Identify and explain you insights into the operation of the trade fair

analyse a set of data (in Microsoft Excel), and write a brief report (in Microsoft Word), identifying and explaining your insights into the operation of Trade Fair organized by “Home and Office Product Exhibition (HOPE)”.

Learning Objectives

In the process of this assessment task you will:

  • plan, schedule and execute project tasks with a view to improving your personal productivity;
  • gain awareness of some typical issues related to the operation of a small-to-medium size business;
  • use the functionality of Microsoft Excel 2007/10/13 to manipulate data, analyse it and visualise it in tabular and chart form; and
  • use the functionality of Microsoft Word to write a brief report of your business observations and recommendations.

 : Analysing Sales and Customer Relations

Introduction

Home and Office Product Exhibition (HOPE)specialises in promoting and selling both (i) stand space at trade fairs and (ii) tickets for visitors to trade fairs in Latrobe Valley, Gippsland area. The company currently promotes and sells two different sized stand spaces, to new or returning exhibitors,for a number of Trade Fairs locally and overseas. HOPE alsoprovides a number of additional value-added services to exhibitors for fees, such as organising exhibitor stands, developing marketing material for exhibitors to distribute at fairs, arranging travel and/or accommodation for exhibitors, and hospitality/catering for exhibitors to offer their customers attending the Exhibition. HOPE also organise visitor tickets for the trade fairs, which also provide commission income. All these activities are managed through the efforts of a number of sales representatives. The company’s founder, Ms IsabellaHunt, like all small business owners, is always interested in finding ways to increase revenues and decrease expenses.

Ms Hunt has recently hired you as her business analyst and poses some operational-level questions about the performance of her business. She is also eager to hear your thoughts and ideas on how to improve the business and requiresyou to make several recommendations on how to improve the company’s performance, especially in relation to the following business objectives:

  • improving the sales strategy;
  • improving internal efficiencies and effectiveness; and
  • building strong lasting relationships with its customers.

Ms Hunt has provided you with latest sales information in the“ITECH1005_assignment_data.xlsx” file. The data needs to be analysed and visualised to help observations related to the business operation and its shortcomings.

The data worksheet “Sales” contains collected information of the consultancy’s operationsinthe current year. Thesedetails included:

  • Date and Day(of customer order),
  • Trade Fair
  • Customer (i.e. exhibiting company)
  • space sold (sq.m.)
  • Sales Representative
  • time spent by Sales Representative to complete sale
  • returning Exhibitor?
  • Exhibitor stand organised?
  • Exhibitor travel organised?
  • Exhibitor accommodation organised?
  • Exhibitor marketing material organised?
  • Exhibitor hospitality organised?
  • Visitor tickets sold

The fees charged by HOPE to customers (i.e. exhibitors) for their value-added services are:

Value Added Service Fee (AUD)
Exhibitor stand organised 1500
Exhibitor travel arrangements 250
Exhibitor accommodation arrangements 200
Exhibitor marketing material organised 1500
Exhibitor hospitality organised 150

 

Each sales representative receives 15% of the total value added services for corresponding transactions. The data worksheet “Exhibitions” contains collected information of the Trade Fairs over the past decade. These details included:

  • Exhibition
  • Year
  • space available for HOPE to sell to exhibitors (sq.m.)
  • Visitor tickets sold by HOPE
  • Total Profit for HOPE

HOPE receives a fee ($5) for each Exhibition visitor ticket sold through its Sales Representatives. HOPE pays $1 per ticket to the corresponding sales representative. This historical information is summarised in the “Exhibitions” worksheet as a summation of all Sales Representative ticket sales.

The company receives different rates of ‘commissions’(i.e. fees) for selling space to companies exhibiting at the various fairs. The exhibition managers charge $175 per square meter for floor space. HOPE receives commission according to the following table.

Commission Received Space Sold Rate (% of sale amount)
New Exhibitor (large) >= 20 sq.m. 18
New Exhibitor (small) < 20 sq.m. 15
Returning Exhibitor (large) >= 20 sq.m. 10
Returning Exhibitor (small) < 20 sq.m. 7

HOPE thenpays commissions to the Sales Representatives for selling the space to those exhibiting companies. Each representative also receives $15 for each hour of their service on the weekdays and $20 per hour in the weekends. The following tables describe how these commissions are calculated:

Commission Paid Space Sold Rate (% of commission received)
New Exhibitor (large) >= 20 sq.m. 30
New Exhibitor (small) < 20 sq.m. 25
Returning Exhibitor (large) >= 20 sq.m. 15
Returning Exhibitor (small) < 20 sq.m. 10

 

On an average HOPE spends 50% of each sale as management salary, office rent, utilities, transportation and maintenance.

Calculations (All Students):

  1. a) Total sales, sub-totalled by each (a) Trade Fair, (b) Sales Representative, and (c) income type. Use Pivot Table(s) and appropriate graph(s)/chart(s) to summarise these calculations.
  2. b) Total profit, sub-totalled by each (a) Trade Fair, and (b) Sales Representative. Use Pivot Table(s) and appropriate graph(s)/chart(s) to summarise these calculations.
  3. c) Total expenses, sub-totalled by each (a) Trade Fair, (b) Sales Representative, and (c) expense type. Use Pivot Table(s) and appropriate graph(s)/chart(s) to summarise these calculations.
  4. d) Total hours worked, sub-totalled by each (a) Trade Fair, and (b) Sales Representative. Use Pivot Table(s) and appropriate graph(s)/chart(s) to summarise these calculations.
  5. e) Changes to profitability over the past decade, including 2015 figures, sub-totalled by each Trade Fair. Use an appropriate graph/chart to summarise these changes.

Ms Hunt requires you to make observations to help her with the following questions.

Observations (All students):

  1. f) Who are HOPE’s five best and five worst customers by total sales? Use an appropriate table and graph/chart to summarise these observations.
  2. g) What are HOPE’s best and worst value-added services by total profit? Use an appropriate table and graph/chart to summarise these observations.
  3. h) What are HOPE’s best and worst Trade Fairs by total profit? Use an appropriate table and graph/chart to summarise these observations.
  4. i) What would happen to profits if the rate of pay to Sales Representatives for hours worked on sales was increased by 50%? Use an appropriate table and graph/chart to summarise these calculations.

Observations (ITECH5005 Students Only):

  1. j) What are the best Sales Representative’s best- and worst-selling services (by total profit)? Use an appropriate table and graph/chart to summarise these calculations.
  2. k) What would happen to profits if the amount of space required to be sold to change the scale of commission paid was changed from 20 sq.m. to (a) 25 sq.m. and (b) 30 sq.m. Use an appropriate table and graph/chart to summarise these calculations.

Ms Hunt also requires you to make recommendations concerning the following business-level questions.

Recommendations (All Students):

  1. l) Should HOPE focus on any particular (a) customer(s), (b) Trade Fairs, and (c) particular sales activities in future, and why?
  2. m) What are your recommendations for resolving any data redundancy issues observed in the workbook?
  3. n) What are your recommendation regarding what other data should be collected to improve decision making for HOPE?
  4. o) What are your recommendation regarding record-keeping to improve the quality of data collection and management?

Recommendations (ITECH5005 Students Only):

  1. p) What changes should HOPE make regarding any currently employed Sales Representative(s), or to the fees paid to the Sales Representatives, and why?

 

Ms Hunt has asked you to provide her with the details of how you have accomplished these tasks. Therefore, you must include the functions and the formulae you’ve used in your analyses, and not simply report the answers. Create a new worksheet in the assignment workbook called “Calculations” to provide Ms Hunt with these calculations and summations.

As a paid consultant, your submission to Ms Huntmust be professionally presented;all analyses, calculations and summaries in the Excel file musthave headings and be supported with explanatory notes; and the formal business report must be preceded by a ‘covering letter’ (i.e. incorporate letter as first page of your Word document with your report on following pages).

Note: All recommendations in your report must be clearly justified (e.g. include charting or refer to specific analyses/summaries from the Excel spreadsheet).

Some Hints

The business options are linked to a number of questions posed by Ms Hunt. Your role is to answer these specific questions and to support your answers with your data analysis as presented in the appropriate tables and charts. Ensure that your recommendations address the company’s objectives, and that they are clearly linked to your observations.

There is no ‘ideal’ or ‘best’ way of doing this project. You’ll be assessed on your insight of the data, on your ability to make observations by analysing (with formulas) and visualising (with charts) your data, and your ability to link your observations to business issues.

There are numerous Microsoft Excel facilities and functions that may be useful in this project. While planning your workbook, and especially the observations, you may wish to reviewthe tutorials on the related topics (e.g. Excel functions, absolute and relative cell referencing, formatting, chartings andmanaging large worksheets, as well as on the analysis of Excel data and drawingrecommendations).

The Excel workbook contains all the necessary data for your assignment. However, you need to make sure the records included in the worksheets are not faulty or inaccurate (e.g. missing data) to avoid errors in calculations.

You will very likely need to analyses beyond the assessable tasks to gain sufficient insight into the business operations to provide recommendations to Ms Hunt. Include any additional analyses or summaries on the calculations worksheet.

You might check the space available and compare it to the space sold this year.

Make sure you review the marking guide, to ensure you complete all required tasks before submission.

Assignment Assessment

The questions posed to you in this assignment range from easy, through medium to challenging. However, it is expected that all students will succeed in all the tasks. Some of the tasks are very similar to those covered in tutorials and the associated exercises. Some of the challenging tasks may rely on insight that requires self-directed study (e.g. using help facilities in Excel to explore in depth some of the topics covered in the tutorials).

This assignment is worth 30% of total marks for this course and will be marked on:

  • your demonstrated understanding of the problems;
  • completeness of the tasks;
  • exploration of the features in Microsoft Office; and
  • quality of the submission (Excel workbook & Word document).

Submission

All students are required to submit two (2) files for this assignment, via Moodle, prior to the due date and time.

Marking Guide

Tasks Marks
Calculations (All Students):

a.        total sales, sub-totalled by each (a) Trade Fair, (b) Sales Representative, and (c) income type.

b.       total profit, sub-totalled by each (a) Trade Fair, and (b) Sales Representative.

c.        total expenses, sub-totalled by each (a) Trade Fair, (b) Sales Representative, and (c) cost type.

d.       total hours worked, sub-totalled by each (a) Trade Fair, and (b) Sales Representative.

e.       changes to profitability over past decade, including 2014 figures, sub-totalled by each Trade Fair.

12

3

2

3

2

2

Observations (All students):

f.         Who are HOPE’s five best and five worst customers by total sales?

g.        What are HOPE’s best and worst value-added services by total profit?

h.       What are HOPE’s best and worst Trade Fairs by total profit?

i.         What would happen to profits if the rate of pay to Sales Representatives for hours worked on sales was increased by 40%?

8

2

2

2

2

Observations (ITECH5005 Students Only):

j.         What are the best Sales Representative’s best- and worst-selling services (by total profit)?

k.        What would happen to profits if the amount of space required to be sold to change the rate of commission paid was changed from 20 sq.m. to (a) 25 sq.m. and (b) 30 sq.m.

4

2

2

Recommendations (All Students):

l.         Should HOPE focus on any particular (a) customer(s), (b) Trade Fairs, and (c) particular sales activities in future, and why?

m.      What are your recommendations for resolving any data quality issues observed in the workbook?

n.       What are your recommendation regarding what other data should be collected to improve decision making for HOPE?

o.      What are your recommendation regarding record-keeping to improve the quality of data collection and management?

6

3

 

1

1

 

1

Recommendations (ITECH5005 Students Only):

p.       What changes should HOPE make regarding any currently employed Sales Representative(s), or to the fees paid to the Sales Representatives, and why?

2

2

Submission Presentation:

q.       Report is well presented and well-written, containing:

·         Title page

·         Executive Summary (outlining scope of report, key findings and recommendations)

·         Table of Contents

·         Appropriate use of headings within report

·         Appropriate use of figures (i.e. graphs, summary tables) and reference to calculations and summaries to justify all observations and recommendations

4

 

0.5

1

0.5

0.5

1.5

 

Deductions:

Late submission (deduction – 10% per day)

MS Excel workbook and Word document not named correctly (deduction – 0.5 marks each)

Pivot Tables and Graphs/Charts not used in analyses as required (deduction – up to 5 marks)

Analyses and summaries in workbook do not have headings and explanatory notes (deduction – up to 4 marks)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total marks ITECH1005 students: 30
Total marksTECH5005 students: 36
Contribution to total marks 30%

 

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