Assignment 2: Planning the Future at Galaxy (Week 6)

Assignment 2: Planning the Future at Galaxy (Week 6)


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In the second assignment, students will create a SWOT analysis and provide a detailed explanation of what considerations led to the determination of the SWOT components.  Students will then make recommendations and explain what factors were considered in making the recommendations.

Outcome Met by Completing This Assignment:

  • integrate management theories and principles into management practices
  • employ effective planning processes to develop strategies, goals, and objectives in order to enhance performance and sustainability
  • identify the essential characteristics of decision making and indicate the range and types of decisions a manager makes


Step 1:  Review “How to Analyze a Case Study” under Week 3 Content.

Step 2:  Create a Word or Rich Text Format (RTF) document.  This paper should be presented in a professional manner, double-spaced with indented paragraphs.  The final product will be between 6-8 pages in length excluding the title page and reference page.

Step 3:  Title page with your name, the course name, the date, and the instructor’s name.

Step 4:  In writing a case study, the writing is in the third person.  What this means is that there are no words such as “I, me, my, we, or us” (first person writing), nor is there use of “you or your” (second person writing).  If uncertain how to write in the third person, view this link:  http://  Do not include personal commentary.

Step 5:  In writing this assignment, students are expected to support the reasoning using in-text citations and a reference list.  If any material is used from a source, it must be cited and referenced.  A reference within a reference list cannot exist without an associated in-text citation and vice versa.  View the sample APA paper under Week 1 content.  Step 6:  In writing this assignment, students are expected to paraphrase and not use direct quotes.  Learn to paraphrase by reviewing this link:

Step 6:  In writing this assignment, students will use resources from the course material and no more than 2 external source documents.  NOTE:  The expectation is that students provide a robust use of the course material.

Step 7:  In completing the assignment, students are expected to use the facts from the case study and company profile paired with the weekly courses readings to develop the analysis.  View the company profile here:  Galaxy Toys, Inc. Company Profile. 

Step 8:  Review the grading rubric for the assignment.

Step 9:  Read critically and analyze the case study provided under Week 6 content.   Notate the key points in the case study. 

Step 10:  Create the introductory paragraph. 

The introductory paragraph is the first paragraph of the paper but is typically written after writing the body of the paper (Questions students responded to above).  View this website to learn how to write an introductory paragraph:  http:// 11:  Respond to the required elements of the assignment.  Be clear and concise in the writing and make sure the questions are comprehensively answered.

Review the main case study located under week 6 content.

Part One: Long Term Planning Goals and Decisions

The toy industry is very fickle and innovation is critical.  Sales for January 2016 showed only a 3% rise over January 2015 leaving the company managers concerned about meeting projected sales targets for 2016.  In a 30-month plan, George Jepson, Jr., as CEO, together with Edward Mercury, CFO, set long-term goals for the company to include the following:

  • increase sales unrelated to NASA toys by 22 percent;
  • reduce company-wide costs by 5 percent within 15 months and 11.2 percent by the end of the plan;
  • create new technology based action toys;
  • use innovative technology in production to increase efficiency;
  • reduce carbon footprint by 5 percent.

In November 2015, the long term planning team began to select the newest Galaxy product line.  The choice of the right product design will hopefully stop the slump in sales and jump start growth.  Tomorrow, February 4, 2016 is the final meeting of the planning team.  The team will choose between three options:

  • produce 1 million Payload Nine toys or MMTJE1 for Christmas 2016;
  • produce 1 million Payload Nine toys for Christmas 2016 and 1 million MMTJE1 for Christmas 2017;
  • produce 1.5 million MMTJE1 toys for Christmas 2017.

The products have different production requirements.  Payload Nine is designed to complement the International NASA Space Station series.  Payload Nine is geared to the 7-10 age group and contains building blocks to make the space shuttle with emphasis on the cargo hold and its loading arm.

Focus group results suggest that Payload Nine will sell well but it is not a “wow” product in the eyes of the group.  It is not a trendsetting toy.  The introduction of Payload Nine is estimated to jump NASA sales by 6.8%.  Payload Nine requires little change on the production floor and supplies are easily obtainable.  Production could begin May 1, 2016 and completed in time for the Christmas toy market.  No additional personnel would be needed and existing production would not be delayed.  Production costs would fit within the current year’s budget.

The other project “Moon Mission to Jupiter’s Europa” (MMTJE1) is a 3D engineered of the Curiosity vehicle used to. explore Mars.  The toy is operated remotely allowing a child and parent to launch the capsule “Juno 1” craft, 500 ft. in the air, unload the rover called Galileo and move it along all terrain surfaces.  Galileo takes pictures remotely and sends them to a cell phone.  The toy is geared for the age 11-15 market but can be used with younger children as long as there is adult supervision.  The toy is made from a 3D printer and consists of a plastic capsule and rover base with electronics added separately in production.  [Not sure what 3D printing is, view]

Focus group results suggest that it is a “wow” product and would also encourage sales of related toys and books as Jupiter’s Moon Europa has been deemed by scientists as the most accessible and likely place to support habitable life as we know it to be. Children can view pictures and imagine a Moon currently covered in ice as a new space frontier adventure. An interactive video game is also envisioned.  It will also be the first intergalactic action toy that Galaxy Toys has ever produced.  MMTJE1 is estimated to bring a 15% increase in unrelated NASA sales if rolled out in 2016 and 21.6% increase if rolled out in 2017.  However, MMTJE1 is not production-friendly at this point.

The new production equipment, electronics, computer programming and trained personnel would not see production beginning before November of 2016.  Anticipated budget costs of $450,000 necessitating a budget increase of $300,000 over all five plants would be needed.  In order to meet the October deadline for Christmas 2016 sales additional manpower would be needed with a cost increase of 20% over the projected $450,000 budget costs.  In addition, the push would necessitate significant rescheduling of current production and likely require factory workers to put in overtime. Finally, the rush would be predicated on the assumption that production problems would not occur.

Part One: Long Term Planning Goals and Decisions

Keith Wisternick, VP of Production, has the job of aligning all the production teams for Galaxy Toys, and more specifically, he is the person that ensures that each of the plants are capable of producing toys that meet the quality standards of Galaxy Toys in an efficient and cost-effective manner.   Also, part of Keith’s job is to provide valuable input into the long-term planning process of the company. Every two years, Keith and his counterparts in the other departments meet to determine the new product line for the upcoming two years.  They are presented with new ideas that have been developed by the Design and Engineering Department. 

After soliciting input for recommendations on the toys that would most likely meet the company’s future objectives, the Board of Directors narrowed the choices to Payload Nine and Moon Mission to Jupiter’s Europa 1 (MMTJE1).

As VP of Production, Keith is very aware that his recommendation and vote lends great influence to the outcome.  Lucky for Keith, he is not expected to provide his recommendation without first delegating some researching responsibilities to others.  One person that he relies upon for research and analysis is Itza Yu who is a Production Manager.  Yu has been tasked with creating a SWOT analysis for Keith’s review.   However, Yu has not had any prior experience with creating this type of information.  Keith has provided the following source to help him:

https:// Elements for Part One:

  • Using the facts that have been provided, students should assume the role of Itza Yu and create the SWOT analysis for Keith.
  • To further assist Keith, Itza Yu must also provide a detailed explanation as to what considerations led to the determination that certain facts should be classified as “strengths” while others were classified as “weaknesses.” In other words, it’s not enough to simply list various strengths and weakness, but instead, Itza Yu must explain “why” these facts were included in the analysis. 
  •  Lastly, Itza Yu must select the best long term planning decision for Keith’s approval.  In this report, Itza Yu must explain the analysis and factors used in evaluating the vision, mission, long-term goals and SWOT analysis of the company that led to the conclusions that formed the basis of the decision that Keith would recommend to the Long-term Planning Committee.

Part Two: Short Term Production Goals and Objectives

The Board of Directors has decided to accept the recommendation to roll out the “Moon Mission to Jupiter’s Europa 1” for the holiday season of 2017.  In a virtual meeting, led by Itza Yu, the production managers have had a “brainstorming” session and have created a list of short-term goals and objectives. 

In reviewing the list, Itza Yu noted that some of the items on the list are sound short-term goals and objectives while others are not and therefore, should be removed.  He also noted that some of the items do not fit well with the company’s vision and mission and will need to be eliminated.

Assuming the role of Itza Yu, students must determine whether the items on the list are “goals” or “objectives” and whether they should be adopted or abandoned.  The list is as follows:

Short Term Goals and Objectives List

  • Production of quality MMTJE1 toys must start February 20th, 2017.
  • Production of quality MMTJE1 toys must start by July 1, 2017.
  • Dates for starting production set.
  •  Completion dates for new personnel hire set.
  • MMTJE1 quality toys production.
  • Additional personnel must be hired by February 20th 2017.
  • Materials must be state of the art.
  • Completion dates for material purchase and delivery set.
  • 3D printers must be purchased by February 20th, 2017.
  • 3D printers must be purchased and installed by November 1, 2016
  • The first MMTJE1 toys should be produced by December 1, 2016.
  • QC should evaluate first toys by December 31, 2016.
  • Completion dates for QC standards will be determined by QC.
  • Safety standards should be determined by QC by May 1, 2016.
  • Materials must be purchased by and delivered by July 1, 2016.
  • New packages should be palletized by May 1, 2017.
  • Personnel for all production functions must be organized by March 31, 2016.
  • Shipping should begin immediately upon the nod from Quality Control.
  • Shipping should begin July 1, 2017.
  • Shipping start dates should be determined.
  • IT must confirm programming for 3D printers is complete by June 1, 2016.
  • 3D machine operators must be trained by October 31, 2016.
  • Completion dates for 3D programming, training and installation set.
  • Maintenance for 3D printers must be done daily.
  • Personnel must be cross trained on the 3D printers.
  • Training on new equipment must be done by October 31, 2016.
  • Marketing will determine shipping start date.
  • Dates for personnel hire set.

Required Elements for Part Two:

  • From the list above, students should generate three lists. The first list should be a selection of “appropriate” short-term goals.  The second list should be a selection of “appropriate” objectives.  The third list should be those other goals and objectives that have been abandoned. 
  • In completing this task, students are expected to demonstrate their understanding of the difference between “goals” and “objectives” and their choices should reflect this understanding.
  • Moreover, students are required to clearly explain their reasoning for the selection (of certain goals and objectives) and the abandonment of others. This analysis will be very helpful to Keith Wisternick and the Board of Directors of Galaxy Toys, Inc.

Step 13:  Using the grading rubric as a comparison, read through the paper to ensure all required elements are presented.

Step 14: Proofread the paper for spelling and grammatical issues, and third person writing. 

  • Use the spell and grammar check in Word as a first measure;
  • Have someone who has excellent English skills to proof the paper;
  • Consider submitting the paper to the Effective Writing Center (EWC).  The EWC will provide 4-6 areas that may need improvement.

Step 15:  Submit the paper in the Assignment Folder.

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