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# Rate my AWA

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Intern
Joined: 03 Jan 2016
Posts: 22

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10 Apr 2018, 08:26
“Over time, the costs of processing go down because as organizations learn how to do things better, they become more efficient. In color film processing, for example, the cost of a 3-by-5-inch print fell from 50 cents for five-day service in 1970 to 20 cents for one-day service in 1984. The same principle applies to the processing of food. And since Olympic Foods will soon celebrate its twenty-fifth birthday, we can expect that our long experience will enable us to minimise costs and thus maximise profits.”

The argument states that over time, the costs of processing go down because as organisations learns how to do things better, they become more efficient. Stated this way, the argument manipulates facts and conveys a distorted view of the situation. Reveals leaps of faith, but has poor reasoning and ill defined terminology. Fails to mention several key factors based on which it can be evaluated. The conclusion to this argument relies on several assumptions for which there is no clear evidence. Hence the argument is weak and has several flaws.

First, the argument assumes that any industry as it gains experience, optimizes its processing abilities and improves efficiency, thereby leading to lower cost. The author is convinced that over the years, like film processing industry, food processing industry would have engaged in certain improvements to reduce processing cost. The assumption does not has any support. For example, let us consider the amount of manual efforts involved in corresponding industry as a common parameter. Even today, major chunk of activities performed in food processing industry is labour intensive and has not been fully automated to achieve maximum efficiency. Whereas, there have been a lot of technological advancements made in the film processing industry to reduce manual activities, which was once considered labour intensive. This clearly proves that the author has a misconception. The argument could have been clearer if it had explicitly stated the advancements made in food processing industry to reduce manual efforts. This would help us to better evaluate the argument.

Second, the argument claims that, just like film processing industry, Olympic foods would also experience a reduction in processing cost as well as the processing time. This is again a weak and unsupported claim. The argument does not demonstrate any correlation between the processing parameters of the two industries in discussion. To illustrate this, we can consider the advancements made in the chemicals used in respective industries. Over the years, the food safety department has put in place numerous restrictions on the type of chemicals that can be used to process food, leading to lower shelf time of the food. This is not the case with film processing as there is no consumption. There has been no restriction over the type of chemicals that can be used in film processing. Newer chemicals aid faster processing of the films thereby reducing labour. The argument would have been more convincing if it had provided evidences that the chemicals used in food processing technology come at cheaper rate and enables higher shelf life.

Finally, we could further question about the availability of skilled labour who can adopt to the advancements made in food processing technology, technological advancements incorporated by Olympic foods, did the advancements made in the industry aid olympic foods to maintain a greater shelf life? Without any convincing answers to these questions, one can only have an impression that the claim of minimising cost and maximising profits is more of a wishful thinking rather than a substantiative evidence.

In conclusion, The argument is flawed because of the above mentioned reasons and is therefore unconvincing. It could be considerably strengthened if the author mentioned all the relevant facts. In order to assess the merits of a situation, it is essential to have a through knowledge of the contributing factors. This particular case, lacks such information. Without these informations, the argument remains to be unsubstantiated and open to debate.
Intern
Joined: 03 Jan 2016
Posts: 22

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11 Apr 2018, 18:58
The following appeared in a memorandum from the business department of the Apogee Company.
“When the Apogee Company had all its operations in one location, it was more profitable than it is today. Therefore, the Apogee Company should close down its field officesHidden text (n. Hidden text ) and conduct all its operations from a single location. Such centralization would improve profitability by cutting costs and helping the company maintain better supervision of all employees.”
Discuss how well reasoned... etc.

The argument states that Apogee company was once profitable when its operations were centralised. The author assumes that the setting up of field offices has decentralised its operations and resulted in a profit downtrend. The author claims that the closure of its field offices is essential for centralisation which would in turn improve profitability by cutting costs and enable better supervision of employees. Stated this way, the argument manipulates facts and conveys a distorted view of the situation. Reveals leaps of faith, but has poor reasoning and ill defined terminology. Fails to mention several key factors, based on which it can be evaluated. The conclusion to this argument relies on the assumptions for which there is no clear evidence. Hence the argument is weak and has several flaws.

First, the author's assumption is deficit of facts to prove that decentralisation of operations has caused the profit to go negative. For example, the companies poor performance in the market could be attributed to poor product management and not marketing the right product for the right audience. Shrinkage in profit could also be due to intense competition in the market which has forced the company to reduce its margin in order to gain market share. The argument could have been much more clear if it had explicitly stated facts which lead the company to a loss.

Second, the author's claim lacks proof that centralisation of operations would improve profitability and better supervision of employees. This is again a weak and unsupported claim, the argument does not demonstrate any correlation between centralisation of operations and profitability. To illustrate we need to understand whether the field offices are setup within the country or are spread across the map. If the field offices are spread across the map, it would require operations to be carried over individually as it helps understanding the pulse of the audience and make better business decisions. Centralisation of operation would not make the company be abreast of its competitors thereby loosing market share. The argument would have been more convincing if it had provided evidence from a similar industry which was able to achieve profitability by centralising its operations.

Finally, one would further question the author to gain better clarity of the issue on hand. Does the company has a better after sales services of its products? Was there any negative news about the company which has caused decreased patronage? Are the customers happy with the products, and rate the company high on customer satisfactory index? Without convincing answers to these questions, one can only have an impression that the claim is more of a wishful thinking rather than a substantiative evidence.

In conclusion, The argument is flawed because of the above mentioned reasons and is therefore unconvincing. It could be considerably strengthened if the author mentioned all the relevant facts. In order to assess the merits of a situation, it is essential to have a through knowledge of the contributing factors. This particular case, lacks such information. Without these informations, the argument remains to be unsubstantiated and open to debate.
Re: Rate my AWA &nbs [#permalink] 11 Apr 2018, 18:58
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