Case: “Ideas Wanted” Chapter 4

  1. Large companies may tighten payment terms and order small suppliers to give a rebate from the value of invoices when business is generally not buoyant. This can create hard feelings and create bad press. Can you think up alternative ways of dealing with hard times that large companies can adopt to avoid having to act in this way?

At times of business not going so well, large companies do tend to look for financial rebate from already settled prices for the services of different small suppliers. This could cause a bad reputations to the large companies and have severe financial implications for the small suppliers whose profit margins are already thin. What large companies can do to avoid these situations is to look into their expenses that are much larger than what they have to pay to the smaller suppliers. They might try to make extra savings in the larger deals and hence they smaller suppliers can be saved from financial loses.

  1. How might town centres develop ‘personalities’ of their own to attract shoppers away from retail parks and large purpose-built, out-of-town shopping centres?

Town centers can offer children fun-play corners to attract children to the town centers which will ultimately result in the adults coming along with their children and shopping there. Town centers can try and be more local giving a local cultural look to differentiate them from the out-of-town shopping centres. Small events can also be organized to attract customers.

  1. It is well known in some circles that small children often enjoy playing with the boxes that toys and games are packaged in just as much as with the toys themselves. Suggest ways in which manufacturers might capitalize on this.

This is a very interesting topic as I have noticed that the box of Lego creative building blocks is itself like a block. Children would definitely love to treat the box itself as a toy. I think that companies can use the shape of the boxes to attract children. Color psychology has been incorporated in the field of marketing these days (Singh, 2006). Color psychology can also be used to attract children by coloring the box in accordance with what color combination the children may love.

 

  1. Luxury brands and high street chains are investing in e-commerce and are building a presence on sites such as Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and Facebook. A number of large well-known retailers are also doing this. Suggest ways in which small businesses might make good use of the Internet to build up their businesses.

Small businesses can succeed by dealing with internet social media platforms in a more creative manner as they do not have the financial luxury that the luxury brands have when it comes to paid advertisement on social medial and other internet websites. They can make social media groups and offer discounts and little gifts for most active customers at their social media pages. Small businesses can use local targeted advertisement on Facebook and twitter that is not that much expensive as compared to running advertisement campaigns on national or internal levels. Social medial pages can be used to share interesting information that is related to the industry the small businesses are in. If this information is really interesting it would definitely attract more customers to participate.

  1. It is believed by many that if staff believed their ideas for improving their businesses were properly considered by management, this would have a substantial positive effect on the growth of a country’s economy. Suggest how businesses might set about engaging better with their workers to bring this about.

Business can utilize the processes of problem solving and decision making to engage their staff in a productive manner in the organizational processes. Staff members should be given an opportunity to be the part of teams or groups that brainstorm problems and make decisions to resolve these problems. Proper communication channels must be in place to get the creative ideas of the staff members to the top management and a proper reward system must be in place to encourage creative and innovative ideas.

  1. A new report from IKEA has figures showing that more than half-a-million UK homes have three generations living under one roof, a substantial rise in just five years. Suggest what ramifications this might have for business and society in general.

Businesses can use this as an opportunity as they can target more people under one roof from different age groups their advertisement campaigns. On the other hand it might have negative implications for the society as this could cause stress within these houses due to generation gap and different pattern thinking that could be reflected in the form of an increased frustration in the overall society.

  1. It is thought that 75 per cent of families throw away the equivalent of a meal every five days by preparing too much. Suggest ways of dealing with this problem.

Firstly there is a need to define this as a “problem” to the families who through away these meals as most of these families do not know what they are doing. Then they can be emphasized to donate these meals in the form of cash or a meal itself to the needy. A proper channelized mechanism would be required to do so in my opinion.

  1. Patients often find out-patient clinics difficult to navigate. Passing through the system, they may see different members of staff in a number of locations. This leaves some people isolated or confused, contributing to a poor patient experience. Suggest ways of dealing with these issues.

In my opinion we need to develop more productive Management Information Systems for these clinics that would minimize the paper work and hence decrease the steps that a patient needs to finally see a doctor. These clinics can also provide pamphlets at the reception to the patients with all the details of what steps they would need in the out-patient clinic and what happens after each steps. Old patients can be given special permissions to get a young family member along with them to help them navigate through the clinical process.