Introduction to Modern Management
Discussion Question: 300 WORDS EACH
Discuss how you think changes in the context of business are changing the role of management. What parts of the manager's role discussed in this module interest you most and which role elements interest you least?
INTRODUCTION TO COMMUNICATIONS
Discussion Question 1:
Think of someone (or something) who has an influence on how you perceive things. Do you feel that influence is undue influence? What factors influence how you perceive educational information?
Discussion Question 2:
Reflecting on the following list, what is the latest acceptable time for arriving at each event?
• Religious services
• A birthday party at a bar
• A birthday party at an acquaintance house
• Dinner at the house where you grew up
Which events are more clearly aligned with either monochronic or polychronic time systems? How does your personal view on time systems impact your time management? Which of Randy Pausch's time management strategies can you utilize to ensure your success in the online classroom?
PRINCIPLES OF ACCOUNTING
Subway - A Fresh Start
"Hey, Stan the man!" a loud voice boomed. "I never thought I'd see you making sandwiches!" Stan Hernandez stopped layering lettuce in a foot-long submarine sandwich and grinned at his old college buddy, Ron. "Neither did I. But then again," said Stan, "I never thought I'd own a profitable business either."
That night, catching up on their lives over dinner, Stan told Ron how he became the proud owner of a Subway sandwich restaurant. "After working like crazy at Xellent Media for five years and finally making it to marketing manager, then wham . . . I got laid off," said Stan. "That very day I was having my lunch at the local Subway as usual, when. . . ."
"Hmmm, wait a minute! I did notice you've lost quite a bit of weight," Ron interrupted and began to hum the bars of Subway's latest ad featuring Clay Henry, yet another hefty male who lost weight on a diet of Subway sandwiches.
"Right!" Stan quipped, "Not only was I laid off, but I was ‘downsizing!' Anyway, I was eating a Dijon horseradish melt when I opened up an Entrepreneur magazine someone had left on the table-right to the headline ‘Subway Named 1 Franchise in All Categories for 11th Time in 15 Years.'"
Well, to make a foot-long submarine sandwich story short, Stan realized his long-time dream of being his own boss by owning a business with a proven product and highly successful business model. When you look at Stan's restaurant, you are really seeing two businesses. Even though Stan is the sole proprietor of his business, he operates under an agreement with Subway of Milford, Connecticut. Subway supplies the business know-how and support (like training at Subway University, national advertising, and gourmet bread recipes). Stan supplies capital (his $12,500 investment) and his food preparation, management, and elbow grease. Subway and Stan operate interdependent businesses, and both rely on accounting information for their success.
Subway, in business since 1965, has grown dramatically over the years and now has more than 18,000 locations in 73 countries. It has even surpassed McDonald's in the number of locations in the United States and Canada. To manage this enormous service business requires careful control of each of its stores. At a Subway regional office, Mariah Washington, a field consultant for Stan's territory, monitors Stan's restaurant closely. In addition to making monthly visits to check whether Stan is complying with Subway's model in everything from décor to uniforms to food quality and safety, she also looks closely at Stan's weekly sales and inventory reports. When Stan's sales go up, Subway's do too, because each Subway franchisee, like Stan, pays Subway, the franchiser, a percentage of sales in the form of royalties.
Why does headquarters require accounting reports? Accounting reports give the information both Stan and the company need to make business decisions in a number of vital areas. For example:
• Before Stan could buy his Subway restaurant, the company needed to know how much cash Stan had and his assets and liabilities (such as credit card debt). Stan prepared a personal balance sheet to give them this information.
• Stan must have the right amount of supplies on hand. If he has too few, he can't make the sandwiches. If he has too many for the amount he expects to sell, items such as sandwich meats and bread dough may spoil. The inventory report tells Mariah what supplies are on hand. In combination with the sales report, it also alerts Mariah to potential red flags: If Stan is reporting that he is using far too much bread dough for the amount of sandwiches he is selling, a problem would be indicated.
• Although Subway does not require its restaurant owners to report operating costs and profit information, Subway gives them the option and most franchisees take it. Information on profitability helps Mariah and Stan make decisions such as whether and when to remodel or buy new equipment.
So that its restaurant owners can make business decisions in a timely manner, Subway requires them to submit the weekly sales and inventory report to headquarters electronically every Thursday by 2:00 P.M. Stan has his latest report in mind as he makes a move to pay the bill for his dinner with Ron. "We had a great week. Let me get this," he says. "Thanks, Stan the Man. I'm going to keep in touch because I may just be ready for a business opportunity of my own!"
From this story, consider what you understand about the terms "sole proprietor," "franchisee," "franchisor," and "independent businesses." Is it reasonable or not for Stan as a sole proprietor to provide Subway with his personal balance sheet, weekly sales figures, and inventory reports? Is this an intrusion into Stan's private affairs or is there a legitimate and reasonable business reason for such disclosures? Explain your answer.