Thursday, March 19, 2020

Hernan Cortes and His Captains

Hernan Cortes and His Captains Conquistador Hernan Cortes had the perfect combination of bravery, ruthlessness, arrogance, greed, religious fervor, and insubordination to be the man who conquered the Aztec Empire. His audacious expedition stunned Europe and Mesoamerica. He did not do it alone, however. Cortes had a small army of dedicated conquistadors, important alliances with native cultures who hated the Aztecs, and a handful of dedicated captains who carried out his orders. Cortes captains were ambitious, ruthless men who had the right blend of cruelty and loyalty, and Cortes would not have succeeded without them. Who were Cortes top captains? Pedro de Alvarado, the Hotheaded Sun God With blond hair, fair skin, and blue eyes, Pedro de Alvarado was a marvel to behold for the natives of the New World. They had never seen anyone quite like him, and they nicknamed him Tonatiuh, which was the name of the Aztec sun god. It was a fitting nickname, as Alvarado had a fiery temper. Alvarado was part of the Juan de Grijalva expedition to scout the Gulf Coast in 1518 and had repeatedly pressured Grijalva to conquer native towns. Later in 1518, Alvarado joined the Cortes expedition and soon became Cortes most important lieutenant. In 1520, Cortes left Alvarado in charge in Tenochtitlan while he went to deal with an expedition led by Panfilo de Narvaez. Alvarado, sensing an attack on the Spanish by the inhabitants of the city, ordered a massacre at the Festival of Toxcatl. This so infuriated the locals that the Spanish were forced to flee the city a little more than a month later. It took Cortes a while to trust Alvarado again after that, but Tonatiuh was soon back in his commanders good graces and led one of the three causeway assaults in the siege of Tenochtitlan. Later, Cortes sent Alvarado to Guatemala. Here, he conquered the descendants of the Maya who lived there. Gonzalo de Sandoval, Cortes Right-Hand Man Gonzalo de Sandoval was barely 20 years old and without military experience when he signed on with the Cortes expedition in 1518. He soon showed great skill at arms, loyalty, and the ability to lead men, and Cortes promoted him. By the time the Spanish were masters of Tenochtitlan, Sandoval had replaced Alvarado as Cortes right-hand man. Time and again, Cortes trusted the most important assignments to Sandoval, who never let his commander down. Sandoval led the retreat on the Night of Sorrows, conducted several campaigns before the reconquest of Tenochtitlan, and led a division of men against the longest causeway when Cortes lay siege to the city in 1521. Sandoval accompanied Cortes on his disastrous 1524 expedition to Honduras. He died at the age of 31 of illness while in Spain.   Cristobal de Olid, the Warrior When supervised, Cristobal de Olid was one of Cortes more reliable captains. He was personally very brave and fond of being right in the thick of the fighting. During the Siege of Tenochtitlan, Olid was given the important job of assaulting the Coyoacn causeway, which he did admirably. After the fall of the Aztec Empire, Cortes began to worry that other conquistador expeditions would poach land along the southern frontiers of the former empire. He sent Olid by ship to Honduras with orders to pacify it and establish a town. Olid switched loyalties, however, and accepted the sponsorship of Diego de Velazquez, Governor of Cuba. When Cortes heard of this betrayal, he sent his kinsman Francisco de las Casas to arrest Olid. Instead, Olid defeated and imprisoned Las Casas. However, Las Casas escaped and killed Olid sometime in late 1524 or early 1525.   Alonso de Avila Like Alvarado and Olid, Alonso de Avila had served on Juan de Grijalvas mission of exploration along the gulf coast in 1518. Avila had the reputation of being a man who could fight and lead men, but who had a habit of speaking his mind. By most reports, Cores disliked Avila personally, but trusted his honesty. Although Avila could fight (he fought with distinction in the Tlaxcalan campaign and the Battle of Otumba), Cortes preferred to have Avila serve as an accountant and entrusted him with much of the gold discovered on the expedition. In 1521, before the final assault on Tenochtitlan, Cortes sent Avila to Hispaniola to defend his interests there. Later, once Tenochtitlan had fallen, Cortes entrusted Avila with the Royal Fifth. This was a 20 percent tax on all gold the conquistadors had discovered. Unfortunately for Avila, his ship was taken by French pirates, who stole the gold and put Avila in prison. Eventually released, Avila returned to Mexico and took part in the conquest of the Yucatan. Other Captains Avila, Olid, Sandoval, and Alvarado were Cortes most trusted lieutenants, but other men held positions of importance in Cortes conquest. Gerà ³nimo de Aguilar: Aguilar was a Spaniard marooned in Maya lands on an earlier expedition and rescued by Cortes men in 1518. His ability to speak some Maya language, coupled with the slave girl Malinches ability to speak Nahuatl and Maya, gave Cortes an effective way to communicate with Montezumas emissaries.Bernal Diaz del Castillo: Bernal Diaz was a footsoldier who participated in the Hernandez and Grijalva expeditions before signing on with Cortes. He was a loyal, dependable soldier, and had risen to positions of minor rank by the end of the conquest. He is far better remembered for his memoir The True History of the Conquest of New Spain, which he wrote decades after the conquest. This remarkable book is by far the best source about the Cortes expedition.Diego de Ordaz: A veteran of the conquest of Cuba, Diego de Ordaz was loyal to Diego de Velazquez, governor of Cuba, and even at one point attempted to subvert Cortes command. Cortes won him over, however, and Ordaz became a n important captain. Cortes even entrusted him to lead a division in the fight against Panfilo de Narvaez at the Battle of Cempoala. He was eventually honored with a knightship in Spain for his efforts during the conquest. Alonso Hernandez Portocarrero: Like Cortes, Alonso Hernandez Portocarrero was a native of Medellin. This connection served him well, as Cortes tended to favor people from his hometown. Hernandez was an early confidant of Cortes, and the slave girl Malinche was originally given to him (although Cortes took her back when he learned how useful she could be). Early in the conquest, Cortes entrusted Hernandez to return to Spain, pass along some treasures to the king, and look after his interests there. He served Cortes admirably, but made enemies of his own. He was arrested and died in prison in Spain.Martin Lopez: Martin Lopez was no soldier, but rather Cortes best engineer. Lopez was a shipwright who designed and built the brigantines, which played a crucial role in the siege of Tenochtitlan.Juan Velazquez de Leà ³n: A kinsman of Governor Diego Velazquez of Cuba, Velzquez de Leons loyalty to Cortes was originally dubious, and he joined a conspiracy to oust Cortes early in the campaign. Cortes eventually forgave him, however. Velazquez de Leon became an important commander, seeing action against the Panfilo de Narvaez expedition in 1520. He died during the Night of Sorrows.  Ã‚   Sources Castillo, Bernal Diaz Del. The Conquest of New Spain. Penguin Classics, John M. Cohen (Translator, Introduction), Paperback, Penguin Books, August 30, 1963. Castillo, Bernal Diaz Del. The True History of The Conquest of New Spain. Hackett Classics, Janet Burke (Translator), Ted Humphrey (Translator), UK ed. Edition, Hackett Publishing Company, Inc., March 15, 2012. Levy, Buddy. Conquistador: Hernan Cortes, King Montezuma and the Last Stand of the Aztecs. Hardcover, 1st edition, Bantam, June 24, 2008. Thomas, Hugh. Conquest: Montezuma, Cortes and the Fall of Old Mexico. Paperback, Reprint edition, Simon Schuster, April 7, 1995.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Boar, Boor, and Bore - Commonly Confused Words

Boar, Boor, and Bore - Commonly Confused Words The noun boar refers to an uncastrated pig. The noun boor refers to a rude or ill-mannered person. As a verb, bore means to make a hole or passage or to become tiresome or dull. In addition, bore is the past tense of the irregular verb bear.​ As a noun, bore refers to a hole made by boring, the hollow part of a tube, or someone or something that is dull and tiresome. See also: Board and Bored Examples My grandmother once stepped out onto the front porch and shot a boar that was attacking her dogs.To avoid having to attend dinner parties, Jon played the part of a hopeless boor- an uncouth country bumpkin.An engineer conceived a plan to bore a tunnel through the mountain ridge to speed upriver freight traffic.The graduation speaker was a complete bore, and half the audience went to sleep. Practice (a) These creatures _____ into the limestone by dissolving it with an acidic chemical they excrete.(b) It was a Norse tradition to eat wild _____ at Yuletide.(c) If an Englishman settles in Australia, he is regarded as a _____ if he criticizes all things Australian and constantly harps on how much better the English are.(d) Phils friends say that he has become a total _____, talking about nothing but his children and his golf game. Answers to Practice Exercises:Boar, Boor, and Bore (a) These creatures  bore  into the limestone by dissolving it with an acidic chemical they excrete.(b) It was a Norse tradition to eat wild  boar  at Yuletide.(c) If an Englishman settles in Australia, he is regarded as a  boor  if he criticizes all things Australian and constantly harps on how much better the English are.(d) Phils friends say that he has become a total  bore, talking about nothing but his children and his golf game.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning(fom) Dissertation

Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning(fom) - Dissertation Example Instead by segmenting the market, the company divides its market and devises marketing strategies only to the market it is going to cater to. This saves valuable resources of a company which can be spent on CSR activities and other activations that are beneficial for the entire society. The marketing strategies are devised once a company decides which segment it is going to target, hence first step of the ladder is segmentation and second is targeting and being part of the same ladder they are equally beneficial for the society as whole. Many companies like P&G, Unilever, Reckitt and Nestle have been success stories of the fact that marketing segmentation, division and targeting is not only important for the society, but it is also very important for the company. Since company is operating in the society, the profits it earns lead to improvement in standard of living and more taxes being paid and all these changes lead to betterment of the society. (Armstrong and Kotler, 2011) Refere nces: Armstrong, Gary and Kotler, Philip 2011, Marketing: an introduction, 10th edition, Pearson Prentice Hall, USA.

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Perfect Competition Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1750 words

Perfect Competition - Essay Example Perfect Competition The model of perfect competition is based upon four assumptions. Firstly the firms are price takers. There are so many firms in the market that and single firm does not produce enough of the whole to be able to influence the market price. Therefore, they are considered as price takers where the price has already been determined at the market forces of demand and supply. There are no barriers of entry or exit for the firms. There are no stopping firms who wish to enter or leave the market. The existing firms have no role in this process. All firms are producing homogenous products. This means that the products of all firms are identical and as a result there can be no marketing in terms of names of brands. All the producers and consumers have perfect information regarding the prices of the products. Very few firms or industries come close to this model in the real world. We may see such conditions temporarily in the agricultural industry but, these do not exist in the long run. In per fect competition as stated in the assumptions above it is assumed that there are many small firms and that they cannot do anything to influence the market price. Therefore, they are considered as price takers where the price has already been determined at the market forces of demand and supply. There are no barriers of entry or exit for the firms. There are no stopping firms who wish to enter or leave the market. The existing firms have no role in this process. All firms are producing homogenous products. This means that the products of all firms are identical and as a result there can be no marketing in terms of names of brands. All the producers and consumers have perfect information regarding the prices of the products. (Sloman,2006) Very few firms or industries come close to this model in the real world. We may see such conditions temporarily in the agricultural industry but, these do not exist in the long run. In perfect competition as stated in the assumptions above it is assu med that there are many small firms and that they cannot do anything to influence the market price. The firm’s contribution to the industry and market is so small that even if it changes its output it will have no effect on the market price of the product. Thus, the firm can produce any quantity hoping to sell all of it at market price. Considering this it is derived that the demand curve is perfectly elastic and thereby, marginal revenue earned for each additional output sold is same throughout. Therefore, the marginal revenue is equal to average revenue (Bamford et al 2002.). Thus, considering that the individual firms do not affect the market price the only real decision which they have to make is the level of output to be produced. This decision can be taken by taking into account the costs of production. Considering the basic objective of the firm is to maximize profits it will produce at the point where marginal costs equals marginal revenue (MC=MR). (Bamford et al. 200 2) The first thing which needs to be understood is the difference between the short run and the long run. During the short run the number of firms in the industry is fixed. This means that no new firms will be entering the market in the short run. The existing firms will have the chance to earn abnormal profits in the short run. However, in the long run there will be other firms entering the market. Firms will enter the market if there will be signs of abnormal profits. On the other hand, if there are losses some firms may also leave the industry. (Sloman,2006) The total revenue to be earned by the firm will be equal to the price multiplied by the quantity sold. If the total cost of producing this specified number of units is lesser than the total revenue then it can be said that the firm is making abnormal profits. This will actually be an incentive for the firm to keep producing at the current rate. However, if total revenue equals total coast (TR=TC), then the firm is barely maki ng it to the breakeven point. It is this point where the firm is earning normal profits. On the other hand, it is plausibility that the total cost is greater than the total revenue. If the costs are greater, the firm may exit the industry altogether. This may not be the case at all times. If the total revenue is greater than

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Barratt Development Account Information Analysis

Barratt Development Account Information Analysis Assessing the role of accounting information and accounting information system at Barratt Development Abstract Accounting information and accounting information systems (AIS) in todays information age play critical roles in facilitating decision-makers with accurate financial status of the organization and activities to pursue strategic objectives. Accountants, who are the disseminators of accounting information, need to ensure that the information provided to decision-makers such as managers, executives and board of directors is up-to-date to achieve organizational objectives, monitor performance and/or amend strategic objectives when needed. Sometimes accounting information is not as useful and even impacts negatively on the users. This is due to a host of issues that plague accounting information and its systems including authenticity, integrity and quality of the information generated. For these reasons, companies have to develop and maintain accounting information systems congruent with their business objectives to ensure usefulness, integrity and transparency to avoid ethical, legal and business conflicts. In the following evaluation, the researcher shall demonstrate the role of accounting information and accounting information system at Barratt Development Plc, with special emphasis on how the implementation of computerized accounting information systems affects issues of quality, integrity and reliability. Barratt Development Overview Barratt is one of the UKs largest homebuilders. Founded in 1958, the company today has an extended growing network of divisions spread throughout the UK. The breadth and scope of Barratt’s organizational structure can be measured by the number of resources and other pioneering projects development it serves to the communities. The company boasts market share with specialization in creating high quality, value for money homes for sale, rent and shared ownership, often in partnership with local authorities, housing associations and others (Official Website 2007). The majority, that is 80%, of the projects, are based on brown field recycled land. This commitment towards sustainable development has been congruent with the Governments future plan in sustainable development and innovation in homebuilding and construction (Official Website 2007). Even though the company has been founded since four decades, it is growing at an unprecedented speed. Since its listing in the London Stock Exchange in 1968, Barratt Development Plc has achieved high turnover. For the year 2006, the company has had a group turnover of  £2,431m. With 33 operating divisions throughout the country to serve all sectors of the market, Barratt is considered one of the most powerful groups of builders in planning and developing of the countrys housing sector (Official Website 2007). According to its executives, Barratts success lies in its geographical spread and extensive product range. The company has always ensured that sales of its homes and buildings are congruent with the average market place to appeal to a variety of buyers, yet maintains quality throughout the project. In addition, Barratt does not believe in remaining stagnant and following other players. Instead, part of its success lies in its ability to grow through innovation, and using green technologies effectively to develop projects that cost less, have more valuable benefits to the customer and environment, as well as customized to the end users preferences. Problems such as energy efficiency, health and safety, and regeneration are taken into consideration seriously (Annual Report 2006). With a strong team of specialists on its hand, Barratts management is confident in its performance and in creating value for its shareholders and stakeholders. Role of Accounting Information and AIS at Barratt Development The emergence of the digital economy and globalization has precipitated the concept of organizational systems for managing knowledge and information. In the financial context, digitized information reporting has become a link between the different units of the organization. It is through this network of information that organizations are able to utilize information in individualized management. Accounting information systems are enablers of information provision to synthesize financial information such as reports for non-standard managerial decisions. The AIS has come to be the managers knowledge through which the organization deploys knowledge for various purposes in decision frameworks (Bhimani 2003). Thus, AIS can be defined as a subsystem of the organizations information system in which quantitative data are processed to provide information for individuals or group of people with similar information needs, to use in understanding organizational activities and support decision-mak ing. Accounting information refers to processed data converted into information for the purpose of decision-making (OpenLearning ). This ideology can be exemplified by studying Barratt Development and its AIS. Accounting information at Barratt serves various groups of individuals and mainly those who are in direct relation with the business. From the top of the decision tree, the board of directors who need to direct and control the organization are the principal users of accounting information. Accounting information is used to study the trend in revenues, pre-tax profit, losses, group activities, cash flow, return on capital employed, forward order book, land, net assets, interest rates, selling price, volume of business, product sale and earnings per share to estimate the status of the business. They base their assessment on future plans, the types of project they will focus on, the kind of resources they plan to employ, and the kind of risks involved in the business (Annual Report 2006). Apart from the board of directors, accounting information provides valuable information for monitoring purposes for external groups of individuals such as the auditing committee. They study the integrity of the financial statements to objectively evaluate its relation with the organizational performance. They are also responsible for studying the financial management and reporting system to ensure that accounting procedures, system of control and processes are congruent with standards prescribed by the regulators (Annual Report 2006). The accounting information also provides useful status of the kind of credit transactions that have taken place with suppliers, the terms for repayment and how much debt the company is in without risking the companys integrity. After the Board of Directors, the auditors, and the creditors, the executives and managers are the ones who make use of the accounting information. They utilize make use of accounting information for assessing operational performance and how to improve it through strategic plans. Accounting information provides insight pertaining to the gaps or problems inherent in the skills, resources, and financial constrains that hinder the maximization of efficiency of resources to achieve organizational objectives and targets (Annual Report 2006). External users of accounting information also include the shareholders and speculators who are keen on studying the performance of the company from time to time to safeguard their interests. Information pertaining to earnings per share, share pricing, profitability, rates of returns and announcement of new shares being floated are all useful for shareholders to make investment decisions. Apart from the above-mentioned core decision-makers, accounting information is also used at the operational level for information like salaries, benefits, bonuses, pension benefits, as well as ensuring that divisional leaders are able to gauge the status of inventory, receivables, cash flow activities, assets, land, payables and taxes etc. which will impact on the overall status of the projects. The accounting information that these individuals utilize is processed by an accounting information system, which generates information from daily transactions such as sale receipts, invoices, payment slips, taxation forms, salary slips, suppliers transactional slips, and trade receivables etc. The AIS comprises of sub-sub systems set up based on accounting standards such as inventory system, supply chain system, sales proceeds systems, human resource system, and capital investment systems. The AIS is also formed based on various internal transactions recorded in these systems. Hence, the AIS at Barratt Development is based on both internal and external accounting information processing. Accounting Information Strategy at Barratt Development Although AIS has been in existence in organizations since the invention of accounting, today it is interpreted synonymously with the computerization of accounting function. The fundamental purpose of AIS is to collect, record and process data from activities related to the organizations (Stefanou 2006). The resultant information has implications in maintenance, decision and communication by internal and external stakeholders, depending on the extent of the impact of environmental factors, social factors, technological factors and organizational factors. According to Stefanou (2006), accounting information and AIS are critical for organizations to respond to highly competitive and dynamic business environments that often alter production processes and organizational structures. For this purpose, information systems such as AIS play an important role in facilitating change management and allow cross-functional requirements. At Barratt, the company has engaged Weber Shandwick Square Mile as the financial PR advisors to develop a communication framework especially designed for providing information to its shareholders and stakeholders at all times. However, this step towards transparency is limited by the companys policy not to divulge sensitive financial information to the public without the expressed approval of the Company Secretary. The company believes that this strategy helps it to ensure that key accounting information is only communicated to those genuinely concerned such as investors, private shareholders and analysts (Annual Report 2006). Barratts AIS is based on the International Financial Reporting Standards, complies with the Companies Act of 1985 and uses the generally accepted accounting principles. Under GAAP, the company also has to include estimates and assumptions that affect the companys overall financial performance, especially on assets and liabilities, while reporting of revenues and expenses. Accounting information is based on the managements interpretation of amount, activities, actions and actual/estimates and their impact on the performance of the company. For this purpose, Barratt takes into account of results/estimates from holding companies, as well as its subsidiaries, to be included in it financial statements to record revenue, expenditures, assets, liabilities, and cash flows. For example, when considering cost estimation, the company includes materials, labour and overheads of work in progress. Similarly, when considering property, plant and equipment, the company includes deferred purchase cre dit terms and costs, less depreciation of the assets (Annual Report 2006). Developing and managing accounting information is critical for inter and intra organizational information dissemination. Accurate information is required for decision support throughout the organization, as well as to ensure that the quality of information supports efficiency of operational activities. By using the GAAP principles, the companys decision-makers are able to negotiate and manage costs for determining cost price, selling price and service price of its products in the market. It is also critical for the decision-makers at the divisional level to gauge the financial implications of the project undertaken and, hence, determine its value to the overall organizational strategy. In smaller companies, it is easier to emphasize on control mechanisms such as cash, monitoring performance and maintaining relationships with external entities (Collis and Jarvis 2002). However, in an organization such as Barra tt, where holding companies, subsidiaries, supply chain and such external value chain units are connected with the companys operations, accounting estimates, though give a rough picture of the financial status, do not really provide correct financial status (Ramos 2004). Furthermore, due to the changing business environment and trend, traditional notions of control systems no longer prove effective in understanding and controlling factors that affect organizations. Bhimani (2003) is of the view that management operational strategies nowadays require a balance of all units within the organizational framework linked by an effective communication network, which emphasize on information and knowledge transfer. Any information system must facilitate information for monitoring and evaluation of the knowledge. Boland (1999) too is of the view that information systems such as the AIS must be present in the organization to create reports, support report regeneration, support decision systems, smoothen workflow and provide enquiry function. Therefore, the AIS should represent the organizational control system (Stuerke 2005). To begin with, Barratt maintains an effective financial information system that provides relevant and up-to-date information pertaining t o the organization for the purpose of maintaining investment relations. One cannot deny the fact that information pertaining to earnings forecasts, capital returns, announcements, financial performance and the like are easily available at the click of a button at Barratts investor relations web site. The purpose of this web site is to smooth the workflow of the investors, traders and analysts so that they engage in trading Barratts shares and securities (Barratt Official Website 2007). Likewise, one observes that Barratt has used its financial information system to effectively direct and control its corporate governance through which it sets standards and values for maintaining its relationship with shareholders, customers, staff, suppliers, contractors and stakeholders. It is through its corporate governance strategy that the company is able to develop an operational plan, budget, financial statements, decide on projects, conduct acquisition and disposal of units, as well as monitor business performance, set internal control for risk management and ensure transparency is existent throughout the organization (Annual Report 2006). An effective information system is dependent on a regulatory body. It is this body that monitors and evaluates the efficacy of the implementation of policies and strategies. Maintaining an information system with sensitive information, such as financial data, is useless if there are no regular checks and balances. In a financial context, this is usually carried out by the auditors. Congruent to the breadth and size of the company, Barratt has two groups of auditors internal and external. The Audit Committee (internal) comprises of executive directors with financial experience who are responsible for monitoring the effectiveness of the audit process, financial management and reporting systems, as well as ensuring the integrity and effectiveness of its accounting processes. The internal control systems are reviewed regularly to monitor potential risks or discrepancies in the audit function. An external auditing company, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLC has been engaged to authenticate the v alidity of the internal audit committees reports (Annual Report 2006). This approach is not new in terms of companys evaluation and monitoring. Apart from the auditing committee, Barratts Directors are also responsible for safeguarding the companys assets by monitoring for fraud and irregularities in its financial system and operations. Their task is governed by an internal control and risk management system. Although, this system may seem effective in defining risk control operations and reportage, nevertheless it is usually limited by the authority of the same directors who report, evaluate and audit the financial information disseminated at interim and annual meetings. The directors are a select group who are made responsible for the transparency of the whole companys accounting system. For example, when considering issues of land viability for acquisition, work in progress, and sub-contractor payments etc., the executive directors are dependent on the input system, which is controlled at the divisional level. Accounting of purchases, sales, and acquisitions is authenticated by the divisional heads, while the executive di rectors are dependent on these divisional units for authentication of their own reportage. Consequently, the researcher is of the view that the system only provides reasonable assurance. The risk of fraudulent activities cannot be really assured at all levels as the checks and balances are limited to the top executives only. Conclusion From the above discussion, one understands that although the digital economy has substantially revolutionized accounting information systems, it is essentially based on the same framework. Traditional accounting values such as integrity, authenticity and quality of information for the purpose of decision-making critically have remained the same. All processes in recording and processing accounting data for generating information serve the purpose of accountability and authentication of the factors of production, work in progress and performance of the firm. What has changed is the significance of the AIS as the intra and inter communication framework for stakeholders and shareholders. This is evident from the above study of Barratt Development, one of UKs top house-builder companies. Barratt, based on its operational infrastructure, has developed a complex financial information system governed by policies, procedures and disciplines for governing it. Its management has appointed top decision-makers (its directors) as gatekeepers for monitoring, evaluating and safekeeping of financial information. It has adopted standardized accounting principles for reportage and accountability so as to facilitate its shareholders and stakeholders with easy-to-access accounting information for making decisions that affect the company. Nevertheless, if one analyzes this accounting system, it is filled with gaps, which may compromise the integrity and quality of information provided to its users. Consequently, the researcher is of the view that AIS cannot guarantee authenticity, quality and integrity of information, regardless of the kind of system adopted. What is needed is a check and balance system integrated, congruent with the AIS, at all levels of the organization to ensure independent authentication of information and knowledge management. Bibliography Barratt Official Website. Company Profile. Online accessed on 20 January 2007 from: http://www.barratt-investor-relations.co.uk/corporateoverview/companyprofile.aspx Barratt Report and Accounts 2006. Bhimani, A. (2003) Management Accounting in the Digital Economy. Oxford University Press: Oxford. Boland, R. J. (1999) Accounting as a Representational Craft Lessons for Research on Information Systems in Rethinking Management Information Systems: An Interdisciplinary Perspective, Currie, W. and Galliers, B. (eds) Oxford University Press: Oxford. pp. 229 Collis, J. and Jarvis, R. (2002) Financial Information and the Management of Small Private Companies. Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, Vol. 9, No. 2 pp.100-110 Ramos, M. M. (2004) Interaction between management accounting and supply chain management. Supply Chain Management: An International Journal. Vol.9, No. 2, pp.134-138 Stuerke, P. S. (2005) Financial analysts as users of accounting information. International Journal of Managerial Finance Vol. 1 No. 1, pp. 8-24 Barratt Report and Accounts 2006. Barratt Official Website. Company Profile. Online accessed on 20 January 2007 from: http://www.barratt-investor-relations.co.uk/corporateoverview/companyprofile.aspx Bhimani, A. (2003) Management Accounting in the Digital Economy. Oxford University Press: Oxford. Boland, R. J. (1999) Accounting as a Representational Craft Lessons for Research on Information Systems in Rethinking Management Information Systems: An Interdisciplinary Perspective, Currie, W. and Galliers, B. (eds) Oxford University Press: Oxford. pp. 229 Ramos, M. M. (2004) Interaction between management accounting and supply chain management. Supply Chain Management: An International Journal. Vol.9, No. 2, pp.134-138 Collis, J. and Jarvis, R. (2002) Financial Information and the Management of Small Private Companies. Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, Vol. 9, No. 2 pp.100-110 Stuerke, P. S. (2005) Financial analysts as users of accounting information. International Journal of Managerial Finance Vol. 1 No. 1, pp. 8-24

Friday, January 17, 2020

Freud’s Theories

According to Freud, there is no such thing as an accident, but rather an unconscious desire. Freud developed the theory of Bungled Actions as a method to explain when things happen that seem to be accidental but play right into what that person desires at the time. The desire may not even be a conscious or purposeful event, but can be something that is desired in the subconscious and the accident or bungled action provides a means to get that desire accomplished. One might consider these bungled actions to be a doorway into our unconsciousness.In his essay â€Å"Bungled Actions†, Freud talks of cases where he saw the idea of a mistake or bungled action connecting to a deeper meaning. â€Å"Bungled actions can, of course, serve as whole number of other obscure purposes† (237). Freud talks about the idea of breaking things, harming oneself. The action of these things all are supposed to represent something that our unconscious wants to see happen. Numerous bungled actions were discussed throughout the reading which I would have never thought to be connected to one another.Smashing or breaking things with some value, there were several stories in which people said to have broken something and it was connected to an event in their lives. Freud sees the breaking of something as a sacrifice. For instance, Freud himself once being clumsy sat down at his desk to write a letter and knocked over the ink pot over which sat on his desk. Earlier in the day, his sister had commented on how his ink stand didn’t match his table and how he should get another one. Based on his theory, he believes that the reason he unconsciously broke the ink pot is purely because in his mind his sister said he needed to get another one. Dropping, knocking over and breaking objects are acts which seem to be used very often to express unconscious trains of thought† (242) as we saw in the Freud’s mishap. The story in the reading goes to say that a young boy wasnâ €™t happy with his nurses’ directions for him to spend the morning in bed. He got quite angry and threatened to kill himself. That evening the boy was showing his arm with the large bump and bruises on it and said â€Å"that was my attempt at suicide that I threatened this morning. In Freud’s eyes this child had unconsciously hit his arm because of his earlier comment. â€Å"Falling, stumbling, and slipping† aren’t always seen as â€Å"accidental miscarriages of motor activities† (243) because they always have a story behind them. Freud suggests that these things express sexual content. Believing Freud’s theory took some reading, after understanding the unconscious and the id, ego, and super ego I believe we all have an unconscious world hiding inside us waiting to â€Å"escape† through small mistakes or Freudian slips.I personally have never thought about how the accidents or mistakes I make in my life are actions that happened to try and tell me something else, but if someone is daring enough to take a gander, why not. I feel that if people are more aware of this it might not happen as often but it doesn’t hurt to investigate the urges hiding within all of us. Just the other week I was talking to my parents about how I wanted to get a new laptop because my computer was getting old. I also thought how nice it would be to be able to take it to different places, such as school.We were throwing the around and decided to wait until laptops were on sale right before September. My dad has been looking online for sales ever since. Just the other morning my dad needed to jump on the internet really quick before he went to work in the morning, I guess he was still half asleep and knocked a whole cup of hot coffee right on top of the computer. Needless to say we had to go out Saturday morning to buy me a new laptop; the coffee destroyed it! My dad’s subconscious really wanted to buy me a new laptop, I guess.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

The Dell Corporation The Significance Of Operation Management - Free Essay Example

Sample details Pages: 10 Words: 3132 Downloads: 1 Date added: 2017/06/26 Category Management Essay Type Narrative essay Did you like this example? Operations management is basically managing/overseeing all the processes involved in production, right from the production itself, to the distribution and sale of the products. Operations management therefore often constitutes analyzing the various processes and operations of the organization to grade and help constantly improve their efficiency and effectiveness (Andrew, 26). The operations management team is also tasked with increasing performance, inducing and maintaining optimal production levels and reducing all operational costs at all levels, with the ultimate goal being to increase the companys profit margins while at the same time maintaining high quality standards. Although operations management (OM) mostly deals with the operations of the company, it also focuses on the needs of the end-consumer for without them, operations management is rendered pointless. Dell Computer Corporation utilizes a very effective model of operations management. The cor e resource of any operations management is the human resource. With this knowledge, the company puts special emphasis on the selection of the operations management staff. The company ensures that recruitment of such staff is open and fair, hiring only the best candidates who show the greatest potential and a wide variety of relevant skills (William, 579). The company also encourages and rewards excellence in performance and promotes innovativeness, creativity and team work among the staff. With the advent of technology, it is also easier to manage and monitor changes and progress in the whole production process in real-time. This translates to a faster Turn-Around-Time in transactions and an ability to make decisions faster thus saving both time and resources. Dell Computer Corporation is at the forefront of the technological revolution placing it in a good tactical position to fully exploit these benefits (Alison, 46). Seeing that the operations management team deals with almost all levels of the production process, the operations managers really have their work cut out for them. In recruiting operation managers, Dell Computer Corporation not only seeks out candidates with advanced operation skills, but also interpersonal skills, leadership skills, as well as a general knowledge of various functional areas within the company. This is because they in the course of executing their tasks, they should also show a remarkable ability to communicate with other staff, promote team work, be able to motivate others and also work with multidisciplinary teams. Such multidisciplinary areas may include:- a) Process design and innovation This mainly deals with outlining the production process from obtaining the raw materials, designing the product and making the finished product. b) Distribution chains This involves transporting the finished products from the manufacturing plant to the end point-of-sale, whether to intermediaries or to the end consum er. c) Marketing This sector in the production process simply deals with making sales. They are tasked with setting prices for various markets and evaluating the profitability of the products by evaluating the cost of production versus the price at which the product is presented to the market. The marketing team is also responsible for building the brand name through advertisements and promotional offers. d) Finance In every business, the core activity is making transactions. These transactions are handled by the finance department. Straight from the capital to production costs and finally to income generated by the business, all these transactions need to be recorded, managed and constantly monitored to determine the financial health of the company. Inventories of assets and liabilities are made and managed by the finance team. e) Service operations This deals with services utilized within the daily operations of the company. Services such as product performanc e evaluation, packaging and delivery among others are handled by the service operations team. f) Customer service Production companies need to get feedback from the customers and also provide customer care services for troubleshooting and other purposes. This improves customer relations and if the customer care service is efficient enough, it goes a long way in creating a reputable brand name. The customer feels sufficiently catered for and that is one way of creating and maintaining loyalty in the customers. In general, the effectiveness of operations management can be graded by how productive the company is. Operations managers calculate this by getting the ratio of outputs to inputs: Productivity ratio: Outputs Inputs For Dell Computer Corporation, outputs comprise of both computers and computer parts. The inputs include capital, raw materials, machinery/equipment, human resource (labor), and other assets. Basically, productivity = Output or Output or Output or Output Labor Capital Materials Energy Principles of Operations Management The essence of any business venture is to provide/produce goods and or services for sale. To achieve that, the management of any such business must first be in touch with the needs of the customer and be able to meet the demand. Dell Computer Corporation identifies the kind of product needed by a particular customer or group of customers and strives to provide an almost customized product for that particular market. The first principle applied here is knowing which market needs what product and the location of that market. This is achieved by doing a market research or survey where the customers are presented with a forum on which they can air their needs or what they would expect in a product and the features most relevant to them. Customers are also provided with an opportunity to give feedback on products they have purchased and they also receive free customer support services as an added ben efit. Using this data, the company is in a better position to understand and cater for the customers needs and expectations. In addition, frequent customers are offered low prices and other promotional offers to create loyalty and to widen the customer base. This is not only a good strategy to avoid losing customers to the competitors, but it creates a sense of belonging in the customer. Dell Computer Corporation also sends updates to willing customers on new products even before they hit the market. There are vital factors to consider even after a business has picked up and is seemingly running smoothly with an inevitable projected progress in sales and growth. One of these is quality control. Maintaining the quality of products that are being presented to the customer is vital as this not only builds a good reputation in the market, but also means that your brand name remains untarnished. Once a reputation goes down the drain, the process of rebranding or regaining the market t rust will be an uphill task not to mention very costly. Although quality control checks and maintains high standards of production and quality goods/services, it also comes in handy when eliminating redundancies in the production line. In every market, there are bound to be several investors. Even in a new market, competition sprouts at the first sign of success. It is the inevitability of supply and demand. Dell Computer Corporation operates in a market in which competition is strife. Therefore, the company chose not to ignore the competition but get to know what kind of competition other firms pose and then make strategic decisions that will help the company engage in healthy competition in the market knowing the competition helps the company assess both its products and others flooding the market, with an aim on improving the quality of the product, better meeting the needs of the market, and reviewing the cost of the products in order to stay competitive and at the same ti me affordable (Chris, 116). The staff (human resource) of any company constitutes the heart of the company. All factors constant, the staff determine the performance of a company. Dell Computer Corporation has made a remarkable investment in human resources. This has been achieved, as aforementioned, through acquisition of highly qualified and highly motivated personnel. In addition, Dell Computer Corporation ensures health, safety and security measures are in place and effective for its staff. The company also continually upgrades its staff by facilitating their retraining and cross-training through seminars, workshops and company-sponsored courses. In a bid to get the most out of the available resources, the company sets out to frequently perform servicing and maintenance on the machinery. This increases the lifespan of the equipment while reducing chances of breakdowns. What this means is that the company will save on new equipment as the existing one will last longer, and also save on damage control or repairs since few of those will be experienced. Moreover, during acquisition of new equipment, the company targets low-cost equipment that is mobile or easy to move and upgradeable in the future. Compatibility is important in making sure that the equipment can be used with either existing machinery, or new additional equipment. The design and organization of any company is also a key principle of operations management. Dell Computer Corporation disseminates and delegates various resources into several paths in the distribution channels with the intention of focusing on a specific product or service, or even a particular type of customer. The company also strives to identify the best supplier for its needs and acquire high quality raw materials at the best price. This is geared to increasing profit margins. To calculate this, the break-even analysis can be applied. This analysis helps the company calculate and determine the point at which the revenue generated by the product and the total cost are equal. In this case, it can also be utilized by the company to determine when the company starts making profit on the equipment. Break-even demand = cost of process or equipment Price per unit cost per unit Or Total fixed costs of process of equipment Unit price to customer Variable costs per unit The core operation in any manufacturing plant is to process raw materials to end up with a finished product ready for the market. To secure uniformity in the products, the processing itself needs to be void of variations and errors. Therefore, the company ensures the uniformity of the production process. The time taken from acquisition of raw materials/supplies through the production process to distribution and finally delivery of the products (wait time) should be considerably reduced. The distance between the manufacturing plant and the suppliers, manufacturing plant and the distributors, distributors and the retail fac ilities, and between the retail facilities and the customers should also be as short as possible to reduce transports costs and save time. Every production process is susceptible to problems. It is vital that the company designs and implements a suitable problem solving model. The first step to problem solving is identifying a problem when it occurs. For this reason, Dell Computer Corporation collects and records data throughout the production process analyzing the quality of the end products, the processing data and any flaws to the products that are detected. With this data, the company is able to take corrective measures to the production line by identifying the causes of such problems and implementing solutions. Problems and weaknesses in the current operations management system As discussed earlier, Dell Computer Corporation engages in data collection on the performance of its products and also provides both customer support and a forum for airing comments and new idea s to further improve their product. In such a scenario, the data collected can be, and mostly is, overwhelming. What starts out as a great channel to obtain vital information and feedback becomes a liability by wasting resources. Sifting through all that data and sorting the relevant from the irrelevant can be both time consuming and needs a lot of manpower (Schneider, 109). This has led to the company seeking a more efficient way to collect and sort the data. During the recent global recession, many businesses sank. With the tough economic times, there were just not as many customers to sustain their businesses. Products piled up in stores and warehouses and soon the cost of running these businesses far exceeded the amount of sales leave alone gross profits they were making. Dell Computer Corporation was not spared either. All businesses felt the crunch. During this period, sales went down by a considerable percentage and the company was suddenly not getting as many orders as projected. The company was in the course of several expansion projects which needed, and were utilizing, a lot of resources. The company was producing more than what the market was able/willing to take on. And although the financial crisis is slowly deteriorating, the company has had a surplus of products that were meant for sale in the market 2 years ago. But with the new production line of improved products, that means these surplus products are almost running obsolete in todays market. In an organization as huge as Dell Computer Corporation, there are a myriad of operations going on at the same time in various locations, not to mention the big number of staff/personnel. In such a setting, coordinating all the activities that happen within and without each plant, facility or branch presents humongous challenges. The work flow is dependent on the smooth operation and executing specific tasks in tandem. Therefore, operations managers are faced with a challenge in managing and overseeing all the operations of the company and supervision different departments and the roles they play in the production process. There is a real risk of losing control of some vital operations or leaving others unattended to. Moreover, gathering such information on what exactly is happening at what location in real time presents a challenge. Remedies Anticipation in the business world is a priceless asset. A business enterprise should always try to predict market trends and forecast the possibilities in the future using relevant data. The element of surprise is disadvantageous in business. Just before the global financial crisis, Dell Computer Corporation ought to have made accurate projections on the impending crisis and planned appropriately. The company had sought to reduce the wait time by mass producing a product that has turned out to be running obsolete only 2 years down the line. In the technology industry, products are more like perishables because of the high ra te of technological advancement. As operations managers oversee and coordinate between various departments in the organization, they should have mobility. Usually, mobility comes at the price of losing proximity to the office or some central information processing point. This can be remedied by providing, not only the operations managers but also all the personnel, with mobile devices e.g. PDAs and Pocket PCs through which they can receive, send and access information on various processes and events in the organization in real-time whenever they are. Using these devices, they remain constantly updated on what is happening and provides an excellent reliable means of communication channel to all. Forecasting provides a company with an advantage in that it shows what the future will be using available data hence estimating future occurrences/trends. This helps the operations managers to plan for the future and restructure the system, if need be, appropriately. It also helps them plan the implementation of the planned system well before hand. However, during forecasting, a deviation or margin of error, is inevitable as it is rarely perfect. Also, if more data is available to be counted upon, then this increases the accuracy of the forecast. A good forecast should be reliable, accurate, timely and easy to utilize. The forecast should also be reliable as the direction will take heavily relies on such a forecast. The figure below shows a sales forecast for Dell Computer Corporation small-scale retailer for the next 5 months. Months Forecast of sales Actual Sales Error Squared Error = E2 1 10 8 2 4 2 8 12 4 16 3 11 7 4 16 4 14 16 2 4 5 10 8 2 4 Total 14 44 Total absolute deviation (TAD) = 14 Mean absolute deviation (MAD) = S(Actual forecast) /n = 14/5 = 2.8 Total squared Error (TSE) = 44 Mean Square Error (MSE) = 44/5 = 8.8 With such a forecast, the retailer is in a position to make an informed decision about how much stock t o order and also give reliable feedback about the market trends of that locality. Recommendations After conducting a market research, it emerged that with the rapid advance of technology, new products and services are being introduced into the market at an alarming rate. There is a wide variety of products and services that grows even wider by the day. Many innovations and new ideas are being formulated and incorporated into product lines then introduced to the market. With such a steady influx of products, Dell Computer Corporation ought to consider reducing the time taken to develop and manufacture and introduce new products to the market. Of course, there is a delicate balance between the rate at which the company can execute new developments and the cost of such a major operation. As we have seen, technological advancements are occurring everyday and at an alarming rate. Any business venture should strive to upgrade their systems regularly in order to avoid becoming obs olete. With this knowledge, the company is constantly integrating new advancements in technology into its operations. The companys position in the technology market puts in an advantageous position to exploit technology as a strong point. Provision of high quality goods and or services is the core goal of a manufacturing company. Dell Computer Corporation provides high quality products to its customers worldwide. But more than that, the company is intent on maintaining the high quality level of products throughout the production process. At the same time, the company tries to check and control the production cost so that the cost of production is not too exorbitant and run the risk of reducing the profit margins. The human resource is one of the core resources of a company. It is necessary for a company to invest in its staff/personnel. Simply recruiting qualified personnel is hardly enough to make a positive impact in a company. Dell Computer Corporation also engages in staff seminars and constant retraining and re-evaluating employees to improve their skills and performance in the company. During the distribution process, the company is bound to interact with the customer, either directly or indirectly through the use of intermediaries like wholesalers and retailers. This interaction is very vital. This is because to achieve maximum sales, all the players in the distribution channel should be customer-friendly. Right from the location of the supply facility to the display of the product, its packaging, delivery and customer service, the process is designed to be user-friendly. As witnessed in the market, competitors have merged to form a formidable force and have increased their market share immensely. Dell Computer Corporation looks forward to identifying and working jointly with potential partners to form strategic alliances and to pool the available resources with an aim of expanding the market share and consequently sales. As of September 2010, Dell Computer Corporation was number 2 in PC market share behind Hewlett Packard and knocking off Acer from that position. Taking into consideration the recent mergers and acquisition carried out by HP, it is clear that Dell is the choice of many for networking and technological solutions. Don’t waste time! 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