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The key to success is hard work and determination. Achieving success is always under construction. This project began as a simple analysis of the firm's progress, as at the time it was in desperate need of new clients and a marketing strategy to strengthen its visibility on campus.Through this evaluation, our team found that the firm was in an abysmal state and the previously noted problems were not the only issues of concern. From our research we found that in order for the firm to grow and become a successful student run consulting firm, there are several interorganizational issues that need to be understood and addressed. The intention of New Venture Group and the Consulting Scholars academic program is to provide students the opportunity to garner practical learning experiences. These potential opportunities are not taken full advantage of because of the afflicting problems that exist. The purpose of this thesis is to understand what problems exist within the firm and the next steps that should be taken to resolve them.
This report details a prioritization value model that was created for the use of Arizona State University and ASU LightWorks in determining and implementing appropriate sustainability projects for removing greenhouse gas emissions. A thorough review regarding the current project selection process, and an extensive analysis into the desired state of the process was conducted for this paper. The newly developed prioritization model includes multiple attributes that rank and prioritize projects based upon the highest value as determined by criteria set forth by the university. Encompassed within this report are the steps in creating the decision model, as well as the benefits and additional uses of the model for the end user. From the analysis and model created, the end user has the ability to choose carbon neutral projects that better align with the vision of the New American University.
In the end, an increase in repurchases of company stock will also influence the rate of dividends to increase. This means, an investor should not necessarily worry about the dividends they receive, but rather to see if the company is making profit at a consistent rate and reinvesting into value-added activities. Through the major pillars of finance, technology, legal, and human resources, the budget for reinvestment can be optimized by investing into these respective categories with percentages that are mindful of the specific companies needs and functions. Any firm that chooses to ensure proven methods of growth will enact a combination of these four verticals. A larger emphasis on finance will branch out efficiency in the entire organization, as finance control everything from the toilet paper to the acquisitions the company is making. The more technology is used to reduce redundancy and inefficient or costly operations, the more capability the organization will have. IT, however, comes with its technical challenges; having a team on-hand or even outsourced, to solve the critical problems to help the business continue operation. Over-reliance into technology can be detrimental to a business as well if clear processes are not set about straight to counteract problems the business will face like IT ticketing systems or recovery and continuity support. Therefore, technology will require a larger chunk of attention as well.
The upcoming legal and HR investments a company will make will depend upon its current position and thus the restructuring will differ for every firm. Each company has its own flavour and style of work. In that regard, the required legal counsel will vary; different problems will require different solutions for risk control and management, which are often professionally advised by intelligent corporate counsel. This ability to hire efficient legal counsel would not arise in the first place if a firm were to give out dividends; the leftover profit would have gone towards the shareholders and not back into growing the equity of the business. Lastly, nothing is possible without the contribution of people, and their efforts. A quality that long-lasting, successful businesses have, is they are investing in their people and development. Paying salaries, insurances, bonuses, all requires extra capital that is needed to be set aside in order to grow human capital. Good people, better people. There are qualities for each role that need to be defined and a process for attracting talent needs to be invested in. This process can also include outsourcing to an external firm who specializes in these strategies. By retaining profits internally, the company is able to stretch its legs to have further reach upon the market they work in. Financially and statistically, dividends are likely to grow as well with the increase in equity due to the increase in security an investor feels with more cash reserve and liquidity within the company.
All in all, a company should not be pressured into giving out periodic payments in predetermined timeframes, in other words a dividend, to investors even when they are insisting. Rather, pitch and prove, a new method for reinvestment within the company that will raise the value of the company, through proven methods like the value chain model, to increase the equity in the company. By expanding the scope and capability, the company is allowing for a larger target market which will reap more benefits; none of it would be possible if it had continued to give out large percentages of capital to investors as dividends. Companies, and investors, should not be worried about dividends at all as a matter of fact; an increase in stock buyback, in other words reinvesting into the company, will increase the rate of dividends anyway, due to increased confidence and capital within the company.
Cognitive technology has been at the forefront of the minds of many technology, government, and business leaders, because of its potential to completely revolutionize their fields. Furthermore, individuals in financial statement auditor roles are especially focused on the impact of cognitive technology because of its potential to eliminate many of the tedious, repetitive tasks involved in their profession. Adopting new technologies that can autonomously collect more data from a broader range of sources, turn the data into business intelligence, and even make decisions based on that data begs the question of whether human roles in accounting will be completely replaced. A partial answer: If the ramifications of past technological advances are any indicator, cognitive technology will replace some human audit operations and grow some new and higher order roles for humans. It will shift the focus of accounting professionals to more complex judgment and analysis.
The next question: What do these changes in the roles and responsibilities look like for the auditors of the future? Cognitive technology will assuredly present new issues for which humans will have to find solutions.
• How will humans be able to test the accuracy and completeness of the decisions derived by cognitive systems?
• If cognitive computing systems rely on supervised learning, what is the most effective way to train systems?
• How will cognitive computing fair in an industry that experiences ever-changing industry regulations?
• Will cognitive technology enhance the quality of audits?
In order to answer these questions and many more, I plan on examining how cognitive technologies evolved into their use today. Based on this historic trajectory, stakeholder interviews, and industry research, I will forecast what auditing jobs may look like in the near future taking into account rapid advances in cognitive computing.
The conclusions forecast a future in auditing that is much more accurate, timely, and pleasant. Cognitive technologies allow auditors to test entire populations of transactions, to tackle audit issues on a more continuous basis, to alleviate the overload of work that occurs after fiscal year-end, and to focus on client interaction.
The purpose of this project is to provide our client with a tool to mitigate Company X's franchise-wide inventory control problem. The problem stems from the franchises' initial strategy to buy all inventory as customers brought them in without a quantitative way for buyers to evaluate the store's inventory needs. The Excel solution created by our team serves to provide that evaluation for buyers using deseasonalized linear regression to forecast inventory needs for clothing of different sizes and seasons by month. When looking at the provided sales data from 2014-2016, there was a clear seasonal trend, so the appropriate forecasting model was determined by testing 3 models: Triple Exponential Smoothing model, Deseasonalized Simple Linear Regression, and Multiple Linear Regression.The model calculates monthly optimal inventory levels (current period plus future 2 periods of inventory). All of the models were evaluated using the lowest mean absolute error (meaning best fit with the data), and the model with best fit was Deseasonalized Simple Linear Regression, which was then used to build the Excel tool. Buyers can use the Excel tool built with this forecasting model to evaluate whether or not to buy a given item of any size or season. To do this, the model uses the previous year's sales data to forecast optimal inventory level and compares it to the stores' current inventory level. If the current level is less than the optimal level, the cell housing current value will turn green (buy). If the currently level is greater than or equal to optimal level or less than optimal inventory level*1.05, current value will turn yellow (buy only if good quality). If the current level is greater than optimal level*1.05 current level will be red (don't buy). We recommend both stores implement a way of keeping track of how many clothing items held in each bin to keep more accurate inventory count. In addition, the model's utility will be of limited use until both stores' inventories are at a level where they can afford to buy. Therefore, it is in the client's best interest to liquidate stale inventor into store credit or cash In the future, the team would also like to develop a pricing model to better meet the needs of the client's two locations.
Schools across the United States have been subject to a rise in violent incidents since 2013. Reading about school shootings, racist acts, and violent demonstrations in schools has unfortunately become commonplace, which is contributing to inequitable outcomes for some student populations. These equity gaps have triggered demands for more equitable solutions in schools, a responsibility that falls on the shoulders of stakeholders like school governing boards, principals, and parents.
Chandler Unified School District (CUSD), a large school system in Arizona that serves 45,000 students from preschool through high school, has been unable to escape similar structural and frictional inequities within its schools. One instance of a racially charged student performance at Santan Middle School motivated CUSD to take a more immediate look at equity in the district. It is during this response that our team of New Venture Group consultants engaged with Matt Strom, Assistant Superintendent of CUSD, in analyzing the important question of “how CUSD can take steps towards closing equity gaps within the district?”
CUSD defines an equity gap as any difference in student opportunity, achievement, discipline, attendance, etc. contributable to a student’s ethnicity, gender, or socioeconomic status. Currently, certain student populations in CUSD perform vastly different academically and receive different opportunities within schools, but as was our problem statement, CUSD is aiming to reduce (and eventually close) these gaps.
Our team approached this problem in three phases: (1) diagnosis, (2) solution creation, and (3) prevention. In phase one, we created a dashboard to help principals easily and visually identify gaps by toggling parameters on the dashboard. Phase two focused on the generation of recommendations for closing gaps. To achieve this goal, a knowledge of successful gap-closing strategies will be paired with the dashboard. In our final phase, the team of consultants created a principal scorecard to ensure equity remains a priority for principals.
The aim of this thesis is to improve the user experience within FedEx's eProcurement system, directly address feedback received from customer surveys, and to make recommendations for the Sourcing and Procurement Division within FedEx. In the first part, the overall client engagement is outlined with the specific timeline between New Venture Group and FedEx. The thesis encompasses three deliverables that were integral parts to the semester-long consulting engagement. The thesis then dives into methodology and each deliverable individually. After months of conference calls and best practice research, consulting efforts are summarized in the results. In a detailed discussion sections, the thesis forecasts opportunities for FedEx within sourcing and procurement. Here, the thesis draws on sources from various companies and research. Furthermore, overall recommendations are given to FedEx and acknowledgements are made. In conclusion, the thesis hopes to offer FedEx improvements to leverage improved functionality of eProcurement that will become available in the next upgrade of the Performance Management System.