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Manager
Joined: 13 Jul 2013
Posts: 73
GMAT 1: 570 Q46 V24
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 10 [0], given: 21

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05 Jan 2014, 10:06
Used chineseburned template.

The following appeared in a report presented for discussion at a meeting of the directors of a company that manufactures parts for heavy machinery.

“The falling revenues that the company is experiencing coincide with delays in manufacturing. These delays, in turn, are due in large part to poor planning in purchasing metals. Consider further that the manager of the department that handles purchasing of raw materials has an excellent background in general business, psychology, and sociology, but knows little about the properties of metals. The company should, therefore, move the purchasing manager to the sales department and bring in a scientist from the research division to be manager of the purchasing department.”

The argument claims that company’s revenue is declining due to delays in their manufacturing. He holds purchasing manager responsible for poor planning to source raw materials, which ultimately is causing delay in manufacturing process. Hence, the purchasing manager should be transferred to sales department and be replaced with scientist as they have better knowledge of metals. The conclusion of the argument relies on assumption for which there is no clear evidence. Therefore, the argument is rather weak, unconvincing and has several flaws.

First, the argument readily assumes that purchase manager is directly responsible for unavailability of raw materials in the company. This assumption fails to consider other possible reasons for this unavailability. There maybe a problem with the suppliers. It is very much possible that company particularly relies on one supplier for its raw materials and that supplier is having problems with his own manufacturing. Another possibility is that government may have imposed some restrictions on transportation/ import of raw materials used by the company. For e.g. In June 2013, Government of India banned imports of Ammonium Nitrate in bulk quantity. As a result many fertilizer industry got affected and had to shut their operations for weeks. The argument would have been much clearer if author had mentioned that external factors are not affecting the supply of raw materials.

Second, the argument claims that delays in manufacturing are the cause of falling revenues. From this statement once again the author fails to communicate the complete picture. Falling revenues could be due to no orders in hand. Another reason could be increase in competition has forced the company to reduce its prices and work below certain EBIDTA levels. For e.g. In 2001, Dell decided to slash down its prices in order to fight competition and gain market share. Their Y-o-Y sales witnessed a decrease of 2%. If the argument had provided some idea of industry the company falls under or market scenario, then the correct reason for falling sales could be identified.

Finally, the argument concludes that company would be better if they move the purchase manager to sales department and bring a scientist to replace him. This is again a very weak and unsupported claim. Without knowing the history of purchasing manager, it is very difficult to conclude that he would fit in the sales department. There is no mention of how many years of experience the purchase manager has within and outside the company. It is very much possible that purchasing manager may have received a tip that raw material prices will fall in near future and he took a strategic decision to not place an order for some metals. This claim could have been strengthen if the argument provided evidence that purchasing manager has an experience in sales and he has been failing many tasks in current role.

In summary, the argument is flawed and therefore unconvincing. It could be considerably strengthened if the author clearly mentioned all the relevant facts. In order to assess the merits of a certain situation, it is essential to have full knowledge of all contributing factors.
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Joined: 11 May 2013
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25 Jan 2014, 23:08
My score on the actual AWA was 6. The essay is good, but can be improved. Here are my suggestions:

1) Consider making your first paragraph more precise by stating that there is more than one faulty assumption, and that the conclusion itself is unsupported. Moreover, make sure to use the correct pronoun (you used "he" instead of "it") and don't forget to use "the" or "a" before certain nouns. See my edits below:

The argument claims that the company’s revenue is declining due to delays in their manufacturing. He It holds the purchasing manager responsible for poor planning to source raw materials, which ultimately is causing delay in the manufacturing process. Hence, the purchasing manager should be transferred to the sales department and be replaced with a scientist as they have he would havebetter knowledge of metals. The conclusion of the argument relies on assumption for which there is no clear evidence. This argument relies on assumptions for which there is no clear evidence. By drawing on these assumptions, the conclusion itself lacks strength and is questionable on several grounds.Therefore, the argument is rather weak, unconvincing and has several flaws.

2) In your second and third paragraphs, use "For example" instead of "E.g."

3) Take note that the present perfect tense (have been) should be followed by the past participle (strengthened). See my edit below:

This claim could have been strengthen strengthened if the argument provided evidence that purchasing manager has an experience in sales and that he has been failing many tasks in current role.

How your score will be calculated:

Your essay is very well structured, and is easy to follow. You will be rewarded for doing this by the AWA grading system. I doubt you would get anything less than a 4.

One improvement you can make at this point is to increase the word count. Do this by strengthening each of your points with multiple examples. (Right now, you are only using one example to support each point.) In my experience, the AWA grading system rewards length and penalizes brevity.

Another improvement you can make is to improve your grammar. In my opinion, you are still lacking familiarity with tenses, pronouns, and articles.

If you fix your grammar, you would probably get a score between 4 - 5 with your current essay. If you fix your grammar and increase your word count, you may get a perfect score. After improving your current essay, I suggest you test your AWA ability by purchasing GMAT Write, which uses the same software to calculate your actual AWA score on the GMAT: http://www.mba.com/global/store/store-c ... write.aspx

All the best.
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