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Business Issue: Culture Shock in Business Environment

Introduction

Businesses are growing globally and thus giving various opportunities to organisations and individuals to grow career-wise. With these global business expansions, an individual gets an opportunity to work abroad or the ongoing projects of the company on foreign land allows these representatives to work with natives. Every culture has its customs and tradition and they are also reflected in our work culture. Various cases reflect that it becomes very difficult for a Chines immigrant to work in American culture or vice versa. The articles listed below focus on various culture shock experienced by these representatives.

Article 1

Shi, L., & Wang, L. (2014). The culture shock and cross-cultural adaptation of Chinese expatriates in international business contexts. International Business Research7(1), 23.

The article focuses on the important causes of cultural shock by “Chinese business representative “and the difficulties they faced in adjusting to the international business environment. To identify the causes of cultural shock a semi-structured interview and an online of 80 Chines business experts who were associated with organizations who did business globally.  The finding of the study highlighted eight major causes of cultural shock were “language, professional communication, religion, time coordination, power distribution, traditions, openness and socialism. The study also concluded that almost all expatriates face the problem of culture shock while doing business internationally and were extremely affected by the mentioned issues. The research further reveals three major problems such as inability to adapt to business communication, languages barriers and the extreme pressure from work duties. On the bases of research conducted various measures are proposed. (Shi & Wang, 2013)

The article has focused on eight major factors of cultural shock which have not been considered in other articles cited below. The study specifically focuses on a particular country which has experience of cultural shock. The study was conducted on the people of China who went abroad for work. The article highlights the major causes of cultural shock and the survey illuminates that almost every individual has experienced cultural shock which has affected the business greatly.  

Culture Shock in Business Environment

Article 2

Selmer, J. (2004). Psychological barriers to adjustment of Western business expatriates in China: newcomers vs long stayers. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 15(4-5), 794-813.

The article focuses on the psychological factor and sociocultural adjustments of western business expatriates working in China. To study the problem a mail survey was conducted and the psychological barriers for adjustment and its impact on socio-cultural and psychological adjustment were studied.  This was an exploratory study and the finding concluded that the continuous incapability and unwillingness to adjust with newcomers have affected various aspects of sociocultural adjustment but it doesn’t affect the emigrants’ psychological adjustment. It has been observed that these factors have not stabilized over time in anyways there are no effects in case of long stayers in China. The study also suggests that in upcoming time both factors of inability and unwillingness towards adjustment may become of some importance. Paper suggests various points for selection of emigrants for job selection in China. (Selmer, 2004)

The article focuses on people who came to China to work and the cultural shock they experienced while doing business. The article focuses on two factors i.e. the psychological factor and sociocultural adjustments and their impact. These factors have been a great part of cultural shock and highlight major issues of cultural shock. 

Article 3

Ruben, B. D. (1989). The study of cross-cultural competence: Traditions and contemporary issues. International journal of intercultural relations, 13(3), 229-240.

The article studies cross-cultural communication skills attained by individuals or people working overseas to cope up with problems encountered by them. Though this paper it was observed there exists cultural shock difficulties, adjustments at the personal level, adaptability with regards to culture and cross-cultural effectiveness. The problem was significant in businesses which came in the form of project failures, the return of workers and loss of time and money. Though the studies it was observed that these problems occurred due to personal adjustment issues or due to lack of cultural participation. It was concluded that they needed a perspective so that the essential needs of the business were met. (RUBEN, 1989)

The article focus on the factor of individual adjustment with regards to culture and cross-cultural effectiveness. It considers the problems caused by these cultural shocks in the business. It highlights the major causes of cultural shock.

Article 4

Kaye, M., & Taylor, W. G. (1997). Expatriate culture shock in China: A study in the Beijing hotel industry. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 12(8), 496-510.

The article explores the existence of cultural shock occurred among emigrant managers in the joint venture hotels in Beijing and China region. The article focuses on factors infusing culture shock. The exploratory study was conducted and a model was proposed that predicted cultural shock which was determined by situations and intercultural sensitivity. The finding reflected a strong relation between cultural sensitivity and cultural shock. It was concluded that Asian expatriates experienced a great level of cultural shock due to inter-culture sensitivity.  (Marianna Kaye, 1997)

The article shares a case of the joint venture of hotel industry where the cultural shock was experienced. The study is a case analysis which has not been studied in any of the previous articles cited. The article highlights the strong relationship between cultural sensitivity and cultural shock.

Article 5

Fink, G., & Holden, N. (2002). Collective culture shock. Contrastive reactions to radical systemic change.

The article focuses on culture shock experienced during organizations moving from one economic system to another or when these businesses undergo expansion. By analyzing various factors it was suggested that culture shock has four components namely “integration, assimilation, separation, and marginalization”. This extension movement results in difficult social adjustments and undergoes an extreme challenge for a systematic way. To demonstrate the collective cultural shock the research was examined in four countries Russia, Europe, South Africa and Japan. The observation reflected that these shocks are the result of economic complexity, specific social and political situations. The article concludes that culture shock is an important factor or tool for managers who are responsible for constructing and evolving international business strategies to understand the complexities of culture shock or to adjust to the change in the traditional system of management. (Gerhard Fink, 2002)

In this article, the cultural shock is studied on the economical aspect which has not been considered in any other article. The article studies cultural shock in four countries Russia, Europe, South Africa and Japan and results conclude the causes of culture shock. The article highlights that is a key factor responsible for constructing and evolving international business strategies.

Conclusion

From the above cases, we could conclude that immigrants have faced a lot of difficulties while doing business on foreign land. The culture shift has been one of the reasons for that has affected various business tremendously. Due to the cultural shock organisations have undergone huge losses.The language barrier, adaptability and pressure of work duty timing and cultural difference have been a major reason for these cultural shock which can be overcome by giving initial training to the representatives about language and culture.

References

Fink, G., & Holden, N. (2002). Collective culture shock. Wien: Research Institute for European Affairs.

Kaye, M., & Taylor, W. (1997). Expatriate culture shock in China: a study in the Beijing hotel industry. Journal Of Managerial Psychology12(8), 496-510. DOI: 10.1108/02683949710189102

Ruben, B. (1989). The study of cross-cultural competence: Traditions and contemporary issues. International Journal Of Intercultural Relations13(3), 229-240. DOI: 10.1016/0147-1767(89)90011-4

Selmer, J. (2004). Psychological barriers to adjustment of Western business expatriates in China: newcomers vs long stayers. The International Journal Of Human Resource Management15(4-5), 794-813. DOI: 10.1080/0958519042000192951

Shi, L., & Wang, L. (2013). The Culture Shock and Cross-Cultural Adaptation of Chinese Expatriates in International Business Contexts. International Business Research7(1). DOI: 10.5539/ibr.v7n1p23


Assignment on Culture Shock in Business Environment by Subject Academy

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Analysis of Demand Forecasting

Enforcement methods used and forecasting the demands

The enforcement method used is the Trend Project method. This method is the most classical business forecasting method that considers the movement of variables about time. It is the quantitative method that requires secondary data. The data should be long-time serial data that can help in predicting the demand for a product. This is only applied to long term series data.

Forecasting the demand

As discussed the Trend Perfect method uses the data that is in series, so to forecast the demand sales data of the previous year and current year is used to predict or forecast the upcoming demands.

The sales report of a current and previous session can help to identify the market demands in the past and the demands in the current year. With the predictive analysis, it can be observed hat would the demands in future. To conduct the predictive analysis, secondary data would be used and various techniques of analysis can be applied for future prediction.

Forecasting Accuracy

As the prediction is based on market trend the accuracy is expected to be high. The sales reports from the previous year’s give the idea about the market trends and the sales report from current year reflects the ongoing trend. On comparing both present and past trends it becomes easier to forecast the upcoming trend. This in turns results in maximum accuracy.

 It is essential studies the past demand and ongoing demands to get the accurate forecasting rate. This plays a vital role in predictive analyses as it affects decision making. 

Analysis on Demand Forecasting

Overcoming and Improving Challenges

Although this analysis is considerate to be highly accurate there are still gaps in the analysis which can cause a major loss to the company. Incorrect data collection, wrong application of analysis tools could be some of the challenges. These challenges could be overcome by understanding the market and its changing patterns. This could be done by continuous monitoring of the ups and downs of the market.

The technological method used for forecasting

Exploration techniques are used for forecasting. It is mainly the process of searching for economical depth. This is conducted over a wide area and on prolonged duration to predict the upcoming trend.


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Operation and Supply Chain Management

1. Introduction

Operation management and supply chain, both are important aspects of a business. Operation management involves all the activities inside the organization and supply chain management includes the activities related to the supply of products to the market. This report is a detailed analysis of the operation and supply chain management of the company M&M.  M&M has a rich history from the past 100+ years. The company is continuously offering new products and new segments of the business but one thing is common that all the segments act as family members(Abbady, Hessian, & Alaam, 2017). M& M plain chocolate candies were introduced by Forrest E. Mars in the United States. In 1950, the company came up with a new solution to maintain the uniqueness of their products by stamping m letter on every candy. In 1954, the company introduced M&M peanut chocolate candies. In 1960, the company introduced fruit chews. In 1984, the plain and peanut chocolate candies offered by the company became the official snack food of the Olympic Games. In 1989, in the US, the company came up with peanut butter chocolate candies.  The company M&M continued its innovations by introducing caramel candies in 2017 and crunchy mint in 2018.

This report is a detailed analysis of the operation management and supply chain management of the company for its products and services. The first section of the report explains the key products offered by the company. In the second section, the report has discussed the competitive capabilities of the firm. The third section shows the comparative analyses of the company with its competitors through polar chart and dominance frontier. The fourth section of the report is about process calculation analyses. The fifth and sixth section discusses the supply chain of a product and new location of the warehouse of the company. The last section of the report explains how the firm can improve its productivity through mass customization.

2. Key products/ Services and Input-Output process

The company offers various categories of products. The products of the company can be categorized based on the occasion, personalizable products and non-personalizable products. The products of the company are available in different flavours: chocolate, peanut, chocolate peanut and peanut butter(Abbas, 2018). These chocolate and peanut products are available in different colours. In this section, the report has discussed the main products and their input-output process. The company offers different product based on different sizes, chocolates, nuts, spices and herbs, fruits, deserts and colours. Input-output process of products of the company is as follows

Inputs: The main inputs for the process of chocolate and chocolate related products making is cocoa beans, chocolate, milk, electricity, labour, machine and paper.

Process: It includes various processes to prepare the products such as sorting, mixing, grinding, winnowing and roasting.

Output: The main products produced are chocolate products and waste products.

3. Competitive Capabilities of M&M

The chocolate brand M& M offers chocolate products in different colours and sizes. M & M is the sub-company of Mars Inc. There are various competitors of M&M in this industry. But the company has gained a competitive advantage in the food and beverage industry because of its strengths. The main strengthening factors of the company are high brand recognition in all over the world, affordable products, variety of colours which attract the attention of the customers, attractive marketing and advertisement strategy and personalized gifts for birthdays and parties. Hershey is the main competitor of the company which is regularly offering new brands of the chocolates(Dubai, 2018). But M&M has kept eye on them every strategy of its competitors to gain competitive advantage. The tagline of the company “Melts in your mouth, not in your hand” helps the company to attract a large number of customers.

4. Comparison of the company with other companies using Polar chart and Dominance Frontier

In this section, the report has described the comparison of M&M with its close competitor Hershey. The comparative analyses of both these companies have shown through the following polar chart. The comparative analyses of both of these competitors describe that overall score of the company M&M according to Knoji ratings is 3.8 and the overall score of Hershey is 3.9. Hershey is highly recognized as compared to M&M. This brand is globally recognized because of discounts and offers provided by it o its customers.

Packaging

Low price strategy followed by M&M Company has made it able to compete with the other competitors in the market. One positive factor which attracts more customers towards M&M as compared to Hershey is the variety of chocolate products offered by the company. The company offers chocolate products in different colours and sizes. The products of the company can be categorized based on the occasion, personalizable products and non-personalizable products. The products of the company are available in different flavours: chocolate, peanut, chocolate peanut and peanut butter. These chocolate and peanut products are available in different colours. In this section, the report has discussed the main products and their input-output process. The company offers different product based on different sizes, chocolates, nuts, spices and herbs, fruits, deserts and colours. But on the other hand, Hershey offers limited chocolate products in limited colours.

The above graph explains how the company can make the supply chain and distribution process easy by following the dominance frontier in operation management and supply chain process. This process will help the company to use specialization of skills and to increase productivity. It will also help in overcoming the challenges related to delay in delivery of products.

5. Process Analyses Calculation

Every organization uses flow rate, inventory and flow time as the main units of measure the performance of the workers as well as the overall productivity of the organization. For the process analyses calculation, the organizations use the term flow unit which represents every single activity in the firm(Landry, 1998). All the chocolate products offered by the company are known as flow units. The number of products manufactured by the company in per unit of time is known as flow rates. Flow rate term also represents the speed of delivery of products from the operation department to the supply chain department and its further processing to the customers through the distribution process.

The time taken by the supply chain department to the customers is known as the average flow rate. This stream pace of administrations conveyed to the clients is known as the normal rate. The aggregate sum of time spent by stream units in the business procedure is known as the complete time of preparing. If there should be an occurrence of more than one way, this stream time is determined through the way which is the longest(Wu & Pagell, 2011). The all outnumber of stream units took care of by the business procedure is known as stock. Stock at the organization is determined by separating the stream rate isolated by stream time. Stock can be determined to utilize the speed of conveyance of administrations to the clients and the quantity of clients handles by the office in a specific time. The chiefs for the most part centre on expanding the throughput. Accordingly, they attempt to lessen their cost and attach the speed of conveyance of items to the clients to expand the income of the organization(Zuckerman, 2002). The organization wants to get the input from the clients identified with the administrations offered by the organization to improve the administrations later on. This encourages the organization to build the speed of conveyance of administrations to the clients because the organization modifies their administrations according to the input got from the clients.

6. The supply chain of a product and risks related to supply chain

In this section of the report, we are discussing the supply chain process of M&M peanut chocolates. Supply chain process of the M&M Peanut chocolate consists of various elements for the movement of products. The supply chain of these products starts with the customers and also ends with the customers.

Supply Chain

Customers: This chain starts when the customers start liking the products and demand for these products and finally purchase the products offered by the company through the retail store. The customers’ order for the products as per their requirement and sales department of the company receive the orders to manufacture the products(Stephenson, 2014).

Planning: The next step of the supply chain process of the company is to plan for manufacturing. The planning department is responsible for all these planning to fulfil the requirement of the customers. According to the plans, the company purchases the required raw material.

Purchase: The planning department sends the list of required raw material to the purchasing department. This department further sends the purchase orders to the different suppliers to purchase the materials.

Inventory: Afterreceiving the raw material from the suppliers, quality and accuracy of the products are checked and the material is sent to the warehouses.  After supplying the material, the suppliers also send the invoices to the specific departments from where the material was ordered(Sarkis, 2006).

Production: According to the plan of the production, the raw material is transferred to the specific departments. Using this raw material, finish products are also produced as per the requirements of the customers.

Transportation: After receiving the finished products, the shipping department decides to ship the products to the customers by using efficient methods. When the goods are delivered to the customers the company also sends an invoice for those goods.

Supply chain risks: The Company also faces various challenges in the supply chain process of the products. These risks include supplier failed to deliver the raw material. Although the company gets the raw material from renowned suppliers, yet the risk of poor material or latte delivery of products always exist(Joshi & Rathore, 2013). Other risks can be outsourcing, logistic delays, loss of information, miscommunication regarding orders, risks related to political, economic and natural calamities and risks of theft and terrorism. These risks can affect the supply chain process and production and distribution capability of the organization.

7. New Location for the warehouse or service centre of the firm through the Center of Gravity method

By using the centre of gravity method, the firm can locate a new place, which can increase the productivity of the firm by reducing its cost. Through this method, the company can locate the area which is near to its distribution centres. Less distance between the distribution centres and the operational plants will help the company to reduce the cost of transportation. The following example shows how the company M&M can find a new location using the centre of gravity method.

Operation and Supply Chain Management
Numerical  Data

The above numerical example proves that the company can use this center of gravity method to decide about the location which can help in minimizing the cost of transportation of the company. Center of gravity method is an approach used by organizations to find a new facility which can help in the minimization of the costs of the organization. The main input used in this method is the volume of services offered by the firm(Wu & Pagell, 2011). In this case, we are discussing the services offered by M&M chocolate company. Facility location for every organization is a one-time decision(Stephenson, 2014). This decision cannot be reversed. Overall cost pattern is based on this facility location. This facility location directly affects the sales of the organization. The main factors which influence this plant facility are its distance from the raw material centre, its distance from the market and its facilities and infrastructure

This new location explored using this centre of gravity method will help the company in increasing the speed of delivery of the products. It will increase the satisfaction of the customers of the company as well as it will increase the revenue of the company by decreasing its cost. 

8. Application of Mass customization to the product

Mass customization is known as the production of unique goods on a large scale. Using this technique the firm can serve different requirements of the customers, preferences of the market by producing varied products. Through this technique, the company can easily overcome the challenges related to delayed delivery and the disappointment of the customers. Mass customization can help the company for knowing the choices of the customers so that new products can be able to meet their requirements. This strategy acts as a postponement tactic to attract a large number of customers towards the products of the company(Landry, 1998). The company can also adopt modular design and packaging for its chocolate products through this strategy. In the way, the company will be able to compete with its competitors.The Company also faces various challenges in the supply chain process of the products. These risks include supplier failed to deliver the raw material. Although the company gets the raw material from renowned suppliers, yet the risk of poor material or latte delivery of products always exist.

Other risks can be outsourcing, logistic delays, loss of information, miscommunication regarding orders, risks related to political, economic and natural calamities and risks of theft and terrorism. These risks can affect the supply chain process and production and distribution capability of the organization.  As we have studied previously, the main competitors of the company are Hershey for its chocolate products and it is regularly introducing new chocolate products for its customers. Thus the company needs to adopt this mass customization technique to maintain the interest of their customers in these chocolate products and to attract new customers to gain competitive advantage.

9. Conclusion and Recommendations

­­The study concludes that M&M is a renowned company in the Food and Beverage sector of the United States. The company has covered a large share of the market by introducing a wide range of chocolate products to the customers of the company. Although the main competitor of the company Hershey has gained the largest share of the market in this industry the company has made its recognition through a variety of chocolate products. The report has described the comparative analyses of the company with its close competitor Hershey through Polar chart from the aspects of quality, price, taste, packaging and variety. The report has also explained the supply chain process and supply chain risks of the company. The only risk faced by the company is related to the delay in delivery of products to the customers. The new location facility explained that the company can overcome this risk by finding a new location near its distribution plants through the centre of gravity method. This new location explored using this centre of gravity method will help the company in increasing the speed of delivery of the products. It will increase the satisfaction of the customers of the company as well as it will increase the revenue of the company by decreasing its cost.

10. References

Gerhard F. Knolmayer, P. M. (2009). Supply Chain Management Based on SAP Systems: Architecture and Planning Processes. Springer Science & Business Media.

Hodges. (2012). Supply Chain Management. Net Library inc.

Hugos. (2011). Essentials of supply chain management. Willey publications.

Joshi, & Rathore. (2013). On Supply Chain Competitiveness of Indian Automotive Component Manufacturing Industry. International Journal of Production Economics, 21-35.

Landry. (1998). Supply Chain Management. Harvard Business Review.

Laudon. (2010). A New Supply Chain Project Has Nike Running for Its Life. In Essentials of Management Information Systems: Managing the digital firm. sixth edition Pearson Education.

Sarkis, J. (2006). Greening the Supply Chain. Springer Science & Business Media.

Snippet, V. (2015). Supply chain development. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 2 (1), 311-325.

Wu, & Pagell. (2011). Balancing priorities: Decision-making in sustainable supply chain management. Journal of Operations Management, 65-78.

Zuckerman. (2002). Supply Chain Management. Kingdom: Capstone Publishing.


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Marketing Assignment of Nattas Cafe

 INTRODUCTION

The report is based on my visit to Nattas on 11th November 2017 at 5:30 pm. Natta is basically a cafe also preferred by people for casual dining. The purpose of my visit was to work on marketing assignment. Though my visit was all about information gathering but the food smelt so delicious that it tempted me to grab a bite, this later proved to be very useful in my work.

The finding has been listed below.

Product Strategy

Analyse menu

The menu itself provides a huge amount of varieties. It is divided mainly into three categories

  1. Starters
  2. Main Course
  3. Dessert

It becomes difficult to make the right choice as the food looks so delicious it is a tedious job to pick any one or two items from the menu.

Marketing Assignment of Nattas Cafe
Marketing Assignment of Nattas Cafe

Now it’s quite evident that when you have so many options it becomes difficult to make choices.

Analyse quality of both services and product offerings

The quality and services has been appreciated by the costumers. The quality of the food and services are great.

They have quick services it feel you are welcomed here. As soon as you enter the staffs’ stands to welcome and the food is smells so great and tempting it appears as if it is their way to welcome the guests.

Services they provide and Product Offerings

  1. Wi-Fi
  2. Kids friendly zone
  3. Desserts and Bakes
  4. Private dining area available

Product Offerings

  1. Starters
  2. Main Course
  3. Dessert

All details are already mentioned above.

  • Product that customers might find valuable

Mostly people like Chocolate milk and the Nattas signature dish.

Chocolate milk is so concentrated that you can see the chocolate at the bottom.

Nattas this is a tart that is crispy outside and creamy inside.

  • Analyse food quality, service and ambiance based on customer ratings and reviews

Nattas have been working very hard towards customer delight and satisfaction and over the years this has paid the off. the reviews shared would be quite evident to reflect this.

Nattas

On the bases of rating and reviews the rating lies between Excellent and very good. This rating is given on the bases of services, food and value.

Delighted Customer

Delighted Customer Reviews

Positive

People visiting the have a delightful experience

Portugal people say that the get a taste of Portugal far away from home

 Customer satisfaction through food and music

They provide a demo of Portugal products.

Professional staff

Negative

Though the food it great but sometimes the services aren’t that great.

Pricing strategy

  1. Cost – plus pricing- calculating you cost and then adding extra amount.
  2. Competitive pricing – analysing the competitors charges and setting the price
  3. Price skimming- setting a higher price and then keep a scope of lowering it as the market evolves.
  4. Price bundling- combining products or services to increase value and price.

Cafe used mix price strategies

Free Wi-Fi services

Payment by credit card

Coupons system

All these strategies not only add to customer delight but also attract customer attention.

Cafe used any price adjustments strategies

Happy hours

Coupons

Menu of the day

These techniques are used to lower the price and get more customer attention.

Promotion strategies

In the era of technology, promotion through social media has become the best option.

Nattas also follow the same the promotion is done through facebook, instagram , Twitter and they do have their own web site where all the details have been give. They also have tie-ups with zomatto where people come to know everything about them.

On their web sites they some videos and chef interviews.

Place strategies

Nattas have made a very smart move in finding the location.
University City Road, Muwailih Commercial – Sharjah – is the location which is one of the prime locations of the country. As this place various institutes and collages, so it’s a convenient food joint for the students. So students will be the most attracted customers.

Nattas also serve in one more location in the country i.e  inside Global Village.

Target and Positioning  

As already discussed the have concerned a convenient spot for themselves. University City Road, Muwailih Commercial – Sharjah this hub for the students and the main targeted customers are the students itself. Second prime location is Global Village it has been a famous tourist spot and the target customers are the tourists.


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