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Advantages and Limitations of Ratio Analysis

Advantages and Limitations of Ratio Analysis
What are the advantages and limitations of ratio analysis? Advantages: It is an important and useful tool to determine the efficiency with which working capital is being managed in a business organization. It is a ‘health test‘ for a business firm in that it can gauge whether the firm is financially healthy or not. It aids the management of business concern in evaluating its financial position and performance efficiency. It clearly shows the trend of changes in the market position (upward, downward or static), as it covers a number of previous accounting (financial) periods. The progress or downfall of a firm is clearly indicated by this analysis. It assists in preparing financial estimates for the future (financial forecasting). It facilitates the task of managerial control to a great extent. It helps the credit suppliers and investors in deciding upon a business firm as a potential investment outlet or desirable debtor. Ideal or Standard ratios can be established which can be used as reference points of comparison for a firm’s progress over a period of time. It communicates important information with relation to financial strength, earning capacity, debt (borrowing) capacity, liquidity position, capacity to meet fixed commitments, solvency, capital gearing, working capital management, future prospects etc. of a business concern. This analysis is also useful for bench marking purpose- to compare the working result and efficiency of performance of a business enterprise with that of other firms engaged in the same industry (inter-firm comparison). It helps the management to discharge their basic functions of planning, coordinating, controlling etc. It serves as an instrument for testing management efficiency too. It acts as a useful tool for deciding on certain policy matters. Limitations: Accounting ratios calculated based on ratio analysis will be correct only if the accounting data on which they are based are correct. It is only an analysis of past financial data. In certain cases ratio analysis might prove to be misleading with regard to profits. Continuous fluctuation in price levels ( or, purchasing power of money) seriously affect the validity or comparison of accounting ratios calculated for different accounting periods and make such comparisons very difficult. Comparisons become difficult also on account of difference in the definition of several financial (accounting) terms like gross profit, operating profit, net profit etc. There is lot of diversity in practice as regards to the measurement of ratios. Different firms use different accounting methods and the validity of comparison is severely affected by window dressing in the basic financial statements. A single ratio will not be able to convey much information. This analysis only gives part of the total information required for proper decision-making. This should not be taken as a substitute for sound judgement.  It should not be overlooked that business problems cannot be solved mechanically through ratio analysis or other types of financial analysis. Follow ManagementGuru Net’s board Accounting – Financial and Management Accounting on...
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Key Terms of Strategic Management

Key Terms of Strategic Management
The following is a list of “Key Terms of #Strategic Management” which find their use often when trying to explain the concepts. #Mission An important undertaking that an organization believes it is its duty to do. A specific task or duty assigned to a person or group of people. Missions tend to be long-term and laid out in broad terms, without attempts being made to quantify them precisely. #MISSION STATEMENT Mission statement An open statement of the aims and #objectives of a business or an organization – providing employees with an indication of what they are attempting to achieve through their collective deeds. Mission statements are intended to give substance to the perceived purposes of the organization. Vision Statement A Vision Statement defines what your business will do and why it will exist tomorrow and it has defined #goals to be accomplished by a set date. A Vision Statement takes into account the current status of the organization, and serves to point the direction of where the organization wishes to go. Objective Something which an organization intends to do or achieve; a result that the organization intends to make happen. Long-term or short-term objective, which you hope to achieve within a few years or a few months. Objectives and aims tend to be medium-term and more specific in terms of what is intended to be achieved. SMART OBJECTIVES #Strategy A #plan of future action, usually long-term, in the pursuit of objectives.  (e.g.) business strategy; company strategy; financial strategy. The formulation of long-term plans and policies by a firm which inter-connects its various production and marketing activities in order to achieve its business objectives. STRATEGY GENERATION #Aim A result that an organization’s plans or actions are intended to achieve. (e.g.) To try to do something: we aim to be No. 1 in the market in three years’ time. Goal An organization’s aim, objective or purpose. Goals and targets tend to be medium-term or short-term and may be expressed in terms of specific levels of achievements and tend to involve more specific quantification and deadlines. (e.g.) our goal is to break even within twelve months. GOALS VS. OBJECTIVES #Target A level or situation which an organization intends to achieve or aim at. An object or area aimed at the object of an attack or takeover bid. A fixed goal or objective, etc. #Tactics The plans followed to achieve a particular short-term aim. (a) The science and art of disposing and maneuvering forces in combat. (b) The art or skill of employing available means to accomplish an end. (c) A system or mode of procedure TACTICS OR STRATEGY? Plan A set of decisions about how an organization intends to do something, or to ensure that an event or result should happen in the future. Organized way of doing something: contingency plan, government’s economic plans. Plans tend to be quite specific (the shorter-term they are, the more specific they tend to be) and are usually quantified in some detail. They will, in order to ensure that they are complied with, lay out specific deadlines for each key stage. They may also involve the consideration or analysis of priorities and constraints. STRATEGIC PLANNING #Budget A #financial plan, which may be short-term or longer-term, showing probable (planned) #income and #expenditure. Budgets tend to be expressed mainly in monetary terms, although they may focus on the amounts of physical resources (materials, labor time) required. An estimate of income and expenditure for a future period, as opposed to an account, which records financial transactions after the event. BUDGET...
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GE Nine Cell Matrix

GE Nine Cell Matrix
GE NINE CELL MATRIX Another popular “Corporate Portfolio Analysis” technique is the result of pioneering effort of General Electric Company along with McKinsey Consultants which is known as the GE NINE CELL MATRIX. GE nine-box matrix is a strategy tool that offers a systematic approach for the multi business enterprises to prioritize their investments among the various business units. It is a framework that evaluates business portfolio and  provides further strategic implications. Each business is appraised in terms of two major dimensions – Market Attractiveness and Business Strength. If one of these factors is missing, then the business will not produce desired results. Neither a strong company operating in an unattractive market, nor a weak company operating in an attractive market will do very well. The vertical axis denotes industry attractiveness, which is a weighted composite rating based on eight different factors. They are: Market size and growth rate Industry profit margins Intensity of Competition Seasonality Product Life Cycle Changes Economies of scale Technology Social, Environmental, Legal and Human Impacts PORTFOLIO ANALYSIS-BCG MATRIX What does the horizontal axis represent? It indicates business strength or in other words competitive position, which is again a weighted composite rating based on seven factors as listed below: Relative market share Profit margins Ability to compete on price and quality Knowledge of customer and market Competitive strength and weakness Technological capability Caliber of management The two composite values for industry attractiveness and competitive position are plotted for each strategic business unit (SBU) in a COMPANY’S PORTFOLIO. The PIE chart (circles) denotes the proportional size of the industry and the dark segments denote the company’s respective market share. The nine cells of the GE matrix are grouped on the basis of low to high industry attractiveness, and weak to strong business strength. Three zones of three cells each are made, indicating different combinations represented by green, yellow and red colors. So it is also called ‘Stoplight Strategy Matrix’, similar to the traffic signal. The green zone suggests you to ‘go ahead’, to grow and build, pushing you through expansion strategies. Businesses in the green zone attract major investment. Yellow cautions you to ‘wait and see’ indicating hold and maintain type of strategies aimed at stability. Red indicates that you have to adopt turnover strategies of divestment and liquidation or rebuilding approach. This matrix offers some advantages over BCG matrix in that, it offers intermediate classification of medium and average ratings. It also integrates a larger variety of strategic variables like the market share and industry size. Advantages Helps to prioritize the limited resources in order to achieve the best returns. The performance of  products or business units becomes evident. It’s more sophisticated business portfolio framework than the BCG matrix. Determines the strategic steps the company needs to adopt to improve the performance of its business portfolio. Disadvantages Needs a consultant or an expert to determine industry’s attractiveness and business unit strength as accurately as possible. It is expensive to conduct. It doesn’t take into account the harmony that could exist between two or more business units. PORTER’S FIVE FORCES-INDUSTRY...
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A Small Intro to Supply Chain Management

A Small Intro to Supply Chain Management
What is Supply Chain Management? Investopedia: Supply chain management (SCM) is the streamlining of a business’ supply-side activities to maximize customer value and to gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace. SCM represents an effort by suppliers to develop and implement supply chains that are as efficient and economical as possible. Wikipedia: Supply chain management (SCM) is “the systemic, strategic coordination of the traditional business functions and the tactics across these business functions within a particular company and across businesses within the supply chain, for the purposes of improving the long-term performance of the individual companies and the supply chain as a whole.” Business Dictionary: Management of material and information flow in a supply chain to provide the highest degree of customer satisfaction at the lowest possible cost. SCM requires the commitment of supply chain partners to work closely to coordinate order generation, order taking, and order fulfillment. They thereby create an extended enterprise spreading far beyond the producer’s location. 7 Principles of SCM Supply Chain Management in Simpler Terms: The EFFECTIVE movement and management of materials and information as they flow from their source to the end customer. Supply Chain encompasses purchasing, manufacturing, warehousing, transportation, customer service, demand planning and supply planning. SCM is a daunting task and calls for proper planning and execution. OBJECTIVES OF FORECASTING SCM is the control of the supply chain as a process from supplier to manufacturer to wholesaler to retailer to consumer. SCM does not  only comprise  the passage of a physical product  through the chain but also any data that goes along with the product (such as order status information, payment schedules, and ownership titles) and the actual entities that handle the product from stage to stage of the supply chain. There are essentially three goals of SCM: To reduce inventoryTo increase the speed of transactions with real-time data exchange andTo increase revenue by satisfying customer demands more efficiently. When you think of the world’s most efficient and successful performance and supply chains, what comes to mind? For me it is not Wal-mart  or Pepsi but Mumbai Dabbawalas – Watch this Video. The Success of Supply Chain of Dabbawalas in Mumbai –Said to be Six Sigma Compliant No over-reliance on technology, all manual operationsCreate an integrated performance chain, the chief, team leaders and delivery men.Acute visibilityKeep it simple. Real simple with a color coding to identify where the food has to be delivered and to whom.Timely Delivery as the shelf life of food is 4-5 hours. Why is it so important for companies to get products to their customers quickly? Faster product availability is significant  to increasing sales and there’s a sizeable profit advantage for the extra time that you are in the market and your competitor is not. The earlier and faster you are in the market, the more orders and market share you enjoy. The ability to deliver a product faster also can make or break a sale. If two competitive products appear to be equal and one is immediately available and the other will be available in a week, which would you choose? Supply Chain Management is all about moving goods more quickly to their destination in a strategic and tactical manner. Supply Chain Management Tomorrow: The future for Supply Chain Management looks very bright. Two major trends are benefiting Supply Chain Management operations- Customer service focus and  Information technology. Successful organisations must excel in both of these areas, the fundamental objective being to “ADD...
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Top Five Reasons Why Strategic Plans Fail

Top Five Reasons Why Strategic Plans Fail
Why Strategic Plans Fail What are Strategic Action Plans? Action plans refer to definite actions that are related to either short- or longer-term strategic goals. Action plans should include details of resource commitments, allocation and time horizons for accomplishment. Action plan development represents the key stage in planning that facilitates effective communication of plans throughout the organization followed by resource planning and deployment. Action plans are also referred to as projects, strategies, tactics, or initiatives. Plans in paper may look more creative and feasible in nature; in reality it is a big quest unanswered. Are executives showing the same kind of enthusiasm in giving shape to the plans they charted out in paper? Most plans fail or do not give the expected optimum results and the reasons attributed may be listed out as follows: 1. Authority is delegated but Responsibility is forgotten: Senior management executives are the STRATEGIC DECISION-BRAHMAS obviously but do they demonstrate what needs to be done?  Demonstration is one of the powerful forms of communication and if the strategies are only to be communicated down the line and not to be followed by the senior officials how do you expect your team to perform efficiently? 2. Confusion between strategy and Ideas: An idea is a conceptual construct about a particular thing. It is more abstract in nature. But when it comes to strategy, you need to have a solid FUTURISTIC action plan that is bound to give you the desired results in the long term. The elements essential for a good action plan are: Availability of Resources (Men, Material and Money)Efficient Resource Allocation to the various Strategic Business UnitsProper DeploymentRegular Follow-up until accomplishment of goalsMinor Modification of plans in accordance with the macro environment (legal, economic, financial etc.,) 3. Dis-Orientation of Senior Leaders: If a senior leader reaches that higher position through internal promotion, he loses touch with day-to-day activities though he has a strong contextual understanding of the business. If a senior management leader happens to reach the top through external recruitment, it takes time for him to understand the business and the nature and needs of the organization. Only few leaders are capable of devising action plans that exactly nails the problem-situation (as we all know when an organization is looking for a turn around, the first blow is to the CEO of the organization). 4. Laissez Faire attitude doesn’t work out for strategic action plans: A senior leader has to monitor an action plan from the start till the end until the expected result is achieved. No strategy succeeds without a visionary in the background. The passion that a leader exudes is overwhelmingly infectious and motivates the team to complete a project. Here the leader is the initiator who is involved throughout strategic planning process so that momentum is sustained during the critical transition from planning to action. Follow ManagementGuru Net’s board Strategic Management – The Inevitable on Pinterest. 5. There might be one good goal but definitely no one good strategy: Understand strategies are subjected to change in accordance with the internal and external environment. Say, you have invested quite a good amount of money in shares of a particular reputed company and you come to know that there is a senior level management leadership change and feelers are that prices are likely to crash. What will you do? Just being able to conceive bold new strategies is not enough. The management must also be able to translate its strategic vision into concrete steps that is “getting things...
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