Sunday, August 18, 2019
Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe Moll Flanders was a product of her vanity and pride. She devoted her entire life to achieving some sort of wealth and social status. Her pride encompassed her entire life and affected all of her life decisions. Moll sacrificed many things, including love, religion, self-respect, and peace of mind, in order to attain a sort of affluence. Eventually, Moll achieves her desires and retires a gentlewoman in America, but her journey definitely took a serious toll on her life. In the end, one must ask the question of whether Moll's lifestyle and decisions were the right ones. Did the ends justify the means? Did Moll's chosen path lead to a life of satisfaction or did the pain, paranoia, and emotional trauma that came along the way extract a price that is much greater then the wealth that she eventually achieved? The answer is that the suffering that Moll experienced was not worth the final outcome. Although Moll reached her goals in the end, she would have had a more fulfilling and gratifyi ng life had she suppressed her vanity and price and accepted her role in society and lived accordingly. Moll began life in the low class. Not much nobility or status was expected of the orphan born in Newgate Prison, and in English society, there was little chance for Moll to escape this class. But Moll had the blessing of the kind "nurse" who raised her, kept her out of the dreaded servitude, and found a high class family for Moll to live and grow up with. Moll was a beautiful girl and thanks to her "nurse" and this family, she was well along the road to truly becoming a gentlewoman. Had events continued flawlessly from here, Moll might have achieved her goal without any pain, suffering, or remorse. Unfortunately, this was not to be the case. Moll's problems began with her relationship with the eldest brother. Her vanity and egoism allowed her to be seduced thus creating a serious conflict when the youngest brother sought her hand in marriage. Moll soon faced the dilemma of marrying Robin or faring for herself. Opting for financial security, Moll married a man whom she did not love. After Robin's death, Moll once again sought to marry a well to do man. She did just that and lived extravagantly for a few years until her husband was imprisoned for his debts. Once again, Moll was placed in a position of faring for herself or marrying... ... right, it was still an unnecessary risk. Moll and Jemmy had enough money to survive comfortably on. Was a little extra money worth risking her family and the only man she truly loved? Once again, Molls vanity and pride risked the happy life that she had found. We have seen how Moll let her vanity and pride shape her life. She found what she wanted in the end, but it took a mighty toll. She suffered through numerous relationships, each one leaving her in a position worse off then before. She had to deal with the constant paranoia and fear that is associated with being a thief. Yet she couldn't give up that lifestyle. She even had to face down her own death when she was sentenced to the gallows because of her actions. Moll made it through all of this and finally seemed to find happiness. But once again she was willing to risk all that she had in order to satisfy her vanity and greed. Moll had several opportunities to suppress her vanity and turn her life in a more positive direction. Doing so would have prevented a lot of pain and trauma. Unfortunately, Moll was never capable of overcoming this pride and thus had to suffer all the ill effects that were associated with it.
Lois Lowry's The Giver Should Not be Censored Ã Ã Ã Ã Parents in modern society routinely attempt to shield their children from what they view as evils of the world. Adults censor television they watch, conversations they have, and books they read. In so doing, parents feel that they are guarding their children from knowledge that they may not be emotionally capable of handling. However, it also is imperative in the highly competitive atmosphere of modern society for youth to become prepared for the pressures of adulthood. Ironically, the dangerous knowledge parents believe they are hiding from their children inevitably is learned through exposure. In the domain of literature, a parent may feel that a particular book attracts attention to inappropriate or taboo issues, neglecting the positive aspects of that same work. This is the situation that has developed with Lois Lowry's The Giver, a book opposed by parents across the nation. Throughout the novel, despite challenges that have emerged based in her use of e uphemistic expressions for euthanasia within a utopian society, the author nonetheless demonstrates the importance of experiential learning and the valuable lessons to be learned by working through the negative aspects of life. Ã Parents have raised protest against The Giver because it references euthanasia; a concept many believe corrupts youthful readers' minds and values. Indeed, the author initially does minimize the significance of mercy killing by euphemistically denoting it as, "release" (139). However, when Jonas learns the true definition of this term, he grows determined to awaken the community to what it is condoning. He realizes that the process of release is a "feeling of terri... ...ustrates the significance of developing and experiencing a balanced perspective on life. However, this parental challenge misunderstands that euphemism is used as a literary device to actually convey the horror of infanticide. Lowery further conveys the poverty of emotional experience that emerges when words are used superficially and without meaning. The Giver further demonstrates through the development of the protagonist, Jonas, that it is necessary to experience the negative aspects of life in order to enjoy the good life has to offer. It reveals that the price paid for the illusion of safety in a utopian environment is the demoralization of life and its endless possibilities, or, as more euphemistically referred to in today's society, no pain, no gain. Work Cited: Lowry, L.Ã The Giver. New York, NY: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, 1993.
Saturday, August 17, 2019
1. Propose three ways that a manager can cope with any negative emotions that may accompany an employee layoff. Layoffs are tough for both the employee being laid off and the company for which he/she worked. The situation causes so much uncertainty amongst the remaining employees. The feeling among the employees is; if this happened to them this could happen to me as well. According to Johnson (n.d.), Ã¢â¬Å"There is a major disruption in the status quo; relationships are severed, work is redistributed with a probable increase in everyoneÃ¢â¬â¢s workload.Ã¢â¬ We as human fear the unknown and will ultimately feel that itÃ¢â¬â¢s bound to happen again and will remain on edge until reassured it wonÃ¢â¬â¢t happen. Three ways the manager can cope with any negative emotions are: communicate with remaining employees, dispel any rumors, and allow employees to vent. During these difficult times itÃ¢â¬â¢s important that management has constant communication with their staff. Accordin g to Butcher (2008), Ã¢â¬Å"Most employees want to know what will be happening to them, especially whether they will they be laid off.Ã¢â¬ Each one of the surviving employees wants to know whatÃ¢â¬â¢s going on no one wants to be left out. When there is something perceived to be a cover up the employees are uneasy. When the employees are uneasy panic and hysteria sets in and production levels go down. The moment employees get wind of the layoffs or terminations the rumors will start to fly. It all stems from fear of losing their jobs. Employees become untrustworthy of management, so until management presents themselves as trustworthy, employees will continue to talk and spread rumors. Management has to step and in let the employees know the truth about what has happened and what will come next. If there is projected to be more layoffs then management should let them know. If there wonÃ¢â¬â¢t be more layoffs management should communicate that to the employees as well. The best coping mechanism for negative emotions would be to let theÃ person vent. If management allows the employees to vent, this will lessen the fru stration amongst the remaining members of the team. Management should conduct a meeting with the employees and allow them to share their feelings. Once management has an idea of how the employees feel they can make proper action to deal with the situation. Communication shouldnÃ¢â¬â¢t be one sided. Each side has to share what they believe is important. 2. Describe a step-by-step process of conducting the dismissal meeting. There are many steps to disciplining and employee. Usually, the last step in the discipline process is the dismissal of the employee. In a situation, where the employer doesnÃ¢â¬â¢t believe the employee should continue employment with the company the dismissal process begins. According to Heathfield (n.d.), Ã¢â¬Å"Sometimes, however, terminating a staff personÃ¢â¬â¢s employment is the best step to take for your organization.Ã¢â¬ Often times, when the employee isnÃ¢â¬â¢t a best fit for the organization management has to make the decision to trim the fat. Once itÃ¢â¬â¢s been determined the employee will be terminated for whatever reason. Whether it is for cause or non-performance, there is a process in which this shall be conducted. The manager has to schedule a meeting, inform the employee of termination, allow the employee to speak, and collect company property and have the employee escorted out. The manager has to be diligent in scheduling the meeting. Most often practice is to schedule the meeting for the end of the day. This allows the manager to minimize the chance the termination of the employee may disturb the work environment. In the event, the employee has a good relationship with the other employees the others may become upset. The meeting should be scheduled for the employee on a day in which the employee works. Depending on the preferred method of communication the manager should contact the employee as soon as possible. Once the meeting has been determined the manager should pick a location in which the meeting can be conducted. The preference is a location in which there will be some type of barrier between the manager and the employee. The manager should position the room in such a way that the employee doesnÃ¢â¬â¢t have to cross paths once the meeting has ended. While the meeting is going the manager should open the meeting explaining the reason for which they are meeting. After the manager has discussed with the employee the reason for termination it is important to allow the employee to express his/her feelings. During this time theÃ employee is allowed to say something in his/her defense. Also allows the employee to vent frustration about the termination. This will lessen the likelihood that employee will try some sort of retaliation. Additionally, is there was some misunderstanding on either the manager or the employees part this would be the time to clear it up. The next step is a combination of two, have the employee return company property. Someone should accompany the employee to his/her work area/location to assure company property has been properly returned and his/her personal property has been gathered. Making sure the personal property has been attained will deter the former employee from coming back. The second part would to have the former employee escorted out. In situations like these, it may be best to have someone the employee has a close relationship escort them out. 3. Determine the compensation that the factitious company may provide to the separated employee. Majority of the people in the workforce today, are doing so because they have to. Everyone has bills and expenses that have to be paid regularly. With this being said, everyone needs a steady income. Without a steady income individuals will fall behind and face major issues. So when it comes to employees being laid off from work employers should assist with some type of temporary compensation. In most cases, employers provide severance pay; pay accrued leave, and unemployment benefits. Most employers have severance packages set up for employees in the event the employment has to be terminated earlier than expected. According to Yuille, (2012), Ã¢â¬Å"The severance pay offered is typically one to two weeks for every year worked but can be more.Ã¢â¬ In most cases to received severance an employee will have had to work for the employer for more than a year. Employers should offer pretty reasonable packages depending on the job market and the economic climate. Most employers offer a benefits package for its employees. These are the things that attract talent to a particular employer. Within the benefits package there should be a leave option. The leave option should be a reasonable about of leaver per time worked. In the government workforce, when employment is terminated the amount of leave not taken is paid out at the rate in which the person works based on the number of hours of leave. Unemployment benefits mainly focus around two major parts of employee compensation and health benefits. The first of the two isÃ the weekly unemployment payment usually received from the state in which the person has been employed for the amount of time in which it requires to receive the benefit. The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) allows for temporary continuation of health insurance. However, it isnÃ¢â¬â¢t subsidized like it would have been while employed. The individual has to pay a much higher premium when paying as unemployed. 4. Using Microsoft Word or an equivalent such as Open Office, create a chart that depicts the timeline of the disbursement of the compensation. See Appendix A 5. Predict three ways that this layoff may affect the company. In most cases, companies lay off employees to save money. Most times layoffs are due to slow in production or a drop in revenue. ItÃ¢â¬â¢s always ugly business on both ends of the deal. The employees are out of a job and the company is out of workers. Three ways layoffs may affect a company are: lower moral, loss in production, and cost to retrain. When there is a layoff the surviving employees tend to become a bit worried about what will happen to them next. According to Matthews (2002), Ã¢â¬Å"The effects of layoffs on surviving employees have a less obvious, but still important, short-term financial impact. Morale directly affects productivity.Ã¢â¬ When the employees feel that their job is in danger they tend to focus on things other than work. Production is the main focus of any companyÃ¢â¬â¢s operation. Production is what makes money for the company. If the employees arenÃ¢â¬â¢t focused on production it will slow considerably causing the company to lose money. The effects of the layoff will cause the company to lose more money than they anticipated. In the long run, the company will lose money on production due to low morale and lack of focus. Once production starts to pick up again the company will need to hire more workers. This boost in production will cause the company to need more workers to handle the load. The money spent on recruiting and training will absorb the money that was supposed to be saved by the company. Matthews also said, Ã¢â¬Å"The employer will pay a premium price for attracting valuable replacements, including the cost of recruiting and screening candidates.Ã¢â¬ The layoffs prove to be more costly than keeping the staff on and lowering their pay. References Butcher, D. (2008, November 13). 5 Strategies for managing employees after layoffs. Industry market trends. Industry market trends rss. Retrieved from http://news.thomasnet.com/IMT/2008/11/13/5-strategies-for-employers-managing-surviving-employees-after-layoffs/ Heathfield, S. (n.d.). How to fire with compassion and class. About.com human resources. Retrieved from http://humanresources.about.com/od/discipline/a/firecompassion.htm Johnson, D. W. (n.d.). The emotional impact of lay-offs and non-renewals. University of Minnesota. Retrieved February 10, 2014, from http://www3.crk.umn.edu/humanresources/Documents/Emotional%20Impact%20of%20Layoffs.pdf Matthews, C. (2002, July 19). The real cost of layoffs by carole matthews inc.com. Retrieved from http://www.inc.com/articles/2002/07/24434. Yuille, B. (2012, September 24). The layoff payoff: A severance package. Investopedia. Retrieved from http://www.investopedia.com/articles/pf/08/negotiating-severance-agreements.asp
Friday, August 16, 2019
Case: Ã¢â¬Å"Nghe An Tate & Lyle Sugar Company (Viet Nam)Ã¢â¬ Question : Are farmers likely to convert to sugar cane ? The farmers who lived within 50 kilometers of the sugar mill are likely to convert to sugar cane in term of economic return and other benefits. Ã¢â¬â Economic return: Net returns to farmers per Hectare from growing Sugar cane is high. From Exhibit 9 with norminal cash flow of a crop life cycle ( 4 years), the total rerurn of one hectare is 6,900 (000Ã¢â¬â¢VND) and net present value is 3,841 (000Ã¢â¬â¢VND) with nominal discount rate 13. 3%/year.Compare to coffee and rubber, sugar cane need only one year to revenue. Compare with other crops ( pineapple, coffee, rubber Ã¢â¬ ¦), Sugar cane can get highest economics from exhibit 10 as below: Unit: Dong per hecta | Sugar |Pineapple |Coffee |Rubber |Peanuts |Peanuts |Peanuts | |Ã |Ã cane | | | |and Maize |& peanuts |and Rices | |Number of years |420 |420 |420 |420 |420 |420 |420 | |Planting years |105 |140 | 168 |120 |0 |0 |0 | |Typical years |315 |280 |252 |300 |420 |420 |420 | |Revenue |2,835,000 |3,955,000 |4,536,000 |3,000,000 |2,856,000 |4,032,000 |4,080,300 | |Total Costs |2,110,500 |3,255,000 |5. 21,100 |3,097,500 |3,696,000 |3,864,000 |3,906,000 | |Total net return |724,500 |700,000 |-485,100 |-97,500 |-840,000 |168,000 |174,300 | |Return per year |1,725 |1,667 |-1,155 |-232 |-2,000 |400 |415 | | Note: 420 is lowest common multiple of crop life cycle (4,3,10,28) and assume that time value of money is ignored (no discount to present value). From exhibit 11, Net return from Cane also get highest net present value for period from 1998 to 2015 with nominal discount rate 13,3% per annum and opportunity cost of labor is $1. 0/day: NPV Cane +82,894; NPV pineapple +19,617; NPV coffee +2,438; NPV rubber -13,557, NPV combo A -34,515; NPV combo B +6,902, NPV combo C -2,158 (US$ in thousand). Ã¢â¬â Other benefits: One of three parts of NATLÃ¢â¬â¢s development plan is an outreach progra m to help local farmers to convert to cane production which means that their sugar cane will have more added value because cane production can sell with higher price and the farmers can use their products. The company expected to employ 725 people, provided n-house traning so many members of the farmer family can be come workers, educated ones can also become staffs. This will creat many good affects to the local farmers. The project would need roughly 300 lorries during the harvest season so some farmers can borrow money from local banks to buy new hauliers to transport cane to the factory. With many benefits as above, before converting to sugar cane the local farmers need to understand/know the risks of converting. The first risk is to avoid converting too much from the beginning of the project. The factory will reach full capacity by the 2002/2003 harvesting season, so for the period from 1998 to 2002, the numbers of hactares convert to cane need to increase arcordingly. Ã¢â¬â Second risk is related to the NATLÃ¢â¬â¢s complex payment system, with the first installment, approximately 75% of the total, would be made within 14 days of delivery and the rest would be made at the end of the season with adjustment for sugar content and market price.The local farmers seem to familiar with simple full payment upon delivery even though with lower price, many poor farmers can have enough cash for their daily life and no effected by adjustment with the old payment method. With these analysises, the famers will have much more benefits, some related risks can be considered and controlled so I believe that they will convert to sugar cane.
Thursday, August 15, 2019
Regal Entertainment Groups is the parent company of Regal Cinemas, which is made up of Regal Cinemas, the United Artists Theaters, and the Edwards Theater. It runs the largest theater circuit in the U.S., and uses the multiplex cinema model in metropolitan and metropolitan growth areas. The movie theater industry is highly competitive, both within the film entertainment industry (as with Netflix and pirated films) and with substitute goods, such as live performances, restaurants, and sporting events. In addition, industry competitors have an extremely low level differentiation from one another, which is partially due to the reactive nature of the industry. It is also due to the considerable dependency on major film production companies. RegalÃ¢â¬â¢s dependency on the film production companies for profitable films and film advertising contributes to its lack of differentiation from its major competitors, which hinders its profitability potential in a market of ambivalent consumers. See more:Ã The Story of an Hour Literary Analysis Essay This report recommends that Regal pursue both an active advertisement campaign team to deliver the message of RegalÃ¢â¬â¢s value directly to the consumer (a practice not traditionally observed in the movie theater industry) to create brand recognition, and forge partnerships and agreements with live performance venues, utilizing RegalÃ¢â¬â¢s existing digital technology. By doing so, Regal could increase its profit margins, decrease itsÃ dependency on quantity and quality of mainstream film companies, create greater value to consumers and stakeholders, and provide new entertainment possibilities and community experiences that have not been available on this scale before. Position Company Overview Regal Entertainment Group was created out of a consolidation of the Regal Cinemas, the United Artists Theaters, and the Edwards Theaters in 2002 (Ã¢â¬Å"Regal Entertainment Group Company HistoryÃ¢â¬ ). Regal Cinemas are primarily a line of multiplex, first-run theaters in urban, metropolitan, and suburban growth areas. It currently operates the largest theater circuit in the United States, with 520 theaters, averaging 12.6 screens per location, with a total of 6,558 screens. (Form 10-K 4) It is currently one of the Ã¢â¬Ëbig threeÃ¢â¬â¢ competitors in this industry. Mission, Vision, and Values Regal Entertainment does not currently have a mission or vision statement. It would be advisable to create such statements in order to improve investor and employee understanding of what Regal hopes to be, and better focus its efforts and attempts to solve current and future problems (Yuthas 9-10). However, their business strategies listed on the Regal Investor Relations webpage provide some insight into the companyÃ¢â¬â¢s values. The four strategies listed are maximizing stockholder value, pursuing selective growth opportunities, pursuing premium experiences opportunities, and pursuing strategic acquisitions and partnerships. Combining these strategies with their metropolitan multiplex approach, their business landscape shows a drive to expand, using economies of scale to create value for the viewer, as well as their partners and suppliers. Their activities will better reflect their values, and will be discussed in greater length in this report, under the Current Activities sectio n. Key Stakeholders RegalÃ¢â¬â¢s key stakeholders include the usual categories: stockholders, suppliers, employees, and business partners. RegalÃ¢â¬â¢s main suppliers are their food and beverage suppliers and the major movie production companies that Regal depends on for their first-run films. The food and beverageÃ suppliers include beverage companies like the Coca-Cola Company, and confectionary companies like Tootsie Roll Industries, Cadbury Schweppes, and the American Licorice Company. RegalÃ¢â¬â¢s sheer size makes it a desirable client, and the economies of scale benefit both parties. Partners of note include AMC, one of its major competitors, with whom Regal jointly owns Open Road Films, a film distribution company. This will be discussed in more detail under the Current Activities section. AMC could conceivably take over if Regal were to go under, but splitting the cost and the risk of a new venture is a benefit to AMC. Regal also maintains an investment in National CineMedia (NCM), as does AMC and Cinemark (Form 10-K 74). NCM is an advertising service that acts through cinemas to reach the consumer. While this allows for more advertising within Regal Cinemas, Regal currently does not advertise itself outside of its theaters and website. NCM and Regal have a mutually beneficial relationship, in which RegalÃ¢â¬â¢s geographic expanse and numbers of theaters give NCM greater exposure, while Regal benefits from the money from the advertisers. However, Regal does little outside advertising for its cinemas. Regal Entertainment Group created the Regal Foundation, which is a non-profit charitable organization Ã¢â¬Å"committed to [improving] the quality of life in the communities in which [Regal operates] by providing funds and other resources to aid the initiatives of national and local charitable entities (Ã¢â¬Å"Community AffairsÃ¢â¬ )Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ Some of it beneficiaries include the Will Rogers Institute, and their partners include the Boys & Girls Club of America, the American Red Cross, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation (Ã¢â¬Å"Community AffairsÃ¢â¬ ). All of these stakeholders rely on RegalÃ¢â¬â¢s profitability to continue successfully, in order to maintain their charitable support. Current Financial State Regal reports a total of 211 million cinema viewers in at the end of the fiscal year December 2011, and recently reported dividends of $0.21,declared for Class A and B common share. These dividends have been distributed for the past four quarters (Form 10-K 97). Regal anticipates continued dividends in the foreseeable future, but note that dividends are considered quarterly and are only paid when their Board of Directions approves them. From May of 2002 to the end of December of 2011, Regal has returned $3.3 billion in cash dividends to their stockholders (Form 10-K 5). The movie theater industryÃ as a whole has a fairly low profit margin to dip into, and Regal has the same approximate costs and revenues as its competitors (Mintel Ã¢â¬â Leading Companies). RegalÃ¢â¬â¢s 2011 10-K states a net income of $40 million dollars, and cash and cash equivalents of $253 million, with $174 million in accounts payable (54); Regal appears confident in its ability to met its obligations. Current Activities In 2003, a year after its consolidation, Regal removed video games showing Ã¢â¬Å"graphic depictions of sexual behavior or nudity,Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"graphically violent character deathsÃ¢â¬ or Ã¢â¬Å"human-like characters suffering bloodshed and/or dismemberment.Ã¢â¬ It also removed games depicting Ã¢â¬Å"violence toward law enforcement officers or other figures of authority or the Ã¢â¬Ëglorification of illegal activity (Earnest).Ã¢â¬â¢Ã¢â¬ A potential reason for this decision may be RegalÃ¢â¬â¢s major shareholder, Philip Anschutz, who is heavily involved in Conservative and fundamentalist Christian politics, and actively supports Christian and family-friendly cinema (Haber). The aim appears to be to gear the public areas of the theaters towards a more family-friendly approach, although this has had no effect on the MPAA film ratings that the theaters would normally show. This may be relevant to any changes they wish to make to the business in the future. Regal appears to be fairly reactive to market changes rather than being proactive. They, as have their competitors, turned a great deal of attention to digital, 3-D, and IMAX technologies (Ã¢â¬Å"Market Size and TrendsÃ¢â¬ ). Regal has been investing a considerable amount of time and effort into IMAX technology, as well as their own version of IMAX, called RPX (Regal Premium Experience), which emphasizes improved uncompressed surround sound. Another trend that Regal has followed is creating a dining experience in-theatre with its subsidiary, Cinebarre. There are 28 locations that are experimenting with various menu items, pricing strategies, and serving styles, such as the traditional restaurant versus being able to order directly from the audience seating. A few locations have beer and wine availability, and a total of 5 are testing the direct-to-seating Cinebarre method (Form 10-K 14). One of the major audience draws to the multiplex structure is the all-encompassing experience that involves Ã¢â¬Å"the consumption of the space as well as the visual consumption of the movieÃ¢â¬ (Hubbard). Open Road Films is jointly owned by Regal and AMC.Ã According to RegalÃ¢â¬â¢s 2011 Annual Report, they believe that Ã¢â¬Å"Open Road Films has a unique opportunity to fill a gap in the marketplace created by the major studiosÃ¢â¬â¢ big-budget franchise film strategy by marketing smaller budget films in a cost-effective manner which [Regal] believe[s] will drive additional patrons to [sic] theaters and generate a return on [sic] capital investmentÃ¢â¬ (12). They are approximating that they will eventually be distributing eight to ten films per year, effectively filling any dead space left by the major film production companies. Industry Overview Key Players and Market Share The major competitors that Regal currently contends with are Cinemark and AMC. Both of these companies have overseas markets, which Regal does not. Both also prefer geographical locations similar to those preferred by Regal. This is to be expected, as the multiplex structure is most profitable in such metropolitan and growing suburban areas that these first-run, multiplex theatres prefer to locate themselves in. Regal currently holds 21% of the market share, with AMC and Cinemark holding 20% and 18% respectively (Ã¢â¬Å" Leading CompaniesÃ¢â¬ ). Current Practices Currently Cinemark and AMC are pursuing trial runs in improved and expanded concession ventures, which appear to be successful, judging by their continued implementation (Ã¢â¬Å"Leading CompaniesÃ¢â¬ ). AMC and Cinemark currently have a potential advantage over Regal in their foreign markets. Not only have they expanded the number of people who will see first-run Hollywood films, but they have good relationships with foreign movie production companies and currently show their films in other countries. As previously mentioned, the industry and major competitors have made the move to digital, 3-D and IMAX technologies. Sense Industry Challenges and Causes Piracy and Alternative Goods The industryÃ¢â¬â¢s battle with pirated films is well known, costing the entertainment business as a whole roughly $20.6 billion (Plumer). It alsoÃ competes with such legitimate entertainment businesses as DVD rental services, Pay-per-View, cable television, and similar entertainments. Not only this, but since most of the movie theaters are in areas of high population, there are multitudes of other activities to compete with, such as live theater, restaurants, sports bars, pubs, concerts, and sporting events, to name a few. Fewer Total Annual Viewers It is no surprise that the current recession has had a significant impact on consumerÃ¢â¬â¢s spending habits. A night at the movies is an affordable luxury, but a third of the total respondents reported going to movies less in 2009, and again in 2011, than the previous year. Although there was a small increase in total revenue in 2010, it declined by 1.2% in 2011, with the lowest number of tickets sold since 1995 (Ã¢â¬Å"Segment Performance: Box Office AdmissionsÃ¢â¬ ). The most profitable age group (18-34) are attending live performances more often than in the past, and as unemployment continues, their numbers are decreasing at the box office, although they still are going more frequently than any other age group (Ã¢â¬Å"Family Entertainment on a BudgetÃ¢â¬ ). Ambivalent Audiences Not only is the number of attendees declining, but consumers do not have a strong brand loyalty to their cinemas. A Mintel report showed that the major criterion for selecting a movie theater was the proximity to home (66% of respondents of all ages cited this as an important factor in their decision), the availability of the desired time (53%), and how comfortable the seats were (56%) (Ã¢â¬Å"Consumer TrendsÃ¢â¬ ). The brand of the cinema appears completely irrelevant for the average consumer. Branding has considerable value for any industry, yet movie theaters do not appear to have made a lasting connection with the average consumer. Reliance on Film Production Companies The industry depends heavily on the film production companies. Movie theaters depend on good relationships with the firms to get a contract, and must pay a premium for the use of big-name productions. The pricing has improved since the transition to digital, but to equip thousands of screens with the most profitable movies is still expensive. There are been accounts from theÃ film companies that because releasing to DVD is more profitable for the studio, there may be fewer films released and theater running times may decrease farther (Szalai). The movie theater industry historically has a low profit margin, and having empty theaters will only decrease it further. Regal Challenges and Causes Market Saturation There are a limited number of profitable places to create the multiplex experience that Regal specializes in. In light of the prevalence of competing first-run theaters that also occupy the same profitable locations, it seems that Regal is running out of places to go within the U.S. Its films are primarily first-run big-name productions, which are the biggest draw to the box office, but since the other major competitors specialize in showing these films as well, this is only a minor point in RegalÃ¢â¬â¢s favor. Regal could conceivably open theaters in more remote locations, but while big-name films are popular everywhere, they are also the most costly to rent (Morgan). Opening in less densely populated areas could mean higher costs than revenues, if the attending numbers arenÃ¢â¬â¢t high enough. Another option could be expanding Regal Cinemas overseas, but expanding overseas is a highly risky and costly venture. It should also be noted that AMC and Cinemark have already established themselves in the most convenient overseas locations (namely Central and Latin America), and have been closing theaters in recent years (Ã¢â¬Å"Leading CompaniesÃ¢â¬ ), indicating Regal may have a difficult time finding a marketing foothold. Fewer Total Annual Viewers Despite the optimistic announcement of RegalÃ¢â¬â¢s 2011 attending numbers, movie theater attendance for the industry has been declining (Ã¢â¬Å"Family EntertainmentÃ¢â¬ ), and RegalÃ¢â¬â¢s viewership went down by 5.5% (Ã¢â¬Å"Segment Performance: Box Office AdmissionÃ¢â¬ ). The economy has had a significant impact on the buying power of RegalÃ¢â¬â¢s main audience: middle to upper-middle class families and young adults (18-25). These are currently becoming more price-sensitive groups, and movie prices are nearly the highest theyÃ¢â¬â¢ve ever been (Morgan). While Regal cannot turn the economy into a bull market, it could create some consumer incentives to attend Regal Cinemas. They have a customer rewards program; restructuring the rewards program to create aÃ better value may help incentivize an increasingly price-sensitive market. Some have suggested a return to staggered pricing, which fluctuates depending on the movie title and show time, typically having higher prices for popular movies at peak viewing hours (Zeitchik). However, pricing rarely regresses, and if Regal is the only movie theater to attempt it, consumers may resist and direct their attentions to movie theaters with more familiar pricing. Viewers are turning towards other methods of movie entertainment, such as Netflix and On Demand (Form 10-K 7), as they are more affordable and convenient. As mentioned in the industry challenges, the key age group18-34 are attending more live performances than before, indicating some experience value that Regal is not providing them. Regal must find a way to remain competitive and to market greater value to these consumers to coax them out of their homes and away from live venues. Dependency on Film Production Companies As noted in the Industry Challenges, Regal is dependent on the major film production companies. Because of the film production companiesÃ¢â¬â¢ release times, theater business is seasonal, peaking during the summer months and during the holidays. This is occasionally broken up by a fluke film release, but this is again the choice of the film production company. Not only is Regal dependent on the timing of the releases, but also on the quality and draw of the films. Regal notes in its 2011 Annual Report that the decline in viewers during 2010 may have been due to the poor product offerings those years (Form 10-K 37). If the film production companies do decide to reduce the number of films produced and reduce the run times of these films in favor of earlier DVD production, Regal stands to lose profitability in the future. The production companies take a significant portion of ticket sales, anywhere from 35% to 100% for a specified amount of time, on a film-by-film basis (Morgan). More popular movies will have a larger percentage taken from their ticket sales for a longer period of time. This effectively decimates RegalÃ¢â¬â¢s earnings. Most theater-viewers see the film within the first six weeks of its opening, and the highest volume is within the first two to three weeks, when the production companies are taking their cut. Also, the younger, profitable age groups tend to go during the first few weeks, and older viewers, who are notoriously more price-sensitive, tend to wait untilÃ the crowds die out. Having a shorter timespan to show the films, knowing that the best part of those profits will be going to the production companies, and having fewer films to pack the multiplex seats: it is clear these issues will create profit gaps for Regal if left unaddressed. RegalÃ¢â¬â¢s Open Road Films venture is perhaps an attempt to alleviate the stress from that dependency, but it is not a full solution to the problem. ORF is a distribution company. While Regal must enjoy some income and savings from its involvement, they are not (and are not legally able to) actively creating their own films to guarantee quantity and quality of films. However, its first films distributed met with success, with Killer Elite starring Clive Owen and Robert De Niro, and The Grey starring Liam Neeson. It is a good addition to the company, but it is not enough to fully address RegalÃ¢â¬â¢s dependence. Lack of Differentiation From Competitors First-run movie multiplex theaters are the most profitable in the motion picture theater industry. However, there is very little differentiation between major movie theaters. They all show the same big-name films, they provide the same concessions, they have very similar prices, and their layouts and locations are similar. The industry shift to digital and IMAX technology is also widespread, so it despite RegalÃ¢â¬â¢s investment in it, it does not create a sustainable advantage. As discussed earlier in this report, consumers are fairly ambivalent about which cinema they attend to see a particular movie, which is understandable, considering the striking similarities of major movie facilities. Again, the two highest deciding factors in a consumerÃ¢â¬â¢s cinema selection are the cinemaÃ¢â¬â¢s proximity and the availability of the desired viewing time. Movie theaters depend on movie production companies to advertise their films, and do not create significant advertising outside of their facilities and website, with the exception of local newspapers (Segment Performance: Advertising). The production companies do not advertise specific theaters, and so Regal must depend on its location and available viewing time to entice audience members. Since there is little to make Regal stand out from the crowd this way, creating an active marketing campaign designed to show advertisements outside of the newspapers and company website could be a divisive next step to better differentiate itself from other theaters. Problem Statement Upon the given information of the industry and business environment and challenges: RegalÃ¢â¬â¢s lack of differentiation from its competitors and its dependency on film production companies is negatively impacting its profitability. Uncover Problem Focus and Potential Solutions In creating the fishbone diagram (Appendix A), I present the problem as a two-pronged issue that stems from dependency and lack of differentiation. I chose to present it this way because both problems are intertwined, and can be solved by similar means. Dependency on Film Production Companies Again, film companies claim a large percentage of the ticket sales for the first few weeks. After that period, Regal gets the majority of the ticket sales. However, the profitable market groups (tweens, families, and the 18-25 age range) tend to see movies in the first few weeks, which means Regal is left with fewer tickets, and thus lower total profits. Regal could attempt to renegotiate with film production companies regarding the percentage of ticket sales, in an effort to buffer against the lessened and shortened theater runs that the production companies are currently discussing. Regal could increase production with Open Road Films, or extend negotiation to other film distributors to include indie films. Using Open Roads Films not only fills a void and generates some cash flow that is significantly less garnered than Regal typical ticket sales, it also creates the potential to gain revenue from the showings of RegalÃ¢â¬â¢s film creation at other cinemas. In creating fresh relationships with outside artists, Regal could create a more beneficial set of terms than it currently has with the mainstream film production companies, and would be creating greater exposure for fledgling or small-time artists. Another option may be to create a whole new cinematic experience with Cinecasting. Cinecasting is digital, sometimes live, streaming of a remote event. In Santa Rosa, California, a small local theater was able to use a local movie theaterÃ¢â¬â¢s digital projection system to show a live Broadway run of The Importance of Being Earnest, performed by the Roundabout Theater Company, which had beenÃ nominated for three Tony Awards. They charged a premium for tickets, which were not available until one hour before curtains. They sold out every show and created a huge demand that led to an on-going, mutually beneficial relationship between the theater and the local movie theater company (Fuller). Cinecasting is slowly catching on, but no major cinema chain has done much with it. Cinecasting could be applied to theater performances around the world, concerts, major sporting events, and potentially minor sporting events such as Friday Night Fights. It would make the special events seem larger than life, and make the smaller events seem special. Lack of Differentiation The ORF and Cinecasting solution mentioned previously would also attack the problem of lack of differentiation directly. If Regal could get exclusive agreements with various entertainment providers before its competitors follow in its footsteps, they could potentially create a sustainable advantage for some time. Regal is in the process of creating a premium adult dining experience, as shown by their investment in Cinebarre and menu expansion, and ventures into wine and beer provision. Because Regal will be charging higher ticker prices for these experiences, there is more of a call to add something extra-special to the experience. Regal locations in metropolitan and urban areas could invite local artists and business to entertain in the theater during times when the theater is in low use, usually late at night. Other theaters are making the same push with their menu expansion as they did with digital, 3-D, and IMAX technologies. Not only would Regal be creating additional value for the customer, but gaining community bonds and goodwill. These connections are extremely valuable to a company (Grewal and Levy 190). However, simply taking the small step of actively advertising the Regal experience to the public would be a beginning to making Regal stand out from its competitors, and increase profits (Pitelos 39). Movie theaters, as previously mentioned, rely on the film production companies to advertise the movies to drum up interest, but this does not specifically help audiences select a particular theater. The advertising campaign would have several parts to it. There could be one for the traditional movie-going experience, but with an emphasis on the superior Regal experience. In the event that Regal does begin to differentiate itsÃ offerings beyond blockbuster films, the advertisements might show what entertainments are available on a regular basis, or simply to show the variety of experiences it is capable of bringing to the consumer, thus getting the attention and creating consumer interest. Another advertising effort might be to create advertisements that are more specific to the region s they are in. This would help to integrate Regal into the community further, as a way of showing that they are a part of the community and are paying attention. For example, T-Mobile ran an ad on a Manhattan billboard, proclaiming that their service connection moved faster than new families moving to Park Slope. It was almost immediately reposted and written about on a dozen New York City blogs, written by New Yorkers, who love making fun of other New Yorkers (Arak). The humor is highly selective, but it was successfully implemented, creating the feeling of an in-joke with their consumers and their region. Making the significant changes necessary to alleviate the problems of dependency and differentiation could additionally address some of the other problems discussed previously, such as creating interest in ambivalent consumers and offset market saturation. By expanding potential cash inflow ventures outside the major production companies and forming those alternative options, Regal would be addressing saturation and ambivalence through the differentiation projects, and so those will not be the main problems addressed in the remainder of the paper. Potential Stakeholder Effects The majority of RegalÃ¢â¬â¢s stakeholders would most likely benefit from these changes. If the changes are successfully implemented and RegalÃ¢â¬â¢s profit margin rises, the majority of its stakeholders stand to benefit, including stockholders, charitable organizations, and employees. Regal would be following its normal business strategies that rest on its current strengths, so it wouldnÃ¢â¬â¢t depart from the companyÃ¢â¬â¢s culture and Ã¢â¬Å"missionÃ¢â¬ . In creating strategic alliances and partnerships with additional entertainment groups, Regal would be fulfilling its goal to create greater worth to its stockholders and following its current business strategy. Breaking from the dependency on the film production companies should not cause a great gap in RegalÃ¢â¬â¢s usual operations. RegalÃ¢â¬â¢s bread and butter is first-run films, so those will continue to take precedence in the theaters, so the changesÃ should not damage RegalÃ¢â¬â¢s relationships with the major production companies. The changes would be intended to supplement those films once the hype dies away and audiences are looking for new entertainment between peak film release times, rather than replacing blockbusters.
Wednesday, August 14, 2019
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Tuesday, August 13, 2019
Identifying and Managing Risk - Research Paper Example The market risk is associated with the uncertainties in the areas of foreign exchange rate fluctuations, fluctuation of interest rates, fluctuation of stock prices and commodity prices. The market risk is managed by the use of interest rate swaps, options and future. The use of derivatives in financial market is important to hedge market risks. The risk management techniques are used to reduce the credit risk of the organization which occurs as a result of default of the counterparties. The credit ratings are used to assess the credit risk of organizations. The credit risk is reduced by limiting the exposure to the parties considered to be risky for repayment (Deventer,Ã Imai andÃ Mesler, 2013). The other credit risk management tools used are by the use of collaterals, periodic marking to the market, captive derivative subsidiaries and netting. Netting is a risk management technique through which the amount of cash owed by one party to another is reduced by the amount by the latt er to the former. There are various methods of netting which includes bilateral netting, multilateral netting, payment netting, cross product netting and close-out netting. Several types of derivatives like over the counter derivatives and credit derivatives are used to mitigate the exposure to credit risks. The types of credit derivatives include Total return swaps, Credit Swaps and Credit Options. Several authors have explained different financial risk management techniques that are widely used in the industries. Analysis: Comparison of financial risk management techniques A comparison of the financial risk management techniques explained by KallmanÃ to that of Cohen and Palmer is given below. Kallman explained that we should a clear idea of the nature of risks that need to be mitigated. According to Kallman, the risk exposures could be categorized into strategic risks, operational risks and economic risks. The strategic risks are the uncertainties that rise in the long term. Th ese may be quality risk, brand risk, etc. The operational risks are the uncertainties that occur within a single operating period as a result of the operations of the company. The economic risks are the areas of uncertainty created as a result of volatility in political and financial conditions (Kallman, 2007). These risk exposures are mainly due to the changes in macro and micro economic conditions. The economic risks take the form of interest rate risk, foreign exchange risk, etc. The risk exposures may be pure which results in a loss of values or speculative which may either result in a gain or loss. The popular risk management tools proposed by the author are risk surveys and checklist. The survey and checklist are important tools to build a risk register in the organization. Flowcharts of organizational process are useful in identifying the risks involved. After identification of risk, the risks are managed by risk management techniques that include statistical analysis, financ ial statement analysis and also personal inspection. The risk management techniques explained by Kallman could be compared to the risk management techniques explained by Cohen and Palmer. According to Cohen and Palmer, the