Unit 4 Project Design Implementation and Evaluation

Unit 4 Project Design Implementation and Evaluation


Description of the Original Problem.

Currently, Mexico Curios Corporation has been selling Mexican handmade curiosities for more than 12 years in Nogales Sonora Mexico. Probably, most of Mexico Curios Corporation's customers are retired Americans looking for colorful decorations items for their homes. Indeed, the first eight years Mexico Curios success was outstanding because cash flow kept doubling every year. Consequently, the management kept hiring employees, renting better facilities, and buying more merchandise. At present time, the situation has changed dramatically. Absolutely, Mexico Curios Corporation's financial condition has deteriorated severely in the last four years. Therefore, the possibility of personnel dismissals continues to grow as time passes by.

Unquestionably, the U. S. and world economy are responsible for a situation in which the majority of the American families suffer from work insecurity and lack of money. In addition, globalization of world economy continues to increase Mexico Curios Corporation's foreign competition from numerous Asiatic countries. As a result, the organization has experienced a continued decline in customers, and this condition will keep deteriorating with the continual augment of Asiatic merchandise.

Therefore, a rapid creative solution must be found by Mexico Curios management because if the situation does not improve immediately, Mexico Curios Organization will close its doors and will declare bankruptcy.

Framing of the problem and three alternative solutions.

In order to frame the problem, the issue was carefully analyzed following Dr. Edward de Bono's decision-making technique (Manktelow, 2003) "Six Thinking Hats System". Truly, Mexico Curios Corporation's objective is to enhance customer flow, and this technique was very helpful because we could approach the problem from six different viewpoints.

Likewise, brainstorming is another excellent tool that works by focusing on a problem and finding a variety of radical solutions (McDowell, 1999). Indeed, brainstorming is a very creative process because ideas are not only deliberately broad but also odd, and they are developed as fast as possible. Beyond doubt, brainstorming is a lateral thinking process designed to help people break out of the traditional thinking patterns into new ways of looking at different issues.

However, brainstorming sessions should not allow criticism of the ideas presented because the purpose of this dynamic is to open possibilities and avoid wrong assumptions about the limits of the problem. Thus, judgments and analysis at this stage will inhibit idea generation, and ideas should only be evaluated once the brainstorming session has ended (McDowell, 1999). All in all, these tools and techniques contribute to find some alternatives, and Mexico Curios Corporation's management decided to evaluate three doable solutions that could help to unravel the present concerns.

Three alternative solutions.

The most viable solutions are:

1. Decrease operation cost and personnel dismissal

2. A marketing campaign

3. An online store.

1) The first solution is to buy inexpensive merchandise to lower store expenses and increase Mexico Curios revenue. Besides, Mexico Curios will dismiss 50% of current personnel. Absolutely, Mexico Curios Corporation will not only increase revenue but also will prevent the company from closing its door.

2) Second, another alternative for Mexico Curios Corporation to avoid possible personal dismissal is by advertising. Currently, advertising comes in different packages, and the company must invest time and effort to find the type of advertising that will best help México Curios Corporation's interests. Although, Nogales is a small city; advertisements can be made in the Tucson, Green Valley, and even Phoenix. Some of the local news paper could aide the business to let the people know about Mexico Curios low prices, specials, and great deals. Similarly, all people interested in fine Mexican art figures will learn about Mexico Curios Corporation's excellent quality and assortment of its merchandise, and splendid low prices.

3) Last, the third alternative selected as a solution for the problem that our company encounters is adding an online component or online store.

Evaluation of Each of the Three Alternatives.

Furthermore, the analysis of each of the three possible alternatives was carefully examined with the tools and techniques chosen for decision-making. Specifically, the brainstorming technique and Dr. Edward Bono's decision-making technique (Manktelow, 2003) "Six Thinking Hats System" helped us to find out that our first possible solution was very complex. Probably, Mexico Curios Corporation will save money by purchasing lower quality merchandise, but eventually, the company will end up losing more customers at last. Certainly, shoppers will soon discover that the merchandise does not meet the quality standards expected. On the other hand, less personnel generates inferior customer service which results in an increasing lost of clientele.

Furthermore, the second solution, a marketing campaign in Green Valley, Tucson, and Phoenix might enhance Mexico Curios Corporation's revenues but not enough to solve the problem. While this promotion might attract some customers to some extent; the company will not resolve the main problems adequately. Accordingly, the majority of the targeted clients are retired people that travel to Tucson and Green Valley during the winter season, and they return in the spring season back to the northern states. Therefore, no marketing campaign will bring as much as necessary consumers to solve Mexico Curios Corporation's issues.

In simpler terms, Mexico Curios Corporation needs to makes radical changes that will not only contribute to increase the cash flow, but also to eliminate any possibility of personnel dismissals. Hence, the third solution of branching into an online or virtual store seems like the most appropriate decision.

Mainly, Mexico Curios Corporation will not only bring its merchandise to every customer in the southwest but also across the whole wide world. Moreover, every client will shop in the comfort of his or her own home. Certainly, an online version of Mexico Curios Corporation is the best practicable solution.

Evaluation of the Ethical Implications.

Initially, the project will generate the economic resources to the needed Mexican artisans. Simultaneously, the reassignment of duties will eliminate the possibility of personnel dismissals. With an online store, Mexico Curios Corporation will keep providing high-quality products at a reasonable price to the American consumer all over the country and across the world.

A Plan to Implement the Chosen Solution.

Presently, Mexico Curios Corporation faces the great challenge of implementing an online branch that will mitigate most of its financial problems, in a short period of time and with a minimum investment. For example, the company will no longer have to wait for customers to travel to Nogales in order to purchase its products because they will be contacted through the World Wide Web. In addition, personnel who experienced diminishing household tasks will be assigned to new available duties as we mention previously. Altogether, the online store can be set up and ready to operate in less than a month; the expenses will not escalate out of proportion because cost to launch a virtual version of Mexico Curios Corporation bares minimum cost. Primarily, the company already has the merchandise that will be offered online, and the monthly expenditure to host a website does not exceed $15.00.

Evaluation of the Resources of the Solution.

Essentially, the measurements to determine when the problem is solved are the augmentation of retailing that will result on the obvious raise of cash flow. However, the problem will not be completely eliminated until Mexico Curios Corporation creates a customer's database big enough to obtain sufficient residual income that will provide the adequate time span for planning and preparing for a utterly growth of the organization.

Define the Criteria for Measuring Successful Outcomes.

Evidently, Mexico Curios Corporation will be considered successful if:

- The online version is completed on time and without going over the planned budget.

- Cash flow increases to the expected level I a timely manner.

- Sold items are delivered on time, and to the quality standards agreed upon.

- Merchandise and shipping are within those budgeted.

- Not less that 98% of customer approval (measured with customer feedback system).

An Evaluation of the Success of the Solution.

- How will you know if you have made the best possible decision?

- What tools will you use to evaluate the outcome/s?

- Defend your decision using your critical thinking skills.

Indeed, a decision needs to be made, or a problem needs to be solved for an organization and there are many courses of action that can be taken. In brief, the easiest route to travel, but the least effective one is the path lead by your feelings or intuition. Although, this type of snap decision-making might get the job done quickly, the best outcome will most likely not be achieved in the end. Truly, chances are that a real solution will not be found, which in turn will bring forth the call for another decision to be made. In the end, this situation will ultimately waste the company's time, money, and resources.

Nevertheless, a business that wants to avoid having to correct any problem that arises from hasty decision-making should analyze the situation and keep in mind that a bit of planning is worth the time and the effort invested.

Presently, people all over the world in the managerial arena acknowledges and foresees as the best course of action to be used is one of the many decision-making models that already exist. For the most part, these decision-making models are very similar, because the only differences are the number of steps that each one has; some have more than others depending on the focus of the particular model, but in general the format is almost the same.

- Identify the problem

- Identify the options

- Evaluate the options

- Select an option

- Implement a solution

- Re-evaluate a solution and monitor outcome

Specifically, Mexico Curios Corporation followed the steps listed above in order to find the solution to its problems. All in all, after following these steps the company knew that the best choice was made because the outcomes were not only the best ones obtained but also the fastest ones for the business.

In conclusion, this project analysis could be summarized as a successful endeavor for Mexico Curios Corporation because of the numerous positive impacts on the people, the company, and the resources at all levels.

References:

Bassham et al (2002). Critical Thinking- A Student's Introduction. : The McGraw-Hill Companies.

Bateman-Snell (2003). Mangement: The New Competitive Landscape (6th ed.). : The McGraw-Hill Companies.

Manktelow, J. (2003). Six Thinking Hats - Looking at a Decision From All Points of View. Retrieved May 22, 2005, from Mind Tools Ltd of Signal House Web Site: http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTED_07.htm

McDowell, D (1999). Process Guide #1: Brainstorming Triton

and Patterns Projects of San Diego Unified School District. Retrieved June 5, 2005 from http://projects.edtech.sandi.net/staffdev/tpss99/processguides/brainstorming.html

Redhead, S. (2004). Proverbs from around the World. Retrieved from Steven Redhead Web Site: http://www.quotes.stevenredhead.com/Proverbs/ 

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