The company Eco-Fone Smartphones sells smartphones and accessories from two shops, one in Putney and one in Richmond. Eco-Fone does not currently sell laptops or tablets.
Business has fared well since it set up the shops in 2014. Indeed, it has seen a steady increase in net profits every year since start up. Recently it has noticed various trends among their customers.
One trend seems to be an increase in sales among older customers, some of whom are buying a smartphone for the first time. Another seems to be a possible significant difference in net takings from the two shops.
Accordingly, as a work placement from the University of Roehampton, you have been set a number of tasks, the results of which should be presented in report format for Eco-Fone (word length 2000, excluding graphs/figures/references) and written in English.
These tasks are detailed in the following pages and generally concern:
• Summary information
• Product information
• Customer information
• Financial Information
• Recommendations for expansion
Your report should not be a simple list of tasks. Rather, it should read as a professional business report with an introduction, sections, summary, references and appendices, in Word format.
All tasks are worth ten marks each.
You have been asked to write a brief overview of the mobile phone market in the UK. Specifically, Eco-Fone would like to know summary statistics with respect to work-related activities in the period 2016-17.
Prepare your one-paragraph overview based on information from Deloitte which can be found on page 19 and data in figure 6, page 20 at:
and in Moodle.
Note that you should not copy verbatim the information contained in the Deloitte report. Based on the data, include your report your own mixed bar chart for 2016 (green) and 2017 (blue) for the only the top FOUR activities.
Using an EXCEL spreadsheet, produce an appropriate line chart based on data contained in figure 3, page 13 of the Deloitte Report to represent UK adult smartphone use 2012-2017. Use your chart to forecast similar use in 2018 and 2019. Explain briefly why a linear forecast would not work well in this case. Which forecast model would work well?
Having gained a better understanding of the smartphone market, you decide to start analysing a perceived increase in smartphone sales by older customers based on a BBC news article available at:
Identify and summarise some of the features which make smartphones so popular with older customers.
Currently, all of Eco-Fone’s operations are carried out at the two shops in the Borough of Richmond. The business has never operated across the border in Kingston but anecdotal evidence suggests that business is thriving. In order to initially answer Eco-Fone’s question “Should I expand my business to Kingston”, you have decided to use a ‘pros and cons method’ table (see figure T4). Complete the table and briefly summarise whether or not to expand to Kingston.
Should we expand our business to Kingston?
Pros Score/10 Cons Score/10
Total Pros Total Cons
Average Pros Average Cons
Figure T4. A ‘pros and cons method’ table for expanding to Kingston.
If Eco-Fone does decide to expand, extended operations will require improved facilities and, as it happens, highly-suitable new premises for retail use are available in central Kingston. The new building is available for lease or sale but Eco-Fone already owns (subject to repayment mortgage) the two Borough of Richmond shops and prefers to own rather than lease. The asking price for the new building is £400,000 but this might be negotiable closer to £350,000.
a) Calculate the monthly cost of a 15-year repayment mortgage of £350,000, where interest is applied to the loan outstanding at the beginning of each year and the mortgage rate is 7% per annum. Show your Excel formula in your report Appendix.
b) Represent an appropriate graphic containing any of any of the eight logos of well-known commercial mortgage lenders in the UK.
Eco-Fone’s two retail shops offer discounted mobile phones and accessories. Both shops have been running for several months and Eco-Fone now wants to compare the net taking from both shops. A sample of 40 net daily takings from the first shop has a mean £100 and a standard deviation of £20. A sample of 40 net daily takings from the second shop has a mean of £90 and a standard deviation of £40. Are the two shops’ net takings the same? Explain your findings.
Each year Eco-Fone has regularly processed customer questionnaires in the form of hard-copy forms filled out both in the shops and as email attachments. The typical format of the questionnaires is shown in figure T7a.
Figure T7. A ‘pros and cons method’ table for expanding to Kingston.
Latest results are contained in the file Excel File Task 7. Use Excel to calculate average values for questions 1-6 and briefly summarise your findings in your report.
The accounts department at Eco-Fone sends out about 10,000 invoices a month and has an average of two returned with an error per month? Quality assurance procedures require that the probability that more than three invoices will be returned in a given month should be less than fifteen per cent.
Explain why a Poisson distribution is appropriate in this case and advise Eco-Fone if quality procedures have been met.
Prepare a list of ten to fifteen references that you have used as sources for your report, all in Harvard format. Your list should include at least one text book, website, video, news article, journal and each one should be cited at least once in the body of your report.
Based on all the data you have considered in Tasks 1-9, summarise in just one or two paragraphs your most important findings. Also, check the overall structure and presentation of your report (see the Brief in Moodle for more details).