product increased by 5%.

Additional Information: For the previous 9 years the sales of the product increased 5% for every year, a natural increase that occurs without fail as more companies annually learn about the product and its incontestable merits.

In light of the additional information, which of the following, if true, best explains the result that followed the implementation of the plan?

A) Because bookkeeping programs are used by professionals, they are required to be highly efficient and trustworthy applications, a demand leading to a competitive market and the failure of many mediocre software products.

B) Marketing for the product is handled by one of the most successful firms in its field, and one that chose to highlight the company's brand name in general, not wishing to distract potential customers with details of added features.

C) Three years ago, due to an embarrassing internal fraud scandal, the managing director of the software company was fired and replaced by a business manager who, though talented, was somewhat inexperienced.

D) Constant inflation during the past few years has had a noticeable effect causing prices to rise, salaries to rise, and an overall growth and stabilization of the economy.

E) To maintain a positive corporate image as the provider of competent and up-to-date software, companies need to constantly sharpen, restructure, and enhance their programs, offering solutions to previous limitations.

Got totally stumped on this CR question.Have no idea what it is asking and how to approach the problem! Any thorough analysis/categorization and explanation would be appreciated.Thx!

Originally posted by arkle on 01 May 2015, 17:27.
Last edited by broall on 17 Jun 2017, 03:18, edited 2 times in total.
Reformatted question
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Re: Last year, to improve sales, a software company  [#permalink]

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03 May 2015, 15:51
10
4
arkle wrote:
Plan: Last year, to improve sales, a software company decided to make its flagship product - a professional bookkeeping program - compatible with all types of computers, instead of with only those that were running a particular operating system.

Result: Last year, the sales of the product increased by 5%.

Additional Information: For the previous 9 years the sales of the product increased 5% for every year, a natural increase that occurs without fail as more companies annually learn about the product and its incontestable merits.

In light of the additional information, which of the following, if true, best explains the result that followed the implementation of the plan?

A) Because bookkeeping programs are used by professionals, they are required to be highly efficient and trustworthy applications, a demand leading to a competitive market and the failure of many mediocre software products.

B) Marketing for the product is handled by one of the most successful firms in its field, and one that chose to highlight the company's brand name in general, not wishing to distract potential customers with details of added features.

C) Three years ago, due to an embarrassing internal fraud scandal, the managing director of the software company was fired and replaced by a business manager who, though talented, was somewhat inexperienced.

D) Constant inflation during the past few years has had a noticeable effect causing prices to rise, salaries to rise, and an overall growth and stabilization of the economy.

E) To maintain a positive corporate image as the provider of competent and up-to-date software, companies need to constantly sharpen, restructure, and enhance their programs, offering solutions to previous limitations.

Got totally stumped on this CR question.Have no idea what it is asking and how to approach the problem! Any thorough analysis/categorization and explanation would be appreciated.Thx!

I really like this question. (I am not sure about the awkward wording that someone else pointed out). Thanks for posting.

This a paradoxical situation, which tells us that despite the increase in customer base, the sales increase stayed the same as previous years. So we are trying to find a way to resolve that paradox.

What do you think that can lead to this situation? Without looking at the answers, try and think of possible situation.

What if it's like an adobe reader update (which nobody cares to check) that got unnoticed?
What if there was a LOT of users leaving the program for a better one (this does not really resolve the paradox, as the arguments says that 5% increase in sales is a common thing every year regardless)

Now, looking at the option B fits the bill perfectly. It says that consumers did not get to know about the new feature (compatibility with all computers), and that explains it. Probably people with different OSes did not buy the product because they were unaware of its increased compatibility.

HTH
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Re: Last year, to improve sales, a software company  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 03 Aug 2016, 00:37
4
3

When software was made only for Windows , it used to grow at 5% per year.
Last year, the software was made for Windows, Linux, iOS, Android UNIX and OSX. --> BUT SALES REMAINED STATIC.

One reason for this static sale may be that because Linux user, Macbook User and Android user did not bought this program and thus sales were static.

WHY THE DIDN'T BOUGHT THE SOFTWARE ?
because they were unaware that the software now supports their operating systems.
WHY WERE THEY UNAWARE OF THIS CHANGE ?

What options tell us that the new changes and compatibility with other operating systems was not told to the customers?- OPTION B
B) Marketing for the product is handled by one of the most successful firms in its field, and one that chose to highlight the company's brand name in general, not wishing to distract potential customers with details of added features.

A) Because bookkeeping programs are used by professionals, they are required to be highly efficient and trustworthy applications, a demand leading to a competitive market and the failure of many mediocre software products.
WRONG:- Irrelevant /Out of scope

B) Marketing for the product is handled by one of the most successful firms in its field, and one that chose to highlight the company's brand name in general, not wishing to distract potential customers with details of added features.
CORRECT

C) Three years ago, due to an embarrassing internal fraud scandal, the managing director of the software company was fired and replaced by a business manager who, though talented, was somewhat inexperienced.
WRONG:- Irrelevant

D) Constant inflation during the past few years has had a noticeable effect causing prices to rise, salaries to rise, and an overall growth and stabilization of the economy.
WRONG:- Salary of the employees cannot reduce the profitability of the company because Prices also rose and stabilised economy means more buying power.

E) To maintain a positive corporate image as the provider of competent and up-to-date software, companies need to constantly sharpen, restructure, and enhance their programs, offering solutions to previous limitations.
WRONG:- Irrelevant

arkle wrote:
Plan: Last year, to improve sales, a software company decided to make its flagship product - a professional bookkeeping program - compatible with all types of computers, instead of with only those that were running a particular operating system.

Result: Last year, the sales of the product increased by 5%.

Additional Information: For the previous 9 years the sales of the product increased 5% for every year, a natural increase that occurs without fail as more companies annually learn about the product and its incontestable merits.

In light of the additional information, which of the following, if true, best explains the result that followed the implementation of the plan?

A) Because bookkeeping programs are used by professionals, they are required to be highly efficient and trustworthy applications, a demand leading to a competitive market and the failure of many mediocre software products.

B) Marketing for the product is handled by one of the most successful firms in its field, and one that chose to highlight the company's brand name in general, not wishing to distract potential customers with details of added features.

C) Three years ago, due to an embarrassing internal fraud scandal, the managing director of the software company was fired and replaced by a business manager who, though talented, was somewhat inexperienced.

D) Constant inflation during the past few years has had a noticeable effect causing prices to rise, salaries to rise, and an overall growth and stabilization of the economy.

E) To maintain a positive corporate image as the provider of competent and up-to-date software, companies need to constantly sharpen, restructure, and enhance their programs, offering solutions to previous limitations.

Got totally stumped on this CR question.Have no idea what it is asking and how to approach the problem! Any thorough analysis/categorization and explanation would be appreciated.Thx!
\
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Posting an answer without an explanation is "GOD COMPLEX". The world doesn't need any more gods. Please explain you answers properly.
FINAL GOODBYE :- 17th SEPTEMBER 2016. .. 16 March 2017 - I am back but for all purposes please consider me semi-retired.

Originally posted by LogicGuru1 on 21 Jul 2016, 07:30.
Last edited by LogicGuru1 on 03 Aug 2016, 00:37, edited 1 time in total.
##### General Discussion
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Re: Last year, to improve sales, a software company  [#permalink]

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01 May 2015, 20:36
1
2
arkle wrote:
Plan: Last year, to improve sales, a software company decided to make its flagship product - a professional bookkeeping program - compatible with all types of computers, instead of with only those that were running a particular operating system.

Result: Last year, the sales of the product increased by 5%.

Additional Information: For the previous 9 years the sales of the product increased 5% for every year, a natural increase that occurs without fail as more companies annually learn about the product and its incontestable merits.

In light of the additional information, which of the following, if true, best explains the result that followed the implementation of the plan?

A) Because bookkeeping programs are used by professionals, they are required to be highly efficient and trustworthy applications, a demand leading to a competitive market and the failure of many mediocre software products.

B) Marketing for the product is handled by one of the most successful firms in its field, and one that chose to highlight the company's brand name in general, not wishing to distract potential customers with details of added features.

C) Three years ago, due to an embarrassing internal fraud scandal, the managing director of the software company was fired and replaced by a business manager who, though talented, was somewhat inexperienced.

D) Constant inflation during the past few years has had a noticeable effect causing prices to rise, salaries to rise, and an overall growth and stabilization of the economy.

E) To maintain a positive corporate image as the provider of competent and up-to-date software, companies need to constantly sharpen, restructure, and enhance their programs, offering solutions to previous limitations.

Got totally stumped on this CR question.Have no idea what it is asking and how to approach the problem! Any thorough analysis/categorization and explanation would be appreciated. Thx!

Mate, I believe in this question they are actually asking as to why the profit only increased by 5% when the new program was available, one which could've been exploited to increase the profit atleast 10 fold. Close analysis of the options will tell you that only B matches the incisive frame of thought we're required to adopt while the others don't quite do the fold of the question justice.

E - Too general
D- No mention about price rise having an effect on S/W sales.
C- CEO had three years to bed in and if talented will have sparked a major %age increase by now.
A- Doesn't include talk about raise of profit.
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Re: Last year, to improve sales, a software company  [#permalink]

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02 May 2015, 10:26
1
The problem with the question is writing.

Result: Last year, the sales of the product increased by 5%. doesn't tell you whether the growth happened in addition to 5% mentioned in the next paragraph. or it is just 5% in total,which can be attributed to Additional Information: For the previous 9 years the sales of the product increased 5% for every year

Because of this ambiguous wording you don't know whether it is bad --> that without any new efforts 5% growth would have happened or good --> 5% growth happened on top of the regular 5%.

It(the result) is very important to understand to answer --> best explains the result that followed the implementation of the plan?
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Re: Last year, to improve sales, a software company  [#permalink]

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03 May 2015, 14:14
E is the one I would go: every year there is 5 percent because every year they update. This year they gained by expanding over OSs, other years with other things.

B is viable, but I have never being a marketing fan. moreover for something like OS expansion does not matter much. you open to new markets already savvy of your product.
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Re: Last year, to improve sales, a software company  [#permalink]

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03 Aug 2016, 00:05
arkle wrote:
Plan: Last year, to improve sales, a software company decided to make its flagship product - a professional bookkeeping program - compatible with all types of computers, instead of with only those that were running a particular operating system.

Result: Last year, the sales of the product increased by 5%.

Additional Information: For the previous 9 years the sales of the product increased 5% for every year, a natural increase that occurs without fail as more companies annually learn about the product and its incontestable merits.

In light of the additional information, which of the following, if true, best explains the result that followed the implementation of the plan?

A) Because bookkeeping programs are used by professionals, they are required to be highly efficient and trustworthy applications, a demand leading to a competitive market and the failure of many mediocre software products.

B) Marketing for the product is handled by one of the most successful firms in its field, and one that chose to highlight the company's brand name in general, not wishing to distract potential customers with details of added features.

C) Three years ago, due to an embarrassing internal fraud scandal, the managing director of the software company was fired and replaced by a business manager who, though talented, was somewhat inexperienced.

D) Constant inflation during the past few years has had a noticeable effect causing prices to rise, salaries to rise, and an overall growth and stabilization of the economy.

E) To maintain a positive corporate image as the provider of competent and up-to-date software, companies need to constantly sharpen, restructure, and enhance their programs, offering solutions to previous limitations.

Got totally stumped on this CR question.Have no idea what it is asking and how to approach the problem! Any thorough analysis/categorization and explanation would be appreciated.Thx!

I approached the question in a timed scenario (1:50).
2. Additional info clearly states that the PLAN didn't work
3. Result of 5% increase is a natural market instinct, as established by add info.

4. What can explain this paradox? Any evidence that shows the company was active in the market (complying to add info) and never really executed the plan (Hence the NATURAL 5% increase)

Clearly 'B' is the only option that follows the explanation in Sl No. 4. That is, marketing was done but the new product was not marketed properly --> 5% increase in sales
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Re: Last year, to improve sales, a software company  [#permalink]

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21 Oct 2016, 06:54
Tobybun wrote:
arkle wrote:
Plan: Last year, to improve sales, a software company decided to make its flagship product - a professional bookkeeping program - compatible with all types of computers, instead of with only those that were running a particular operating system.

Result: Last year, the sales of the product increased by 5%.

Additional Information: For the previous 9 years the sales of the product increased 5% for every year, a natural increase that occurs without fail as more companies annually learn about the product and its incontestable merits.

In light of the additional information, which of the following, if true, best explains the result that followed the implementation of the plan?

A) Because bookkeeping programs are used by professionals, they are required to be highly efficient and trustworthy applications, a demand leading to a competitive market and the failure of many mediocre software products.

B) Marketing for the product is handled by one of the most successful firms in its field, and one that chose to highlight the company's brand name in general, not wishing to distract potential customers with details of added features.

C) Three years ago, due to an embarrassing internal fraud scandal, the managing director of the software company was fired and replaced by a business manager who, though talented, was somewhat inexperienced.

D) Constant inflation during the past few years has had a noticeable effect causing prices to rise, salaries to rise, and an overall growth and stabilization of the economy.

E) To maintain a positive corporate image as the provider of competent and up-to-date software, companies need to constantly sharpen, restructure, and enhance their programs, offering solutions to previous limitations.

Got totally stumped on this CR question.Have no idea what it is asking and how to approach the problem! Any thorough analysis/categorization and explanation would be appreciated.Thx!

I approached the question in a timed scenario (1:50).
2. Additional info clearly states that the PLAN didn't work
3. Result of 5% increase is a natural market instinct, as established by add info.

4. What can explain this paradox? Any evidence that shows the company was active in the market (complying to add info) and never really executed the plan (Hence the NATURAL 5% increase)

Clearly 'B' is the only option that follows the explanation in Sl No. 4. That is, marketing was done but the new product was not marketed properly --> 5% increase in sales

How can you assume that the new product was not marketed properly?
B explicitly says "Marketing for the product is handled by one of the most successful firms in its field, and one that chose to highlight the company's brand name in general, not wishing to distract potential customers with details of added features."

Can you really say that one of the most successful [marketing]firms did not market the product properly?
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Re: Last year, to improve sales, a software company  [#permalink]

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21 Oct 2016, 07:47
1
arkle wrote:
Plan: Last year, to improve sales, a software company decided to make its flagship product - a professional bookkeeping program - compatible with all types of computers, instead of with only those that were running a particular operating system.

Result: Last year, the sales of the product increased by 5%.

Additional Information: For the previous 9 years the sales of the product increased 5% for every year, a natural increase that occurs without fail as more companies annually learn about the product and its incontestable merits.

In light of the additional information, which of the following, if true, best explains the result that followed the implementation of the plan?

A) Because bookkeeping programs are used by professionals, they are required to be highly efficient and trustworthy applications, a demand leading to a competitive market and the failure of many mediocre software products.

B) Marketing for the product is handled by one of the most successful firms in its field, and one that chose to highlight the company's brand name in general, not wishing to distract potential customers with details of added features.

C) Three years ago, due to an embarrassing internal fraud scandal, the managing director of the software company was fired and replaced by a business manager who, though talented, was somewhat inexperienced.

D) Constant inflation during the past few years has had a noticeable effect causing prices to rise, salaries to rise, and an overall growth and stabilization of the economy.

E) To maintain a positive corporate image as the provider of competent and up-to-date software, companies need to constantly sharpen, restructure, and enhance their programs, offering solutions to previous limitations.

Got totally stumped on this CR question.Have no idea what it is asking and how to approach the problem! Any thorough analysis/categorization and explanation would be appreciated.Thx!

I do not agree with any of the choices. Most of these choices are explained. However, some users chose B – the official answer.

The explanation given for option B claims that the product was not marketed properly; but what does properly marketing mean? Option B clearly states that “Marketing for the product is handled by one of the most successful firms in its field”. Can we really say that the product was not properly marketed?

It has been claimed that users did not buy the software because they were unaware that the software now supports their operating systems because no one advertised about it. This is a strong assumption, based on the phrase “not wishing to distract potential customers with details of added features.”
Nevertheless, that the marketing firm “did not wish to distract potential customers with details of added features” does not imply that the firm did not advertise that the product was now supported by other systems. “Details of added features” is not the same as “supported by other systems”, this latter expression does not mean added features.

So B is not a good choice either.

I believe that a good explanation could be that the users of the program were changing the operating system they currently use or that the market for the users of the software in the current operating system is already saturated, and sales would not increase if the market were not expanded to other systems.
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Re: Last year, to improve sales, a software company  [#permalink]

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28 Jun 2017, 20:28
A does nor help to resolve, but increases the paradox.
C,D,E cannot show why the sales are not increased.
B is closed to the sales boosts, so B is the answer => b/c a marketing firm is the factor that determines the sales, not a bookkeeping program.
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Last year, to improve sales, a software company  [#permalink]

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29 Aug 2017, 04:27
1
LogicGuru1 wrote:

When software was made only for Windows , it used to grow at 5% per year.
Last year, the software was made for Windows, Linux, iOS, Android UNIX and OSX. --> BUT SALES REMAINED STATIC.

B) Marketing for the product is handled by one of the most successful firms in its field, and one that chose to highlight the company's brand name in general, not wishing to distract potential customers with details of added features.

E) To maintain a positive corporate image as the provider of competent and up-to-date software, companies need to constantly sharpen, restructure, and enhance their programs, offering solutions to previous limitations.
WRONG:- Irrelevant

cledgard wrote:
Nevertheless, that the marketing firm “did not wish to distract potential customers with details of added features” does not imply that the firm did not advertise that the product was now supported by other systems. “Details of added features” is not the same as “supported by other systems”, this latter expression does not mean added features.

So B is not a good choice either.

Like cledgard, I disagree with the OA (B) but I think (E) is a viable alternative. What's one reason the program's increased availability wouldn't result in improved sales? Well, what if increasing the number of platforms on which a software is available is par for the course - required each year to maintain that 5% growth figure?
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Re: Last year, to improve sales, a software company  [#permalink]

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21 Sep 2017, 22:12
Hi

I ruled out B for its wording "Marketing for the product is handled by one of the most successful firms in its field". How can a "most successful marketing firm" ignore the key added feature of a product it is marketing?

TIA
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Re: Last year, to improve sales, a software company  [#permalink]

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09 Jan 2019, 19:08
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Re: Last year, to improve sales, a software company   [#permalink] 09 Jan 2019, 19:08
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