Decisions in Paradise Business Scenario
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The company for which Nik works for is planning to establish a factory at Kava Island to produce sugar. The decision of setting up a sugar-processing factory has been arrived at after undertaking an assessment study of the raw material produced at Kava. The company, which Nik and Chris works for had earlier established that Kava Island is well endowed with production of sugarcane. The company was able to establish that there is not established sugar processing factory at Kava Island. Farmers at Kava sell their sugarcanes to intermediaries, who then export the sugarcanes to neighboring countries. Furthermore, the company has been able to establish that the intermediaries buy the sugarcanes at very low prices, to enable them make profits after deducting transportation and exportation costs. In the first part of paradise business scenario Nik and Chris had already identified the major issues facing their company. These issues include the need to establish strong presence at Kava, and the need to develop a method of giving back to the community of Kava. The mission of the company at Kava will be, “to be a world class company through production of high quality sugar, and making positive economic and social impacts to the people of Kava.”
Nik and Chris have already identified suitable decision-making techniques that they will employ in identifying the solutions to the issues identified. One of these decision-making techniques is PMI (plus, minus, and interesting) technique (Waldron, 2010). PMI decision-making technique is a refined method of making decisions, which was developed by Edward de Bono from the T-Chart (pros-cons) technique. In this technique, the decision maker(s) list/lists the entire plus (good ideas) of a given alternative/course of action. Then, the minuses (bad points) of the same alternative are listed. Finally, all the interesting points of an alternative are listed. Interesting points are those ideas of a given alternative that are neither good nor bad, uncertain points, or areas of curiosity. This technique will allow Nik and Chris (the decision makers) to explore various alternatives/courses of action outside the context of judgment (without evaluating the negative and positive aspects of an alternative) (Waldron, 2010). After evaluating all the available courses of action, Nik and Chris will then identify the courses of action, which have less negative aspects, more positive aspects, and moderate interesting aspects.
Alternatively, Nik and Chris can use the T-Chart technique to identify the solutions. T-chart technique entails developing orderly, graphic representations of all courses of action/possible solutions to a problem (Harris, 1998). Every graph consists of a list of all possible pros and cons of the available courses of action/possible solutions. This technique ensures that both the positive and negative aspects of all the possible solutions to a problem are taken into account. T-Chart technique is almost similar to PMI technique. It can therefore be suitable to evaluate complex courses of actions, whose interesting aspects cannot be identified easily and within a short period. Therefore, Nik and Chris will use PMI and T-Chart decision-making techniques to identify the most suitable solutions to the issues identified in part one of paradise business scenario.
One of the possible solutions already identified by Nik and Chris, which will help their company to establish a strong presence at Kava, is offering higher prices to sugarcane farmers than what the intermediaries in the region are currently offering. Since the farmers are currently being paid poorly for their produce, offering higher prices for the same quantity of produce will encourage the farmers to start selling their sugarcanes to the company. This is one of the positive aspects of this possible solution. Another positive aspect of this possible solution is that it will encourage more farmers to produce sugarcane. Consequently, the company will have greater supply of raw materials, hence increasing its production capacity. However, this course of action is likely to affect the relationship between the company and business players at Kava Island. This is because if the farmers decide to sell their produce to the company, entrepreneurs and investors at Kava are likely to face business closure.
Another possible solution is to offer farmers incentives such as subsidized inputs or farming loans. In return, the company will require the farmers who will receive the incentives to supply their produce to the company’s factory once they mature. The positive aspect of this course of action is that the company will assist farmers at Kava who do not practice sugarcane farming due to lack of capital, to starting engaging in sugarcane farming, hence providing a means of livelihood. In fact, this course of action will be a very feasible solution to the second issue identified in part one (developing a method of giving back to Kava community). However, the interesting aspect of this course of action is that it will affect production of other products such as coffee and bananas. Although the company will be assisting farmers who are not financial capable of practicing sugarcane production, coffee and banana traders may experience low business activities as farmers shift from production of coffee and bananas to production of sugarcane.
Other possible solutions include employing people of Kava in the factory, and engaging in numerous corporate social responsibilities such as improving education and transport infrastructures, and supporting individuals infected with HIV/AIDs. These solutions will all contribute towards establishment of a strong presence at Kava as well as giving back to the community of Kava.
By applying the PMI and T-Chart decision-making techniques, Nik and Chris will be able to identify the possible courses of action, whose positive aspects outweigh the negative aspects, both to the company and to the people of Kava. The lesser the number of negative aspects and interesting factors in a given course of action, the high the level of feasibility (Harris, 1998). Therefore, after evaluating all the possible solutions using either PMI or T-Chart techniques, it is advisable that Nik and Chris select the courses of action with greater number of positive aspects than negative aspects.
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