It’s been a while since I posted on this! I have now finished my A levels and passed with results I am really really pleased with :) I am currently studying Politics at Nottingham University :) I just wanted to let you know that I still receive emails from new year 13 students asking for help with essays and questions, since my mind is still pretty fresh with A level topics, I will be happy to help if you email me at arqshahhotmail.co.uk. I will also be posting my Politics university revision notes now too :) thanks for supporting my blog!
So I got an email yesterday and tried to help someone answer a question that asks to “recommend a marketing strategy.” For this question, you need to base it around the four 4 p’s as much as possible.That is, product, price, place and promotion. These are some of the points I suggested to consider. Hope it helps anyone! :)
How did your F292 exam go? What questions did you enjoy and did you expect any? Did you find any difficult? Be sure to let me know!
I hope everyone gets the grades we deserve! After today my focus will be F293 so also let me know anything you would like help with, as always on here or email@example.com :)
**This question was kindly posted on my ‘About’ page comments, anonymously
rates are the cost of borrowing and the reward for saving. If interest rates increase the cost of borrowing increases. A rise in interest will therefore make it more difficult to reduce gearing if they have variable interest rates because total payments will rise. Therefore Net profit will fall which will also make it more difficult to increase the returns for the shareholders. If interest are fixed then they will not be affected in the short-term but it is likely that they will only be fixed for a 2-5 year period.
A rise in interest rates will also mean that consumer spending is likely to fall as costs will rise meaning that discretionary income will fall for many households. Furthermore, it makes savings more attractive and makes it more expensive to borrow/use credit for big ticket items. APSL supplies to firms making Caravans, lawnmowers, shower trays etc which are all big ticket items so are likely to be bought using for many consumers. Therefore the demand for these products may fall, especially if incomes aren’t increasing at the same pace so APSL may face a fall in in the UK market. They may have to discount to maintain sales which would reduce profit margins.
A rise in interest rates is likely to appreciate the pound. This is because overseas investors will take advantage of higher interest rates in the UK and buy pounds to put into UK bank accounts. An appreciation of the pound makes exports dearer and imports cheaper. This will make it more difficult to achieve their objective of increasing exports. They may need to cut prices to offset the exchange rate appreciation. However, it is unlikely that the exchange rate will appreciate against all markets and it may not have an impact if other countries such as the EU put up interest rates as well. In the case of the EU and USA this is highly likely as these countries have had similar economic problems to the UK. Furthermore, products like flaxiboard are likely to be price inelastic as it is lighter and environmentally friendly so will be bought because of it’s features rather than price.
In conclusion, a rise in interest rates will make it more difficult for APSL to achieve its strategic objectives. However, they are unlikely to change their direction as they are aiming to export which spreads the risk of rising interest rates and they are have focused of product differentiation in terms of quality, making products less price elastic so less vulnerable to interest rate changes.
Before making the decision to realign APSL as a niche producer, the business must undergo a strategic review. These should include a number of stages (apt) including:
- Review the environment in which it operates
- Identify and analyse PESTLE
- Undertake a market survey
- Research competition
- Auditing resources
- Making predictive assumptions to what internal/external factor may alter the future period.
APSL should make use of different techniques of forecasting such as:
- porter’s five forces
- product portfolio analysis
- ratio analysis
- time series
- Higher profits
- Less waste (only producing customer orders)
- Better customer service (more contact with customers)
- downtime increased [less output, more bespoke items]
- more time invested in producing one off niche products
- deliveries more expensive> many small items
- harder to train employees consistently
- higher non compliant parts
According to the case study, Peter pays 10% higher than that available to semi skilled staff in order to attract staff with the necessary abilities required to work at APSL. In addition, he believes that he should also complement wages with fringe benefits for example a subsidised canteen, yet they have been successful. It becomes clear that the employees would much rather have maximum possible pay instead.
What are fringe benefits?
- Subsidised canteen: mentioned by APSL
- Company car
- Medical checks
- Discount on APSL products
- Pension plans
There could be a number of reasons as to why Peter would like to compliment wages with fringe benefits on top of his competitive rate of 10% above most other semi skilled staff wages. However, it is important that APSL evaluate this suggestion in line with their key objective of improving solvency ratios to ensure that they do not conflict.
One advantage of complimenting wages with fringe benefits is that it could offer a cheaper alternative compared with paying 10% higher. For example, by having a subsidised canteen, it means that staff will still have to pay a proportion to contribute towards their meals, however APSL will be providing some money towards it. If it turns out that having competitive fringe benefits such as this is cheaper than paying employees additional monetary wages, it is something for APSL to suggest. The business places an importance on having employees that are well trained and understand the business’ keen objective of maintaining high quality, and therefore if APSL do not provide incentives on top of their competitive rates, it may limit the level of skills that APSL have the capacity of employing. Inevitably, less benefits will attract less staff and therefore Peter’s suggestion of a subsidised canteen helps to contribute to better working conditions for staff to stay with APSL, which as a result, will improve quality rates due to long term, skilled staff, rather than short term, less experienced staff if APSL experience high staff turnover.
However, it is clear that staff are reluctant to accept fringe benefits, and would much rather be offered “maximum possible” pay, and then “make their own individual choices about, what, if any additional perks they buy.” Therefore, if Peter was to introduce fringe benefits such as vouchers and health/fitness club memberships, it is likely to conflict with the business’ key objective of improving solvency ratios. Certainly, investing in fringe benefits for the entire production will be a costly expense and therefore APSL must carefully evaluate whether this is a beneficial one that allows them to meet their objective. For one, having committed and happy staff that are regularly complimented with fringe benefits is likely to reduce staff turnover and as a result improve the motivation and quality offered at APSL, and in conclusion result in better profit margins. However, it is also fair to argue that buy offering such lavish benefits can be costly and therefore APSL may face jeopardising meeting their key objectives. Paying for staff to have health/fitness membership can be approximately up to £50 per month and therefore, this will have an eventual impact on the profit margins at APSL. Whilst it could be argued that having fringe benefits is essential for APSL to “select” rather than “accept”, it must be made sure that they do not hinder the company’s ability to meet objectives.
Further to this, APSL could consider having fringe benefits to specific staff members. By doing this, APSL does not waste excessive money in spending on benefits for all staff, but rather the ones who deserve it. For example, if a production member shows particular interest and has high output in a particular month, APSL could reward that employee with a company car/medical check ups. These are often one off payments that will not require a continuous investment from APSL and therefore fringe benefits can be given out when they can be afforded. This is likely to have a number of benefits. For one, by offering fringe benefits to specific employees it will not only reduce expenses and as a result improve solvency as opposed to offering it to all staff, but also means that employees are motivated to reap benefits in the future, as well as feel as though they are valued and being recognised in the business, which in hand will improve job satisfaction and incentives to do well at APSL.
By contrast, it is also reasonable to argue that Peter should not compliment wages with fringe benefits. Not only is this a frivolous extra expense that the business will occur, accompanied by the scheme to pay 10% higher, but also it is clear that employees are interested. It may be said that if employees do not wish to have fringe benefits, Peter will just be unsuccessfully investing in schemes such as a subsidised canteen, where it will not improve employee turnover, absenteeism or output. Whilst employees may feel recognised, it is unlikely that this will encourage the level of skilled workers that are interested in working at APSL and therefore Peter may have to re-evaluate this suggestion. One idea for APSL to consider is instead of fringe benefits, APSL may offer piece rate. By offering piece rate wages, employees of the business will directly benefit from working hard and achieving high output, where other employees that do not produce as much do not get the same level of pay. This is advantageous as it means there is a direct correlation between work ethic and reward, however, employees have to remember that a main focus at APSL is high quality and thus a high volume production with low quality output will not be rewarded.
Peter should not compliment wages with fringe benefits when it will not be valued by employees. The current scheme of 10% on top of regular employees is already a large proportion of expenses that APSl will have to undergo and therefore the business will need to make cutbacks, and hold back on investing in fringe benefits to reward employees when there are other, more vital issues to consider such as improving solvency.
9 explain why the term terrorism is controversial and has been contested?
Terrorism, by Goodin, has been defined as a means of aiming to achieve political reach through the use of aggressive actions, often creating fear and apprehension. Examples of terrorism include suicide bombings, plane hijacks and hostages. They are often high profile and pursued by non state actors.
- the term has been controversial due to the illegitimacy it implies. Yet, one terrorist can be another’s freedom fighter and therefore it proves unfair to all.
- critics say that this term systematically delegitimises groups and motives by upholding existing power structure.
- radical theorists argue that the term terrorism should be rejected from an association between non state actors and rather emphasised with “state terrorism”
10 to what extent is the environment a global issue?
- The environment has no borders and therefore each state is vulnerable for another’s.
- Free riders may feel that due to the environment being a collective good, they have no responsibility
- Concerted action is needed and therefore it becomes a global issue [radical theory]
11 explain the tensions between human rights and state sovereignty?
Human rights are the rights to which people are supposedly entitled by virtue of
being human. These rights are universal, fundamental, indivisible and absolute.
Tensions exist between human rights and state sovereignty because the former has
cosmopolitan implications that conflict with the latter. Human rights imply that
there are standards of conduct that should apply in all countries and in all parts of
the world, regardless of nationality, religion, ethnicity and so forth. State
sovereignty, by contrast, implies that each state should be regarded as an
independent and autonomous entity, solely responsible for determining the
conditions of life within their borders. States’ rights therefore conflict with human
rights, a tension that is particularly evident in the case of humanitarian intervention
which may be carried out in furtherance of human rights but amounts to a violation
of state sovereignty.
12 distinguish between the alternative and orthodox view of development
The ‘orthodox’, or economic liberal, view of development understands poverty
squarely in economic terms and implies that development can be equated with
economic growth, an increase in GDP. The central mechanism, from this
perspective, for promoting growth is a free-market system, with underdevelopment
being explained in terms of blockages that prevent the establishment
of market capitalism.
The ‘alternative’ view of development tends to reflect the ideas of the global South.
It adopts a humanistic view of poverty, based on opportunity and empowerment,
rather than an economic model. It also tends to stress factors such as self-reliance,
ecological balance (sustainable development), social and cultural inclusion and the
recognition that global poverty has a structural character, stemming, in part, from
disparities in the international trading system.
13 international action over climate change will always be blocked by a disagreement between developed and developing states?
There are three main reasons to why developing countries disagree with developed solutions to resolve climate change:
- Developed states believe they have a higher population and therefore emission levels should be set accordingly, but developed countries are reluctant to accept this due to lower population.
- Developing states believe they have a “right to development” in the same way that developed states had in order to grow.
- Developing states believe that it is mostly the developed states that caused high levels of pollution in the first place in order to develop.