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## Tuesday, May 31, 2011

### Magnetism in Physics from HelpWithAssignment.com

Magnetism

A magnet is an object that produces a magnetic field. This magnetic field is responsible for attracting ferromagnetic materials such as iron and attracts or repels other magnets.

Magnets are of two types:

Natural Magnets and Artificial Magnets

• Natural Magnets are those magnets which are naturally found in mines. Due to their odd shape and weak attracting power, natural magnets are rarely used.
• Artificial Magnets are those magnets which are artificially prepared. These magnets exist in various shapes and sizes like a bar magnet, horse-shoe magnet or a magnetic needle.

The places in a magnet where its attracting power is maximum are called poles and the place where the attracting power is minimum is called neutral region. The distance between the poles along the axis of a magnet is called its effective or magnetic length. The line joining the two poles of magnet is called magnetic axis and the vertical plane passing through the axis of a freely suspended or pivoted magnet is called magnetic meridian.

Pole Strength: the strength of a magnetic pole to attract magnetic materials towards it is known as pole strength.

Pole Strength = Magnetic force / Magnetic Induction

Greater the number of unit poles in a magnetic pole, greater will be its strength. The unit of pole strength is ampere-meter. A pole of a magnet attracts the opposite pole while repels the similar. However, a sure test of polarity is repulsion and not attraction, as attraction can take place between opposite poles or a pole and a piece of unmagnetised magnetic material due to ‘induction effect’.

At the poles of the magnet the magnetic field is stronger because the lines of force there are crowded together and away from poles the magnetic field is weak. Therefore, the magnetic field intensity is proportional to the number of lines of force.

Magnetic field: The space around a magnet in which a net force acts on a magnetic test pole is known as magnetic field or the space around a magnet in which a torque acts on a magnetic needle is known as a magnetic field.

Magnetic Flux: The number of magnetic lines of forces passing through unit normal area is defined as magnetic induction whereas the number of lines of force passing through any area is known as magnetic flux.

Properties of Magnets:

• If a magnet is dipped into iron fillings, the fillings cling to it, maximum at the ends and least in the middle.
• The regions at the ends of the magnet, where the attraction of the iron filings is maximum and hence the magnetism is maximum are called poles.
• A bar magnet freely suspended through its centre of gravity always stays in the north-south direction.
• The end of the magnet pointing to geographic north is called ‘North Pole’ and the end pointing south is called ‘South Pole’.
• Like poles repel each other and unlike poles attract each other.
• A magnet induces magnetism in magnetic materials such as in a piece of iron and steel.
• An isolated magnetic pole does not exist, they always come in pairs.
• A magnet can loose its magnetic properties by beating, mechanical jerks, heating and with lapse of time.
• The pole strength of a magnet’s two poles is same.

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## Monday, May 30, 2011

### The Chemistry of Biology From HelpWithAssignment.com

The Chemistry of Biology. What are living things made up of?

All living things including humans are made up of chemical substances. These chemical substances are both organic and inorganic substances.

Organic substances include: Carbohydrates, Fats and Oils (lipids), Proteins,

Inorganic substances include: Salts and Water

The main functions of these substances include:

Each substance has certain jobs to do. These are their main jobs.

• Carbohydrates: carbohydrates give energy; one of the best known carbohydrates is sugar of which there are several different types.
• Fats and Oils (lipids): Fats and lipids also give us energy. They is a lot of fat under the skin where it helps to keep warm and oils on the surface can help make the body water proof.
• Proteins: Proteins help to build the body. They form important structures like muscles and tendons and are also important as enzymes which are important in the digestion and other processes.
• Salts: Salts help to make the tissues and organs in the body work properly.
• Water: Water provides a fluid in which other substances can move about the body and react together within the cells.

How are these complex substances constructed?

• All carbohydrates contain carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. One of the simplest is glucose which is a type of sugar. Its chemical formula is C6H12O6. This shows that the molecule contains 6 carbon atoms, 12 hydrogen atoms and 6 oxygen atoms.
• Glucose molecules can be linked together to form more complex carbohydrates, for example starch and glycogen. Their function is to store energy for use when it is needed.
• Fats and oils are complex substance too. Their molecules are made up of two parts: glycerol and fatty acids. Like carbohydrates, fats and oils contain carbon hydrogen and oxygen atoms.
• Proteins are amongst the most complex substances found in living things. They contain nitrogen as well as carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and sulphur too. A protein molecule may consist of one or more chains of chemical building blocks called amino acids. Sulphur helps cross-link the amino acid chains. Some proteins are solid, others are in solution. Muscle is a solid protein, where as egg white is a soluble protein.
• Proteins may combine with other molecules and form even more complex substances. For example, they combine with nucleic acids such as DNA to form nucleoproteins.

Substances like proteins and starch, which are made up of lots of smaller molecules joined together are called polymers. Proteins are polymers of amino acids: starch, glycogen and cellulose are polymers. Natural polymers are very important in living organisms and some of them have practical uses. Paper, for example is made from cellulose. These polymers wont dissolve in water, in other words, they are insoluble. However, the chemicals they are composes of – amino acids and glucose for example – are soluble.

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## Friday, May 27, 2011

### Structure of Cell in Biology from HelpWithAssignment.com

Structure of Cell in Biology

Biology is a study of living organisms or life as such. The study of life has been magnified with the invention of microscope which aided very much in the study of the basic components of life called Cells. Cells are the basic components and the building blocks of life. Their discovery in 1665 by English inventor and scientist, Robert Hooke made a revolution in biology and paved the way for scientific ways to be adopted in the field of biology.

All living organisms are made up of cells. A human body contains 100 million million cells in the body. Each cell is very small.

Structure of a cell:

The cell surface membrane:

The cell surface membrane is a very delicate layer surrounding the cell. It holds the cell together and plays an important role in controlling what enters into the cell and exits out of it. The cell surface membrane is made up of two very thin layers of fat combined with phosphate –a phospholipid, protein and carbohydrate are present too. If the cell surface membrane breaks, then the cell dies.

The nucleus:

The nucleus is the essential ingredient in life itself. It contains the blueprint of life, the chromosomes and genes (DNA). The nucleus controls the various processes which take place inside a cell.

The cytoplasm:

The cytoplasm transfers energy, makes things and stores food. Hundreds of chemical reactions take place inside it. Together, these reactions make up metabolism. Scattered about in the cytoplasm are what looks like little dots. The large dots are mitochondria. These are described as the power houses of cell. Their job is to supply energy.

Inside a typical plant cell:

• A plant cell, in addition to the cell surface membrane, the plant cell has a cell wall. It is made up of cellulose, a tough rubbery material.
• In the center of the cell there is a large cavity called vacuole, which is filled with a watery fluid called cell sap. This means that the cytoplasm is pushed towards the edge of the cell. The nucleus is suspended in the middle of the vacuole by fine strands of cytoplasm.
• The cytoplasm contains starch grains. This is how plants store food. The starch grains are equivalent to glycogen capsules found in animal cells.
• Many plant cells possess chloroplasts. These are located in the cytoplasm, and they contain the green pigment chlorophyll which is used in photosynthesis. Chloroplasts only occur in green parts of plants which are exposed to light. Roots and other underground structures lack them.

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### Working Capital Management in Finance from HelpWithAssignment.com

Working Capital Management in Finance

Working Capital can be simply defined as a firm’s net working capital as its current assets minus current liabilities. Net working capital is the capital required in the short term asset accounts such as cash, inventory and account receivable, as well as short-term liability accounts such as accounts payable.

Most projects require the form to invest in net working capital. The main components of net working capital are cash, inventory, receivables and payables. Working capital includes the cash that is needed to run the firm on a day to day basis. It does not include excess cash, which is cash that is required to run the business and can be invested at a market rate. Excess cash may be viewed as part of the firm’s capital structure, offsetting firm debt. Increase in net working capital represents an investment that reduces the cash that is available to the firm. Therefore, working capital alters a firm’s value by affecting its free cash flow.

The level of working capital reflects the length of time between when cash goes out of a firm at the beginning of the production process and when it comes back in. A company first buys inventory from its suppliers, in the form of either raw materials or finished goods. Even if the inventory is in the form of finished goods, it may sit on the shelf for some time before it is sold. A firm typically, buys its inventory on credit, which means that the firm does not have to pay cash immediately at the time of purchase. When the inventory is disposed of, it is often sold on credit. A firm’s cash cycle is the length of time between when the firm pays cash to purchase its initial inventory and when it receives cash from the sale of the output produced from that inventory.

Cash Conversion Cycle (CCC) = Inventory Days + Accounts Receivable Days – Accounts Payable Days

Where,

Inventory Days = Inventory/ Avg. Daily Cost of Goods Sold

Accounts Receivable Days = Accounts Receivable/ Avg. Daily Sales

Accounts Payable Days = Accounts Payable/ Avg. Daily Cost of goods sold

The firm’s operating cycle is the average length of time between when a firm originally purchases its inventory and when it receives the cash back from selling its product. If the firm pays cash for its inventory, this period is identical to the firm’s cash cycle. However, most firms buy their inventory on credit, which reduces the amount of time between the cash investment and the receipt of cash from that investment.

The longer a firm’s cash cycle, the more working capital it has, and the more cash it needs to carry to conduct its daily operations.

Any reduction in the working capital requirements generates a positive free cash flow that the firm can distribute immediately to shareholders. For example, if a firm is able to reduce its required net working capital by \$50,000, it will be able to distribute this \$50,000 as a dividend to its shareholders immediately.

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## Thursday, May 26, 2011

### Transportation Models in Operations Management from HelpWithAssignment.com

Transportation Models in Operations Management

Transportation Models in Operations Management is a special case of linear programming that deals with the issue of shipping commodities from multiple sources to multiple destinations. The objective is to determine the shipping schedule that minimizes the total shipping cost while satisfying supply and demand constraints.

Transportation models are a special form of linear program. They address a common business problem of where to get supplies when there is a choice of suppliers all with a limited capacity. The basic idea is very simple.

To solve transportation problems you need to know the capacity requirements of the sources and the destinations and an estimation of the costs of transport between the sources and destinations. Once this data is available, a number of techniques can be applied to find a low-cost solution.

For example if a corporation has 3 manufacturing units and 10 regional distribution centers, then there are 2 ×10 = 20 possible routes. Given the transportation cost per load of each of 20 routes between the manufacturing plants and regional distribution centers and supply and demand constraints, how many loads can be transported through different routes so as to maximize transportation costs, is one of the concerns.

Various permutations and combinations relating to selecting the best routes in the process of creating a useful transportation models is often observed. If there are many routes possible then the best route would be the one which is the shortest in length. But, this is not the only criteria. There are different other things to be considered. A transport model is developed to take all possible situations into consideration and plan accordingly.

The uses of transportation models in decision making of a manager

Transportation models are used in the following ways.

• Transportation models help in deciding the transportation of raw materials from various centers to manufacturing plants. In the case of multi-plant company this strategy is highly useful.
• Transportation models help in deciding transportation of finished goods from different manufacturing plants to the different distribution centers. A very useful strategy in case of a multi-plant company.

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### Theory X and Theory Y in Human Resource Management from HelpWithAssignment.com

Theory X and Theory Y in Human Resource Management

Theory X and Theory Y have been propounded by Douglas McGregor who was an American social psychologist. He presented his theory in his 1960 book, ‘The Human Side of Enterprise’.

The Theories X – Y are used extensively in management and motivation. The theory has been used by management to formulate and develop motivation and positive management styles, strategies and techniques. It remains central to the organizational development and in improving organizational culture.

Theory X: Theory X assumes autocratic management. The theory says that managers under Theory X assume that most people are naturally lazy and need to be controlled and supervised. They think that people need to be motivated all the time. One of the notions that Theory X managers have toward their people is that they are not very smart and they need good encouragement to do good work.

Characteristics of Theory X managers: Some of the most noticeable characteristics of Theory X managers are autocratic behavior.

• The managers are results-driven. They are concerned with the completion of a given task. They issue deadlines for the completion of work.
• The managers lack tolerance. They are very intolerant in nature.
• Most of the theory X managers distances themselves from workers. They do not have much of an attachment to with their employees.
• Theory X managers issue threats and warnings to make people follow their instructions.
• They do not participate in the process of team building.
• They are unconcerned about the welfare or morale of the employees.
• They are one-way communicators and poor listeners.
• They withhold rewards and suppress pay and remuneration levels.
• They are poor at delegating responsibilities and think giving orders is delegating responsibility.
• They hold on to responsibility but shift accountability to subordinates.

Conversely, Theory Y assumes democratic management. The theory says that managers under Theory Y assume that most people like to work. The managers assume that they have self-control. They assume that people can motivate themselves and want to do a good job. One of the important notions that Theory Y managers have about their people is that they are smart.

Some of the characteristics of Theory Y managers can be seen. Theory Y managers are quite opposite to that of Theory X.

Even Theory Y managers are results-oriented, after all, but they are also concerned with not just the completion of work, but they assist their subordinates in doing things.

• Theory Y managers are very tolerant in nature. They tolerant mistakes and try to rectify them by explaining what should not be done and what needs to be done.
• Theory Y managers do not distance out from their employees. They think it is all one team including oneself and move along providing motivation and encouragement to the team.

• They do not threat employees for non-compliance. Instead, they explain them about the norms and compliance issues and make them realize that instructions are for the betterment of work.
• They actively participate in the team building process and make sure that every employee in the team is more than a better performer.
• They are very much concerned about the welfare and morale of employees. They try to know the grievances of their employees, if any and try to solve them, if possible.
• They are good communicators and good listeners and take suggestions and constructive criticism seriously.
• They do not withhold any rewards and compensations to threat the employees. They also praise their employees for their good work.
• They are very good at delegating responsibilities. They not only give orders but also give directions and suggestions to complete the work.
• They hold on to responsibility and also accountability to themselves.

These are the fundamental differences in the views of Theory X and Theory Y. The theories are used extensively in the management school of thought for the betterment of work, productivity and organizational culture in the long run.

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## Wednesday, May 25, 2011

### Cost Benefit Analysis in Accounting from HelpWithAssignment.com

Cost Benefit Analysis

Cost Benefit Analysis is the process of taking calculated business decisions. The benefits or profits associated with a given actions or situations are summed up and the total costs associated with are subtracted. The resultant profit or loss determines the decision. Before an investment decision is taken a manager will analyze the data pertaining to the costs and the potential profits of taking up a project. This step will ensure that a good investment is being made which would be profitable to the organization.

Every organization should have formal procedures for determining whether recommendations for improving the control system are cost justified. Cost-benefit analysis or risk analysis examines the cost of new control procedures in the context of the benefits to be derived from eliminating a control weakness. In other words, it compares the likely cost saving that would accompany reduction of risk with the out-of-pocket expense of risk reduction. Cost benefit analysis should be conducted subsequent to discovery of an internal control weakness or introduction of a new type of transaction, but prior to implementing new control procedures.

The following sequence is useful in applying cost-benefit analysis to internal accounting controls:

· Identify the internal accounting control weakness.

· Determine the importance of the weakness with respect to

o Magnitude of possible risk

o Probable frequency of occurrence

· Identify controls that could be implemented

· Identify cost elements, both quantitative and qualitative. Costs frequently include:

o Direct expenditure on controls (includes actual expenditures and employee time involved to perform the control)

o Negative morale in response to any new restrictions.

· Identify benefit elements, both quantitative and qualitative. Benefits frequently include:

o Reduction in probable loss of resources

o Improved public image

Assign a monetary value or priority ranking to cost and benefit elements. Personal estimates and judgments are often required.

Execute cost-benefit analysis and document premises upon which a final decision is made.

Controls should be implemented if total benefits derived exceed the total costs of controls. If alternative control procedures are available, the control that yields the highest net benefits should be selected.

A key concept in cost-benefit analysis is incremental costs and benefits – each additional dollar expended on controls should normally produce at least an additional dollar of benefits. The results of this cost-benefit analysis should also be presented to the board to ensure the board’s concurrence.

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### Operations and Operations Management from HelpWithAssignment.com

Operations and Operations Management

Operations and Operations Management are of strategic importance to an organization. This is because all of the aspirations that modern day organizations have to excel in any of the following – mass customization, lean production, agile manufacturing, customer-centric provision and so on – depend on the ability of the organizations to actually do these things and such capabilities reside within operations.

This is very important because it brings together a number of key issues that need to be in place if we are to understand the profound importance of, and the contribution made by, operations management. The ability to enter and compete in both new and existing markets is very dependent on operation capabilities. Of course, other areas are also vitally important – marketing, finance and other major functions – and we are not seeking to play operations against these other areas.

In Operations Management there has been a need to include a number of important areas that fall under the responsibility of operations management. They are

• Management of value
• Capacity management
• Location decisions
• Process Management
• Managing technology
• Human resources management
• Integration and affiliation

Today, operations management is not only seen as an organizational wide issue, but also includes activities across organizations. Obviously, an important part of the transformation process will include purchasing goods and services from other organizations. In the modern era of operations management, organizations no longer see themselves as a standalone element – the ‘processes’ – but will instead see themselves as part of a wider, extended enterprise. The operations management model for current and future operations is no longer limited to an organization-specific arena. This means that the organization has to be willing to look outside of itself and to form strategic relationships with what were formerly viewed as competitive organizations.

Operations Management has gone through three periods of change from craft, through mass production, to the present era. We know that different sectors of many economies have gone through these periods at different rates. In some, the transition has been incremental, in others spasmodic, in response to some new industries. We know that in some industries there has been almost complete transition from the old approach to the newest, whereas in others there remains a high proportion of craft manufacture or old style service delivery.

There have been three forces to date that have influenced people. They have been economic forces, social forces and technological forces. Putting it simply, wealth, fashion and invention. Wealth influences economic activity and hence operations management in two main ways. The aspiration to become wealthy provides a highly proactive workforce, while attainment of wealth creates a growing market of all kinds of goods and services. When a significant proportion of a population is relatively poor, goods and services have to be provided at the lowest possible cost and consumers are prepared to accept standardization. The wealthy can afford customized products and indeed demonstrate their wealth by doing so.

The operations strategy includes both manufacturing and service activities and that these need to be integrated into a combined, holistic manner. However, we have identified that these sectors may well process different things, which have been categorized as materials, customers and information. This may have implications for the specific implementation of strategy, but not for operations management principles or issues. Comparing manufacturing and service industries can be useful, but in an operations management context, some of the divisions are overstated.

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## Tuesday, May 24, 2011

### Emergence of Oligopoly in Economics from HelpWithAssignment.com

Emergence of Oligopoly in Economics

An Oligopoly is a market structure with a small number of firms. A good example of an oligopoly is the petroleum industry in which a few firms have accounted in recent years for much of the industry’s refining capacity. Each of the major oil firms must take into account of the reaction of the others when it formulates its price and output policy is likely to affect theirs.

Oligopolistic industries like others, often pass through a number of stages – introduction, growth, maturity and decline. The industry’s sales grow very rapidly in the introduction phase, less rapidly in the growth phase and even less rapidly during maturity. In the stage of decline, the industry’s sales fall. As an industry goes through these stages the nature of competition often shifts.

During the early stages of Oligopoly when industry sales are growing relatively rapidly, there frequently is a great deal of uncertainty about the industry’s technology. Which product configuration will turn out to be the best? Which process technology will be most efficient? Because of small production volume and the newness of the product, production costs tend to be higher than those that the industry will eventually achieve.

At an early stage of an industry’s evolution in Oligopoly, one of the major strategic questions facing managers is: which markets for the industry’s new product will tend to open up early and which ones will open up relatively late? This question is important both because firms should allocate marketing efforts and R&D resources to relatively receptive markets and because the nature of the early markets can exert a significant influence on the way the industry evolves. To forecast which markets or market segments are likely to be most receptive to a new product, one should consider some factors.

Most of the receptive buyers tend to be those for which the new product is most profitable. For example, if a new robot is much more profitable in the railroad industry than in the agricultural equipment firms. It is more likely to be used first by railroads, not by agricultural equipment firms.

Buyers who face a relatively low cost of product failure are likely to be quicker to adopt a new product than those for which the potential costs are very high. Thus, if the new robot could cause millions of dollars of losses in the auto industry but only minor losses in the steel industry, it is more likely that steel producers will take chance on it than that auto firms will do so.

The buyers who would experience relatively low costs in switching from old products to new one sold by this industry are likely to be more receptive to this industry’s product than buyers who would experience high changeover costs.

Eventually, most industries enter the maturity phase, when industry sales grow much more modestly then before. This is often a critical phase for many members of the industry. Since firms cannot maintain the growth rates to which they are accustomed merely by protecting their market share, there is often a tendency for firms to attack the market shares of their rivals in the same industry.

During the maturity phase, rivalry among firms often centers on cost and service, rather than new or greatly improved products. Because of slower growth, more knowledgeable customers and greater technological maturity, competition tends to focus on cost and service, which may prompt a significant reorientation of firms that have competed on other grounds in the past. Also, as the industry adjusts to slower growth, there generally is a reduction in the additions to productive capacity. Often, firms do not realize that they have entered this maturity phase until after they have installed more capacity than is required. Thus, for a time, the industry suffers overcapacity.

After the maturity phase, many industries enter a stage during which sales decline. One reason for such a decline may be that the product is being supplanted by a new one. Another reason may be shrinkage in the size of the customer group that buys the product, perhaps because of demographic changes. Still another reason may be a change in buyers’ tastes and needs.

Although firms in declining industries are often advised to curtail investment and get lots of cash out of the business as quickly as possible this is not always the best strategy. Some industries, like some people, grow old more gracefully and profitably than others. Some firms have done well by investing heavily in a declining industry, thus making their businesses better “cash cows” later. Others have avoided losses subsequently experienced by their rivals by selling out before it was generally recognized that the industry was in decline.

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### Center of Gravity, Location Strategy in Operations Management from HelpWithAssignment.com

Center of Gravity, Location Strategy in Operations Management

Location Strategy in Operations Management is an important factor to be considered. It is important because it helps in determining the place of manufacture. The place of manufacture needs to have certain qualities of features where manufacturing process takes place hassle-free.

Center of Gravity is one such method or strategy which can determine the effectiveness of a location.

Firms throughout the world are using the concepts and techniques in Operations Management to address the location decision because location greatly affects both fixed and variable costs. Location has a major impact on the overall risk and profit of the company. For instance, depending on the product and type of production or service taking place, transportation costs alone can total as much as 25% of the product’s selling price. That is, one-fourth of a firm’s total revenue may be needed just to cover freight expenses of the raw materials coming in and finished products going out. Other costs that may be influenced by location include taxes, wages, raw material costs and rents.

Companies make location decisions relatively infrequently, usually because demand has out-grown the current plant’s capacity or because of changes in labor productivity, exchange rates, costs or local attitudes. Companies may also relocate their manufacturing or service facilities because of shifts in demographics and customer demand.

Location options include

• Expanding an existing facility instead of moving
• Maintaining current sites while adding another facility elsewhere and
• Closing the existing facility and moving to another location.

The location decision often depends on the type of business. For industrial location decisions, the strategy is usually minimizing costs, although innovation and creativity may also be critical. For retail and professional service organizations, the strategy focuses on maximizing revenue. Warehouse location strategy, however, may be driven by a combination of cost and speed of delivery. The objective of location strategy is to maximize the benefit of location to the firm.

Location and costs: because location is such a significant cost and revenue driver, location often has the power to make or break a company’s business strategy. Key multinationals in every major industry, from automobiles to mobile phones, now have or are planning a presence in each of their major markets. Location decisions to support a low cost strategy require particularly careful considerations.

Once management is committed to a specific location, many costs are firmly in place and difficult to reduce. For instance, if a new factory location is in a region with high energy costs, even a good management with an outstanding energy strategy is starting at a disadvantage. Management is in similar bind with its human resource strategy if labor in the selected location is expensive, ill-trained or has a poor work ethic. Consequently, hard work to determine an optimal facility location is a good investment.

Location and Innovation: When creativity, innovation and research and development investments are critical to the operations strategy, the location criteria may change from a focus on costs. When innovation is the focus, four attributes seem to affect overall competitiveness as well as innovation.

• The presence of high-quality and specialized inputs such as scientific and technical talent
• As environment that encourages investment and intense local rivalry.
• Pressure and insight gained from a sophisticated local market.
• Local presence of related and supporting industries.

Center of Gravity Method:

The Center of Gravity Method is a mathematical technique used for finding the location of a distribution centre that will minimize distribution costs. The method takes into account the location of markets, the volume of goods shipped to those markets and shipping costs in finding the best location for a distribution center.

The first step in the centre of gravity method is to place the locations on a coordinate system. The origin of the coordinate system and the scale used are arbitrary, just as long as the relative distances are correctly represented. This can be done easily by placing a grid over an ordinary map. The centre of Gravity is determined using equations

x-coordinate of the centre of gravity = ∑i dix Qi/∑I Qi

y-coordinate of the center of gravity = ∑i diy Qi/∑I Qi

where dix = x-coordinate of location i

diy = y-coordinate of location i

Qi = Quantity of goods moved to or from location i

Since the number of containers shipped each month affects costs, distance alone should not be the principal criterion. The centre of gravity method assumes that cost is directly proportional to both distance and volume shipped. The ideal location is that which minimizes the weighted distance between the warehouse and its retail outlets, where the distance is weighted by the number of containers shipped.

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## Monday, May 23, 2011

### Responsive Supply Chain Management in Manufacturing Industry from HelpWithAssignment.com

Responsive Supply Chain Management in Manufacturing Industry from HelpWithAssignment.com

Responsive Supply Chain management in manufacturing industry is one of the aspects of emphasis.

In Supply Chain Management, we can see that supply chain managers are overwhelmed with a range of leading-edge supply chain strategies and new business initiatives. However, not all these initiatives and strategies are appropriate for all businesses. Supply chain managers need to understand the constraints of the supply of their products and the uncertainties with the right supply chain strategies.

In designing supply chain in an e-biz environment, companies have to integrate various aspects of competitive priority, the nature of the product and the complexity of the manufacturing process in order to be successful. When designing a supply chain, some fundamental principals of value chain should be exploited to respond quickly to the dynamic business environment. As such, supply chain design needs to be fine-tuned constantly to match the evolving industry paradigm.

When new product introductions are frequent and product variety is high, the responsive supply chain option is more attractive as it reacts quickly to market demand. When product life cycle is long, demand is relatively stable and demand volume is high, efficient supply chain is more appropriate. Both responsive supply chain and efficient supply chain can be applied to fast, medium and slow clock speed products.

A product clock speed can be fast, medium or slow. A product life cycle and its manufacturing process life cycle is associated wit the product clock speed.

Responsive supply chain in manufacturing industry

Responsive supply chain and fast clock speed product – personal computer

• The PC industry is a fast clock speed industry. Here the industry faces short product life cycles. The product is generally made in a make-to-order production environment. Facing this business environment, PC producers adopt the responsive supply chain strategy to reduce order cycle, production cycle and procurement cycle. Let us consider Dell Computer as example.
• Dell Computer designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of systems that include desktops, notebooks, workstations and network servers. Dell also markets software and peripherals as well as service and support programs.
• It is centered on two key elements: a direct business model and intense customer focus, Dell strives to eliminate retailers and other resellers so as to reduce product delivery cycle time and cost. Dell sells computer systems and related services directly to customers in the global market through internet and call centers.
• To reduce order cycle, Dell uses the internet and call centers to promote its direct order model. The traditional PC supply chain has distribution network as an additional link in the supply chain. Customers can order PCs directly from Dell and configure computers to meet their needs.
• The orders are directly routed to the manufacturing floor. From there the PCs are built, tested and sent to the customers all within 5-7 business days after the customers placed the orders. Dell’s direct model allows for better understanding of customer needs.
• To reduce its procurement cycle time, Dell shifts from a traditionally fashioned assembly line to cellular manufacturing techniques and established strategic alliances with its key suppliers.
• It forges partnerships with reputable suppliers rather than integrating backward into parts and components manufacturing. Since new parts and components are introduced so fast that inventory is obsolete in a matter of months or even quicker. Dell only holds its inventory for not more than 10 days.
• Meanwhile Dell supplies its inventory data and production needs to its suppliers at least once a day. Collaboration with suppliers is close enough to allow Dell to operate with only a few hours of inventory for some parts and a few days of inventory for other components. Dell’s direct model capitalizes the benefits of e-commerce.

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## Saturday, May 21, 2011

### Price Discrimination in Economics from HelpWithAssignment.com

In Economics, Price Discrimination is an important concept. Price Discrimination occurs when the same product is sold at more than one price.

For example, an airline may sell tickets on a particular flight at a higher price to business travelers than to college students. Even if the products are not precisely the same, price discrimination is said to occur if very similar products are sold at prices that are in different ratios to marginal costs.

Thus, if a firm sells boxes of candy with a label saying, “Premium Quality” in rich neighborhoods for \$12 and sells the same boxes of candy without the label in poor neighborhoods for \$5, this is discrimination. The mere fact that differences in prices exist among similar products is not evidence of discrimination; only if these differences do not reflect cost differences is there evidence of this kind.

For a firm to be able and willing to engage in price discrimination, the buyers of the firm’s product must fall into classes with considerable differences among classes in the price elasticity of demand for the product and it must be possible to identify and segregate the product easily from one class to another, since otherwise persons could make money by buying the product from the low-price classes and selling it to the high-price classes, thus making it difficult to maintain the price differentials among classes.

The differences among classes in income level, tastes or the availability of substitutes. Thus, the price elasticity of demand for the boxes of candy may be lower for the rich than for the poor.

If a firm practices discrimination of this sort, it must decide two questions: how much output should it allocate to each class of buyer, and what price should it charge each class of buyer?

Suppose that there are only two classes of buyers. Also, for the moment, assume that the firm has already decided on its total output and consequently that the only real question is how it should be allocated between the two classes. The firm will maximize its profits by allocating between two classes in such a way that marginal revenue in one class is equal to marginal revenue in the other class.

For example, if marginal revenue in the first class is \$25 and marginal revenue in the second class is \$10, the allocation is not optimal, since profits can be increased by allocating 1 less unit of output to the second class and 1 more unit of output to the first class. Only if the two marginal revenues are equal is the allocation optimal.

(1+ 1/n2) ÷(1+ 1/n1)

If the marginal revenues in the two classes are equal, the ratio of the price in the first class to the price in the second class will equal n1 is the price elasticity of demand in the first class and n2 is the price elasticity of demand in the second class. Thus, it will not pay to discriminate if the two price elasticities are equal. Moreover, if discrimination does pay, the price will be higher in the class in which demand is less elastic.

Turning to the most realistic case in which the firm must also decide on its total output, it is obvious that the firm must look at its costs as well as demand in two classes. Specifically, the firm will choose the output where the marginal cost of its entire output is equal to the common value of the marginal revenue in the two classes.

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## Monday, May 16, 2011

### Supply Chain Management at HelpWithAssignment.com

Supply Chain Management:

A supply chain is defined as a set of three or more companies directly linked by one or more of the upstream and downstream flow of products, services, finances and information from the source to a customer.

Management is on the verge of a major breakthrough in understanding how industrial company success depends on the interactions between the flows of information, materials, money, manpower and capital equipment. The way these five flow systems interlock to amplify one another and to cause change and fluctuation will form the basis for anticipating the effects of decisions, policies, organizational forms and investment choices.

The reasons for the popularity of Supply Chain Management are because:

• Corporations have turned increasingly, to global sources for their supplies. This globalization of supply management has forced companies to look for more effective ways to coordinate the flow of materials into and out of the company.
• Companies and distribution channels compete more today on the basis of time and quality. Making a defect-free product and selling it to customer faster and more reliably than the competition is no longer seen as a competitive advantage but simply as a requirement in the market. Customers demand products consistently delivered faster, exactly on time and with no damage. Each of these necessitates closer coordination with suppliers and distributors.
• This global orientation and increased performance-based competition combined with rapidly changing technology and economic conditions all contribute to market place uncertainty. This uncertainty requires greater flexibility on the part of individual companies and distribution channels, which in turn demands more flexibility in channel relationships.

But, there are not many corporations that actually take up the concept of Supply Chain Management very seriously. In a survey conducted by Accenture, Stanford University and global business school INSEAD tried to figure out why aren’t even big corporations are not inclined towards Supply Chain Management. It was found that more than half of the companies that tried to implement encountered unexpected problems.

• Some companies complained that the technology implementation did not work out properly.
• Some companies complained that the cost of the project was very high and it never came close to meeting service targets.
• Some companies complained that the supply chain projects were inconsistent with the company’s current business strategy.
• Some companies complained that it was too difficult in managing things internally and externally.

Now, a question arises, is implementing supply chain management so difficult? Yes, not all companies have succeeded in implementing supply chain management. Some of the companies which have successfully implemented it have for many years aggressively attacked their inventory problems, committed resources to improving its customer service levels and partnered with their key suppliers to take control of its supply chain.

Top performing supply chains do things a little differently than everybody else. Most supply chain companies:

• They aim for balance. These companies may not be the very best in every category, but they are consistently good enough in all areas that they add up to be the best in class.
• They increase demand visibility. Having a high level of forecast accuracy is the key to reach perfect order fulfillment, which is the holy grail of customer service.
• They isolate high costs. The best companies know where they hold their costs and why, so that’s where they focus their best practices and technology investments.

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## Tuesday, May 10, 2011

### Industrial Policy for Overall Economic Development in Economics from HelpWithAssignment.com

Industrial Policy:

Beyond support for basic science and technology, an aggressive approach has been proposed for encouraging technological development is industrial policy. Generally, industrial policy is a growth strategy in which the government – using taxes, subsidies, or regulation – attempts to influence the nation’s pattern of industrial development. More specifically, some advocates of industrial policy argue that the government should subsidize and promote “high-tech” industries, so as to try to achieve or maintain national leadership in technologically dynamic areas.

The idea that the government should try to determine the nation’s mix of industries is controversial. Economic theory and practice suggest that under normal circumstances the free market can allocate resources well without government assistance. Thus advocates of industrial policy must explain why the free market fails in the case of high technology. Two possible sources of market failure have been suggested and borrowing constraints and spillovers.

Borrowing Constraints: Borrowing constraints are limits imposed by lenders on the amounts that individuals or small firms can borrow. Because of borrowing constraints, private companies, especially start up firms, may have difficulty obtaining enough financing for some projects. Development of a new supercomputer, for example, is likely to require heavy investment in research and development and involves a long period during which expenses are high and no revenues are coming in.

Spillovers: Spillovers occur when one company’s innovation stimulates a flood of innovations and technical improvements by other companies and industries. The innovative company thus may enjoy only some of the total benefits of its breakthrough while bearing the full development cost. Without a government subsidy (argue advocates of industrial policy), such companies may not have a sufficiently strong incentive to innovate.

A third argument for industrial policy has less to do with market failure and more to do with nationalism. In some industries (such as aerospace) the efficient scale of operation is so large that the world market has room for only a few firms. For the world, the most desirable outcome is that those few firms be the most efficient, lowest – cost producers. However, in terms of a single country, like the United States, at least some of the firms in the market should be US firms so that profits from the industry will accrue to the United States. Moreover, having US firms in the market may enhance US prestige and yield military advantages. These perceived benefits might lead the US to subsidize its firms in that industry, helping them to compete with the firms of other nations in the race to capture the world market.

These theoretical arguments for government intervention all assume that the government is skilled at picking winning technologies and that its decisions about which industries to subsidize would be free from purely political considerations. However, both assumptions are questionable. A danger of industrial policy is that the favored industries would be those with the most economic promise.

The available evidence on the arguments for industrial policy has been surveyed by Gene Grossmann. Grossmann concluded that, in general, industrial policy is not desirable because, in choosing industries to target governments have frequently “backed the wrong horse”, the costly attempt of European governments to develop Supersonic Transport (SST) and other new types of commercial airplanes is a case in point. Grossman also points out that alternative policies – such as tax break for all research and development spending – promote technology without requiring the government to target specific industries.

However, Grossman also concedes that government intervention may be desirable in some cases, notably in the early development stages of technologically innovative products, such as computers and CAT scanners. Empirically, the potential for beneficial spillovers in these cases appears so large that the government may choose to support ultimately will not prove worthwhile.

### Government Policies to Raise Long run Living Standards in Economics from HelpWtihAssignment.com

Increased growth and a higher standard of living in the long run often are cited by political leaders as primary policy goals. We will take a closer look at government policies that may be useful in raising a country’s long run standard of living whether changing the form of government – democratic or nondemocratic – affects the long run growth rate of an economy.

Policies affecting the Saving Rate

The Solow Model suggests that the rate of national savings is a principal determinant of long run living standards. However, this conclusion doesn’t necessarily mean that the policymakers should try to force the saving rate upward, because more saving means less consumption in the short run. Indeed, if the “invisible hand” of free markets is working well, the saving rate freely chosen by individuals should be the one that optimally balances the benefit of saving more, against the cost of saving more.

Despite the argument that saving decisions are best left to private individuals and the free market, some people claim that Americans save too little and that US policy should at raising the saving rate. One possible justification for this claim is that existing tax laws discriminate against saving by taxing away part of the returns to saving; a “pro-saving” policy thus is necessary to offset this bias. Another view is that Americans are just too shortsighted in their saving decisions and must be encouraged to save more.

Now, here comes the question of ‘what policies can be used to increase savings?’ If saving were highly responsive to the real interest rate, tax breaks that increase the real return that savers receive would be effective. For example, some economists advocate taxing households on how much they consume rather than on how much they earn, thereby exempting from taxation the income that is saved. Although saving appears to increase when the expected real return available to savers rises, most studies find this responsive too small.

An alternative and perhaps more direct way to increase, the national saving rate is by increasing the amount that the government saves; in other words, the government should try to reduce its deficit or increase its surplus. Many economists also argue that raising taxes to reduce the deficit or increase the surplus will also increase national saving by leading people to consume less. However, believers in Ricardian equivalence contend that the tax increases without changes in current or planned government purchases won’t affect consumption or national saving.

Policies to Raise the Rate of Productivity Growth

Of the factors affecting long-run living standards, the rate of productivity growth may well be the most important in that – according to the Solow Model – only ongoing productivity growth can lead to continuing improvement in output and consumption every year. Government policy can attempt to increase productivity in several ways.

Improving infrastructure: Some research findings suggest a significant link between productivity and the quality of a nation’s infrastructure – its highways, bridges, utilities, dams, airports and other publicly owned capital. The construction of the interstate highway system in the United States, for example, significantly reduced the cost of transporting goods and stimulated tourism and other industries. In the past 25 years the rate of US government investment in infrastructure has fallen, leading to a decline in the quality and quantity of public capital. Reversing this trend, some economists argue that might help achieve higher productivity.

Building Human Capital: Recent research findings point to a strong connection between productivity growth and human capital. The government affects human capital development through educational policies, worker training or relocation programs, health programs, and in other ways. Specific programs should be examined carefully to see whether benefits exceed costs, but a case may be made for greater commitment to human capital formation as a way to boost productivity growth.

One crucial form of human capital, which we haven’t yet mentioned, is entrepreneurial skill. People with the ability to build a successful new business or to bring a new product to market play a key role in the economic growth.

Encouraging Research and Development: The government also may be able to stimulate productivity growth by affecting rates of scientific and technical progress. The US government directly supports much basic scientific research. Most economists agree with this type of policy because the benefits of scientific progress, like those of human capital development, spread throughout the economy, Basic scientific research may thus be a good investment from society’s point of view, even if no individual firm finds such research profitable.

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